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4.0 out of 5 stars Would You Like Some Pesticide with Your Meal?, June 2, 2012
This review is from: The War on Bugs (Paperback)
Farming is a important component of the world economy and it ranks as the most important in terms of human survival. Food is vital to the continuance of any species and with multiple billions of individuals inhabiting the planet, the volume of food needed to sustain the population is staggering. In order to protect crops and better ensure that food continues to be produced in massive quantities, chemical companies and government collaborators have created all sorts of chemical compounds to eliminate insects and the use/misuse of these chemicals and other questionable practices forms the basis of this book, the War on Bugs, a book written by a man who has extensive experience in organic farming and is concerned that the chemicals intended to kill bugs are much too toxic and could pose a threat to humans.

Growing large amounts of food is much more challenging then it was in the past. It is also more critical, since there are far fewer farmers producing much larger volumes of food then at any point in history. In order to facilitate this transformation from small, family farmer to large, mega- farm, chemical compounds were created to help fend off insects and other pests. Many of these compounds are potentially very harmful, but big businesses continue to manufacture these compounds and sell them to farmers for direct use on crops. To make matters worse, governments are often co- conspirators; encouraging the use of these poisons to control insects while completely ignoring the long- term impact on the health of the citizens.

Pesticides are one of the main items discussed in this book, but they are only one part of the problem. There is also the issue of growth hormones used in cattle and other livestock, as well as genetically modified organisms to improve crop and livestock yields and thus increase profits. Governments have, for the most part, turned a blind eye to these practices. The use of such artificial and potentially dangerous means to increase profits is well- established and health experts of different stripes have come forward and issued harsh warnings about their long- term effects on humans. But governments have joined forces with big business and erred on the side of practicality. These chemicals and modifications to foods could very well have harmful side effects, but government officials feel they are important to the production of mass quantities of food and thus they have decided to ignore the problem or pretend that no problem exists.

Chemical and other businesses have utilized many different tools to hook farmers on the supposed necessity of these potentially dangerous means to improve crop yields and this book details many of them, from the deceptive advertisements to scare tactics intended to convince farmers that they will be headed toward bankruptcy if they do not accept these chemicals and other modifications into their business. The repercussions of these activities have not yet been fully realized, but the author is convinced that humans will pay for these abuses in due time unless we act now and demand that business and governments clean up their act.
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