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Ghostworkers and GreensThe Cooperative Campaigns of Farmworkers and Environmentalists for Pesticide Reform$
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Adam Tompkins

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780801456688

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801456688.001.0001

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A Different Kind of Border War

A Different Kind of Border War

Arizona, 1971–1986

(p.81) 5 A Different Kind of Border War
Ghostworkers and Greens

Adam Tompkins

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on the pesticide conflict that pitted Arizona growers and the state’s Board of Pesticide Control (BPC) against farmworkers and suburban families during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1971, an “insecticide fog” drifted west from the fields that growers leased on the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community Reservation into the city of Scottsdale. People living within a mile of the fields complained of breathing problems, coughing, and burning eyes, throats, and noses. The spread of suburban development into other agricultural areas of the Valley of the Sun intensified the complaints about pesticides. This chapter examines the collaboration among farmworkers, environmentalists, and suburbanites affected by pesticide drift as they tried to make the BPC more responsive to the concerns of the public and to overcome the power of the agricultural lobby.

Keywords:   growers, Board of Pesticide Control, farmworkers, suburban families, Scottsdale, suburban development, Valley of the Sun, pesticides, environmentalists, pesticide drift

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