Pyrethrin is considered to be one of the safer insecticides. What is / are reasons for this?
1. It is of plant origin
2. It decomposes rapidly in sunlight
3. It does not have a significant effect on mammals
4. Insects do not develop resistance to it
Select the correct option from the codes given below:

Answer: [D] 1, 2, 3 & 4

Daisy plants (Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium) were first used centuries ago as a lice remedy in the Middle East, and this led to the discovery of pyrethrum insecticides. The seeds contain a natural insecticide called pyrethrin, a generic name for six related active compounds. It is one of the safer insecticides for several reasons: it decomposes rapidly in sunlight; it has few known effects on mammals; and insects do not develop resistance to it, the safer insecticides for several reasons: it decomposes rapidly in sunlight; it has few known effects on mammals; and insects do not develop resistance to it. It is used on foodstuffs, in head lice shampoos, and in many indoor insect sprays. 100,000 tons of mosquito coils made from pyrethrum are sold each year. Scientists have synthesized similar

compounds called pyrethroids, but the chemical synthesis produces all geometric isomers of the compounds, many of which are ineffective and are difficult to separate from the active forms. The plant material contains only the active isomers.

  1. In South America, the natives use an extract of a forest vine to stun fish; this led to the discovery of rotenone, a biodegradable insecticide.
  2. The bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis produces toxic proteins that kill certain insects but are apparently harmless to humans. These are being produced and marketed as biopesticides.
  3. The Neem tree, in India, has been found to be a source of the insecticide azadirachtin, as well as fungicides, spermicide, and agents potentially valuable in birth control such as materials that prevent implantation or cause abortion. The tree has been used in traditional agriculture, medicine and cosmetics for centuries.

However, recently companies from industrialized countries have been seeking patent protection, and 90 patents have been granted worldwide for “inventions” of products from Neem. A coalition or organizations has been fighting patenting of materials already in traditional use (biopiracy), and in 2000 they achieved their first victory in persuading the European Patent Office to revoke a patent from USDA and W. R. Grace on Neem tree fungicide on the basis that the product was already being used traditionally (in India) before the Company patented it.

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module