Where Are We and How Did We Get Here?
Where Are We and How Did We Get Here? W W W hh “Farming is such a senseless pursuit, a mere laboring in a circle. You sow that you may reap, and then you reap that you may sow…nothing ever comes of it” STOBAEUS, Florilegium. Pt. xxxviii, 1. 30 fl Fifth Century “the almond tree shall flourish and the grasshopper will be a burden” Ecclesiastes 12:5 (King James Version) 7000 B.C.E.- Jericho – 7 cultivated grain related 0 to 0wheat, domesticated 0 goats, & gazelles 7000 B.C.E. North Thailand – domesticated beans, peas, gourds, & water chestnuts 7000 B.C.E. Mexico – domesticated pumpkins & gourds 7000 B.C.E. Near East – practiced irrigation, planted nitrogen fixing crops, built silos& granaries Insects and History Information about insect-borne diseases of early humans is hard to find: -deadly fevers –probably malaria-have been recorded since the beginning of the written word (6000-5500 B.C.E.) -references can be found in the Vedic writings of 1600 B.C.E. in India & by Hippocrates some 2500 years ago -vague biblical references to outbreaks of pestilence resembling bubonic plague -scourges of flies, lice, & other insects are referred to in various parts of the Bible Insects and History Sinhue was a physician to one of the early pharaohs in about 2000 B.C.E. and accompanied the Egyptian army in its battles with the Hittities in Syria and wrote vividly about the plague in Syria Insects and History There are some indications that insects played a role in human diseases and human misery but few authentic data concerning the depredations of insects on Homo sapiens were recorded before 500 B.C.E. Insects and History The glories of earlier well-advanced civilizations were beginning to fade about that time. • Wars, famine, and pestilences followed each other rapidly across the face of the known world. • Wandering hordes of soldiers roamed the land. Insects and History • Caravans of Cathay and the hosts of Hannibal spread disease and destruction among the inhabitants of the earth • This was the setting for the Dark Ages which were to follow Insects and History The human species had by that time established conditions which we know lead to disaster. • It had ignored or forgotten sanitary practices well known to the ancients • Unrestricted international travel had become common Insects and History • Economic and social conditions had driven famine- and pestilence-stricken people into already overpopulated cities • Methods for the disposal of human wastes were bestial • Quarantine measures against disease were unknown Insects and History • World wars and unparalleled lust for power and conquest by various kingdoms ravaged the known world • Insects, on the alert to take advantage of human’s every mistake, pounced with unmitigated fury upon their human enemy during this period • They spread diseases which destroyed as much as 25% of a population Insects & History • Insects altered the course of history and the destiny of nations – Hannibal was stymied in Syracuse by the inroads of malaria among his troops – Plague visited the colony on Greenland & wiped it out 150 years before before Columbus discovered America – In Europe in some areas 3 out of every 4 people died from this disease transmitted by the rat flea Insects and History – One of the first military expenditures of the Continental Congress, around 1775, was $300 to buy quinine to protect General Washington’s troops – Napoleon was stopped on the threshold of his conquest of Russia by the cold, typhus fever, & body lice which accompanied it – His military might in Haiti, 25,000 men, was reduced to impotence within 2 years when Yellow Fever killed 22,000 of the command - Napoleon became so disgusted with the “New World” that he sold the French territory on North American Continent to the United States for $15 million dollars, or less than 3 cents an acre Insects and History – De Lesseps could not overcome the losses of his laborers caused by Yellow Fever & Malaria & abandoned efforts to build the Panama Canal – Many insect-borne plagues swept across Europe & other parts of the world from the time of Justinian to about the middle of the 19th century Insects and History • Yellow Fever invaded the Atlantic, Gulf Coast, & other parts of the country with amazing ferocity, 95 times between 1693 & 1901 – At least 500,000 casualties – 100,000 dead • • • • 41,000 in New Orleans 10,000 in Philadelphia 8,000 in Memphis 5,000 in Charleston Insects and History • During the Civil War, Yellow Fever, typhoid, malaria, & dysentery struck heavier blows than either Army could wield with its fighting equipment • One-half of the white & 80% of the black soldiers of the Union Army got malaria annually • The Spanish-American War had hardly started before American troops again were victimized by insect-borne diseases Insects and History – The conflict only lasted a few months, but yellow fever hospitalized some 1500 soldiers & killed several hundred others – And gave us Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders Plant Disease and History – 1845 the Potato Famine occurred in Ireland, caused by the late blight fungus, Phytophora infestans, which resulted in the lost of at least a million lives and at least one million immigrants to the US – In 1692, ergot intoxication may well have caused the Salem Witch Trials and other Witch