Friday, March 20, 2009

Should We Place More Trust In The Private Sector?

Republicans claim (their actions often belie their words once they get into power) that they hate big government and place their trust in big business. Businesses, their reasoning goes, will prosper when they do a good job and go bankrupt when they fail. But almost never is this true, for big business is all about profit and damn anything or anybody that gets in their way - their eyes on the profit are VERY shortsighted (reference the collapse of our banking system). The following is even further proof of the truth of my words, as if you need any more convincing. This is from Environmental Health News (click on the link to read more).

For 200 years, Randy Mumme’s family has raised cattle on the same plot of southeast Texas land. Then, about 10 years ago, something began to change. His steers were losing weight. Cows were miscarrying; one gave birth to a calf with three legs. Many calves were stillborn.

The family’s ranching practices had not changed over the centuries, but the environment had: His ranch is four miles downwind of large industrial plants that spew tons of carcinogens and other toxic substances into the air. Mumme and other ranchers in Point Comfort suspect the factories are contributing to the ill-health of their cattle.

Now scientists have found DNA evidence that suggests the ranchers’ suspicions might be true, heightening concerns about their cattle as well as their own health.

Tests have revealed that herds as far as six miles downwind of the factories have more DNA disturbances than other herds not downwind, according to scientists at Texas A & M University. The changes in chromosome structure and other genetic damage can increase the animal’s risk of cancer and reproductive damage.

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