Behind The Readers' Forum: Big Farms must be held accountable

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    Photo of the shoreline showing algae taken Thursday afternoon at Lake Erie shoreline along Perry Street in Port Clinton, Ohio.

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  • In this week’s edition of Behind The Readers’ Forum, The Blade welcomes letter writer Sam Wright to discuss his recent letter. 

    VIDEO: Big Farms must pay

    Here is the text of Mr. Wright’s letter:

    Imagine my surprise when I saw Nov. 2 headline: “Time for Big Pharma to pay.” For just a moment, I thought the title read: “Time for Big Farms to pay.”

    Demanding Big Pharma pay a share of the costs incurred for our region’s opioid crisis makes sense — economically, morally, and socially. Doesn’t it make just as much sense to demand that Big Farms pay for its abuse of the region’s waterways and the life they support for the same reasons?

    Big Farms, especially CAFOs, dispose of hundreds of millions of gallons of untreated liquid manure every year by spraying it over regional cropland. The result, whether intended or not, is the pollution of our streams, rivers, and lakes. Three million Ohioans depend on Lake Erie for their drinking water. Thirty-five million Americans and Canadians rely on the Great Lakes for their clean water needs.

    The opioid crisis is real and serious, and it deserves immediate action, and Big Pharma should be made to pay for its role in the crisis. The poisonous farm runoffs damaging our lakes and their arteries deserve immediate action and monetary resources as well. “Big Farms” must be held accountable. That too is the right thing to do. Declaring Lake Erie impaired is only the first step.


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    Check out last week’s Behind The Readers’ Forum

    Each week The Blade's editorial board will pick a "letter of the week," and the writer will be asked to come to The Blade to be interviewed for our Behind the Readers' Forum feature, which appears on and Blade NewsSlide.