This is in response to the letter in the June 21, 2018 edition, titled “Pesticide in your backyard” from Kimberly Garcia and Jacqueline Gonzales.
Thank you very much for your letter, Kimberly and Jacqueline! You are so right that we need to reduce or even eliminate our use of pesticides in order to protect our wildlife and ourselves. But you are wrong that you can’t do anything about pesticide use on “big farms” because you “…can’t change that until we are older…” There are “big farms” right here in the Winters area which use many harmful pesticides. Maybe some of your classmates’ relatives own and operate these farms and you could try to get them to ask their families to use alternatives. You could educate yourselves about which harmful pesticides are used here in the Winters area on “big farms” and then inform others about them and even fight to change our laws. You could do this by continuing to write letters to the editor and to your political leaders and by helping organize rallies in Winters to fight for changes to our pesticide laws in our town, county, and state.
One very harmful chemical that is used by walnut farmers in Winters is chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxin that has been shown to harm people and wildlife, including bees and aquatic life. You can find more information about this pesticide on Wikipedia. It is so harmful that a nationwide ban was in process under Obama, but when Scott Pruitt took over at the Environmental Protection Agency, he stopped the process. However, Hawai’i has just enacted a ban in their state! You can learn more about that on the website of Pesticide Action Network North America, www.PANNA.org. They can help you organize a campaign to ban chlropyrifos and other harmful chemicals in Yolo County and even the whole state of California!
I applaud you both and your Eco-health teacher for becoming informed about the harm that pesticides can cause and for then doing something about it! You give me hope for the future! Keep up the good work!
– Janet Mercurio, Winters