When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday newspaper on 13 January 2013

My column on 30 December 2012, which assessed the lasting influence of Silent Spring and its author Rachel Carson, was focused on the United States where she first raised the issue in 1962 amidst adversity and controversy.

Her advocacy, sustained by many other activists after her untimely death, eventually led to greater scrutiny and regulation of agro-chemicals in the industrialised world. Yet the global agrochemicals industry – which rode the wave with the Green Revolution in the 1960s and 1970s — thrives in the developing world.

According to the Pesticide Action Network Asia Pacific (PANAP), an advocacy group, pesticides prevail because a multi billion dollar industry is behind them, exerting great influence on international standard setting bodies, national governments and local communities.

Their website says: “The enormous influence that these chemical corporations…

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