Tucson Daily Citizen from Tucson, Arizona on March 8, 1968 · Page 14
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Tucson Daily Citizen from Tucson, Arizona · Page 14

Tucson, Arizona
Issue Date:
Friday, March 8, 1968
Page 14
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(Published as a Public Service by the United Dairymen of Arizona, a statewide cooperative, numbering more than 180 members who produce the vast majority of a/I Arizona milk and milk tat products. J Some Pertinent Questions Answers Re: DDT Contamination of Milk and Other Foodstuffs in Arizona WHY is the UDA (United Dairymen of Arizona) seeking to curb the commercial use of the pesticide known as DOT? A .!ClAfrB. Because the continued existence of our industry is at stake! In March 1967, the ^^^ ^^M ^^k V^tf f* 9f - - m mm · m» ^^. A · · · j · · * · · * · _ _ ! _ _ · ! * _ _ __ JL! * -1-- I ,». ._.. ._^ A. 0C^UU9 W H IW V W l · Ml IM Vf^i W.*M *J *WI I W ^ W I ^fc*l »· ··»«*«** TM" 7 ^^ »^- ·--·»· mm m -- - - · -- - -- - - _ _ -- _ , --,-- federal Food Drug Administration established ceilings on the permissible amount of DDT residue that whole milk and milk fat products can contain. For milk, it's 0.05 parts per million; for milk fats (such as butter), it's 1.25 parts per million. The Arizona dairy industry is most anxious to conform to these standards. Unfortunately, it's virtually impossible for most Arizona dairymen to produce any sizeable quantities of milk or milk fats which do not exceed the FDA ceilings for DDT residual content. The explanation is simple. DDT is so widely and heavily used by cotton farmers and vegetable growers, in particular, that forage and feed crops in the state's major milk-producing areas have become excessively contaminated by this toxic chemical. * * * * * HOW does DDT contaminate milk? Commercial farmers apply DDT aerially or by ground rigs. Either way, small particles ar e carried aloft by air currents and drift in the atmosphere--often for many miles--before they settle on forage and feed consumed by grazing milk cows in the area. DDT residues ialt River Valley, tor example, inversion weainer conamons prevail a yieui ueui «· me muc-- mtn »·«· result any toxic chemical sprayed into the air will be trapped by the inversion layer and disseminated throughout the Valley to points many miles from the place of application. ' * * * * * W LJ ^f then do so many cotton farmers and vegetable growers | I 1 insisf on using DDT? AKIC1AICD. Frankly, because it's one of the cheapest, longest-lasting and most effective AII3 VY CKI pesticides, especially in controlling the cotton and pink boll worm. However, there ore many other pesticides virtually as effective and some costing only slightly more than DDT. At a Feb.9, 1968 hearing before a House Agriculture Livestock Sub-Committee, Dr. George Ware, head of the Department of Entomology for the University of Arizona's Agriculture Experiment Station, listed three substitutes which, he testified, "look as good or better than DDT-and-toxaphene ... and whose cost per acre, over the period of a growing season, should be no higher." * * * * * W Already we've been seriously hurt by inability to sell our products in interstate commerce _or, for that matter, to any facility or establishment within Arizona that is federally operated or which is the recipient of federal funds (such as schools, government air bases, etc.). For the record, there are presently some 680,000 pounds of Arizona-produced butter in storage which cannot be sold! That's why we say that, unless DDT's use is drastically reduced,, our industry cannot exist much longer. In dollars and cents, this would be a loss of nearly $34 million in milk and milk products--and an even greater loss to the state's economy because of the jobs, directly and indirectly, that would be wiped out. * * * * * CAN'T Arizona dairymen buy DDT-free hay? We do--and at premium prices! But there's nowhere near enough "clean" hay ava j| a ble in Arizona today. Alfalfa growers, for the most part, are also victims of DDT contamination of their acreage. Collectively, they represent about a $25 million chunk of the state's annual agricultural income. But time is running out for them, too. * * * * * W is legislation necessary to curb DDT's use? Why can't it be done voluntarily by all the agricultural groups concerned? A K1C1AI CD Use of DDT has been completely outlawed in the state of Washington by voluntary AN3VTCK: agreement. A similar pact was sought here in Arizona. In 1967, about 40 /o of Maricopa County cotton growers agreed to discontinue the use of DDT. Unfortunately, the 60 /o who wouldn't cooperate used more DDT than ever-- with the result that more DDT was collectively applied · 4 f\ ML "T m\ " 1 rt f. JL I in 1967 than in 1966! * * * * * w did the federal government set ceilings on milk and milk fats? A RlC\Af CD* Obviously, it is concerned about possible harm to the human metabolism resulting APOW CK. f rom tne accumulative effects of DDT over the years or generations. It should be noted that ceilings