I completely agree with everything in your post, and I agree that it
would be more effective to get farmers at least started towards organic
by using less pesticides than to expect everyone to convert to organic
immediately, regardless of the economic cost to their own farming
operations. I think what really disturbed me about the Frontline episode
was the attitude of some of the people being interviewed. They seemed to
imply that we could all assume that there was no danger, until the danger
was proven. I think that people should be informed that there is a
possible danger, and that the magnitude of that danger has not been fully
assesed yet. I am sure that many people would go ahead using pesticides,
and consuming them through food, because they may consider the danger not
to be great enough to change their lifestyle. That is an individual
choice and I would respect that entirely. But I think there are many
people out there who would change the way they lived their lives if they
knew of the potential dangers. I think that it is irresponsible of the
EPA to say that a substance is safe when they don't know for sure if it
is. I am not saying that they should say that it is unsafe, I am saying
that they should inform the public that the substance is being studied
and so far, we think it is safe, but we may be proven wrong with further
study. THe attitude of the woman on the Frontline episode seemed very
condescending to me, as if my concern over my own health was unfounded.
She seemed to be saying "Don't worry, we'll let you know when there is a
problem." So I guess it is the attitude of the EPA that bothers me most.
Of course that was one woman out of thousands working for the EPA, so
I'm sure that her attitude is not representative of the whole EPA.
Anyway, my whole point is that the public should know that there is a
POTENTIAL danger with certain pesticides, so if that is a concern they
can either limit their own exposure or at least keep a watch on the EPA
studies so they know whether or not they are in danger.
I agreed entirely with your automoblie analogy. I don't think at all
that we will ever be able to ban all pesticides, just like we could never
ban cars. So I agree with your strategy of reducing pesticide use as
much as possible. Coming from Detroit, where the Big Three provide a
large portion of the jobs, we don't even have an adequate public
transportation system. There is no way to live in this city without a
car. So like with the pesticides, we have to do the best we can -
driving cars with good gas milage, lower emissions, walking/biking as
much as possible, etc. I am personally fortunate to live within 5 miles
of my college and workplace, so I can often walk or bike to school and
work. Most people I know are not so lucky. My two younger sister both
go to college about 25 miles away, and both drive there everyday. But I
see a difference in the dangers of the automoblie industry vs. the
pesticide industry. I think that everyone knows by now, especially those
who live in cities, the dangers of auto emissions and too many cars on
the road. We can see these dangers, in the form of smog, dirty cities,
and car accidents. It is harder to see the dangers of pesticide use,
because we don't exactly know how they affect human health yet, and we
can't tell when they are being used. I can smell it in the air when my
neighbor puts pesticides on his lawn, but I'll bet most peole think that
that is just an outdoor smell, and not from anything possibly dangerous.
Well, I've rambled on long enough. Thank you for your response, I think
you made a lot of valid points.
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