Assistant Professor Sara Hardin has found out that her article “Charging Responsibility for the Repercussions of Pesticide Usage in Post-War Francophone Africa” has just been fast-tracked to appear in the online version of the journal Environment and History. Sarah herself has provided the following abstract of the article:
Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1960) spurred regulation of pesticides in the west in the 1970s, but agricultural laborers in the tropics continued to work with banned insecticides through the 1980s. This article relates the experiences of farmers in Senegal and other former French colonies with pesticides and analyzes concerns over their uses. In mid-twentieth century West Africa, “prosperous peasants” launched economic booms and helped their countries gain degrees of independence. But overlooking pesticide usage ignores the sacrifices and violence done to the communities involved. Some French scientists were disturbed by insecticides’ consequences in the former colonies. Yet their concerns were dismissed in favor of economic expediency, public health, and political loyalty. The blame shifted from the industry and onto the users. When agriculture became less profitable and pesticides more expensive, sympathetic concerns were raised once again, but the damage had already been done.
Unfortunately, the online version is only available to subscribers. If you would like to know more, take a look at this blogpost that Sarah wrote for White Horse Press which publishes Environment and History.