Abbott’s message out of tune with most of Australia

Blair Martin writes: Re. “On Abbott’s St Patrick’s Day message” (yesterday). John Shailer calls the political comment on Tony Abbott’s constant gaffes “drivel” and a form of “gotcha” on everything that proceeds from the PM’s mouth, then offers this  “… ignores the same quotes from Labor politicians” . Forgive Mr Shailer, however which Labor politician in the House referred to his opposite number as a member of the Nazi elite? Which Labor politician smeared one ethnic and national group as a nation of drunkards?

As for the comments about the Senate not passing government measures (which Mr Shailer calls “sensible measures” when no-one else in the country apart from the government and their risible cheer squad call them “sensible measures”), Mr Shailer and the PM seem to be of the same mind — that this Senate dropped off the moon and is there just to thwart “good government”. Let’s be sensible: this government of “no surprises” launched a raft of surprising legislation, none of which was taken to the electorate in 2013 and this “adult” government has behaved in a juvenile fashion, since the beginning of 2014, dealing with opposition to its legislative program. The same electors who gave Tony Abbott’s party of “adults” government also voted for a Senate that would temper and review the “adult” government’s legislative program. I believe that’s how our constitution and electoral system works. Or is that analysis also just “drivel”?

The science behind Roundup

Dr Michael Antoniou writes: Re. “Roundup time for Roundup?” (yesterday). Dr Oliver Jones states that the principle at the basis of evaluating the toxicity of chemicals is “the dose makes the poison”; that is, the higher the dose the greater the toxic effect. However, this is totally out of step with the latest science which has established beyond doubt that chemicals capable of interfering with the body’s hormonal system (so called endocrine disruptive chemicals, EDCs) can function in a nonlinear fashion. What this means is that EDCs can bring about profound toxic effects at very low doses, far lower than those set as safe by “the dose makes the poison” principle, leading to severe diseases such as birth defects, obesity, hormone cancers and autoimmunity. There is an ever increasing list of chemicals that have been identified to possess an EDC capability including components in plastics and all classes of pesticides. There is increasing evidence that glyphosate can act as an EDC, although this requires further investigation. Regrettably, government regulatory agencies throughout the world currently ignore EDC potential in the safety evaluation of chemicals thus putting pubic safety at risk.

Crikey’s new layout

Edmund Maher: I don’t like the new layout of Crikey. As a long time subscriber I find the new one less intuitive and there seems also to be less news with no sub-folders of news. I don’t know where you got the boast that you “listened” to us on the new layout: I am one of 10+ people I know who subscribe and none of us like it. Not happy — thank God the renewal date is not so far ahead as I can tell you that 11 people will not re-subscribe.

Peter Fray

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