I am compelled to respond to the letter by David Kuchta (June 29) espousing the erroneous notion that Roundup (glyphosate) is harmful to bees. It is not.

Glyphosate acts by inhibiting an enzyme in plants that is needed to produce certain amino acids. Animals lack that enzyme and are not affected. Glyphosate has been tested in maximum-challenge assays on honeybees with no effect (Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 10 (3): 463-470, 2014).

Apparently many people have confused glyphosate with the insecticide imidacloprid, which is mildly toxic for bees. It has been suggested as a factor in colony collapse syndrome, based on shaky evidence. (But that would be a subject for another letter.)

Lest I be dismissed as a chemical nozzlehead, I should note that my entire career in academic, government and industry research was dedicated to the development of beneficial microbes as alternatives to chemical insecticides. I just find the current trend to chemophobia rather sad.

We should be aware that pesticides come in a wide array, varying from extremely toxic and broad-spectrum to very specific and benign. We must consider the merits and debits of each based on real data, not emotions and fashion.

Jeffrey Lord

Falmouth