were also set on meats, fruits and vegetables. In most instances, the permissible level was seven parts per million of DDT residue--or 14 times that allowed milk. Last month, however, the FDA announced it was lowering the ceilings for some 36 fruits and vegetables--from 7 parts per million to 3.5 parts. Furthermore, the FDA is proposing that all DDT tolerances be limited to only one part per million for these foodstuffs, beginning with the 1969~growing season. Such a ruling wouldn't affect cotton farmers, of course, but it could seriously affect produce growers. UDA representatives recently purchased a list of 20 Arizona-produced vegetables and meats and had them analyzed for DDT content by reputable independent laboratories. In several instances, the DDT count was higher than the 3.5 parts per million now being set by the FDA on these vegetables. * * * * * is DDT so toxic? WHY A KlC1AIED* '" large-scale applications it's usually dissolved in oil. When swallowed, it is absorbed Arid W CKI s | 0 wly throughout the digestive tract (it also may be absorbed via the lungs). Once it such as the adrenals, testes or kidney and fat enfolding the enters the body, it is stored largely in organs rich in fatty substances thyroid. Relatively large amounts are also deposited in the liver, intestines. So potent is it that, in animal experiments, only three parts per million have been found to inhibit an essential enzyme in the heart muscle. And only five parts per million have resulted in ban the manufacture of DDT for any use in these United States. HOW * * * * * harmful is DDT to humans? Seience d° esnt Y et know the long-term effect of DDT on humans under all conditions but its lethal effect on wildlife should be cause for concern. As has been noted, in only one generation it has contaminated the atmosphere, the seas, lakes and streams--and has infiltrated the fatty tissues of most of the world's creatures. It drifts with the air, flovfs with the streams, falls with the rains--and exists in toxic form for many years after it's applied. For the record, the environmental panel of the President's Science Advisory Committee has noted that workers exposed to DDT, such as greenhouse gardeners and spray pilots, sometimes show definite impairment of important body functions after prolonged exposure. And in Wisconsin, in 1966, the Conservation Department became so concerned, it issued a special warning to discontinue immediately the use of DDT in gl] departmental spraying programs on all state-owned land. * * * * * the UDA supporting a DDT-control measure in the state legislature? ^es, indeed. House Bill 311 and identical SB-237. Last Month, at a hearing, the UDA urged passage of a bill which was labeled "too drastic" by cotton, cattle and vegetable interests. Accordingly, a compromise measure (HB-311) was agreed upon by the UDA, Arizona Farm Bureau and Arizona Cotton Growers Association. Unfortunately, many cotton growers are not supporting their association's position and they, together with vegetable growers and certain chemical distributors, are opposing the passage of HB-311 and SB-237. They admit that DDT contamination of milk "is a problem" but they contend that Rule 28 and the Arizona Board of Pest Control Applicators "can solve it". WHAT * * * * * is Rule 28? Actually, it's a group of regulations proposed by an advisory committee to the Arizona Board of Pest Control Applicators (ABPCA). Interestingly, this "advisory committee" consists of five cotton growers, three produce growers and three dairymen. (No dairymen are represented on the ABPCA.) The UDA's position is that Rule 28 hardly provides the degree of controls needed to reduce DDT residues to a level satisfactory to the FDA. Rule 28 is vague in several instances, ambiguous in others, and plainly unenforceable in still others! For example, under Rule 28 an ABPCA inspector cannot enter the premises of a farmer-user of DDT without the explicit permission of the owner! WHAT * * * * * is the legislative situation as of today? A Nl^tVkf PP. · At this writing, HB-311 is lodged in the House Appropriations Committee. Until and And TV CK. un jess it is cleared by that group, it cannot be debated on the floor of the House. The UDA firmly believes that all members of the House and Senate should have the opportunity to vote upon a bill of such far-reaching importance. It should be evident by now that the UDA is not exaggerating when it says its very existence is at stake! WHO * * * * * are the members of the House Appropriations Committee? Jonn Pritzlaff Jr., chairman (R); Ruth Adams, vice chairman (R); Stan Akers (R); Thomas Goodwin (R); James Holley (R); George Pale (R); Sam McConnell (R); Joe Shaughnessy (R); Bess Stinson (R); Jay Stuckey (R); A.C. Williams (R); Jack Brown (D); Etta Mae Hutcheson (D); Ed Sawyer (D); Bud Walker (D). * * * * * * UNITED DAIRYMEN OF ARIZONA 2036 Hardy Drive, Tempe* Leonard F. Cheatham, President* Robert G. Lytle, General Manager* Telephone 966-7211 or 275-6264

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