Pesticide poisoning

This is an archived article that was published on in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Re "Utah's summer smog: What you don't see can hurt you" (Tribune, July 6):

The story failed to mention smog-forming VOC poisons created by pesticides that are poisoning our communities. With Utah Department of Food and Agriculture Commissioner Leonard Blackham's $1.3 million chemical war on invasive weeds, weekly mosquito fogging in communities across the state, agriculture pesticide usage and our addiction to cosmetic pesticides (designed only to make things look pretty), pesticide smog is real and it's making Utahns sick.

In November, the American Academy of Pediatrics released the report "Pesticide Exposure in Children," which outlined the effects of pesticide exposure in children, including pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function and behavioral problems. The report also charts our collective shortfalls, including medical training, public health tracking and regulatory actions.

We only have 30 registered organic farms in Utah, compared to 4,416 licensed pesticide applicators. Without knowing how much it would save, Utah eliminated its nationally recognized organic certification program in 2009.

UDAF refers to chemical companies as "customers" and touts its new online product registration system, making registration and renewal as easy, accessible and convenient as possible.

This biased approach must be stopped.

Vagn Jensen