Time again for our Website of the Week, when we showcase interesting and innovative online destinations.
This time it's a resource for farmers who want to protect their crops, consumers who worry about chemicals in the environment, or anyone interested in pesticides.
STONE: "The National Pesticide Information [Center] website is a service that provides science-based and objective, unbiased information to the public on pesticides and pesticide-related issues."
Dave Stone says the National Pesticide Information Center — at npic.orst.edu — started out as a telephone information service, which it still maintains, and later migrated to the Web. It's a joint project of the federal Environmental Protection Agency and Oregon State University, where Stone is an assistant professor in Environmental and Molecular Toxicology.
He acknowledges that pesticides are controversial, which is why the National Pesticide Information Center aims to provide unbiased information.
STONE: "We only pull information that we put on our website from peer-reviewed articles, from government agencies, from cooperative agricultural extension sites. So we are pulling information that gets vetted through research and a lot of agency oversight."
Stone says the site is mainly used by the public, trying to sort out what pesticides would best suit their needs and how to use them safely. But researchers and government regulators also find useful information here. And because many of the same pesticide ingredients are used worldwide, the National Pesticide Information Center really has a global reach, with India and China now among the top five countries where users of the site are located.
STONE: "Pesticides are clearly an international industry, and there are a lot of developing countries that experience a lot of agricultural loss and public health disease from pests that can be mitigated through pesticides. But the labeling of pesticides, the specific country regulations, how they're distributed and shipped and used is just a real hodgepodge, but the same active ingredients do get used in many of the countries."
The National Pesticide Information Center is at npic.orst.edu, or get the link from our site, voanews.com.