from ELLEN WHITE WEIR
To the Editor:
My dad grew up on a farm out west of here. I remember my grandfather calling the cows as they followed him uphill to the barn. The fields waved corn in the wind, and it seemed all was right with the world. It felt balanced; the cows ate the corn, the bees loved the weeds, and we would eat the meat and honey, and the vegetables from the garden.
Now when I see the evenly spaced rows of corn, all uniform, with few weeds between them, I think organophosphate: malathion, parathion, diazinon and glyphosate.
Parathion is highly toxic to humans and banned in most countries. Malathion is used locally for the control of aphids and other insects, and it highly toxic to dogs and cats. Polyacrylamide, which is used in fracking fluid, can break down to acrylamide, which is a severe nerve toxin. Diazinon is still used today on lawns and crops, even though it is banned for risks to humans and wildlife.
Children are more vulnerable to organophosphates. As insects developed resistance to each new poison the chemical companies put out, the industry creates an even more toxic compound.
I think we either pay our farmers more for cultivating corn, not spraying, rotational
grazing, and organic practices that acknowledge that healthy soil equals plant health, or we pay our doctors and pharmaceutical companies.
Do we have a right to know the chemical cocktails local conventional farmers are using in their field, or what our neighbors are putting on their lawns?
ELLEN WHITE WEIR