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Crop Chemophobia Will Precaution Kill the Green Revolution? by Jon Entine

Crop Chemophobia Will Precaution Kill the Green Revolution?


Crop Chemophobia Will Precaution Kill the Green Revolution? by Jon Entine

The Green Revolution of 1960s introduced herbicides, pesticides, and advanced agricultural technologies to third world countries-rescuing hundreds of millions of people from malnutrition and starvation and transforming low-yield, labor-intensive farming into the high-tech, immensely productive industry it is today. Despite these stunning gains, critics of chemical farming remain vocal. Recently, the European Union passed a ban on twenty-two chemicals-about 15 percent of the EU pesticides market-to begin in 2011. In Crop Chemophobia, Jon Entine and his coauthors examine the precautionary principle that underlies the EU's decision and explore the ban's potential consequences-including environmental degradation, decreased food safety, impaired disease-control efforts, and a hungrier world.


Pesticides and preservatives can be dangerous in excessive quality, but is the world's growing phobia putting it at odds with the benefits they bring? Crop Chemophobia: Will Precaution Kill the Green Revolution? outlines the concern with modern farming about the paranoia surrounding food safety and how too much regulation of chemicals could lead to unforeseen problems in the future of the world's food supply. Arguing for more consistent testing of pesticides and their effects on food, stating that some are banned when they pass the test clearly, Crop Chemophobia provides quite the insight on this major issue, highly recommended. Midwest Book Review Science gathers objective information that is synthesized into verifiable knowledge, which is useful in predicting the probability of occurrence of particular outcomes under given sets of conditions. It is a valuable, if not the primary, resource that can narrow the uncertainty associated with various decision options arising in the course of human affairs. This book focuses on the use of the numerous herbicides and pesticides employed to protect the food supply and the associated concerns about introducing these chemicals into the environment. According to the editor and chapter authors, the emergence of the precautionary principle as a primary means for informing decisions fails to make sufficient use of science to form and implement public policy affecting production agriculture, human health, food security, world trade, etc. Science does not provide absolute certainty for anything, but inserting a Chicken Little or bogeyman approach as the best better safe than sorry way to address problems can pose even larger problems. This book presents the complex interplay among science, economics, environmental concerns, provincial interests, law, and politics in conducting human affairs, primarily from a science perspective. How these issues are addressed will affect everyone's quality of life. This work will help to inform the debate within and among societies worldwide. Recommended. All levels/libraries. -- July 2011 CHOICE Crop Chemophobia offers a science-based consideration of the impact of agricultural technology and highlights the need to give more thought to the principles guiding the regulation of food production. This is more than an academic debate; it could save lives. -- Mike Johanns, U.S. senator for the state of Nebraska and former secreary of the U.S. Departmetn of Agriculture Crop Chemophobia should be required reading for policymakers. Our greatest challenge in the next forty years will be to feed billions more people on our planet with the same land resources we now use. As this important book demonstrates, we need to have science-based discussions about how to accomplish this. In the decades ahead, the greatest risk of all may be blind adherence to the precautionary principle. -- Bob Stallman, president, American Farm Bureau Federation By placing science about scaremongering, this book should stimulate a more infromed and balanced debate on the importance of pesticides in meeting the challenges posed by population growth an da changing climate. -- Ian Denholm, Rothamsted Research, United Kingdom Many consumers today rely on sensationalized media reports to form their opinions on food production. Crop Chemophobia does an excellent job of going beyond the emotional debate over the use of crop inputs. Those concerned with a a growing world population and food insecurity should look closely at the consequences of removing a vital tool of food production. -- Mike Adams, host, AgriTalk: The Voice of Rual America Timely and important, this book is a call to action. We cannot afford to allow a narrow, technology-averse agenda to saddle our global food-production system with constraints that are costly and scientifically unwarranted-not when we face the challenge of doubling food production in the next four decades to meet expected demand. -- W. Daren Coppock, president and CEO, Agriculteral Retailers Association

About the Author

Jon Entine is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and an adviser to Global Governance Watch, a project that examines transparency and accountability issues at the United Nations, in nongovernmental organizations, and in related international organizations.

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Book Info

Publication date

16th February 2011


Jon Entine

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AEI Press


169 pages


Central government policies
Applied ecology



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