The synthetic pesticide ban recently approved by the Portland City Council may create an “organic” city, but it won’t create a green city or a beautiful city.

The people of Portland may like ticks, mosquitoes and flies. They are excellent food for birds and fish. Rather than tidy green lawns and colorful gardens, yards can be paved or gravel. They won’t need synthetic pesticides, but you can’t paint them green because you’ll need synthetic paint!

As a scientist, I find it disappointing that the City Council voted based upon emotion and scare tactics by activists rather than scientific data. Synthetic pesticides have all been extensively tested under strict protocol, whereas many natural products have not.

Glyphosate, or Round Up, is the poster child of activists. They claim it is a probable carcinogen. This synthetic pesticide has probably been tested more than any material since DDT. The recent, most extensive, Glyphosate Use and Cancer Incidence in Agricultural Health study, published in the respected Journal of the National Cancer Institute last Nov. 9, shows no statistical link between glyphosate and cancer. This doesn’t make news because it doesn’t support the hysteria offered by activists.

When the City Council decided to ban synthetic pesticides and only allow natural products, I am sure that they were aware that arsenic is a natural product. Is lead synthetic?

I do not work for any chemical company. I am not paid by any chemical company or association. I do not own Monsanto stock. I do not live in Portland, but I live in Maine, and I hope the Legislature does not make Maine an “organic” state but a green state. I am sorry but I hate ticks, mosquitoes, flies and weeds. I enjoy beauty. Keep Maine green and beautiful and let the paved yards stay in only Portland.

James Albright, Ph.D.