There Is Definitely Collusion

Think of a contemporary public health risk in which industry, with the help of a federal oversight agency, keeps posing a threat to us all? Who are the major players? What are the consequences? You may have to do a bit of research, but I’ll give you at least one place to look: the pharmaceutical industry. THE RULE: once someone posts regarding a particular health threat, you may not post on that hazard again. There are more than enough threats for everyone to claim something different.

4 thoughts on “There Is Definitely Collusion

  • September 11, 2019 at 4:26 pm
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    DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) was originally developed as an insecticide in the 1940s in order to combat diseases such as malaria and typhus which were spread by mosquitoes. It was also used as a pesticide on crops and gardens. However, Rachel Carson’s famous novel “Silent Spring” published in the 70s brought to light some of the major environmental harms DDT has. Further research since then has provided evidence that even low levels of exposure to DDT cause harm to humans. It has been listed as a probable carcinogen and research has shown that it could have negative effects on reproductive capabilities. Once aware of this the EPA did ban the use of DDT in the United States. Alas, it did not ban the production of DDT in the US. The United States to this day produces DDT and sells it to countries elsewhere despite being very aware of its negative effects on people and the environment. DDT is still heavily used in India, Africa, and South America and in many cases it is still sprayed inside of people’s homes. A practice that is in fact supported by the World Health Organization as of 2006 when they promoted the continued use of it to combat malaria. It is also supported by Africa Fighting Malaria, who are very outspoken about its continued use. Not only that but many conservative groups also support the continued support of DDT, but more because they wish to promote the idea that pesticides pose no threat to humans or our environment. However, research has shown that DDT is rarely the best way to help a community rid itself of malaria. In fact they are many safer and more effective ways of eradicating insect borne diseases. Yet we still see DDT being too many country’s go to choice. The consequences of this are grim. Instead of investing in more effective and efficient ways of combating malaria and insect borne diseases, these countries are instead choosing to continue to expose their communities to a long lasting and harmful chemical.

    Articles used to gather evidence:
    https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/ddt-brief-history-and-status
    https://www.panna.org/resources/ddt-story

  • September 15, 2019 at 3:41 pm
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    Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) pose a serious threat to individuals living within close proximity. These facilities manage their waste through a lagoon system where liquid waste is stored and later sprayed as fertilizer.

    During a study between 2007-2013, Duke researchers found a correlation between proximity to CAFOs and certain health issues. They found that, “compared to communities without big hog farms, in the communities with the highest hog farm density, there were 30 percent more deaths among patients with kidney disease, 50 percent more deaths among patients with anemia, and 130 percent more deaths among patients with a blood bacterial infection, called sepsis” (Naidenko & Evans). Significantly, these communities are largely African-American, Native-American, and Hispanic. CAFO waste not only negatively affects health, it also has an impact on residents’ general quality of life—the waste ponds create widespread odors and invite insects.

    Multiple lawsuits have been brought forward in North Carolina two of which were won by community members in 2018. However, because of the high number of court cases being brought forward, North Carolina, among other states, is hoping to bolster its right to farm law, which would make suing more difficult for community members. Smithfield, the company that was sued, is the largest producer of pork in the world and claims that they have followed all laws and regulations.

    In 2005 the AFO industry (Animal Feeding Operations) funded The National Air Emissions Monitoring Study (NAEMS). A group of Purdue researchers monitored 24 farms in 9 states for a period of two years. These farms all volunteered to participate. The data collected is still being analyzed by the EPA, which has not yet to released a date that their final report will be published.

    These communities face serious health risks in addition to the degradation of their quality of life, while Smithfield and other pork producers continue to profit. The EPA is currently working on analyzing a study which was funded by the AFO, while the North Carolina government is simultaneously hoping to make it harder for citizens to exercise their right to sue. Clearly profits take precedence over our nation’s rural communities.

    Sources:
    https://www.epa.gov/afos-air/national-air-emissions-monitoring-study

    https://www.ewg.org/news-and-analysis/2018/09/duke-university-study-nc-residents-living-near-large-hog-farms-have

    https://earthjustice.org/blog/2019-january/hog-waste-creates-problems-for-north-carolina-residents

    http://theconversation.com/rural-americans-struggles-against-factory-farm-pollution-find-traction-in-court-98226

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