July, 2011

Crop Chemophobia: Will Precaution Kill the Green Revolution?

Edited by Jon Entine

AEI Press, February 2011

Science gathers objective information that is synthesized into verifiable knowledge, which is useful in predicting the probability of occurrence of particular outcomes under given sets of conditions. It is a valuable, if not the primary, resource that can narrow the uncertainty associated with various decision options arising in the course of human affairs. This book focuses on the use of the numerous herbicides and pesticides employed to protect the food supply and the associated concerns about introducing these chemicals into the environment. According to the editor and chapter authors, the emergence of the "precautionary principle" as a primary means for informing decisions fails to make sufficient use of science to form and implement public policy affecting production agriculture, human health, food security, world trade, etc. Science does not provide absolute certainty for anything, but inserting a Chicken Little or bogeyman approach as the best "better safe than sorry" way to address problems can pose even larger problems. This book presents the complex interplay among science, economics, environmental concerns, provincial interests, law, and politics in conducting human affairs, primarily from a science perspective. How these issues are addressed will affect everyone's quality of life. This work will help to inform the debate within and among societies worldwide.

Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. -- M. K. Harris, Texas A&M University

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