undue influence

Heather Pilatic's picture

Silent Spring turns 50 next week, giving occasion for all manner of reflection on Rachel Carson's legacy as the author who catalyzed the U.S. environmental movement. The small, but vocal rightwing fringe continues in its campaign to paint Carson as the devil "responsible for more deaths than Hitler." But most mainstream reflections thus far have sought to contemporize Carson by drawing links between the issues she outlined in Silent Spring and the concerns we still face today. 

Claiming no special insight other than working daily in Carson's wake, I speculate that she'd be reporting in her way on one of these still-untold and/or under-reported pesticide stories: 

Pesticide Action Network's picture

For those who relegate the issue of corporate control to the sidelines of public debate, a new article published in the international, peer-reviewed British Medical Journal last month issued a surprising invitation to think again.

Professor Gerard Hastings at the University of Stirling points out the devastating impact on public health of the deceptive and virtually unregulated marketing campaigns of multinational corporations, connecting the dots between corporate takeover of the public mic and public health crises such as cancer, obesity and heart disease.

Pesticide Action Network's picture

Two years ago, on January 21, 2010, a Supreme Court panel that included ex-Monsanto lawyer Clarence Thomas made a decision that has since changed the face of election campaigning. The landmark ruling in Citizens United v. FEC declared corporations to be people and, under the guise of the First Amendment, permitted the pumping of unlimited amounts of corporate money into politics, opening the floodgates for a corporate buyout of democracy. The decision, which undid over a century of campaign finance reform, passed 5-4. Monsanto’s Clarence Thomas provided the critical vote.

Pesticide Action Network's picture

For over a year, PAN has been watching EPA’s long-overdue review of atrazine, a common herbicide and potent endocrine disruptor. From the outset we've called for reliance on science not funded by industry – and we've been disappointed. Of the roughly 25 health-related studies submitted for the review's final session, 10 were not available to the public and exempt from the rigors of peer review. These 10 ‘secret’ studies were also industry-funded.

Now the agency is accepting comments on a new petition to pull the use of atrazine, a petition that points to misleading industry-funded science as the basis for keeping this widely used herbicide on the market.

Pesticide Action Network's picture

Ever had lunch with a high-powered lobbyist for the chemical industry? As the Monterey County Weekly reported last week, a small-town high school teacher and a university graduate student were invited to share cookies at the offices of a well-known Sacramento lobbying firm concerned about the growing public opposition to the cancer-causing strawberry pesticide methyl iodide.

Goal of lunch: Diffuse and disorient the local movement against methyl iodide.

Target: visible community leaders.

Didn't work. The problem with the lobbyist's approach is that it's hard to dissect a movement, especially when so many people have the facts. As PAN's Kathryn Gilje previously reported, the movement is made up of high school students, chemists, farmers, farmworkers, moms and many others working in different ways to protect health and the environment. Just last May, over 200,000 people across the country called on EPA to ban methyl iodide.