Fateful Harvest : The True Story of a Small Town, a Global Industry, and a Toxic Secret
Quincy, Washington, had been a sleepy northwestern farming town until its rest is disturbed by a shocking secret beneath its once-fertile fields: chemical manufacturers are disposing of leftover toxic waste by selling it to unsuspecting farmers as fertilizer. The tainted fertilizer -- containing arsenic and cadmium, lead and dioxins-is believed to be destroying crops, sickening animals, and endangering the nation's food supply. And owing to a gaping regulatory loophole, it is completely legal.Up against the secrecy and greed of powerful corporations, a local lifelong tomboy and mother of four will make an impassioned stand. Patty Martin begins a fateful journey that will lead to her election as mayor, but also invite the resentment of most of her neighbors for daring to confront the industry that has been Quincy's lifeblood. Martin is joined by a small number of brave farmers who bring ingenuity, outrage, and an investigative reporter to the fight against seemingly insurmountable odds to expose the truth. They learn that toxic waste is turned into fertilizer around the world, spread on food-growing land, absorbed by plants, and, ultimately, consumed by all of us.Duff Wilson, whose Seattle Times series on this story was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, here provides the definitive account of a new and alarming environmental scandal. Fateful Harvest is a gripping study of corruption and courage, of recklessness and reckoning. It is a story that speaks to the greatest fears -- and ultimate hope -- in us all.
- Hardback | 336 pages
- 160.02 x 236.22 x 27.94mm | 635.03g
- 04 Sep 2001
- New York, NY, United States
"This is Erin Brockovich squared. An industry behaves with supreme irresponsibility, and a local resident sets out to do something about it. She's aided by a reporter, who tells the inside story of what investigative journalism really entails. Read it now so you'll be ready for the movie."--Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature"As I read Fateful Harvest, I was torn. I didn't know if I was more enthralled by the story or horrified by what Duff Wilson has uncovered. Whether you grab this book for the gripping tale or for the toxic truth about what is ruining our nation's farmlands, you won't be able to put it down."--Sherry Sontag, co-author of Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage"Duff Wilson has documented a horrifying tale of toxic waste turned into fertilizer that is contaminating the food supply. This is efficiency gone mad. Coupled with a corrupt system willing to turn poisons into profit, it makes unwitting victims of us all. What I always wonder is what the bosses of these companies eat. Perhaps they are more highly evolved and simply live on their own press releases. Woe to the rest of us who need clean food."--Nichols Fox, author of Spoiled: Why Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It