Last Update: Thursday, December 05, 2013
|Letters to the Editor|
|Written by San Fernando Valley Sun|
|Wednesday, 21 November 2012 06:24|
To the Editor,
I read that in the general population Parkinson's affects about 6%, but in farming communities, the percentage is closer to 20%. When I told my father that, he said he wasn't surprised. You see, he grew up working on the family farm in Tennessee, and from the age of 12 until he went off to college, he mixed DDT with his bare hands, and without a respirator. DDT was banned in this country in 1973. It was a bit too late for my father - he has Parkinson's now.
Now, Monsanto and Dow Chemical have created new genetically engineered seeds designed to work with hazardous and outdated pesticides like 2,4-D and dicamba. If these seeds are released onto the market, they will cause a huge increase in the use of these chemicals.
Monsanto and the other big pesticide corporations spent millions on deceptive TV ads to defeat Proposition 37. But we shouldn't let them win this time.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack should halt the approval of these new GE seeds. The USDA should stand up for the health and economic vitality of our rural communities and not the profits of big corporations.
As a society, we seem to be always worrying about the little things that can harm us, like secondhand smoke or trans fats. But we seem to overlook a huge problem that we are facing. There is an immediate danger in the food that we eat everyday – the food we feed our children. That danger is pesticides. Many genetically engineered crops are created to survive the application of pesticides to take out all of the weeds around them. These GE foods are causing a huge increase in the amount of pesticides that we are using. With this huge increase, weeds are becoming resistant.
Instead of creating alternative means to kill weeds, big chemical companies like Monsanto have started to incorporate more harmful pesticides, particularly one called 2,4-D. This chemical was used in Vietnam against our enemies, and is not only incredibly toxic, but it can also spread through the air and kill the crops of neighboring farmers.
It doesn't take a huge amount of thought to realize that we do not want our children eating this, and we do not want to eat this ourselves.
Right now the decision on whether to allow these new 2,4- D crops is on the desk of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack. We should make sure that Secretary Vilsack does not approve these crops.
As a society, we deserve the right to good, healthy food.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 November 2012 06:29|