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Fear of Food: Environmentalist Scams, Media Mendacity, and the Law of Disparagement Paperback – January 1, 2010
Top Customer Reviews
Andrea Arnold documents and explores the Alar controversy from its beginning on 60 Minutes to its conclusion, the devastation of countless farmers and the alarming of the American public. What she discovers is a shocking disregard for journalistic integrity, not by suspect media sources, but by the names and faces America has come to trust.
Perhaps worse than the betrayal by our national news sources is what that successful betrayal reveals: Americans are quite ignorant regarding the science and laws pertaining to the environment. And our ignorance leaves us vulnerable to any claim by those presuming to act in our interest, no matter how extreme or unsupportable their claims may be. Perhaps because of our ignorance, we have also become too trusting of news and media outlets, and of public interest groups. We presume they are unbiased when in fact they are people who are vulnerable to the same failings, biases, and even greed, that the rest of us are subject to.
Along the way Andrea Arnold presents basic information that every American should know regarding the science of toxicology and the pesticide laws of the EPA. Chapters 2 and 3 should be studied, not just read. The information is of tremendous value and leads to a calmer, more rational view of our food supply.
Some may take issue with Arnold's conclusions regarding environmentalists. She could have perhaps drawn a better distinction between the extremists she's discussing and reasonable people who value both nature and society, a class into which most Americans would fit.Read more ›
Readers of Arnold's account of environmentalist scams will also find the late Professor Julian's Simon's "The Ultimate Resource II" an essential tool in combatting the tactics of the doomsters. Simon carefully demonstrates that the vast majority of environmental and human indicators have shown steady improvement throughout the 20th century.
We need a good, objective book on the subject of environmental health scares. This isn't it. It might as well have been written by an employee of a pesticide company.
Excuses are not solutions. I looked to this book to teach me something new and revealing about pesticide use or, at least, discuss realistic solutions to the issue of man-made toxicity in our environment. Instead, Arnold trots out the same old arguments: environmentalists are alarmists, profits must rule America, poor little farmers are being victimized by fanatics.
This is nonsense. The greatest users of pesticides are not small farms, but corporate agribusiness. The grassroots movement toward responsible use of our environment is not conducted by a minor group of fanatics who just want to raise money for their own organizations (what kind of spaghetti logic is that?). Organic farmers now grow approximately 20% of the produce in this country. Concern over pesticides worldwide is very strong, in the US as well as Europe and Japan. Organic farmers have proven that a) pesticides don't work properly and b) pesticides may actually harm profits. Fetzer Winery found that, since beginning the switch to organic farming, the quality of their grapes has improved.
Pesticides are poisons. Everybody knows this. An estimated 1,000 people will die in the US this year of cancer related to pesticides. Is seeking a solution to this tragedy a "scam"? is it nothing more than "disparagement"?
I was so terribly disappointed in the weak logic and obviously-manipulated "data" in this book. Arnold fails to show me a safe, sensible relationship between agriculture and consumers.Read more ›