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Pesticides and global health: ‘ambivalent objects’ in anthropological perspective

Pesticides: can’t live with them, can’t live without them

In Sri Lanka, producers of the illicit liquor kasippu sometimes suspend a bottle of pesticide above the vat during the fermentation process. It is believed the kasippu will absorb the potency of the pesticide and add to its strength, increasing drinkers’ intoxication and pleasure. But there is also a danger the …

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Books

Top of the heap: Elizabeth Watkins

This article is part of the following series:

For this installment of Top of the heap we spoke to Elizabeth Watkins, Dean of the Graduate Division and Professor of the History of Health Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco.

Elizabeth Watkins

David Healy, Pharmageddon (University of California Press, 2012)

Pharmageddon is a searing indictment of the pharmaceuticalization of American health care. David Healy decries the practices

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Spray

Adéline chided me for going all the way to town to buy a “natural” mosquito spray that—while hardly effective—I continued to slather on my body every time we jogged the wooded paths of the Forêt Vatable in Martinique. She had gotten used to my declining to borrow her Pyramid brand “Repel 100,” a 100% deet formulation that she swore by, …

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