As a farmer of a small sustainable farm for 50 years, upstream from Baltimore, I’m hopeful that in addition to all the excitement about a long overdue Black governor, people should have some awareness of his choice for agriculture secretary.
In the past, Democratic and Republican governors have routinely appointed agriculture secretaries from corporate agriculture who allow the continued use of endocrine disrupting chemicals in the region and in our drinking water. It’s one of the reasons The Chesapeake Bay Foundation continues to give a D+ rating to the bay.
These chemicals, along with the unregulated use of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (known as PFAS, or forever chemicals), are linked to breast, uterine and prostate cancers, as well as negative impacts on neonatal brain development. I have been concerned about this issue since I’ve witnessed some of my neighbor farmers cleaning the chemical residues from their sprays in a creek or river that flows into the Potomac.
Sustainable farmers like myself are hopeful that the governor and newly named Agriculture Secretary Kevin Atticks will be more environmentally aware and attentive to this issue.
Perhaps The Baltimore Sun would consider printing future articles on water filters as well as the studied dangers of these chemicals since Congress, the state of Maryland and the EPA do little to inform and protect citizens.
— Michael Tabor, Needmore, Pennsylvania
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