LETTERS: Comments addressed, Support pesticide labeling legislation

Only have a minute? Listen instead
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...
Comments addressed

Jim Taylor recently expounded on our current education system as being derelict and not being conservative enough for his views — and student loans should not be forgiven.

A quotation comes to mind: “The true measure of education is not just knowledge but the ability to think independently and critically.”

People demonstrate outside the Supreme Court, Friday, June 30, 2023, in Washington. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo)

In the last paragraph of his anti-education commentary, he stated, “Only creditors or banks should be involved in determining the criteria for student loans.”

So, Mr. Taylor, can we not use your same logic, and if this is your rationale, then “only a woman and her doctors should be the sole determiners for criteria of pregnancy and childbirth?”

Diane Teter


Support pesticide labeling legislation

We all know the saying, “Everything is bigger in Texas,” and that certainly applies to our agricultural industry. Agriculture-related jobs employ one in seven working Texans, and our 248,000 hardworking farmers are the most of any state in this country. Unfortunately, Texas farmers — and growers across our country — are staring down near-certain calamity as California and other states seek to impose new pesticide labeling requirements that directly contradict the Environmental Protection Agency’s scientific findings regarding safety. The end result of these misguided efforts would put access to these essential crop protection tools at serious risk. Without their use, yields could fall by 50%-90%, triggering severe economic and environmental consequences. That is why it is so important for Rep. Vicente Gonzalez to stand with growers and support the bipartisan Agricultural Labeling Uniformity Act (H.R. 4288). Failure to protect farmers’ access to crop protection products would substantially impact Texas agriculture. Pesticides are used on a majority of Texas corn, wheat and peanut farms and more than a third of our citrus farms — many of which are located here in the Rio Grande Valley. Individuals or families still run more than 98% of Texas’ agricultural operations, and the majority struggle to make a profit. The loss of the most commonly used pesticide would result in higher production costs — as much as 2.5 times per acre — further burdening our growers, well as end users.

Farmer Barry Evans drops dusty soil from a cotton crop he shredded and planted over with wheat, Oct. 3, 2022, in Kress, Texas. (Eric Gay/ AP File Photo)

The environment would similarly be harmed. New research shows that if farmers could no longer access the most commonly used pesticide, up to 32.5 million tons of additional CO2 — equivalent to the annual emissions from powering nearly 6 million homes — would be released every year due to a necessary increase in tillage practices.

The Agricultural Labeling Uniformity Act, which was introduced by Reps. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., and Jim Costa, D-Ca., seeks to prevent these problems from ever happening. Their bipartisan legislation would reaffirm the primacy of the EPA’s rigorous review process for pesticides, while still allowing state and local jurisdictions to enact use restrictions. Our organization joined more than 360 agricultural groups to advocate for this bill because modern, everyday life depends on farmers having the necessary tools to grow their crops. We urge Rep. Gonzales to join us in supporting this common-sense legislation.

Jim Sugarek

Skidmore, Texas

LETTERS — We welcome your letters and commentary. Submissions must include the writer’s full name, address and daytime telephone number for verification. Letters of 200 words or fewer will be given preference. Submissions may be edited for length, grammar and clarity. Letters may be mailed to P.O Box 3267, McAllen, Texas78502-3267, or emailed to [email protected].