Stop spraying

THE US government is planning to discourage overseas governments from requiring airliners to be sprayed with insecticides after arriving at airports. "It needlessly exposes millions of Americans to harmful chemicals and our top priority is the safety of our passengers," declares Federico F Pena, the US transportation secretary.

US environmentalists agree. "Spraying people with medicines intended to kill bugs is not a good thing to do," observes Stephen L Johnson of the Environmental Protection Agency. The US ended the spraying practice in 1979 after determining that the dangers outweighed the benefits.

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