Agrochemicals, Environmental Racism, and Environmental Justice in U.S. History
Porter, M. Jayson; Agrochemicals, Environmental Racism, and Environmental Justice in U.S. History. Northwestern University, The Organic Center (2022).
In theory, pesticides should have the toxicity to deter pests without harming plants or people. However, a closer look at pesticide history in the United States reveals an enduring legacy of environmental racism against communities of color and their collective action for environmental justice. Humans have harnessed the toxicity of chemicals to kill agricultural insects for millennia. However, the rapid proliferation of modern agrochemicals between 1870-1914 increased how much agriculture itself could hurt places and people. The burden of protecting people and places has always fallen on communities rather than governments and institutions.