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November 10, 1962

Silent Spring

JAMA. 1962;182(6):704. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050450104033

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Rachel Carson, like a zealous and overanxious mother, wants to be sure that her children do not play with matches. So she has constructed an abominable snowman which has a chlordane body, long malathion arms, and a parathion head which belches forth huge clouds of DDT. The name of her snowman is Silent Spring. And if you don't watch out, it will upset your chromosomes, mutilate your genes, and decimate your erythrocytes.

Miss Carson, in fact, is so protective and so fearful lest her children get burned, that she would like to abolish matches from the face of the earth, the matches being chemical pesticides. This, of course, has made the pesticide manufacturers, who run a $300 million business, quite angry. The result is that Silent Spring is on the best-seller list.

Miss Carson is a biologist and the major portion of her book is concerned with the effect of

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