Glyphosate and the Swirl: An Agroindustrial Chemical on the Move (Critical Global Health: Evidence) (Paperback)
In Glyphosate and the Swirl Vincanne Adams explores the chemical glyphosate-the active ingredient in Roundup and a pervasive agricultural herbicide-as a predicament of contested science and chemically saturated life. Adams traces the history of glyphosate's invention and its multiple uses as activists, regulators, scientists, clinicians, consumers, and sick people try to determine its safety and harm. Scientific and political debates over glyphosate's toxicity are agitated into a swirl-a condition in which certainty is continually contested, divided, and multiplied. This movement replicates the chemical's movement in soils, foods, bodies, archives, labs, and legislative bodies, settling in some places here and in other places there, its potencies changing and altering what it touches with different scales and kinds of impact. The swirl is both an artifact of academic capitalism, activist tactics, and contested scientific facts and a way to capture the complexity of contemporary life with chemicals.
Vincanne Adams is Professor of Medical Anthropology at the University of California, San Francisco, author of Markets of Sorrow, Labors of Faith: New Orleans in the Wake of Katrina, and coeditor of Arc of Interference: Medical Anthropology for Worlds on Edge, both also published by Duke University Press.