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Greening the Red, White, and BlueThe Bomb, Big Business, and Consumer Resistance in Postwar America$
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Thomas Jundt

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199791200

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199791200.001.0001

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Chemicals and Romance

Chemicals and Romance

(p.101) 4 Chemicals and Romance
Greening the Red, White, and Blue

Thomas Jundt

Oxford University Press

In the late 1950s a government aerial spraying program to stop the spread of the forest-devouring gypsy moth in the Northeast raised public concerns about DDT’s effect on the environment and humans. Less than a year later, a second controversial massive spraying program in nine Southern states against the “imported fire ant” raised similar concerns. In November 1959, the Food and Drug Administration furthered anxieties about chemical contamination when it revealed that cranberries might not be safe to eat due to contamination by a weed killer called aminotriazole that had been shown to cause thyroid cancer. The next month the FDA announced a halt to the production and sale of chickens treated with the synthetic hormone diethylstilbestrol because it caused cancer. The restrictions were the FDA’s first enforcements of the “Delaney Clause” to the Food Additives Amendment of 1958, which forbade food additives found to cause cancer.

Keywords:   Gypsy moth, DDT, imported fire ant, Dieldrin, heptachlor, Great Thanksgiving Cranberry Affair, diethylstilbestrol, Delaney Clause

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