Oct. 5, 1962
Letters: Silent Spring?
Sir: Granted Rachel Carson, in her new book Silent Spring, presents only one side of the chemical poison use controversy.
Need TIME [Sept. 28] belittle her efforts on behalf of mankind? The chemical manufacturers have presented the "other side" of the controversy to the public so effectively that highly toxic pesticides are now used as carelessly as foot powder.
TIME should have cheered Miss Carson's efforts to alert the public to pesticide dangers, and seconded her motion to step up research to discover target-specific, short-life pesticides and nonchemical pest controls, the use of which would assure that America will never have a "silent spring."
THOMAS L. KIMBALL
Sir: Thank you for allaying the fears of at least one member of the nontechnical and impressionable public. After reading installments of Miss Carson's book in a magazine last June, I was so struck with horror that I threw out all my insecticides and sprays. All summer long I had thrips on the grapevine, ants in the kitchen, and bugs at my barbecues.
(MRS.) VICKI PATTERSON
Sir: As a California citrus grower, I am in a position to know that nowhere in the world is the consumer so thoroughly protected from harmful residual chemicals as in the U.S. A pox on authors who will pervert the truth for a few lousy bucks.
Sir: Most scientists with whom I have spoken are of the opinion that Miss Carson used facts in her book, although they undoubtedly were carefully selected to promote her point of view. Apparently it was her candid opinion that the pesticide situation would never reach the public unless she used Madison Avenue tactics.
No clear-thinking scientist is going to suggest eliminating the use of pesticides. However, they are going to pay more attention to weighing the pros and cons of elm v. robin type questions. Miss Carson has done her job well--stimulating thought, discussion and controversy.
PATRICK R. DUGAN