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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Politics of pesticides

  • Author(s): Dietz, David H.
  • et al.

In regard to pesticides, today we have lost the benefit perspective. We no longer have a balance in the mind’s eye of the media, nor in the mind’s eye of the public as a whole. We talk, instead, about the risk to man, the risk to the environment, and the risk to wildlife that is wrought by the very use of the modern tools that have brought up production and health protection miracles. And, until that perspective is re-asserted in a balance, we’re going to lose the very tools that we depend on today to produce quality food, economical fiber, and to protect the good health of this nation. It’s amazing to me that we can ban the use of ethylene dibromide (EDB) and restrict its contamination in ready-to-eat products to 30 ppb, when at the same time we allow aflatoxin, which is a mold in peanut butter, to be present at 15 ppb knowing full well that it has 1,000 times the carcinogenic potential of EDB. That is the consistency and logic of our federal government. We need to re-align perception with fact, because unless we do and until we do, the politics of pesticides are going to win.

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