December 1, 2011


Will Allen, The War on Bugs (White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2008) ("[W]ell before the start of the twentieth century, advertising space in rural magazines became an essential platform for chemical corporations. By 1900, the ads were producing more revenues for these farm periodicals than their subscriptions ever could. By that point, the concerns of the reader had become secondary to the concerns of the advertisers. Because of this, the views of the chemical advertisers, not the needs of the farmers, have dominated farm magazines for more than a century, and continue to do so today." Id. at xviii. "The War on Bugs is really the story of two wars, one intended, the other a by-product of chemical use. The intended war using pesticides has been directed against insects, bugs, spiders, disease, and fungus and is designed to KILL. The unintended war comes from the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticide that inadvertently kill highly important soil life, such as microorganisms and earthworms, and their drift that contaminates areas next door and thousands of miles away. Both of these wars have had devastating effects on America's water, farmland soil, wildlife, an rural population. Id. at xxvii. "Based on historical and modern evidence, we know who will suffer from false advertising, resistance problems, and the low yields, crop failures, and lawsuits that result from genetic manipulation. In all the debacles of chemical agriculture since the mid-1800s, it was the farmers who went bankrupt from using defective and worthless fertilizers and pesticides--not the chemical corporations." Id. at 202. In the word of Joni Mitchell, "Give me spores on my apples . . . .").