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Malathion's Nazi Link


German chemist Willy Lange and his graduate student Gerde von Krueger were the apparent first scientists to describe the anti-cholinergic effects of organophosphates in 1932. Exposure effects they noted included a choking sensation and dimming vision. Later that decade. Gerhard Schrader of IG Farben began to experiment with organophosphates against insects. It wasn’t difficult for the Nazi government to see the potential of these insect killers as nerve gases.

Schrader was “honored” with the task of developing organophosphate nerve gases, a deed that he may have wished he hadn’t accomplished; the initial nerve gases were improved and morophed into the G series of nerve agents Sarin, Tabun and Soman. American companies after the war used Schrader’s work to begin manufacturing their own insecticides. The first were parathion and malathion.

The CTWG has identified each of these companies that sells products without warnings to Californians and will begin to name them and lobby to eventually have this pesticide completely removed from commerce.