The understanding that traditional wisdom calls for detoxifying these legumes coupled with the fact that they are eaten nonetheless is indeed sad. The work of the agricultural scientists in making this staple safe to eat is vital. There is evident need for help from social science to get safe food practices accepted in the population.

Saul Cizek
Alexandria, Va.

Thank you for the article. Last year, while the epidemic in Ethiopia was rampant, we had planned an experiment with preventive medicine containing the nutrients that are deficient in grass pea and costing 3 cents per person per day, but no backer was found. When even some governments deny the very existence of the problem of the grass pea’s toxicity, it is difficult to get interest from potential donors.

Fernand Lambein
Gent, Belgium