We get so used to environmentalists screaming about pesticides and the harm they do, especially to field workers that we often fail to notice how mixed up these people sometimes can be.

An almost ridiculous article recently appeared in The Sacramento Bee. It seems that organic farmers in the California coastal foothills are complaining about the effect on workers' backs that the required hand weeding causes. They have attempted, so far without success, to get the state legislature to restrict hand weeding.

In 1995 the legislature had already banned use of the “short handled” hoe. They claim that so long as the “long handled” hoe is available workers should not be required to bend down to weed by hand. Growers see this as attempt by farm labor groups to eventually ban hand harvesting.

To us this just seems like so much silliness. There are so many useful and safe herbicides available that it seems like these environmentalists are really trying to cut off their noses to spite their faces.