Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Say No to Monsanto in Tucson

We want healthy economic development in Pima County. But if we are to entice companies here with tax or other benefits we want business and industry that will operate in an above-board manner and will not contaminate our soil, water or air.
Monsanto has a decades-long litany of producing, promoting and distributing some of the deadliest toxins ever created – and shirking responsibility for the tragic consequences of their use. It has been fined for environmental violations and accounting irregularities. The European Union and other countries have banned Monsanto products that are legal in Pima County.
The Pima County administration has been negotiating an agreement with Monsanto in which the county would create a state-authorized “free-trade zone” for Monsanto operations here that would employ only 40 to 60 people. Monsanto would avoid paying full Pima County property taxes.
Less generous county incentives for Caterpillar, Accelerate Diagnostics and World View Enterprises, each of which will have many more local employees than Monsanto, are worthy of support. Other legitimate economic development projects could earn incentives. We should not support a tax break for Monsanto.
This company and its predecessors have had a hand in, and often been a creator of, many of the world’s worst toxic nightmares: PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), early nuclear weaponry, DDT, dioxin, Agent Orange, RoundUp (glyphosate), Lasso (alachlor), and Bovine Growth Hormone. It pioneered and is the world’s leading producer of GMOs, genetically modified organisms.
Richard Elias is a Pima County Supervisor. He represents District Five.

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