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Rachel Carson’s Legacy: We Need to Finish the Job She Started

The headlines from 1962 are not dissimilar to headlines from 2012 . . . Each time a news story ties a pesticide to a negative health outcome someone from the synthetic chemical industry will stand up and try to declare the story as false.

PAUSING TO RECOGNIZE Rachel Carson’s seminal book Silent Spring, originally released by Houghton Mifflin on Sept. 27, 1962, gives all of us in environmental community an opportunity to reflect on successes, failures and future strategies.

As we champion the fact that Silent Spring helped instigate the banning of DDT in 1972, we lament that tens of thousands of other chemicals pour freely into the atmosphere every day. As we celebrate the fact that much of Canada now lives in communities where pesticides like Roundup and 2,4-D are no longer used for cosmetic purposes, we continue to have to fight tooth and nail in the U.S. to get folks to understand that these types of lawn and garden products are dangerous.

That’s why we’ll be in southern Maryland, just outside of the District of Columbia, Sunday evening from 5-7 to show our film, A Chemical Reaction, and hold a discussion afterward: Rachel Carson’s work isn’t done. We hope you’ll join us at Busboys & Poets in Hyattsville, Md., for some food, libation and lively banter.

And in the meantime, check out this column from Richard A. Liroff, Ph.D., founder and director of the Investor Environmental Health Network: His piece take off where this blog ends, asking the question of “What’s Really Changed?” since 1972.

About The Author

Paul Tukey

An international leader of the green movement, Mr. Tukey is a journalist, author, filmmaker, TV host, activist and award-winning public speaker, who is widely recognized as North America's leading advocate for landscape sustainability and toxic pesticide reduction strategies.

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