Friday, January 9, 2009

This Is Interesting

Pill inventor slams ... pill

Key graphs:

Eighty five year old Carl Djerassi the Austrian chemist who helped invent the contraceptive pill now says that his co-creation has led to a "demographic catastrophe."

In an article published by the Vatican this week, the head of the world's Catholic doctors broadened the attack on the pill, claiming it had also brought "devastating ecological effects" by releasing into the environment "tonnes of hormones" that had impaired male fertility, The Taiwan Times says.

The assault began with a personal commentary in the Austrian newspaper Der Standard by Carl Djerassi. The Austrian chemist was one of three whose formulation of the synthetic progestogen Norethisterone marked a key step toward the earliest oral contraceptive pill.

Djerassi outlined the "horror scenario" that occurred because of the population imbalance, for which his invention was partly to blame. He said that in most of Europe there was now "no connection at all between sexuality and reproduction." He said: "This divide in Catholic Austria, a country which has on average 1.4 children per family, is now complete."

He described families who had decided against reproduction as "wanting to enjoy their schnitzels while leaving the rest of the world to get on with it." ...

[Dr Jose Maria Simon Castellvi] also pointed to the "devastating ecological effects of the tons of hormones discarded into the environment each year. We have sufficient data to state that one of the causes of masculine infertility in the West is the environmental contamination caused by the products of the 'pill'." Castellvi noted as well that the International Agency for Research on Cancer reported in 2005 that the pill has carcinogenic effects.

It seems we have here yet another instance of Shea's Two Phases of History.

Phase One, you may recall, is:

What could it hurt?

Phase Two is:

How could we have known?

1 comment:

The Dutchman said...

What I don't get is why feminists aren't up in arms over what the pill has done to the position of women in society. It has changed them from being wives and mothers into, quite literally, sex objects.

Of course, tho the effects of dumping tons of hormones into the environment have been known for quite some time now, my son had to bring that subject up in his health class on his own, as the instructor wasn't about to cover it without prompting.