Presented by Charles F. Wurster, Ph.D.
DDT Wars is the inside story of the decade-long scientific, legal and strategic campaign that culminated in the national ban of the insecticide DDT in 1972. DDT contamination had become worldwide, concentrating up food chains and causing birds to lay thin-shelled eggs that broke in the nests. Populations of many species of predatory and fish-eating birds collapsed. Their numbers recovered spectacularly in the decades following the ban. This campaign to ban DDT was led by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), founded in 1967 by ten citizens, most of them scientists and volunteers without special political connections or financial resources. Their strategy was to take environmental problems to court. There were many setbacks along the way in this exciting and entertaining story. Author Charles Wurster was one of the leaders of the campaign. The first six years of EDF history will be described as it struggled to survive.