Some for, some against researcher’s views on glyphosate

In case it wasn’t already abundantly clear, a couple chemical-related stories in last week’s paper provided a vivid illustration of one subject that continually gets our readers talking online.

First came reporter Robert Arnason’s profile of University of Sask-atchewan professor John Giesy, a leading expert on the subject of toxicology, and his views on glyphosate.

“You might be able to show that (glyphosate causes cancer) in an in-vitro test … but in an animal model, at a reasonable dose, would that occur? My reading of the literature is that it won’t,” Giesy said in a rare interview with the press.

Our readers were quick to re-spond.

“Is glyphosate dangerous? Yes … because it has been allowed to proliferate global agricultural reasoning, reaching the end of its effective lifespan, with uncertain toxicity and no apparent replacement other than more of the same… Another failed end run around natural law and no closer to a sustainable solution… .If this is progress, well, keep playing … the musicians on the Titanic did,” writes a reader identifying himself as Richard.

On Facebook, reader Rose Stevens posted a link to a YouTube video of an alleged lobbyist refusing to drink glyphosate, and added, “Perhaps this professor might want to get together with this lobbyist and have a cup of Roundup tea, seeing they both think glyphosate is so safe.”

Most of the comments were critical of his stance, but there were also those supportive of Giesy.

“We in the industry have the greatest exposure. I don’t see ill effects,” Paul Heglund wrote on the WP’s Facebook page.

“Very important article,” wrote Robert Wager.

The second story to get our readers buzzing came out one day later and concerned the release of a Health Canada review of the world’s oldest herbicide, 2,4-D and Health Canada’s finding that the chemical does not cause cancer.

“So 2,4-D has miraculously improved since the ’50s when it was banned. Awesome. Too bad none of us believe it, knowing how corrupt Health Canada is,” wrote April Reeves.

“Overall rates of cancer are decreasing, so yes, some of these chemicals aren’t the bogeymen David Suzuki types claim,” wrote Stephen Daniels.

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