1st Edition

Urban Aerial Pesticide Spraying Campaigns Government Disinformation, Industry Profits, and Public Harm

By Manuel Vallée Copyright 2023
    216 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines social processes that have contributed to growing pesticide use, with a particular focus on the role governments play in urban aerial pesticide spraying operations.

    Beyond being applied to sparsely populated farmland, pesticides have been increasingly used in densely populated urban environments, and when faced with invasive species, governments have resorted to large-scale aerial pesticide spraying operations in urban areas. This book focuses on New Zealand's 2002–2004 pesticide campaign to eradicate the Painted Apple Moth, which is the largest operation of its kind in world history, whether we consider its duration (29 months), its scope (at its peak the spraying zone was 10,632 hectares/26,272 acres), the number of sprayings that were administered (the pesticide was administered on 60 different days), or the number of people exposed to the spraying (190,000+). This book provides an in-depth understanding of the social processes that contributed to the incursion, why the government sought to eradicate the moth through aerial pesticide spraying, the ideological strategies they used to build and maintain public support, and why those strategies were effective.

    Urban Aerial Pesticide Spraying Campaigns will be of great interest to students and researchers of pesticides, environmental sociology, environmental history, environmental studies, political ecology, geography, medical sociology, and science and technology studies.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license.


    Chapter 1: New Zealand's Painted Apple Moth Eradication Operation

    Chapter 2: The Social Production of a Foreign Species Incursion

    Chapter 3: Contextualizing the Eradication Response

    Chapter 4: Contextualizing the Aerial Pesticide Spraying Response

    Chapter 5: Community Responses to the Spraying Operation

    Chapter 6: Framing Foreign Species as Biosecurity Threats

    Chapter 7: Government Actions that Allay Pesticide Concerns

    Chapter 8: Managing Uncomfortable Knowledge

    Chapter 9: The Mediating Role of Cultural Context



    Manuel Vallée is a Senior Lecturer of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences at The University of Auckland, New Zealand.