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Thursday, December 11, 2003

Connect the Dots Before It's Too Late!

What a lousy week for fish. For us, too, if you think about it.

First the FDA says they won't regulate bioengineered fish due to an ..."absence of a clear risk to public health." ("In Reversal, FDA Says It Will Not Regulate Bioengineered Fish," Dec. 10) They prefer to wait and see how 'frankenfish' that are eaten by larger fish, then consumed by humans will effect us. They'll get right on it some number of generations down the line if necessary.. Perhaps when children begin to glow from glow-genes and grow from grow-genes. Monstrously large glowing children would be proof of a problem, right?

Now, let's see what happens when there is abundant alarming evidence of a problem endangering public health. Scientists have found that drugs from cattle runoff are causing "significant alterations in the reproductive biology" of fish downstream from them. They say that further investigation is "urgently needed if we are to understand the possible adverse effects...on aquatic ecosystem health" ("Changes in Fish Tied to Feedlots," Dec 11) But no one at the EPA is going to go up against Big Cattle. So, not only will our monster descendents glow, you won't be able to tell what sex they are, either.

Not unbelievably, there's more. What happens when there is ample evidence, and then the EPA and FDA act together, as in the case of mercury poisoning from fish and shellfish? ("U.S. To Urge Some Limits on Eating Tuna," Dec.11) That's right, their big answer is: don't eat the fish. Sure, now it's just 'limit' your eating of mercury-prone fish, especially children and pregnant or lactating women. (Some effects of more than a natural amount of mercury exposure are birth abnormalities, nervous system and kidney damage, and developmental abnormalities in cognitive and motor function) Unless we act, it is just going to get worse. Unhealthy levels of mercury come from landfills, incinerators, mining, coal-powered plant emissions, refineries, sewage plants, people pouring stuff down the drain, and other sources. Mostly from industry, and we all know industry is in charge. We also know industry doesn't care. Even when they seem to be shooting themselves in the proverbial foot, they just don't care.

It's hard to believe any of these 'industry' people, with Bush at the helm, have children. How could they, yet continue to poison us six ways from Sunday (that's church day) out of pure greed? Until everyone understands that human survival depends upon the health of the earth, which depends on the health of its oceans, we are doomed. Until we really get it, and care enough to stop, think, and make the goal to still be here hundreds of years from now, no matter how inconvenient it may become, we are hanging ourselves as a species. Paying for the sins of your parents shouldn't mean imminent annihilation due to their short-sighted selfishness.

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