Our government acts to prevent plane crashes — but not carcinogens in our food

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To the Editor:

In the wake of two tragic crashes of Boeing’s 737 MAX 8, U.S. regulators have grounded the airliner. A government ensuring the safety of citizens would appear to be a responsible action. However, if we look at other public safety issues, there are huge shortcomings.

The exposure to the herbicide glyphosate, which is known as Roundup and primarily manufactured by Monsanto (Bayer), has been linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. This disease kills about a quarter million people per year (North America has the highest rate). This equates to around four of those jetliner crashes per day — every day!

Since the safety of glyphosate exposure has come into question, our government has not moved to protect people. To the contrary, our lawmakers have acted against our interests repeatedly, by passing laws that in effect have increased our exposure to this and other agricultural chemicals. Anti-labeling laws have also been passed that cloud our ability to avoid exposure to these chemicals. Government agencies that should be responsible with ensuring food safety have fallen under control of companies like Monsanto, rather than sponsoring independent studies to determine the safety of glyphosate, they accept industry claims of product safety, and in some cases thwart investigations into the relationship between glyphosate exposure and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which has now become a health epidemic.

I think it is proper that the safety issues of Boeing’s new plane be resolved before it is allowed to fly. But why should Boeing be grounded for the occurrence of a mere two crashes while at the same time the companies that produce glyphosate may be causing the equivalent of 1,400 plane crashes per year that go uninvestigated. We can even choose not to fly — but we can't choose not to eat.

John Harrigan


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