Trials Pesticides • When did humans begin to fight back against insect and fungal enemies of their health, comfort, and bed & board – we can only guess • Animals learn quickly that standing in smoke of a fire repels the attack of mosquitoes, after the discovery of fire, early humans probably used smudges to repel biting insects Pesticides • The first record of pesticide use is in about 1200 B.C.E. when it is recorded that Biblical Armies sowed the fields of a conquered people with salt and ashes • In 1000 B.C.E. Homer refers to the burning of “brimstone” as a fumigant and some other means of pest control Pesticides • The Greek philosopher, Pliny the Elder, in the 1st century, wrote Natural History in which he recorded all of the methods of pest control used up to that time(including gall from the green lizard to protect apples from worms and rot) • The Chinese were using arsenic to control garden insects in 900. • Marco Polo wrote in 1300 of using mineral oil against mange of camels Pesticides • In 1526 -31 the monks of Troyes formally excommunicated the caterpillars that were plaguing the crops, but added that the interdict would be effective only for lands whose peasants had paid their church tithes. » Durant, W. 1957. The History of Civilization: Part IV. The Reformation. New York. Simon & Schuster. P. 850 Food Regulations • King John of England signed the Magna Carta in 1215. • First Parliament elected in 1265 • In the interim, Guilds made the rules necessary for a civilized society • In 1236, a Guild passed a rule that forbade the addition of anything to the food supply which was “not wholesome” Pesticide and Food Regs • Other dates which are significant in the history of pesticide development & regulations and food regulations • 1649 – Rotenone used to paralyze fish in South America • 1690 – Tobacco extracts were used as contact insecticides • 1800 – Persian louse powder (pyrethrum) known to the Caucasus Pesticide and Food Regs • 1813 – Millardet discovered the value of hydrated lime and copper sulfate (Bordeaux mixture) to control downy mildew on grapes • 1896 – Copper sulfate used to selectively control weeds in field grains • 1905 – Upton Sinclair’s novel, The Jungle, was published Pesticide and Food Regs • 1906 – Passage of the Pure Food Law (Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act)food shipped in interstate commerce must be wholesome • 1910 – Passage of the Federal Insecticide Act - mainly to protect farmers from substandard or fraudulent products Pesticide and Food Regs • 1921 – Airplane first used for spreading insecticide dust for the control of the catalpa sphinx at Troy, Ohio • 1922 – First aerial application of an insecticide to cotton, Tallulah, LA Pesticides • 1924 – Airplane first used in control of diseasebearing insects. Paris green dust applied to swamps in Louisiana for control of malaria-bearing Anopheles mosquitoes Pesticides and Food Regs • 1938 – Amendments to the FFDCA provided for coverage of pesticides on food, primarily the arsenicals such as lead arsenate and Paris Green.They required color be added to the formulations to prevent misuse and set tolerances for pesticide residues, viz. arsenic and lead, in foods where these materials were necessary for the production of a food supply Pesticide and Food Regs • 1939 – DDT discovered to have insecticidal qualities by Paul Muller in Switzerland (It had been first synthesized in 1873 by a German graduate student) • 1947 – The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) becomes law, since that time all pesticides, not just insecticides have been subject to Federal regulation & required all pesticides to be registered with the USDA Pesticide and Food Regs • 1954 – Passage of the Miller Amendment to the FFDCA, which set tolerances for all pesticides on raw food and feed products • 1958 – Passage of the Delaney Amendment to the FFDCA, provided that a chemical shown to cause cancer in animals or man cannot be added to the food supply Pesticide and Food Regs • 1959 – FIFRA (1946) was amended to include all economic poisons, i.e.,desiccants and nematicides • 1962 – Publication of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson • 1970 – Formation of the Environmental Protection Agency, which becomes responsible for the registration of pesticides Pesticide and Food Regs • 1972 – Passage of the Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act (FEPCA or FIFRA amended), in essence, these amendments changed the emphasis of FIFRA from product performance to human and environmental safety • 1996 – Passage of the Food Quality Protection Act which amended both FIFRA and FFDCA FIFRA • Section 3 Registration of Pesticides – (d) Classification of Pesticides • (1)(B) … if the pesticide, when applied in accordance with its directions for use, warnings and cautions and for the uses for which it is registered, or for one or more of such uses, or in accordance with a widespread and commonly recognized practice, will not generally cause unreasonably adverse effects on the environment,… classify the pesticide, or the particular use or uses of the pesticide to which the determination applies, for general use FIFRA (1)(C) … may generally cause, without additional regulatory restrictions, unreasonable adverse effects on the environment, including injury to the applicator,… shall classify the pesticide, or