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The War on Bugs

von Will Allen

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In the early nineteenth century, as the American population grew rapidly, demands on crop output increased. Seeing an opportunity to play upon fears from market demand, chemical companies declared war on the vile, profitsucking, output-wreaking, arch-nemesis of the average American farmer - bugs. With precision, pesticide manufacturers delivered a 'shock and awe' media campaign, that can only be compared to the current blitzkrieg from today's pharmaceutical companies. Bugs were the threat to the American dream - and there was a cure available to every farmer in spray, granule, dust, or systemic form that could be applied to your crops. Will Allen's The War on Bugs reveals how advertisers, editors, scientists, large scale farmers, government agencies, and even Dr. Seuss, colluded to convince farmers to use deadly chemicals, hormones, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in an effort to pad their wallets and control the American farm enterprise. Utilizing dozens of original advertisements and promotions to illustrate the story, Allen details how consumers and activists have struggled against toxic food. The War on Bugs shouts that the time to stop poisoning our food, water, air, and ourselves is now!… (mehr)
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It just so happened that I read this book directly after reading Silent Spring and it definitely packed a bigger punch as a result. It's a look at all of the chemicals farmers use, and the history of how chemical farming got to be the behemoth that it is. If either Silent Spring or this book don't make you consider eating 100% organic, then you're missing something. ( )
  lemontwist | May 25, 2010 |
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There is not a single instance in history in which the introduction of a major technological innovation has had only benign consequences for the natural world, or even for the social world. New technologies allowed corporations and nations to exploit and expropriate nature for short-term gain, before damages finally escalated to such a level that they became necessary to regulate. The actual gain from these new technologies has always been illusory and instead resulted in long-term pollution, depletion, or destabilization of some portion of the biosphere.

- Daniel Imhoff, August 2000
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For my wife, Kate Duesterberg; my son, Coupe, and his wife, Shelby; my daughter, Zuri, and her husband, Mike; my late sons Cameron and Jeff; my grandsons Cole, Taylor, and Jordan and my granddaughter Zurael; and Jess, Jan and Noah.
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My interest in how farmers became comfortable with using dangerous chemicals began more than thirty years ago, as many of us converted our farms from chemical to organic production.
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In the early nineteenth century, as the American population grew rapidly, demands on crop output increased. Seeing an opportunity to play upon fears from market demand, chemical companies declared war on the vile, profitsucking, output-wreaking, arch-nemesis of the average American farmer - bugs. With precision, pesticide manufacturers delivered a 'shock and awe' media campaign, that can only be compared to the current blitzkrieg from today's pharmaceutical companies. Bugs were the threat to the American dream - and there was a cure available to every farmer in spray, granule, dust, or systemic form that could be applied to your crops. Will Allen's The War on Bugs reveals how advertisers, editors, scientists, large scale farmers, government agencies, and even Dr. Seuss, colluded to convince farmers to use deadly chemicals, hormones, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in an effort to pad their wallets and control the American farm enterprise. Utilizing dozens of original advertisements and promotions to illustrate the story, Allen details how consumers and activists have struggled against toxic food. The War on Bugs shouts that the time to stop poisoning our food, water, air, and ourselves is now!

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