August 13, 2019 — The fight against pesticides has grown familiar, though the names of the chemicals change as various compounds are banned or altered. This weekend, two contributors to a new book about a decades-old fight spoke about the political history of agricultural chemicals and their belief that the environmental movement needs to eschew capitalism and imperialism.
Mitchel Cohen is the editor and author of several chapters of “The Fight Against Monsanto’s Roundup: The Politics of Pesticides.” He’s the coordinator of New York City’s No Spray Coalition, which sued the city after it sprayed parks, sidewalks and subways for mosquitoes believed to carry West Nile Virus. He says spraying cuts down on labor costs, though it also reduces the numbers of dragonflies and bats that feed on mosquitoes.
Robin Falk Esser, who has a PhD in pharmacology, wrote a chapter for the book called “Consequences of glyphosate’s effects on animal cells, animals and ecosystems.” She is an advocate of cultural farming practices, and humans “eating lower on the food chain.”
We’ll hear excerpts from their presentation, starting with how U.S. foreign policy is informed by the interests of chemical companies, and ending with suggestions about what can be done, from researching how organic your meat is, to crafting a platform that will help our culture move toward a holistic approach to health, livelihood, and environmental stewardship.