Monday, June 09, 2008

Sticking to his guns on an unpopular issue

Dan Gardner is a columnist for the Ottawa Citizen newspaper. To my knowledge Dan’s salary is not tied in any way to the agrichemical industry, and I suspect that the newspaper he works for is not dependent upon that same industry for advertising revenue. I can’t say that’s the case categorically since I don’t read the Ottawa Citizen.

Several weeks ago Gardner wrote a column essentially saying that he was satisfied with the findings of a Health Canada review finding that “ there is reasonable certainty that no harm to human health, future generations or the environment will result from use of exposure” to 2,4-D. That herbicide, of course, has been subjected to more studies than just about any other chemical product you can think of the past 60 years or so since it’s discovery.

Gardner’s column apparently prompted a “deluge” of emails, from people opposed to the use of pesticides, including herbicide 2,4-D. Rather than retreat from his stance in the face of so negative response, he came back with a second column on the subject Saturday, June 7. The column offers a reasoned explanation of why he feels the way he does about this particular issue.

My hat is off to Dan Gardner, not as much for his defense of a particular product or class of products but for being honest with himself and his readers. He didn’t let the unfavorable response to what he wrote change what he feels to be true.

Click on the headline if you want to read what Dan Gardner wrote on June 6.

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