Thursday, April 26, 2012

Readers write --Letter to the Editor.

The article "Dairy Farms key to Local Economy" in the Vernon Morning Star of April 22nd should be followed by another article entitled "Factory Farms deterrent to Local Economy" highlighting the hidden and not so hidden but little-known costs associated with these factories.

Factory farms are a threat to public health due to their heavy use of chemicals and antibiotics and to the toxic gases emanating from them. Chemicals are used to drench the surrounding monoculture fields that grow the GMO crops that feed the animals, and antibiotics are needed to compensate for illness resulting from extremely crowded conditions. These find themselves in the water, air, and soil as well as the food chain contributing to pollution and the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Factory farms are also a threat to the natural environment due to the toxic gases that emanate from them and due to the over application of manure that runs off the land and accumulates in waterways and kill aquatic life. In addition, factory farms "take over" communities by making it unattractive for any other kind of development to occur. They destroy the charm of rural communities, lower the values of properties, kill tourism, and make it impossible for small family farms and rural attractions to survive. It is telling that tourist brochures never showcase an area by showing these factories.

The hidden costs of factory farms are borne by all of us through our degraded environment and reduced health. We pay again through increased taxes for extra water treatment, farm subsidies that go mostly to factory farms, and for increased health care costs. The social costs are damaged communities, loss of potential tourism and business revenues, and loss of good farmland and family farms. 

Huguette Allen
Lumby BC

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I have been a resident of Coldstream since 1976. I have had 15 years of experience on Council, 3 years as Mayor. As a current Councillor I am working to achieve fair water and sewer rates and to ensure that taxpayers get fair treatment. The current direction regarding water supply is unsustainable and I am doing all I can to get the most cost effective water supply possible.