Benefits and disadvantages of using organic compounds in society?

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This question is a little vague, since food, clothing and shelter are usually organic and obviously there are no disadvantages at all.

Perhaps the question should be asked about synthetic organic compounds.

Synthetic organic compounds are developed to make life easier in modern society, but the disadvantages can manifest themselves when the technology is improperly used. Pesticides are the best examples of synthetic compounds which were overused and not only failed to work eventually, but poisioned the environment as well.

The pharmaceutical industry develops medicine more often from natural sources, but can enhance the effects of a drug by altering the chemistry. This is a very profit driven industry and can sometimes market drugs before they are thoroughly tested. The media is full of stories of medicines which had unexpected side effects in people because long term studies had not been done.
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  • Dr OChem answered 6 years ago
    This looks like the question of the benefits and harm from guns and their defense, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people". There is truth in it, but neither side progresses how society can control the harm people or guns can do to each other.

    Even though our existence is dependent on organic compounds, the implication is what are the benefits of mankind's being able to make rational and and exogenous use of organic compounds. If you look back one century, you would find mankind now lives a long and fat life. I am going to call that a benefit. I don't work on the farm any longer and I am going to call that a benefit also. I don't mean to appear to castigate growers of the world, but I do mean that they are so efficient, that their labor allows all of the rest of mankind to be involved in tasks other than growing food.

    Global life expectancy at birth, which is estimated to have risen from 46 years in 1950-1955 to 65 years in 2000-2005, is expected to keep on rising to reach 75 years in 2045-2050.

    I know it isn't solely and entirely due to organic compounds. Acquisition and application of knowledge in general cannot be parsed out into individual contributions and so I return to the gun. "Organic compounds don't ... " Wouldn't you think that with all of the organic compounds causing all of that damage to mankind that out life expectancy wouldn't be falling ?
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  • norm c answered 6 years ago
    Main disadvantage is that the feedstock for many organic chemicals is petroleum based or derived, adding to the fossil fuel burden resulting (allegedly) in global warming.
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