Letters to the editor

Stop bad amendment We can all agree that dogs in puppy mills and food animals in factory farms deserve laws that protect them from the worst abuses. But the House farm bill, which was just passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, threatens to nullify these important state laws. An amendment was added to the bill by Iowa Congressman Steve King, a man who is known for boasting about how little he cares about animals and their welfare, that would take away the states' rights to pass laws to protect animals, help farm workers and guarantee food safety. Even worse, the King Amendment would repeal all state laws already passed that impact agriculture, including laws that provide basic humane standards for animals and guarantee the integrity and wholesomeness of our agricultural products, putting public health at risk by violating states rights to prohibit the sale of products they have found to be harmful to their citizens, including dangerous pesticides, chemicals and disease-causing agents.
This amendment could also wipe out countless state-level environmental laws, including those regulating pollution and the use of toxic animal wastes as fertilizer, laws prohibiting the intensive confinement and cruel treatment of farm animals. Regulation of horse slaughter and the sale of dog and cat meat could also be nullified by provisions in the King amendment. There is still time to defeat the arrogant and dangerous King amendment. Please join me in writing to our U.S. representatives and senators and demand that they vote no on the King amendment. It's a matter of preserving states' rights, protecting animals from needless cruelty and guaranteeing the safety of American consumers. Linda Malie Sebring Skewed numbers Our present unemployment percentages have become virtually meaningless. The disabled's numerous welfare programs, etc., etc., etc., all of these are not factored into the equation. We should publish the percentage of the population working 40 hours per week or more. Suppose 70 million people in the United States are pulling wagons containing 250 million people, we should list our employment rate as 28 percent. Were it not for the fear of Obamacare and the Economy Poisoning Agency, the employment numbers would likely be significantly larger. Jim Rahenkamp Avon Park