unintentional sex-change operations
Roughly one-third of the male fish in British rivers are developing female characteristics, in a frightening trend that could severely upset the ecological balance of the waterways. What's more, the trend could affect humans, with a devastating effect on fertility. The problem is apparently caused by certain chemicals used in pest-control treatment, which cannot be removed by existing methods of sewage treatment. Environmentalists are urgently calling for a ban on those pesticides.
Oh, wait. That's not right.
The first part of the story is true. Male fish are developing female traits, and the implications-- for fish and for humans-- are indeed frightening.
And the problem is caused by chemicals that sewage-treatment plants cannot remove. But those chemicals aren't used by farmers as pesticides. The culprits are estrogens, used by millions of women in birth-control pills.
Needless to say, environmentalists are not calling for a ban on the use of the Pill. Everyone knows that we gotta have our Pills, regardless of the cost.
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