In advance of Earth Day, the Mini Page, a children's supplement that appears in 500 newspapers across the country, touted radical environmentalist Rachel Carson, whose baseless crusade against DDT caused the death of millions. (To read about her deadly legacy, go here.)
Under the headline, "Happy Birthday, Earth Day," the April 18 edition provided no information on the negative impact of Carson's efforts. Instead, editor Betty Debnam enthused, "In 1962, a scientist, Rachel Carson, published a book called 'Silent Spring.' She caught everyone’s attention with her accounts of birds dying from pesticides. She warned that people were in danger too."
Debnam made no mention of the fact that Carson's "warning" was wrong. The National Academy of Sciences has called DDT the "greatest chemical ever discovered, a lifesaver of 500 million whose deaths were otherwise inevitable." Carson's claims that the pesticides could be linked to cancer have been thoroughly debunked. Yet, the Mini Page spun this activist as a hero to children across the country.