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DDT WarsRescuing Our National Bird, Preventing Cancer, and Creating EDF$
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Charles F. Wurster

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190219413

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190219413.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 June 2021

On to Wisconsin, the Dairy State

On to Wisconsin, the Dairy State

4 (p.37) On to Wisconsin, the Dairy State
DDT Wars

Charles F. Wurster

Oxford University Press

EDF was only a few months old with the DDT agitation still under way in Michigan when a phone call arrived from Lorrie Otto, an environmental leader in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Fig. 4.1). Lorrie explained that DDT was to be used for attempted Dutch elm disease control in Milwaukee, and she wanted EDF to come to Wisconsin and stop it. She had been reading about our fireworks on Long Island and in Michigan and figured some of that might be good for Wisconsin. Other considerations were also favorable about Wisconsin. The use of DDT leads to contamination of meat, eggs, milk, and other dairy products, and the dairy industry is large and important in Wisconsin. Agriculture was therefore split in that state: One component wanted to use DDT on crops and trees, while the dairy industry wished to avoid DDT contamination of its products. Agriculture would not present a unified force on behalf of DDT, as it would in most states. The environmental movement was unusually strong in Wisconsin, and Lorrie Otto pledged to EDF the statewide support of the Citizens Natural Resources Association (CNRA). CNRA would raise money and provide all additional logistic support that might be necessary during whatever proceedings might develop. If EDF was going to make a difference on the national scene, this seemed like an invitation not to be refused. So here was an opportunity to stir up trouble again with an increase in complexity and confusion. On October 2, 1968, EDF filed a lawsuit in Federal Court in Milwaukee that was quite similar to the one filed nearly a year earlier in Michigan. It sought to block the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) from applying dieldrin in Michigan against Japanese beetles (same case, same application as postponed last year) and to stop Milwaukee from spraying DDT on its elm trees. The allegations were the same: both DDT and dieldrin would kill nontarget birds and mammals, and both would threaten reproduction of the Coho salmon in Lake Michigan hatcheries.

Keywords:   Bald Eagle Protection Act, Capital Times, DDA, Farm Chemicals, Farm Technology, Izaak Walton League, Olin Mathieson Chemical, University of Wisconsin (UW), biological concentration, cabbage, calcium carbonate, cutworms, gas chromatography, white grubs

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