DDT Wars: Rescuing Our National Bird, Preventing Cancer, and Creating the Environmental Defense Fund

Hardcover | July 15, 2015

byCharles F. Wurster

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DDT Wars is the untold inside story of the decade-long scientific, legal and strategic campaign that culminated in the national ban of the insecticide DDT in 1972. The widespread misinformation, disinformation and mythology of the DDT issue are corrected in this book. DDT contamination hadbecome worldwide, concentrating up food chains and causing birds to lay thin-shelled eggs that broke in the nests. Populations of many species of predatory and fish-eating birds collapsed, including the American Bald Eagle, Osprey, Peregrine Falcon and Brown Pelican. Their numbers recoveredspectacularly in the decades following the ban. During the campaign DDT and five other insecticides were found to cause cancer in laboratory tests, which led to bans of these six pesticides by international treaty in 2001. This campaign produced lasting changes in American pesticide policies. Thelegal precedents broke down the court "standing" barrier, forming the basis for the development of environmental law as we know it today. This case history represents one of the greatest environmental victories of recent decades. DDT is still "controversial" because it has been deceptivelyinterjected into the "climate wars." This campaign was led by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), founded in 1967 by ten citizens, most of them scientists, volunteers without special political connections or financial resources. Their strategy was to take environmental problems to court. There were many setbacks along the way in thisexciting and entertaining story. The group was often kicked out of court, but a few determined citizens made a large difference for environmental protection and public health. Author Charles Wurster was one of the leaders of the campaign. The first six years of EDF history are described as itstruggled to survive. Now EDF is one of the world's great environmental advocacy organizations defending our climate, ecosystems, oceans and public health.

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DDT Wars is the untold inside story of the decade-long scientific, legal and strategic campaign that culminated in the national ban of the insecticide DDT in 1972. The widespread misinformation, disinformation and mythology of the DDT issue are corrected in this book. DDT contamination hadbecome worldwide, concentrating up food chains ...

Charles F. Wurster is a founding member of the Environmental Defense Fund and Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences, State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.29 × 6.3 × 0.98 inPublished:July 15, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190219416

ISBN - 13:9780190219413

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Table of Contents

1. A Robin With Uncontrollable Convulsions2. Sue the Bastards on Long Island: The Power of an Idea3. Proceed With Caution, Then Sue the Bastards in Michigan4. On to Wisconsin, the Dairy State5. EDF, Barely An Organization, Getting Its Act Together6. EDF Diversifies Into New Environmental Arenas7. Time to Go after the Feds8. Escalating the DDT Issue with More Court Cases9. Important Changes in Washington Affect the DDT Battle10. DDT Goes To Trial, Finally, in Washington, DC11. EPA Administrator Ruckelshaus Decides12. Several Encores: Five More Bad Actors Were Dispatched13. The DDT Wars: Four Great VictoriesEPILOGUE - The Last Word, President Fred Krupp

Editorial Reviews

"A vital account." --Publisher's Weekly