8. Chemically Dependent Agriculture

Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255)

The change from smaller, more diverse farms to larger single-crop farms in the US has led to greater reliance on pesticides for pest management. Other changes as the US food system becomes more commercialized include: increased use of additives, higher food prices, more water and energy consumption for agriculture, and more pesticide residues entering food through processing. Pesticides have also been used to combat insect-borne diseases, like malaria. The lecture provides an overview of relevant food, agriculture, and pesticide law, and covers the changes in pesticide use as scientific knowledge of a given chemical (i.e. DDT) improves.

00:00 – Chapter 1. The Consequences of Centralized Farm Ownership
12:49 – Chapter 2. Key Problems Associated with Food Production
23:32 – Chapter 3. Dominant Statues for Pesticide Control
28:59 – Chapter 4. Malaria Control and the Marketing of DDT
38:52 – Chapter 5. DDT’s Effects on the Environmental and Health

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:

This course was recorded in Spring 2010.