DDT’s ban signaled a new political strength for the growing environmental movement.
Organic pesticides such as dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT) came into widespread use after World War II. DDT played a major role in the Allied war effort, helping the troops control malaria and other insect-borne diseases during the war. It became so popular among returning servicemen that it was thrown at weddings in place of rice. Federally subsidized aerial spraying programs to control gypsy moths, however, led to increasing conflicts between pest control programs and organic farmers, homeowners, and environmentalists.
After a series of lawsuits in New York state during the early 1960’s failed to stop the spraying, activists focused on reforming the
Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring. 1962. Reprint. Boston: Mariner Books, 2002. Dunlap, Thomas R. DDT: Scientists, Citizens, and Public Policy. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1981. World Wildlife Fund. Resolving the DDT Dilemma: Protecting Biodiversity and Human Health. Washington, D.C.: Author, 1998.
Environmental Protection Agency
World War II