Public fear and pesticide marketing

A 2012 discussion of Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring."
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Public fear and pesticide marketing

Post by TomTheobald » Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:25 am

"United States pesticide makers appear to have tapped a sales bonanza in the increasing numbers of broad-scale pest elimination programs conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture," cheerfully reported one trade journal in 1958... Silent Spring, Chapter 10.
There was an article in the morning paper about the commencement of aerial spraying in Dallas,Texas for control of West Nile.
While Boulder County has never endorsed aerial spraying for mosquito control, it has been employed in many other parts of Colorado as well as surrounding states.
The Environmental Protection Agency and The Centers For Disease Control assure the public that there is "no unreasonable risk", while other scientists and health organizations dispute the safety of this and question whether chemical control of mosquitoes to address West Nile is of any value at all.
Compare and contrast what was occurring in the 1950's with what we are experiencing today.
Define unreasonable.
What do you think Rachel Carson would say?
Tom T.

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Re: Public fear and pesticide marketing

Post by Book Club Host » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:51 am

"What do you think Rachel Carson would say?"

Great question, Tom.

Fear is hard to argue with. Throughout my lifetime I've heard it said countless times ... "If this new regulation (ingredient, lecture, medicine what-have-you) saves just a single life then it will have been worthwhile." People are terrified of West Nile. I've heard it can be debilitating. I have a friend who won't sit outside with me on summer evenings due to fear of West Nile. Staying in is a better choice than killing all the insects, I suppose, but then I have neighbors who are pushing the County to do more mosquito control around their houses because the mosquitoes are "unbearable." We're living in a time of little tolerance for risk. The fear of contracting West Nile is currently much louder than fear of the indiscriminate use of insecticides.

Wondering how to connect with people on this issue that isn't dismissive of their fears?

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