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Letters: Pesticide concerns will be heard

Pesticide concerns will be heard A few years ago, a good friend of mine tried to explain to me the impact which pesticide chemical drift had had on her family. I sympathetically listened. My experience since then has made me realize how valid her...

Pesticide concerns

will be heard

A few years ago, a good friend of mine tried to explain to me the impact which pesticide chemical drift had had on her family. I sympathetically listened.

My experience since then has made me realize how valid her concerns were.

Exposure to chemical pesticides can occur either by water run-off, immediate air drift or volatilization (air drift that can occur several days and in some cases weeks or months past the initial application). Depending on variables in air and water movements, these effects can be experienced miles away.

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The Minnesota Department of Agriculture regulates the sale and use of pesticides. It is this agency we are told to call when exposure occurs. So how is it that the Department of Agriculture can refuse a request to test water and soil samples submitted by a citizen who claimed she was being continually exposed to chemical pesticides? And why does the burden of proof seem to rest on the citizen making the complaint?

We are all being exposed to chemicals through pesticide application on agricultural fields, ditches, golf courses and parks. We are told these pesticides are harmless or that "the human body can withstand a certain amount of toxic chemical exposure."

If pesticides are harmless and if the human body can withstand a certain amount of toxic chemical exposure, why are so many thousands of us ill during spraying season?

What happens when we are exposed week after week, year after year? What is happening not only to us but to wildlife, honeybees, ponds, creeks, rivers and the groundwater?

Led by a dairy farmer, Rep. Ken Tschumper of La Crescent, there will be a legislative hearing at 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18 at Wadena Memorial Auditorium. They are coming to listen to our concerns, meet our families and see firsthand the seriousness of conditions so many of us are being exposed to on a continual basis.

This is a unique opportunity to visit with our state representatives and other specialists on our own turf. I am encouraging everyone to attend this landmark meeting.

Sue Meyer

Browerville

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