Anti-EPA agenda flawed
Cameron Schaeffer’s column “Regulation imperfect balance of dangers” makes the same claims that Steven Milloy of the libertarian Cato Institute made in The Malaria Clock: A Green Eco-Imperialist Legacy of Death. Milloy claims the number of malaria cases and deaths is attributable to the ban on the use of DDT.
Their arguments misrepresent facts to achieve their conclusion. Although the general use of the pesticide DDT was banned in the United States after 1972, that ban contained a limited exception permitting DDT use in both agricultural and public-health emergencies.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s ban on DDT was for its general use in the United States and does not regulate what takes place in Sub-Saharan Africa. Likewise, Schaeffer’s anti-EPA agenda overlooks a major benefit from restricted general use of DDT: increasing DDT’s prolonged effectiveness. Overuse of anything, from antibiotics to pesticides, results in producing drug- and pesticide-resistant diseases and pests.
American tax dollars are properly spent when governmental agencies, like the EPA, use experts to analyze, regulate and control potential harmful products and practices. After political fiction is separated from scientific fact, most Americans should realize our government is not our enemy; Roger Guffey’s earlier commentary about the need for the EPA was indeed correct.
James F. Wisniewski
Science reason for DDT ban
Contrary to Cameron Schaeffer’s argument, DDT was not banned because of some touchy-feely love of wildlife, it was done so after scientific research showed it was a probable carcinogen in humans and also has deadly effects on wildlife.
Environmentalism is based on the fundamental concept that all life on Earth is related and that harm to one layer will have an impact on the rest of the chain of life. Schaeffer apparently has a problem with this idea when it lessens his agenda, which is that Big Government is ruining our lives.
As to his contention that the populace has not had the opportunity to vote on these freedom-stealing pesky environmental regulations: How many of us have certified, well-equipped scientific laboratories in our homes or businesses capable of rigorous testing on the thousands of chemicals in our water, air, soil and food?
What does Schaeffer tell patients? That they have the “right” to smoke and that government bans destroy their freedom to get lung cancer? How does he handle medical waste, when those pesky, life-destroying regulations are trying to tell him what to do? Like most shallow, right-wing arguments, if this line of thought were not frightening, it would be funny.
Clueless on thumb sucking
Unfortunately, I went against my better judgment and read John Rosemond’s April 20 column. He said his daughter started sucking her thumb the minute she was born. Could someone please show him photographs of babies sucking their thumbs in utero?
My son was born sucking both fists. He had an extremely high sucking need. Could someone explain to Rosemond about high sucking needs? When I would nurse my son, I would tuck one arm behind my back and hold his other hand or he would attempt to stick his fist in his mouth, thus popping the suction and making him cry.
I nursed on demand, which met his sucking needs. Within the first two to three weeks, he had forgotten about those fists. He never sucked his thumb.
Shameful that Rosemond has a column.
Roberta P. Newell
Personhood before birth
Although I reject Dr. David Nash’s conclusion, I agree with much of his April 18 commentary regarding the personhood of fertilized human eggs. Intending to refute Dr. A Patrick Schneider’s April 4 assertion that personhood begins at fertilization, Nash raises valid biological questions.
Nevertheless, as a former obstetrician, I must object when he leaps over nine months of subsequent development to the appalling conclusion that an unborn baby’s life does not begin until birth. That raises more questions than Schneider’s position. Some obvious ones:
▪ If a fetus is not a person, why do expectant mothers experience such delight at seeing their babies on sonograms?
▪ Why do women planning to abort feel distress at seeing similar images?
▪ Why do obstetricians strive at all hours to save non-persons in danger?
▪ What basis is there for lawsuits if those efforts fail and non-persons die in utero?
Nash refrains from citing “multiple religious and philosophical arguments refuting the notion that a fertilized egg is a ‘person.’” Admittedly, only one major belief asserts the personhood of the unborn. That same tradition consigns the fate of the unborn to God as long as humans refrain from interfering, except to preserve life and not take it.
Dr. Duncan MacIvor