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Pesticide Drift and the Pursuit of Environmental Justice : Food, Health, and the Environment - Jill Lindsey Harrison

Pesticide Drift and the Pursuit of Environmental Justice

Food, Health, and the Environment

Paperback Published: 29th June 2011
ISBN: 9780262516280
Number Of Pages: 296
For Ages: 18+ years old

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The widespread but virtually invisible problem of pesticide drift--the airborne movement of agricultural pesticides into residential areas--has fueled grassroots activism from Maine to Hawaii. Pesticide drift accidents have terrified and sickened many living in the country's most marginalized and vulnerable communities. In this book, Jill Lindsey Harrison considers political conflicts over pesticide drift in California, using them to illuminate the broader problem and its potential solutions. The fact that pesticide pollution and illnesses associated with it disproportionately affect the poor and the powerless raises questions of environmental justice (and political injustice). Despite California's impressive record of environmental protection, massive pesticide regulatory apparatus, and booming organic farming industry, pesticide-related accidents and illnesses continue unabated. To unpack this conundrum, Harrison examines the conceptions of justice that increasingly shape environmental politics and finds that California's agricultural industry, regulators, and pesticide drift activists hold different, and conflicting, notions of what justice looks like. Drawing on her own extensive ethnographic research as well as in-depth interviews with regulators, activists, scientists, and public health practitioners, Harrison examines the ways industry, regulatory agencies, and different kinds of activists address pesticide drift, connecting their efforts to communitarian and libertarian conceptions of justice. The approach taken by pesticide drift activists, she finds, not only critiques theories of justice undergirding mainstream sustainable-agriculture activism, but also offers an entirely new notion of what justice means. To solve seemingly intractable environmental problems such as pesticide drift, Harrison argues, we need a different kind of environmental justice. She proposes the precautionary principle as a framework for effectively and justly addressing environmental inequities in the everyday work of environmental regulatory institutions.

Industry Reviews

...This is an important and timely addition to the conversation surrounding U.S. agriculture. It is a welcome antidote to the antipolitics of the food reform movement.

-Madeleine Fairbairn, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Rural Sociology
Harrison does an excellent job of explaining why pesticide regulation and activism has failed to curb pesticide drift...[T]he book provides an important contribution to sociological thinking about environmental justice, helping readers to better expose the assumptions that underlie unjust systems.

-Alison Hope Alkon, American Journal of Sociology

ISBN: 9780262516280
ISBN-10: 0262516284
Series: Food, Health, and the Environment
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 296
Published: 29th June 2011
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 1.4
Weight (kg): 0.41

Earn 104 Qantas Points
on this Book