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An investigation by Yours Truly has found that, in some editions, the amount of baseless, unscientific rhetoric designed to sell newspapers to specific demographics has exceeded amounts permitted by people with common sense.

Perhaps, dear Karl, you might try, just this once, researching the effects of the weed killer atrazine instead of investigating unscientific rhetoric. You may be quite surprised to learn that your very own toad could be in serious trouble. Not to mention your very own liver.

Common sense tells you that all of this STUFF is harmful. I stopped using weed killer and fertilizers long ago. Funny, Mother Nature has managed to care for this entire planet for eons... without any help from Monsanto or Scotts! How did she do it? Naturally of course.

I've had the opportunity to research a lot of pesticide studies over the years, and atrazine is definitely on my top ten list of pesticides I'd like to do away with. The findings so far aren't conclusive, but they are very troubling.

And what are the solutions for everyone? Can everyone afford to install a water filtration system? Shall we go back to buying bottled water? I can afford to do those things for myself, but what about the folks who can't? Will the administration act to protect everyone or will this become another political dog chasing its tail, so the poorest and least educated lose?

We are polluting ourselves. May I suggest a new book? "Slow Death by Rubber Duck: How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects Our Health" by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie. The first step to a solution is to become informed.

I've never used chemicals in my garden, EVER, and I don't understand why anyone does; it's just too risky. The DDT scares of the 1960's, immortalized in Joni Mitchell's song "Big Yellow Taxi", should have taught everyone that when all these new chemicals are released on the market, their long term effects are often poorly understood, so why risk using something today that could give you cancer 20 years later or kill wildlife or pollute your land? I weed by hand, and I dig up roots by hand to get rid of unwanted things - vigilant weeding is good physical exercise for a gardener. I dig out the weeds that grow in the sidewalk cracks in lieu of spraying them with anything (although boiling hot water or vinegar in a spray bottle can be very effective on certain weeds.) If a plant does poorly or gets too buggy, I just rip it out and try something else. This is why I don't do roses - few do well in my climate without massive chemical interference.

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