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Silent Spring Essay

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The massive adoption of synthetic pesticides in the postwar decades in America was facilitated by a densely interrelated network of factors. The dynamics of the competitive free market pressured farmers, suppliers of farm technology, and food processors toward pesticide use. In addition, pesticides were first tested and mass produced during a period when priorities were skewed by wartime agendas; they were institutionally and culturally entrenched at the war's end. Existing standards and legal procedures were not fitted to enforce the regulation and testing of this new technology, nor to establish liability for damages it caused. And a pest-control method that was chemical-based, fast-acting, broad-spectrum, and seemed to offer total eradication accorded well with certain American cultural values. In the face of these forces, the underfunded and mismanaged biological control methods that had shown great promise in the decades prior to the war did not stand a chance, and were soon...

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This section contains 2,181 words
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Silent Spring from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.