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Few concerned about fish feminized by birth control

September 21, 2010

Five years after Colorado scientists discovered that birth control hormones were causing the feminization of some fish, environmental groups contacted by the National Catholic Register remain unconcerned.

“For many people it’s an economic necessity,” said a Sierra Club spokesman in reference to contraception. “It’s also a personal freedom issue.”

An official of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, however, is concerned: “We know the pills are tiny, but they have a huge impact on aquatic wildlife,” said Alka Chandna. “We can make the choice to take a contraceptive drug. But fish also end up getting the drug, and all the consequences, without making a choice. It’s sobering.”

Since the city of Boulder upgraded its sewage treatment plant in 2008, fewer male fish have been feminized.


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  • Posted by: voxfem - Sep. 22, 2010 8:05 PM ET USA

    Since the hormones (and other pharmaceuticals) are in the rivers, those cities and towns which get their water from rivers have to have been affected. Even if they are doing a better job now of cleaning things up, it still has been going on for years.

  • Posted by: FredC - Sep. 22, 2010 9:43 AM ET USA

    Are those hormones found in our drinking water?

  • Posted by: voxfem - Sep. 21, 2010 9:18 PM ET USA

    Is it just the fish who have become feminized? I bet there's an effect on mammals as well. And human beings.

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Sep. 21, 2010 7:35 AM ET USA

    I was imagining the irony of PETA endorsing NFP, but then I read that an upgrade of sewage treatment plants will minimize the damage. I expect that their concerns for a few feminized fish will continue to be trumped by their desires for unbridled license.