The Interior and Commerce departments proposed changing rules under the Endangered Species Act in a way that administration officials say would strengthen the law, but that conservationists say would eviscerate it and accelerate extinctions.
The proposal would end the practice of granting automatic protection to threatened species and would instead extend protection on a case-by-case basis. It would also delete rules requiring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to ignore the economic effects of protective measures.
On top of that, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently confirmed that it will again try to develop a proposal to remove wolves from the Endangered Species Act protections in the Great Lakes region. Please consider calling your member of Congress and asking for their opposition to any changes that weaken the Endangered Species Act.
Like the proverbial juggernaut, the U.S. government is undermining proposed standards for organically certified food, essentially deregulating the nascent organic farming industry to open the doors for the dominant pesticide- and drug-dependent agribusiness industry, which will put smaller, more humane and environmentally conscientious producers out of business. Organic farmers have long been calling for strict standards, especially when it comes to the well-being of animals raised for meat, as well as eggs from hens and dairy produce from cows. Organic producers say strict guidelines are crucial to consumer confidence in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Certified Organic label.
So what are conscientious consumers to do, when our government is undermining both organic and humane farming practices and our ability to make informed choices in the grocery store? This is an outrage! For more details, contact the Organic Trade Association, and also express your concerns to your congressional representatives.
DEAR DR. FOX: I wanted to let you know that several years ago, our 3-year-old standard poodle started suffering from seizures. Based on an article you had written, I changed her diet to eliminate corn. She has never suffered another seizure. I attribute her long life (age 13) to a great diet and exercise. She is our longest-living standard poodle!
Also, I want to mention how beneficial we are finding acupuncture for Marni’s arthritis. We can’t believe the difference in her! -- K.R., Shrewsbury, New Jersey
DEAR K.R.: Thank you for sharing the benefits of my advice concerning your dog’s epilepsy. Corn and wheat in dogs’ diets have been implicated in many cases of seizures due to the high gluten content, as well as lentils, beans, soy (pulses), oats, wheat, barley and dairy products high in brain-exciting glutamate and aspartate.
More and more veterinarians are becoming aware of how these and other ingredients may cause or aggravate canine epilepsy (which can be caused by many other factors, as well), and are no longer simply prescribing barbiturates and other anti-seizure drugs. For details, see the excellent book by Dr. W. Jean Dodds and Diana R. Laverdure, “Canine Nutrigenomics.”
Many readers will appreciate your assertion that acupuncture treatments can be of benefit for our canine companions. Skeptics should note the following: Veterinarian Daniel Eckman of Texas A&M University says that when acupuncture is performed by trained veterinarians, pets may experience numerous benefits with a low risk of side effects. Acupuncture can play a role in pain management, anxiety relief and treatment of respiratory, gastrointestinal or other disorders, says Dr. Eckman. (The Bryan-College Station Eagle, 7/8/18)
(Send all mail to email@example.com or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. The volume of mail received prohibits personal replies, but questions and comments of general interest will be discussed in future columns.
Visit Dr. Fox’s website at DrFoxVet.net.)