DEAR READERS: President Trump’s touting his environmental leadership on July 8 with the head of the Department of the Interior, a former oil lobbyist, and the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, a former coal lobbyist, is yet another public display of the emperor’s new clothes. Harmful policies continue to be enacted on his watch.
For example, many readers have expressed concern about the health of honeybees. But on July 12, the EPA approved broad new crop applications of sulfoxaflor, an insecticide highly toxic to bees. And citing cost reductions, the USDA has stopped collecting data for its annual Honey Bee Colonies report, which was started in 2015 as part of its efforts to understand colony collapse disorder and loss of pollinators. The USDA said the move is temporary, but scientists said part of the value of continuous monitoring is the ability to detect trends.
In my opinion, this is the right decision, but for the wrong reasons. We do not need more monitoring and more data, but rather, immediate action to ban toxic pesticides to help save the bees and address other critical environmental issues. But this is a decision driven by Trump’s campaign promise to roll back environmental protection regulations to boost the economy. Even the humane codes on which I worked decades ago for farmed animals under organic certification have been blocked for implementation.
Such harmful and nonsustainable initiatives by the Trump administration, along with the continued denial of climate change and taking no steps to address this crisis, surely amount to what some are now calling crimes against humanity and the Earth community.
Civil society calls to “Make America Green Again” will fall on deaf ears so long as this kind of administration continues the outright insanity of putting vested monetary interests before the responsibility of environmental protection and related public and animal health and economic sustainability.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” -- Martin Luther King Jr. (paraphrase)
PIG EAR TREATS FOR DOGS LINKED TO HUMAN SALMONELLA INFECTIONS
At least 45 people have been sickened by multidrug-resistant salmonella in 13 states, and the CDC believes the cases may be linked to exposure to pig ear treats for dogs.
Investigators found 34 of the people who became ill had been in contact with a dog, 17 of whom reported contact with pig ear dog treats or animals that had been given the treats. Subsequent testing supported the connection. At least one retailer has issued a recall as a result. (CBS News, July 5, and Newsweek, July 4)
I have repeatedly advised readers about bringing these factory-farmed animal parts into their home environments as treats for their dogs. Instead, bake up some cookies like the recipe on my website: drfoxonehealth.com.
DEAR DR. FOX: I am concerned about asthma.
My two children are suffering this summer and are on medication, and our cat has been to the vet, as well. The vet says it is common in cats, and gave her a shot of long-acting cortisone, which has helped.
What preventive measures do you suggest? -- R.K., Arlington, Virginia
DEAR R.K.: Cats are much more susceptible to asthma than dogs, but small dogs are more vulnerable than larger breeds.
Allergens that can trigger an attack include smoke (from tobacco, fireplaces and wood stoves), household cleaners, air fresheners or deodorizers, perfumes, air pollution, airborne pollen, mold spores, pesticides, fertilizers and cat litter dust. Some animals are allergic to human dander and dust mites in the home.
Changing air filters in centrally heated and cooled homes regularly, and the use of air ionizers, can help reduce in-home allergens. Combine these with regular vacuuming with a machine equipped with a good filter that does not blow small particles back out into the room.
Our air quality is being greatly reduced by forest fires and industrial pollutants from miles away, as well as automobile exhaust. These have serious consequences on human and animal health. Government steps to gut the Clean Air act and automobile emission standards and fuel efficiency are deplorable.
In many communities prone to thermal inversions -- where cold air traps warmer air below, causing microparticle and chemical pollutants to accumulate -- many people and their animal companions prone to asthma and allergies really suffer. They are the canaries down the mineshaft in our dystopia, and are a warning to all who may eventually succumb to lung and other cancers and inflammatory and auto-immune diseases.
(Send all mail to firstname.lastname@example.org 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 DrFoxOneHealth.com.)