US Farmland and Food Aid

Regarding the opinion-page column "Goal of US Food Aid: Self-Sufficiency or Dependence?," Aug. 1: A short-term foreign policy that temporarily relieves hunger in the third world while satisfying a shortsighted domestic special agricultural interest in America is in need of major adjustment.Our foreign policy goal to relieve third-world hunger should provide food relief only to the extent that it does not take away from our effort to assist people in raising their own food and in providing all the financial and technical assistance they request to help them reduce their population growth rates. To "mine" American soil to temporarily relieve hunger in some of the third world is very shortsighted. When pesticides, herbicides, commercial fertilizers, and irrigation water are put into the soil to increase production, soil quality and quantity are negatively impacted. Our soil management perspective should be thousands of years. How long can our constantly shrinking farm lands be "mined" while the world adds more than 11,000 persons per hour? G. Lloyd, Southwest Harbor, Maine

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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