Letter: Toxic chemicals cause harm even if unrecognized

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Graphic by Lori Deaton

Having recently moved away from the Asheville area after a 10-year residence, I have been thinking about some of my observations there.

One of these was the habitual use of Roundup to kill weeds in the apparent belief that it is safe. Ironically, I have even witnessed this at a nature center in Michigan, which uses it to kill invasive plants.

This belief seems to be based primarily on Monsanto’s own claims. Unfortunately, the company’s track record is hardly one to inspire confidence. Not only have they given us very little reason to trust them; they have given us many excellent reasons to distrust them.

Stephanie Seneff et al. at MIT have convincingly linked Roundup to autism, Alzheimer’s and cancer. I believe that if we recognized the true costs of its use, we would ban it immediately.

The harmful consequences of modern technology don’t cease to exist when we choose not to notice them. We can easily create a theoretical world of abstractions in which we don’t have to face uncomfortable realities, but such a world bears little resemblance to the one we actually live in.

Too much of what we now call “science” is bought and paid for by corporations with frankly appalling conflicts of interest. And it isn’t sufficiently recognized that the foundations of modern science laid down in the early 17th century, far from being discoveries  of what science was for all time, were actually choices regarding what it was to focus on during the ensuing period.

Again, the aspects of the world we then chose to ignore didn’t vanish from reality. If we truly understood this, we wouldn’t expend so much effort trying to control what we haven’t first bothered to understand.

We do ourselves and the world no great service by granting “scientific” status to the foolish trashing of this world with toxic chemicals.

— Andy Shaw
Easton, Md.

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