On p. 470-471, under Environment Watch, there is an article entitled
"Pesticides: Enemies of the Earth?" in which they basically reject the idea
that pesticides can have any harmful effect on the environment, or that
there is any evidence that anyone has ever been harmed by them.
"Over the past several years, the use of pesticides has been condemned by
many environmentalists as a disruption of what they call "nature's delicate
balance." Largely as a result of horrifying tales told by
environmentalists, some chemicals have been banned from use without
scientific proof of the accusations against them. In 1972, for example,
DDT was banned in the US - and even though no harm has ever been
demonstrated to have been caused by DDT, its use is still generally
The article goes on to reject allegations that DDT remains in the
environment for prolonged periods of time, and that it can accumulate in
the food chain and cause problems in birds, for example. Under normal use,
they say, "the effects of DDT usually last for only a few days."
I thought it was firmly documented that DDT accumulation was having severe
effects on the reproductive capacity of several bird populations - making
the egg-shells thin, for example.
The article also calls into question the use of animals in testing, saying
that animals and humans may react differently, and so even if it causes
cancer in animals, it may not in humans. Well, any biochemist or medical
researcher is aware of this possibility, but are the A Beka people
suggesting we use humans in the testing? Are they suggesting we don't
worry about anything, and just dump tons of chemicals into the environment?
I guess so, since the risk of anyone being harmed by any chemical "is
often so low that he is more likely to die from a traffic accident on his
way to the grocery store than from eating the chemical-containing foods he
went to buy." [I know we all eat pesticides and they don't kill us
instantly, but I'd rather minimize my exposure, personally].
An aside: I bet these people are all for using animals in testing new
Furthermore, there is no hint of stewardship over the environment. Rather,
we have dominion and conquest: "Because environmentalists do not recognize
that God appointed man to be superior to the rest of creation, they often
attack pesticides as cruel disruptions of nature rather than praising them
as remarkable developments in human progress." and "Truly the development
of pesticides to increase the efficiency of food production is a triumph in
man's quest to subdue and have dominion over the earth, as God commanded."
What bothers me is the attitude that pesticides are great (any toxic
chemical needs to be used carefully), have no effect on human health (there
may not be hard proof yet, but pesticides and other chemicals are suspect
in many newer human afflictions), and that all environmentalist's are part
of a conspiracy to ban the greatest thing since sliced white bread.
>Keith B. Miller
>Department of Geology
>Kansas State University
>Manhattan, KS 66506