In the news: The Chemical Industry is the New Tobacco

Tyrone Hayes, professor of biology at UC Berkeley.

I’d like to bring to your attention two recent news articles on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) with a disturbing connection. They’re both great reads, so I’ll try not to spoil them for you.

Endocrine disruptors seem to be in the news every day. (So does reducing our intake of animal products- is this just because I am more conscious of it now?) The USDA released the results of a BPA study last month that led to the headline “Maybe That BPA In Your Canned Food Isn’t So Bad After All” (on NPR, no less, and it’s a terrible article so I won’t even bother to link to it). The flawed study used a species of rat known to be insensitive to estrogen, and on top of that had contaminated controls. You have to have an unexposed population to compare to or else the results are worthless!

Ok, enough rant. The fact I want to make you aware of is that the chemical industry is the new tobacco industry; they’re employing not only the same tactics but also the same people to preserve their economics interests, no matter what the science says. Sounds an awful lot like the history of lead to me. Continue reading

Certified Sustainable Seafood is a Little Fishy

After reading my piece this morning on sustainable seafood, my mother happened to hear on the radio part of an NPR investigative series on just that topic.  She sent me the link to the piece, entitled “Under the Label: Sustainable Seafood” and after listening to part one of three I realized that my own research had not been thorough enough.

What NPR questioned that I hadn’t was the Marine Stewardship Council‘s (MSC) sustainability certification. When I first saw it, I thought oh awesome, a third party certification that will make it much easier for me to grocery shop. What I should have been thinking about was who the MSC is, their standards, and their track record.  As it turns out, a quick trip to wikipedia shows that I missed an awful lot. Continue reading