: The Fire Ant Wars, 1958–1983

in The Fire Ant Wars

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780226079813
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226079844 | DOI:
: The Fire Ant Wars, 1958–1983

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This chapter focuses on the ways the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and its opponents attempted to make their ideas into public policy. The USDA was a very strong federal agency, and proponents of the eradication program forged with lobbying groups in the South and Jamie Whitten's committee in Congress to nurture the eradication of the imported fire ant. Despite the USDA's power, problems with the program built up, and this resulted in the creation by the environmentalists of new institutions to check the power of the USDA. The limited focus of the environmentalists blocked the development of alternative methods of insect control and they misjudged the danger posed by the fire ant. The ant's polygynous colonies became increasingly dominant, and hence, the ant loomed as an ever-larger threat to the South's biodiversity.

Keywords: U.S. Department of Agriculture; USDA; public policy; fire ant program; USDA's power; ant; insect control

Chapter.  21021 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental History

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