Pesticides. Pesticides get talked about a
lot when it comes to GMO crops. You may have heard of “Roundup Ready” crops
designed to be resistant to the pesticide glyphosate for example. Now it
is not hard to find somebody in our comment section saying something to the effect of: Pesticide refers to any chemical a
farmer is putting on their crop to deal with any pest. Yes, when you’re a human
pests are often insects but when you’re a crop insects are not your only pest.
For plants another plant can be a pest and a farmer has to control pest plants
with a herbicide. Herb=plant icide=killer. Also fungus can be a real pest for a crop – in which case a farmer would spray a fungicide. Fungus=mushroom, icide=killer. And obviously some bugs could be annoying for crops, so an insecticide would be used. All of these things are
considered pesticides though. It’s an umbrella term and it could refer to
plant killing chemicals or mushroom killing chemicals or bug killing
chemicals too. Pesticide does not mean kills bugs but it can mean kills bugs if
you’re really talking about an insecticide. And this brings us back to
the pesticide “Roundup ” (Glyphosate) Glyphosate is a pesticide but more
specifically it’s a herbicide. It’s not targeted to bugs or mushrooms it’s
targeted to weeds herbicides are always pesticides but pesticides aren’t always
herbicides. Farming is linguistically complex, isn’t it?