A Poisoned Oklahoma Town Says Scott Pruitt Should Know about Lead

January 18, 2017 Featured, In The News, Politics / Religion Comments (0) 816

At his hearing today, Scott Pruitt (Donald Trump’s nominee to head the EPA) said he could not testify as to the impact of lead poisoning in children because he hasn’t read the science.

Okay.

It will be safe to move back into the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone before it is safe to move back into Picher.

Scott Pruitt’s has been Attorney General of Oklahoma since 2011. Prior to that, he unsuccessfully ran for an Oklahoma Congressional seat (in 2001) and Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor (in 2006).Something else happened in Oklahoma during those years. A town, Picher, was ordered evacuated and abandoned because the history of industrial mining for lead and zinc had left levels of those heavy metals so high that 1/3 of the town’s children had lead poisoning. The order to permanently close the town came in 2006, while Pruitt was running for Lieutenant Governor.

Today, Picher Oklahoma is a ghost town, called “America’s most toxic town,” and one of the worst cases of industrial pollution in the history of the world. Where once there was a population of more than 2,000 residents, now there is an uninhabitable husk. It will be safe for humans to move back into the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone before it is safe to move back into Picher.

How can a man who was Attorney General of that state, who ran for Congress and the office of Lieutenant Governor, NOT be familiar with the science of lead poisoning?

Better question: How can such a man be on record as opposing most EPA regulation?

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This is my beef with the anti-GMO folks

October 24, 2015 In The News Comments (0) 1050

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A friend shared this on Facebook this morning. It’s a compelling image, right? On the left, sepia-toned Americana: The classic farmer, in the field with his felt hat and his overalls. On the right, the modern farmer, his bright yellow hazmat suit protecting him from the dangers of his monster crops.

But of course, it’s pure deception. Continue Reading

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The Myth of the Brown Recluse Spider Bite

March 2, 2014 Animals, In The News Comments (2) 3652

Few things stick in my craw more than perpetuating bad information, particularly when it comes from a respected community of medical professionals and major media outlets. This weekend, the story broke of Ron Reese, a Tampa-area man who died of a necrotic wound on the back of his neck. Reese’s doctor diagnosed him with a bite from a brown recluse spider, and the media reported as much: “Man Dies From Brown Recluse Bite.”

My sympathies go to Mr. Reese and his family, of course, but the reason I’m posting is because Ron Reese was almost certainly NOT killed by a brown recluse spider. How can I say this? Because there are no brown recluse spiders in the Tampa area.

Rick Vetter is an entomologist at the University of California Riverside who has dedicated himself to fighting the myth of the brown recluse spider bite. See, each year multiple thousands of brown recluse spider bites are reported by medical authorities across the United States–but the vast majority of these diagnoses are almost certainly wrong, because they happen in places brown recluse spiders don’t exist. Continue Reading

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