Healther Pilatic has written an instructive article, “What would Rachel Carson write: the top 4 untold pesticide stories,” in the September 20, 2012 issue of Pesticide Action Network. She speculates on what Carson would still be reporting on today’s under reported pesticide issues.
- GMOs are DDT 2.0. Genetically engineered (GE) crops are the present-day growth engine of the global pesticide industry; and we know as much about their health and environmental impacts as we did about DDT in 1962 (when Carson’s book, Silent Spring, was published.)
- 50 years later, still flying blind. We know very little about pesticide use patterns in the U.S. because, with the exception of California, use is not tracked. So we have spotty data at the national level that is nearly useless.
- Huge testing loopholes. Pesticide products are often rushed to market without adequate testing, by using “conditional registrations,” and the products remain in use for years before being tested. Examples include Bayer’s bee-killing clothianidin and DuPont’s tree-killing Imprellis. 68% of new pesticides enter the market through conditional registration.
- Chemical Cartel + Farm Lobby = 50 years of pesticide policy paralysis. From 1988 to 1995, more than 65 bills to tighten pesticide regulation were introduced in Congress. None were passed.
Ms. Pilatic concludes with this. “I imagine that Carson would today name the most disabling dynamic of our times as: corporations running roughshod over democracy.”