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Insecticides Chemical Warfare Against the Insects 1954

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Published on Apr 9, 2010

Insect pest control using synthetic chemicals began during World War II. However, problems did develop and have become more evident with increasing research. Effects on nontarget organisms, chemical residues, arthropod resistance to chemicals, high cost, and the temporary nature of treatments became of increasing concern beginning in the late 1940s. DDT, perceived to be one of the most notorious of the offending chemistries, came into use in the early 1940s. The first case of an insect species resistant to the material—the housefly was reported in 1946. Twelve insect species were reported resistant to synthetic insecticides in 1948. Scientist now reported that more than 500 pest species have resistance to conventional insecticides. The catalyst for ecological awareness was Rachel Carsons Silent Spring (1962). Carson, a scientist talented in literary expression, electrified a slowly growing science-dominated environmental movement. Congress enacted the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) in 1947 to replace a 1910 Act. The new Act was introduced soon after discovery of organic insecticides. On April 22, 1970 the first Earth Day celebration brought 20 million Americans out into the spring sunshine for peaceful demonstrations in favor of environmental reform. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.) and Congressman Paul McCloskey (R-Calif.) gave bipartisan sponsorship to the event, but its popularity far surpassed their wildest expectations. The first Earth Day lives in popular memory to this day as a joyous and life-affirming moment in American history. The theatrical flair of some of the demonstrators had a great deal to do with its success. ). The phenomenal success of Earth Day gave greater priority than ever to environmental issues. In December 1970 the Environmental Protection Agency was established and inherited administration of FIFRA for registration of pesticides and establishment of pesticide residue tolerances. For more information on the use of pesticides, go to http://www.beyondpesticides.org/index... . This is clipped from the 1954 industrial film, 500,000 to 1 from the Sinclair Refining Company. The film promoted the insecticides manufactured by Sinclair and explained how greatly outnumbered, humans are in continual war with insects and must fight back. 500,000 to 1 shows how pests are controlled by quarantine as well as through chemical, mechanical, and biological weapons. The entire film is available at the Internet Archive at www.archive.org/details/500000_to_one .

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