A Primer on Pesticide Propaganda I

primeronpesticide_indexSince the recent streak of municipal pesticide bans were put into place across Canada, the pesticide industry has been on the defense. Represented by trade association CropLife Canada, the public relations strategies used by the industry were front and centre at the association’s September conference in Saskatoon, which Deconstructing Dinner host Jon Steinman attended.

But how is the media presenting those messages?

In this multi-part series, Deconstructing Dinner explores the messages coming from industry and Canada’s regulatory bodies; it examines research on the pesticide and cancer connections; it digs deep into the care that agricultural migrant workers receive when working within our borders; and it challenges one of the most frequently used arguments — “Without pesticides, the world would go hungry!”

Part I
As part of his conference media package, Jon Steinman received a DVD produced by seed and pesticide manufacturer Syngenta Crop Protection Canada. Titled, “A Primer on Pesticides,” this production will provide the basis for Part I of Deconstructing Dinner’s “A Primer on Pesticide Propaganda.”

Using historical recordings on pesticides, Steinman explores the history of pesticide use throughout North America and makes the connections between war and agriculture. Steinman places the underlying ideology of being at war against nature into a critical light by better understanding the many “enemy” weeds that are destroyed by chemicals every day. As is discovered, some of those pesky weeds are actually far more nutritious and resilient than most of what makes up the dominant food supply.


Donna Houghton – Toxicologist Syngenta Crop Protection Canada (Guelph, ON)

Robert Wright – Field Development Manager – Eastern Canada Syngenta Crop Protection Canada (Guelph, ON)

Marian Stypa – Regulatory and Biological Development Syngenta Crop Protection Canada (Guelph, ON)

Nancy Tout – Lead Scientist Dietary Safety Assessment Syngenta Crop Protection Canada (Guelph, ON)

Lorne HepworthPresidentCropLife Canada (Toronto, ON) – CropLife Canada is the trade association representing the manufacturers, developers and distributors of plant science innovations – pest control products and plant biotechnology – for use in agriculture, urban and public health settings.

Other Featured Audio

Death to Weeds (1947) – A short film produced by Dow Chemical to promote the use of their pesticide 2,4-D.

Musical Selection (name/title/album/label)
Theme/Soundclips: – Adham Shaikh, Infusion, Fusion, Sonic Turtle (CDN)
Music: – Terry Winchell, Pesticide Song, Vice Versa, Woodzilla Records