Why demonise a cheap, beneficial chemical, says John Archer (Letters, October 24). He needs to check the science and not the label on the package.

Glycophosphate (Roundup) is increasingly being found to be a cause of cancer (Doctors Mercola, Samsel and Seneff); Dewayne Johnson, the groundkeeper whose cancer has been attributed to glyphosate, will not be the only case to come to court in America.

That there are other unsafe substances in our environment does not mean we should ignore this one, especially when it is used in aerial spraying (spray and pray). Can he assure me that soil bacteria will break this down and it is not found in the next crop? It is a systemic herbicide.

After agreeing that higher levels of cancer and other problems are being reported in areas experiencing spray drift in Argentina, Mr Archer has said that only a "tonne or so" of glyphosate is used in food production areas in Ohakune. This is still high compared with the amount of food produced, and I personally will be wary of Ohakune vegetables, as I cannot establish which growers refuse to use glyphosate.

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Why take the risk?

ELAINE HAMPTON
Whanganui


'Actual issues' please

Did the people venting outrage over the Horizons BMW actually read the article? As far as I could decipher, Bruce Gordon is paying for the car in three instalments.

Good if people picked up on actual issues. For instance, why has Horizons seemingly given up on pink ragwort (Senecio glastifolius)?

Not to mention Tranzit, if the highways are anything to go by.

WDC is in the same boat, with a healthy specimen at the end of the City Bridge, ready to seed in the river and head down the coast.

PETER RUSSELL
Whanganui

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Anti-Catholic bias

Russ Hay expresses his anti-Catholic bias very clearly, but unfortunately he confuses that bias with reasonable argument.

When I pointed out it was wrong to blame an institution that tells people not to sin for the behaviour of those members who, instead, do sin, I expected reasonable people would recognise that as a reasonable point.

Mr Hay didn't.

Mr Hay tells us that the scandals of Catholic priests betraying everything they and their Church stand for are because of church practices such as priestly celibacy.

If that were truly the case then there would be a far higher percentage of paedophilic behaviour among priests than among, say, school teachers or married ministers of other religious organisations.

As Ernie Allen, president of the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in the US, said in Newsweek, "We don't see the Catholic Church as a hotbed of this or a place that has a bigger problem than anyone else."

Mr Hay claims the Catholic Church "directly enables and has supported and condoned these perverted practices".

Mr Hay apparently will not admit the difference between people who act against the institution they are members of and the institution itself.

When school teachers commit such crimes we do not say teaching is the problem, nor do we accuse the Education Department or the teachers' union of enabling, supporting or condoning such behaviour.

K A BENFELL
Gonville (Edited)


Gas and coal still needed

Like Robert Jaunay (letters, October 24) I look forward to cheap, clean energy.
In the meantime, we rely on gas and coal to supplement our hydro power, and liquid fuel for transport.

New Zealand used to produce good-quality coal. The Huntly Power Station was designed to burn coal or gas in a dry year, when the hydro lakes are low.

This year, the lakes are low. We are short of gas and coal. We may need to import expensive poorer-quality coal from Australia or South Africa to keep the lights on in Auckland. New Zealand is no longer self-sufficient in electricity.

We achieve nothing good if we merely export our climate change liabilities overseas.
Shutting down our gas and coal industries achieves nothing good.

ALAN DAVIDSON
Gonville


Send your letters to: The Editor, Whanganui Chronicle, 100 Guyton St, PO Box 433, Whanganui 4500; or email editor@wanganuichronicle.co.nz