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Paperback Fear of Food: Environmentalist Scams, Media Mendacity, and the Law of Disparagement Book

ISBN: 0939571080

ISBN13: 9780939571086

Fear of Food: Environmentalist Scams, Media Mendacity, and the Law of Disparagement

Fear of Food is the story of how a campaign against one chemical, Alar, devastated apple growers from New York to Washington State, told for what it really was: A well-orchestrated effort to raise money and recruit supporters by frightened mothers with false alarms about apples and cancer. The fear of food, as author Andrea Arnold calls it, is one of the most serious collective panic attacks we as a nation have ever experienced. Its instigators, well-known...

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Frightening look at media power.

What happens when the media decides to yell "fire!" in a crowded theater and there is no fire? The answer is found in this book. And it's an answer that will leave you questioning media reports for years to come.Andrea Arnold documents and explores the Alar controversy from its beginning on 60 Minutes to its conclusion, the devastation of countless farmers and the alarming of the American public. What she discovers is a shocking disregard for journalistic integrity, not by suspect media sources, but by the names and faces America has come to trust.Perhaps worse than the betrayal by our national news sources is what that successful betrayal reveals: Americans are quite ignorant regarding the science and laws pertaining to the environment. And our ignorance leaves us vulnerable to any claim by those presuming to act in our interest, no matter how extreme or unsupportable their claims may be. Perhaps because of our ignorance, we have also become too trusting of news and media outlets, and of public interest groups. We presume they are unbiased when in fact they are people who are vulnerable to the same failings, biases, and even greed, that the rest of us are subject to.Along the way Andrea Arnold presents basic information that every American should know regarding the science of toxicology and the pesticide laws of the EPA. Chapters 2 and 3 should be studied, not just read. The information is of tremendous value and leads to a calmer, more rational view of our food supply.Some may take issue with Arnold's conclusions regarding environmentalists. She could have perhaps drawn a better distinction between the extremists she's discussing and reasonable people who value both nature and society, a class into which most Americans would fit. Still, if anyone needs to beware that there are extremists out there, it's the balanced environmentalists who are more likely to fall prey to the extremists.Others will no doubt criticize this book as being `anti-environment' or a `defense of polluters'. I've found such claims to be empty of thought. These people do not challenge the factual claims of the book, probably because they cannot. But if the factual claims are true, then Arnold's conclusions generally follow. Attempts to poison the well or throw up a smokescreen using lofty phrases and spiteful rhetoric do not detract from Ms. Arnold's work.This is an excellent and highly recommended book.

Debunking Environmental Extremists

In this Age of Environmentalism, the gullability of the American public and media who wish to be on the "right side" of environmental issues creates a fertile ground for distortions, misinformation, and hysteria. Andrea Arnold performs a singlar service by cutting through these distortions and false claims by groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council who are driven by dangerous level of enthusiasm to abuse science in the name of their pet causes. She also ably demonstrates that their efforts are not only devoid of the facts, but also lack a sense balance and perspective. After all, 99.8% of all the pesticides in the environment are generated by plants themselves to ward off insect pests and disease. In this context, the NRDC campaign against Alar was a grossly irresponsible action which did a serious injustice to both the truth and thousands of apple growers who suffered millions of dollars in financial losses. It has become quite clear that many environmental groups seek to increase donations by convincing the American public that civilization is going to crumble without thir intervention. Their steady stream of alarmist press releases, swallowed whole by a naive media, are among the tools used to carry on this campaign.Readers of Arnold's account of environmentalist scams will also find the late Professor Julian's Simon's "The Ultimate Resource II" an essential tool in combatting the tactics of the doomsters. Simon carefully demonstrates that the vast majority of environmental and human indicators have shown steady improvement throughout the 20th century.
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