The European model of “unacceptable until proven safe” has protected citizens from big business shenanigans, enhancing overall health and well-being across the continent. The American model of “safe until proven faulty” is killing us.
I received an email video over the weekend from a friend in California. The topic was “why does the USA have the highest rate of cancer in the world?” The ideas on the video could be found in my newsletters that go back over ten or fifteen years, but I have never made my points so elegantly or persuasively. I highly recommend viewing this video, a TEDxTalks presentation by Robyn O’Brien.
Yes, eating genetically engineered veggies and the consumption of manufactured foods is behind the recent epidemic of allergies and asthma. It is also a major player in the USA having the highest cancer rate in the world, but is that the real problem? I think the real problem is regulation and the video makes a poignant argument for that fact. It doesn’t specifically mention companies like Dow and Monsanto, but it’s not too hard to figure out who the bad guys are.
In the Kansas City Star (Tuesday, June 21, 2011), a front page article gave one more example of that, and how dangerous our “safe until proven faulty” approach may become in the near future. The title of the article was “nuclear industry, regulators maintain cozy relationship.” The article gave clear examples of how the regulatory agencies that are in place to protect us are actually in bed with the very companies they are supposed to be protecting us from. Frankly, the article scared the hell out of me. I knew that there was danger from these nuclear plants, but I didn’t realize the degree.
Then on page A10, an editorial titles “Kansas failed citizens on Sunflower plant” told the same old story. So it doesn’t matter if the agency is federal, such as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or the Food and Drug Agency, or the local Kansas Department of Health and Environment, we need to regulate the regulators. This should become a major election issue, and that can happen if we all communicate our concern to our legislatures.
Every day I go into the office and work with children and grandchildren who are so much sicker than kids were when I was in school. It’s heart wrenching, and it needs to stop. It can be stopped, one person at a time. Let’s do this. Please!