A specter is haunting Europe (and the rest of the world). No it is not (yet) the specter of communism. (We wish!) It is the specter of endocrine disruption.
“What kind of disruption?” you may ask. “What are you talking about? And what does this have to do with Donald Trump?”
What is the Endocrine System and Why is it Important?
The endocrine system is the system of glands that produce the hormones that determine both the growth and the functioning of all animals, including us human beings. A growing body of science is showing that all sorts of different chemicals can affect the functioning of that system. As one scientific journal put it, “endocrine disruptors” (chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system) “are contributing to increased chronic disease burdens related to obesity, diabetes mellitus, reproduction, thyroid, cancers, and neuroendocrine and neurodevelopmental functions.” Endocrine disruptors can include everything from flame retardants to pesticides to chemicals for industrial use.
Despite this, the effect of endocrine disruptors is largely ignored. For example, in a google search of “diabetes” the first of a half dozen articles listed never mention the environment (endocrine disruptors) as one possible cause for this all-too common disease.
And now the campaign is on to cover up this extreme threat to healthy animal life on the planet. Just as “scientists” claimed for years that there was “scientific controversy” over the fact that smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer, and still to this day they claim that there is a “controversy” over global warming/climate disruption caused by human action, so they are claiming there is a “controversy” about the dangers of endocrine disrupting
What these “scientists” thrive on is the fact that in any process, not everything is completely understood, even if the overall process is understood. So, there is a “controversy”, which they claim means that the effects are in doubt. No, they are not in doubt, and that’s where that specter that is haunting Europe comes in:
It is reported that “The European Commission has developed its own evidence to avoid an overly stringent regulation of these hazardous substances.” What happened was that back in 2013, a group of 18 “scientists” wrote an article in a scientific journal challenging the standard accepted view of what constitutes an endocrine disruptor. Seventeen of these “Toxic 18” have known links to the chemical industry; they are funded by them to the tune of millions of dollars. And, in fact, the article was also pushed by the industry, itself — just as the tobacco industry pushed articles casting doubt on the smoking-cancer link and the oil industry today does the same regarding global warming/climate disruption.
Their methods are the same. As a group of 40 scientists explain this includes making
impossible expectations as far as what can be proven, relying on “common sense” that “collection of prejudices acquired by age 18” (Einstein), misstating the accepted criteria for considering what is an endocrine disruptor, misstating what is accepted as far as links between (other) animal reactions and human reactions, and in some cases making outright factually false statements. These “Toxic 18” also pretend that what affects other animals only (vs. affecting human beings) is unimportant. All we need do is is consider the words “honey bee hive collapse” to answer that ridiculous assumption.
And what does all this have to do with Donald Trump?
One of his main commitments is to eliminate as many industry regulations as possible. This will include cutting back on the (already weak) Clean Water Act, moving to allow mining and oil exploration on federal lands, etc. (Hillary Clinton was also committed to doing the same thing, although she would have gone a little slower than Trump will do.)
This will affect the entire world population, since there are not borders to pollution. But first and foremost, it’s likely to affect poor communities and communities of color. (Think: “Standing Rock”.)
So, while we are fighting Trump, and while we are fighting the corporate attacks in general, let’s not forget this issue. And let’s remember that it is capitalism, itself, that must be brought down, and a healthy, worker-controlled socialist system brought in to replace it. A first step in the movement towards this will be the development of a mass, radical, working class political party, as called for by Painters Local 10 in Portland, OR.
Categories: environment, Europe, Human health, Uncategorized
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