On Casaubon’s Book, Sharon Astyk says that although many books are ascribed profound historical significance, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring truly brought environmentalism to the mainstream. Carson described the deadly effects of pesticide use on its unintended targets—birds, wildlife, human beings. Carson was a nature-lover at heart, but her memory will always be tied to agricultural issues. On Tomorrow’s Table, Pamela Ronald writes that Carson “envisioned harnessing the knowledge of biological diversity—entomology, pathology, genetics, physiology, biochemistry, and ecology—to shape a new science of biotic controls.” Genetically modified crops, for example, have fostered productivity and reduced dependence on chemicals worldwide. Ronald writes, “In the face of a rapidly growing population, the need to produce more food and fiber without further destroying the environment is one of the greatest challenges of our time.” But Sharon Astyk rejects the idea of GMOs as a cornucopia, saying that if we wanted to feed the world, we could have done so for decades with much simpler tools. Meanwhile, on Respectful Insolence, Orac debunks a new study that claims Roundup-ready maize causes cancer.