Effects of herbicides, insecticides need eternal scrutiny


St. Louis Post Dispatch, April 13, 2015 12:00 am

Regarding “Monsanto lashes out at cancer agency’s finding on glyphosate” (March 25):

Monsanto officials need to review the 1960s controversy over the misuse of DDT before discrediting the misuse of Roundup herbicide by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an agency of the World Health Organization. DDT was banned for agricultural use in the 1970s.

In 1962 the chemical industry, the National Agricultural Chemical Association, Monsanto Corp., etc. had a problem with Rachel Carlson’s claims about the use of DDT in her book “Silent Spring.” The chemical industry used such words as “pseudo-scientists and faddists” to try to squelch Carlson’s criticism about the indiscriminate use of DDT on the environment and its ill effects.

In the interest of truth, the Monsanto officials should enlighten us as to the facts about the IARC’s “conclusion on politics rather the sound science.”

A Swiss chemist Paul Herman Muller in 1948 was awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine “for his discovery of the high efficiency of DDT as a contact poison against several arthropods.” This announcement should have alerted the chemical industry, in this case the IARC, that the effects of spraying insecticides and/or herbicides upon our environment need eternal scrutiny from whatever source.

Because of the use of Roundup herbicide throughout the world, it is a moral obligation of both Monsanto Corp. and the IARC to resolve this controversy as quickly as possible.
George J. Kuhn • Mount Vernon, Ill.