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BannedA History of Pesticides and the Science of Toxicology$
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Frederick Rowe Davis

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300205176

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300205176.001.0001

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Roads Taken

Roads Taken

(p.214) Chapter 8 Roads Taken

Frederick Rowe Davis

Yale University Press

This chapter highlights lessons learned from a hundred years of risk assessment from pesticides. As the scale of agriculture developed to industrial proportions, farmers increasingly relied on chemical inputs, specifically insecticides, to control crop damage as a result of insect infestations. The methods developed by E. M. K. Geiling and FDA scientists revealed the value of toxicology in characterizing risks of chemicals in the marketplace. Meanwhile, the book Silent Spring highlighted the tragic irony of legislation and pesticide use. While organophosphates posed a significant risk to humans and wildlife, most remained in the market until the EPA completed its comprehensive review in 2006. To this day, organophosphates are still among the most widely used pesticides in the world, with tragic consequences for farm workers, children, and wildlife populations.

Keywords:   pesticide assessment, agriculture, insecticides toxicology, Geiling, FDA, organophosphates

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