Science: Too Efficient Poison

The most lethal rat-killer known is odorless, tasteless "1080" (TIME, Sept. 17), recently developed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The same basic poison was simultaneously isolated as the toxic element in a deadly South African plant called "Gifblaar." But 1080, like atomic energy, is almost too hot to handle. It is ideal for murderers. A human victim, without smelling or tasting a thing, could probably be done in by 1/50 oz.

For the present, U.S. citizens will not be allowed to exterminate either rats or each other with 1080. Monsanto Chemical Co., the only producer, announced last week that 1080...