(First posted at Non-Toxic Kids)
I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend. What are you reading? In addition to the second Hunger Games book, borrowed from a student, these articles are what I am reading tonight.
New research strengthens the link between BPA, obesity, and Type 2 diabetics, according to this article at Huffington Post.“When you eat something with BPA, it’s like telling your organs that you are eating more than you are really eating,” says Angel Nadal, a BPA expert at the Miguel Hernandez University in Spain.
“The fetus is not only exposed to BPA but also to higher levels of insulin from the mother, making the environment for the fetus even more disruptive,” says Nadal. “This is a very delicate period.”
“More than 70 percent of antibiotics go to livestock, not people, says the bill, and they are used on more than 83 percent of grower-finisher swine farms, cattle feedlots, and sheep farms and found in 48 percent of U.S. streams.”
I wrote here about the promise of regulations of a certain kind of antibiotics, but it looks like that has been watered down even more. Big pharmaceutical companies deny any connection between the use of antibiotics in factory farming and the growth of antibiotic resistance in humans even while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that hospital-associated infections, which are likely to be antibiotic resistant, cause or contribute to 99,000 deaths each year.
This is a confusing topic but also illustrates the growing power of corporations over public health when the almighty dollar is involved. When will people realize that our health is priceless, and that corporations, no matter how much we want them too, can’t regulate themselves?
And lastly, an article about the firing of Donnicia Venters because she discussed wanting to express milk at work so she could continue breast feeding her baby. This article shares the stunning comment of the judge who decided there was no discrimination involved in this case because:
“The law does not punish lactation discrimination,” U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes, who is male, ruled in a three-page order. Dismissal because of pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition is illegal, Hughes noted, but “lactation is not pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition.”
“Under the law that prohibits discrimination on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition, lactation is a related medical condition to pregnancy and childbirth,” argued Timothy Bowne, an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission attorney. “There are no people that we know of who lactate who haven’t given birth recently.”
We need national legislation protecting all women from being fired for wanting to express breast milk at work, and clearly, a new definition of lacatation if that is what it will take. That’s why I am supporting the Breastfeeding Promotion Act which will:
*Amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect breastfeeding women from being fired or discriminated against in the workplace.
*Protects breastfeeding mothers by ensuring that executive, administrative, and professional employees, including elementary and secondary school teachers (in addition to non-exempt employees covered by the previous amendment), have break time and a private place to pump in the workplace.