Advisory Committee on Pesticides
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Robert Cushman Murphy

Murphy is an ornithologist at the American Museum for Natural History in New York City. In 1957 he joined with other residents of Long Lsland, New York, to sue the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture over spraying to eradicate gypsy moths. The case was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court in 1959.

[The group involved in that suit later formed the major conservation organization, the Environmental Defense Fund.]

Be sure to review Chaps. 1-2, 6-8, 10 in Silent Spring. You should be able to comment on the harms of pesticides, the control of nature and perhaps also on individual versus government rights.


  • Graham, Since Silent Spring (see index)
  • Lear, Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature. (see index)
  • Brooks, House of Life, pp. 237-238.
  • Murphy v. Benson, 151 F.Supp. 786 (E.D.N.Y., 1957), 789.
  • Murphy v. Benson, 164 F.Supp. 120 (E.D.N.Y., 1958), 128.
  • Murphy v. Benson, 270 F.2d 419 (2nd Cir.,1959).
  • last revised November 19, 2008