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What do you think you should do about the FDA approved bee-killing pesticide supposing...

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barbiedot | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted April 3, 2013 at 1:20 AM via web

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What do you think you should do about the FDA approved bee-killing pesticide supposing you work in the pesticide industry?

In 2003 the EPA approved a pesticide that is now killing honey bees to the point where large agricultural crops (almonds in CA) are producing much less because they are not getting pollinated by the bees.

The Europeans have banned these pesticides but not the US who approves most of these chemicals with the provision that the industry should test the products and report back if there are any problems.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 3, 2013 at 1:47 AM (Answer #1)

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This is one instance in which business ethics and the financial interests of the company actually intersect.  It seems clear that I would need to report to the EPA that the chemical my company makes is killing the bees (assuming that I know this to be true).

First, this is ethically correct.  It is not ethically proper to lie.  It is also not ethically proper to sell customers (the farmers, in this case) a product that I know will harm them economically.  I know that this chemical is going to kill the bees, so I know that it will harm the farmers because their crops will not get pollinated.  Therefore, I ethically must warn the EPA.

Second, this is a good business move.  My business relies on selling pesticides to farmers.  Farmers need to have their crops pollinated in order for them to grow.  If the crops do not grow, the farmers do not need my pesticides.  Therefore, if I continue to sell this product, I am digging a grave for my company.  I am selling a product that will eventually destroy the people on whom my company relies.

For these reasons, it is both ethically and financially correct to report the problem to the EPA.

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