The War on Bugs

By Will Allen

The War on Bugs
Hardback, 336 pages £27.50
Published: 1st January 2008
ISBN: 9781933392462
Format: 234mm x 234mm


In the early nineteenth century, as the American population grew rapidly, demands on crop output increased. Seeing an opportunity to play upon fears from market demand, chemical companies declared war on the vile, profitsucking, output-wreaking, arch-nemesis of the average American farmer - bugs. With precision, pesticide manufacturers delivered a 'shock and awe' media campaign, that can only be compared to the current blitzkrieg from today's pharmaceutical companies. Bugs were the threat to the American dream - and there was a cure available to every farmer in spray, granule, dust, or systemic form that could be applied to your crops. Will Allen's The War on Bugs reveals how advertisers, editors, scientists, large scale farmers, government agencies, and even Dr. Seuss, colluded to convince farmers to use deadly chemicals, hormones, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in an effort to pad their wallets and control the American farm enterprise. Utilizing dozens of original advertisements and promotions to illustrate the story, Allen details how consumers and activists have struggled against toxic food. The War on Bugs shouts that the time to stop poisoning our food, water, air, and ourselves is now!

The secret history of pesticides revealed: how farmers and consumers have been conned by government, industry, and war-mongering jargon into choosing toxic food. ìIn 1984, when the gas leak from Union Carbideís pesticide plant in Bhopal killed thousands, I asked myself why agriculture had become like war. In The War on Bugs, Will Allen tells us why. Whether you care about the bugs, or the food you grow or eat, this is a book you must read. It will help us all move from violent agriculture to a non-violent agriculture which protects all life and our health.î Dr Vandana Shiva, Director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy and author of Stolen Harvest. ìIn classical Indian music the lineage and intellectual approach of master and disciples is known as a gharana. Rachel Carsonís 100th anniversary provoked an enormous attack on her from the pesticide-reactionary complex, shamelessly misrepresenting both her work and its consequences Ö Will Allen is a worthy student of Carsonís gharana, and in telling the history of earlier such assaults from the pesticide complex, he shows us that her spirit and art are alive, well ñ and still badly needed.î Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. ìThe War on Bugs is must reading for organic consumers and every concerned citizen. Will Allen tells us the incredible story of how corporations, out-of-control scientists, and indentured government have carried out a literal 100 Year War against organic and sustainable agriculture and family farms, and provides inspiration for the organic food and farming revolution already underway.î Ronnie Cummins, National Director of the Organic Consumers Association. ìWill Allen exposes how at every turn the government and the chemical industry steered us toward synthetic and poisonous solutions to the challenges of farming. He draws upon a unique combination of scientific knowledge about their devastating effects on the environment and a rich understanding of the organic approach ñ from doing it, as a farmer, in the fields.î Mark Schapiro, Editorial Director of the Center for Investigative Reporting and author of Exposed.

1. The Roots of Farming in the Americas
2. Americaís First Farm Revitalization Movement
3. The Birth of the Rural Journals
4. Guano and the Birth of the Rural-Industrial Mouthpiece
5. Liebig and the Industrialists
6. The Fertilizer Merchants
7. The Medical Ancestry of Pesticides
8. Ratcatchers, Quacks, and Early Pest Control in America
9. The Populist Farmersí Movement
10. Pain Pigments and Other Lethal Poisons
11. Arsenic Regulation, the FDA, and Other Regulatory Hoaxes
12. The First Advertised War on the Farms
13. Populist Farmers, the Red Scare, and the Origin of the Modern Organic Movement
14. Pesticide Spray Devices, Household Poisons, and Dr. Seuss
15. Medical Heroes, War Heroes, and More Regulation Struggles
16. The Pesticides of the 1930s
17. Bombs and Fertilizers
18. War Toys
19. Animal Confinement and the Pharmaceutical Farm
20. DDT and Other Second-Generation Pesticides under Attack
21. Twenty-First-Century Populism: Organic Farming and the Anti-factory-farm movement
22. Designer Genes: A Leap of Faith
23. 160 Years of Poisonous Advertising
24. Who Invited These Chemicals to Dinner? A Leap of Hope
Appendix: Analysis of Pesticide Use on Certain Popular Crops from California

Will Allen

Will Allen has been farming organically since 1972 in Oregon, California, and Vermont, where he now co-manages Cedar Circle Farm. He founded the Sustainable Cotton Project and is a board member of the Organic Consumers Association, Rural Vermont, and is a co-chair of Farms Not Arms.

Publication Details:

Binding: Hardback, 336 pages
ISBN: 9781933392462
Format: 234mm x 234mm

BISAC Code:  NAT011000, POL044000, TEC003000, TEC058000
Imprint: Chelsea Green Publishing

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