LETTER: Fletcher shows lack of knowledge

By on February 7, 2018
The Merritt Herald welcomes your letters, on any subject, addressed to the editor. Letters must be signed and include the writer’s name, address and phone number for verification purposes. Letters may be edited for length, taste and clarity. Please keep letters to 300 words or less. Email letters to: newsroom@merrittherald.com.



I was shocked, offended and outraged by the most recent column written by Tom Fletcher and published by your paper, (‘Lack of logic on pesticides,’ Feb. 1)

I would think that you would know that Tom Fletcher’s job as a journalist is to find the truth in a story and see behind the spin, not to be a mouthpiece for powerful, multi-national chemical corporations like Monsanto/Bayer.

I take issue with everything in his column, but comments about Rachel Carson and DDT are outrageous. He admits he has never read her award-winning book Silent Spring. He says, “I’ll come clean. No, I haven’t read this 55-year-old book, which was quietly, but thoroughly debunked after decades of uncritical public and media belief.” This is not true. He then adds to this lie, by attacking Carson for the causing the ban on DDT and causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands Africans.

If Fletcher had read Silent Spring he would know that Carson actually said that “no responsible person contends that insect-borne diseases should be ignored.” She was never against chemical pesticides for disease control. She never said or believed that there should be an outright ban on all pesticides. She did warn in 1962 pesticides like DDT were being sprayed indiscriminately and excessively. She believed that DDT and other chemicals were used so excessively that “the insect enemy” evolved and became immune and stronger. This is exactly what happened, and is happening today with pesticides like Glyphosate (RoundUp). 

“Thirty-eight years after it was banned, Americans still consume traces of DDT and its metabolites every day, along with more than 20 other banned chemicals. Residues of these legacy contaminants are ubiquitous in U.S. food, particularly dairy products, meat and fish.” – Scientific America. 

DDT was banned around the world because of insect resistance and the negative impact on wildlife and humans. Reduced spending on anti-malaria ventures caused the comeback of Malaria in 1972. Today, mortality rates have dropped by 50 per cent, according to the WHO, thanks to new methods of mosquito control. DDT is still being used in Africa for indoor spraying of homes, along with many other methods of control.

Linda Davidson
Kamloops, B.C.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *