Until the early 1960s, pesticide use was perceived as a benefit to agriculture and public health, with few detrimental consequences. This perception changed dramatically with the publication 50 years ago of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (1). The book was the start of a debate that continues to this day on the relative benefits and risks of not just pesticides but all synthetic chemicals.
Life in a Contaminated World
Louis J. Guillette Jr., Taisen Iguchi
Science 28 September 2012:
Vol. 337 no. 6102 pp. 1614-1615