the particular use or uses to which the determination applies, for restricted use (ii) … the pesticide shall be applied… only by or under the direct supervision of a certified applicator FIFRA • Section 4. use of RUPs; Certified Applicators – (a)(2)(A) State Certification . The Administrator shall approve a plan submitted by any State provided it…designates a State agency as the agency responsible for administering the plan throughout the State FIFRA • Section 12. Unlawful Acts – (a)(2)(G) to use any registered pesticide in a manner inconsistent with its labeling FIFRA • Section 23. State Cooperation, Aid, and Training – (a) Cooperative Agreements-The Administrator may enter into cooperative agreements with States and Indian Tribes• (1) … to any State or Indian Tribe the authority to cooperate in the enforcement of the Act… – (c) Information and Training- The Administrator shall, in cooperation with the Secretary of Agriculture, use the services of the cooperative State extension services to inform and educate pesticide users about accepted uses and other regulations made under this Act FIFRA • Section 26. State Primary Enforcement Responsibility – (a) For the purposes of the Act, a State shall have primary enforcement responsibility for pesticide use violations during any period for which the Administrator determines that such State – • (1) has adopted adequate pesticide use laws and regulations; Provided, That the Administrator may not require a State to have pesticide use laws that are more stringent than this Act FIFRA • (2) has adopted and is implementing adequate procedures for the enforcement of such State laws and regulations; and • (3) will keep such records and make such reports showing compliance with paragraphs (1) and (2) of the subsection Food Quality Protection Act (FPQA) • Amended both FIFRA and FFDCA – Got rid of the Delaney Clause as far as pesticide residues are concerned – Established a standard of a “reasonable certainty of no harm due aggregate exposure” • All exposure except occupational – If this standard (Risk Cup) is exceeded some uses must be cancelled Some Thoughts • Victor Hugo is supposed to have said the “nothing is so strong as an idea whose time has come, armies cannot prevail against it” • Note that the two most significant pieces of legislation related to pesticides and food safety have passed after the publication of books, viz., The Jungle and Silent Spring. Some Thoughts • Regulations are not a product of 19th or 20th century American government – reread The Torah or the first five books of the Christian Bible. The life of the early Hebrews was almost totally circumscribed by, in some instances, very severe regulations “It is morally wrong to perpetuate ignorance and through ignorance … fear” Charlotte Sine Executive Vice President Meister Publishing Company “the vacuum created by a failure to communicate will quickly be filled with rumor, misrepresentation, drivel, and poison” Parkinson’s Second Law Dr. C. Northcote Parkinson Definition of Communication “The act and technique of using words effectively and with grace in imparting one’s ideas.” The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language The Daily Press The Daily Press The Daily Press The Daily Press The Daily Press The Daily Press Some Thoughts • Regulations are not usually anticipatory but are responsive to some problem, perceived or actual • Education is a much less invasive and much more cost effective solution to problems than regulations are • People being humans and, by their very nature, imperfect organisms it takes more than an idea to get their attention, therefore, there are times when we need regulations Some Thoughts • It is my sincere belief that all persons who work closely with the natural resources of this country share an absolute awesome wonder of the natural world and consider the conservation and preservation of the natural world a high priority • The same can be said for the protection of public health Some Thoughts • The use of agricultural chemicals will continue to be necessary to produce the food & fiber needed to feed, clothe, house, & protect the ever expanding world population • They are some who do not believe this, they subscribe to the view found in the Gospel of Mark in the Christian Bible (Mark 4:26-29) “..a man scatters seed on the ground; he goes to bed at night and gets up in the morning, and meanwhile the seed sprouts and grows – how, he does not know. The ground produces a crop by itself, first the blade, then the full ear, then full grain in the ear…” Conclusion • We have not conquered the “Four Horseman of the Apocalypse” – they could “still come thundering out of the gray November sky” • Only their names would not be Stuhldreher, Miller, Layden, and Crowley! “We do not own the land; we rent it from our (grand)children.” Kenyan Proverb Mary Laslie Grodner,Ph.D. Pesticide Safety Education Department of Entomology LSU AgCenter 225/578-2180 firstname.lastname@example.org www.agcenter.lsu.com References • “How Much Land Can Ten Billion People Spare for Nature?”. Task Force Report No. 121. February 1994. Council for Agricultural Science and Technology • The Pesticide Book. G. W. Ware. 1994. Thomson Publications. Fresno, CA • History of Entomology In World War II. Emory C. Cushing, Colonel. U.S. Army, Retired. Smithsonian Institution. 1957