Title: Toxic fables: the advertising and marketing of agricultural chemicals in the great plains, 1945–1985

Abstract: This paper examines how pesticides and their technologies were sold to farmers and pilots throughout the midtwentieth century. It principally considers how marketing rhetoric and advertisement strategies used by chemical companies and aerial spraying firms influenced the practices and perspectives of farm producers in the Great Plains. In order to convince landowners and agricultural leaders to buy their pesticides, chemical companies generated advertisements that championed local crop health, mixture accuracy, livestock safety and a chemical-farming ‘way of life’ that kept fields healthy and productive. Combining notions of safety, accuracy and professionalism with pest eradication messages reinforced the standards that landowners, pilots and agriculturalists would hold regarding toxicity and risk when spraying their fields. As the politics of health changed in the aftermath of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, these companies and aerial spraying outfits responded by keeping to a vision of agricultural health that required poisons for protection through technological accuracy. [David D. Vail (2012). Toxic fables: the advertising and marketing of agricultural chemicals in the great plains, 1945–1985. Endeavour, online 21 Nov. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.endeavour.2012.09.007] Photo: Early Dusting of Kansas Wheat. 1949. Flaggers were often in direct contact with the pesticides. Comment

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history of toxic spraying.jpg
Article: WeedsNews4075 (permalink)
Categories: :WeedsNews:history, :WeedsNews:research alert, :WeedsNews:herbicides
Date: November 29, 2012; 7:01:20 AM EST
Author Name: David Low
Author ID: admin