From Silent Spring to Poison Spring

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Evaggelos Vallianatos worked at the Environmental Protection Agency for 25 years, and working from insider documents, his new book Poison Spring outlines how the chemical industry’s influence has derailed regulations on pesticides and other toxic chemicals. Also, Jay Feldman of Beyond Pesticides on pesticide use in marijuana production – should you be concerned about pesticide residues when you light one up? And CEH’s own Caroline Cox on our work to protect children and families from disease-causing pesticides.

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Evaggelos Vallianatos’ new book, with McKay Jenkins, is Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA. In the book, Vallianatos and Jenkins tell a 25-year story of collusion between the EPA and the chemical industry. As a starred review by Booklist describes,

Most alarming are the harrowing facts about the thousands of deadly synthetic chemicals that have for decades been released into the biosphere and which we continually absorb, from dioxin to agrochemical nerve gas to the weed killer Roundup. Vallianatos and Jenkins explain the science behind these poisons and their many dire effects, from cancer to the death of honeybee colonies. Equally appalling is the silencing of heroic EPA whistle-­blowers, fraudulent scientific studies, and the hijacking of the democratic process.

Beyond Pesticides’ new report, “Pesticide Use in Marijuana Production: Safety Issues and Sustainable Options,” looks at regulations (and the lack thereof) around pesticide use in the production of cannabis in 23 states and the District of Columbia. The report recommends in those states with legalization the adoption of laws governing cannabis production that prohibit federally registered pesticides and require the adoption of organic practices. Learn more on their website.

Music in this episode includes Silent Spring by Massive Attack, featuring Liz Fraser; Charles Bradley, Love Bug Blues; Yaël Naïm, Toxic; and Van Morrison, A Sense of Wonder.

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