Since 1866 The Place in Austin GOOD FOOD GOOD BEER 1607 San Jacinto GR 7-4171 Poage to hold pesticide hearings Texas Atty. Gen. Crawford Martin, who led the unsuccessful legislative battle to legalize wire taps last session, recently told participants in a workshop on organized crime that wiretaps would be helpful in cracking down on terrorist activities as well as organized crime. “You know you can kill a snake better if you’ve already got a stick than if you wait until he’s right up on you. This bill would give you that stick,” Martin said. Police detective George Phifer told the workshop group that organized crime has a strong foothold in Austin, especially in the areas of narcotics, burglary, and gambling. A Dallas policeman said that city’s biggest organized activity is gambling, with a million dollars in bets taken each week during football season. Texas Cong. Bob Price, a Republican from Pampa, says he is preparing a declaration of war against North Vietnam in case the North Vietnamese do not accept President Nixon’s latest peace proposals. The U.S. Justice Department has charged Humble Oil & Refining Co. with failure to install safety devices on 33 offshore oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico. Information filed with the U.S. District Court in New Orleans charges Humble with 150 separate offenses, punishable by a maximum fine of $2,000 each. The Houston Post reported Nov. 15 that one man was killed and thirteen others burned, two critically, as a result of a rupture of a tank containing a hot chemical fluid on an Humble Oil platform in the Gulf. The cause of the rupture is under investigation. An Humble spokesman said there was no pollution as a result of the mishap. San Patricio County Deputy Sheriff Erich Bauch, the man who shot to death Dr. Fred E. Logan of Mathis while taking him to jail \(Obs., Aug. remains on medical leave of absence from his law enforcement duties. Sheriff Wayne Hitt says Bauch was injured when Logan attempted to escape and that he remains under medical care. Also under medical care is East Texas Cong. John Dowdy, who is under federal indictment for bribery and conspiracy. Dowdy’s trial in Maryland was postponed indefinitely Oct. 1 when the congressman underwent spinal surgery. Now his doctor says he is suffering from an “influenza-like illness.” Turning aside cries of “mass medication” from a small band of far right-wingers, the Beaumont City Council has unanimously approved flouridation of the city’s surface water supply. It marked a significant breakthrough for pro-flouridation forces since a referendum on flouridation a few years back had been soundly defeated on the same “medication” grounds. Washington If there ever was a doubt in the public’s mind as to where the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee stands on the question of continued use of insecticides and pesticides on agricultural production, it has but to look no further than the announcement of hearings on that question by the committee. Rep. W. R. Poage, D-Texas, said his committee will hold a series of public hearings “on the environmental effects of using pesticides and insecticides in agricultural production and the effects that would follow sharp restrictions or absolute ban on their use.” Although he set no date, except to say it will be just after the start of the 92nd Congress early next year, Congressman Poage is ready to launch into his probe, giving all appearances of not having budged from his protectionist stand for the pesticide-insecticide industry. . He expressed condern that “emotions rather than sound judgments reached after deliberate study of facts might determine the kind of regulations imposed on uses of ‘chemicals which have contributed so much toward increased farm output in recent years.” He offered rio comment on the mounting evidence that as the use of chemicals have increased, so have the deterioration of the environment and the detrimental . effects on ecology, especially on delicate marine life. “There is justifiable public concern about the effects of using chemicals in the eradication of insects and pests in connection with crop production,” admits the chairman. “If, indeed, there is a health hazard involved in the use of a certain pesticide or insecticide or rodenticide, we must learn what it is and what we can do about it. “If farm production should be jeopardized by the prohibition of a certain compound, then we should know that and try to find a substitute that will assure a continued supply of wholesome, nutritious food. If substitutes are presently known, we should take action to encourage research to find substitutes. “This is too important a subject to be influenced by sensationalism,” declares Congressman Poage. To see to it that his hearings are not tainted with sensationalism, Poage has invited as witnesses “not only officials of the Agriculture and Interior Departments and the Food and Drug Administration, but also recognized scientists, ecologists, and health authorities from the educational and private sectors of American society.” Committee chairmen have full control of witnesses invited to testify at their hearings and usually are picked to support the views of the chairmen and members. “Myths and distorted facts characterize much of the information disseminated these days about pesticides, herbicides and insecticides, especially DDT,” the chairman continued, “and unless reason and sound judgment dispel the current popular emotional jag on the subject, Americans may be victims rather than beneficiaries of actions prompted by well-meaning, conservation-minded individuals and organizations. Said the chairman: “Environment and ecology are words that have so captured the public spotlight of late that dire consequences may result from curbing the use of certain pesticides and insecticides.” Continuing his reasoned and sound efforts to dispel the currently popular emotional jag, Poage said that evidence is “mounting that mankind may suffer more from the effects of withholding use of D.D.T. than from environmental pollution caused by it.” He cited a report from Agriculture Secretary Clifford Hardin which concludes that “the scientific evidence now available does not establish that the use of D.D.T. constitutes an imminent hazard to human health.” There is no mention by Chairman Poage of what sort of threat to animal health is posed but then, that is the real question behind the argument over the continued use of D.D.T. and other hardcore pesticides. November 27, 1970 9 THE TRUMPETDigest of Independent Liberal Thought. I year \(12 Goleta, Calif. 93017.
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