Are You Wasting Your Money on Supplements for Your Skin Hair or Nails?

People spend a lot of money trying to avoid hair loss, wrinkled skin and dry brittle hails. Are you wasting your money on supplements for your skin, hair and nails or are these useful products? Consumer Reports writes about the truth about hair, skin and nail supplements.

Hair, skin, and nail supplements commonly contain antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E, or Coenzyme Q10, as well as biotin, a B-complex vitamin. The minerals manganese and selenium are often found in supplements marketed for healthy hair, along with fatty acids such as fish oil and flaxseed oil.

If your diet does not contain enough vitamins you may be vitamin deficient. Then you need supplements.

Deficiencies of these nutrients, ­although uncommon, may cause a litany of hair-and, sometimes, skin and nail-changes. Over time, for instance, insufficient intake of vitamins A and E can cause rough, scaly skin patches. A deficiency of biotin may cause eczema and hair loss.

Buy if your diet contains adequate amounts of these do you really need to pay a lot of money for extra?

But for those with no clear deficiencies, experts say there’s no good evidence that supplements can make a difference.

Care of Your Skin, Hair and Nails

Having enough protein in your diet is important for healthy skin, hair and nails. Dieticians suggest that you get 30% of your calories from protein rich foods. And try to avoid things that cause damage. Dry air in the winter in Northern climates results in dryness on all exposed parts of your body. A humidifier can help. Health Line offers suggestions regarding humidifiers and health.

Humidity acts as a natural moisturizing agent that can relieve dryness. For this reason, humidifiers are often used for relieving:

  • dry skin
  • sinus congestion/headache
  • dry throat
  • nose irritation
  • bloody noses
  • irritated vocal cords
  • dry cough
  • cracked lips

You may be prone to these discomforts when the air in your home is dry. This is especially common during winter months or when an air conditioner is being used during the summer.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so wear rubble gloves when washing dishes or working with strong chemicals. Use sunscreen if you are in the sun for hours at a time. And, yes, you can put things on your skin, hair and nails to protect and restore them. But the answers may be simpler, and less costly, than you have been led to believe. Creams and lotions containing tazarotene and tretinoin help fine wrinkles, age spots, roughness of the skin and sun damage. But you need a prescription from your doctor for these.

Too Much of a Good Thing

If you ignore our advice and take a lot of vitamin supplements such Vitamin A be aware that when your skin turns yellow, you have problems with vision, when your bones hurt and you get headaches from increased pressure in your brain that it could be Vitamin A toxicity. If you take too much vitamin C you can get gastritis and ulcers as vitamin C is an acid, ascorbic acid. There have even been reports of problems from taking too much vitamin E. Don’t waste your money on supplements that you don’t need and certainly don’t make yourself sick from overdosing on these same supplements!

Are Surgery Centers Dangerous?

More and more often these days if you need surgery you will have it done in an outpatient surgery center. Why is this the case? Are surgery centers OK or are surgery centers dangerous? Basically outpatient surgery is less expensive than putting someone in the hospital. But what is the down side? Outpatient surgery is described by the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Surgery does not always require an overnight stay in the hospital. This type of surgery – often called same-day, outpatient, ambulatory or office-based – is becoming more common and can take place at an outpatient facility (connected to a hospital or at a separate surgical center) or in a physician’s office.

Nearly two-thirds of all operations are performed in outpatient facilities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Outpatient surgery provides patients with the convenience of recovering at home, and can cost less.

Most outpatient surgeries can take anywhere between a few minutes to a few hours but are not medical emergencies. Typical outpatient surgery ranges from simple mole removal to hernia repair to knee-replacement.

These doctors suggest that in order to be safe that you do the following before submitting to an outpatient procedure at a surgery center.

Check qualifications: Be sure the physician leading your care is certified to perform the procedure by asking about the doctor’s qualifications and experience. Those who are qualified have special training and passed exams given by a national board of surgeons. Also ask your surgeon how much experience they have with the procedure, and their record of successes and complications with this surgery.

Licensing, accreditation and experience: Be sure the nurses and other clinical staff who will support the surgeon are also experienced with the procedure and have the appropriate certifications. The outpatient surgery center should be licensed and accredited as well.

Emergencies and Complications: Be sure emergency procedures are in place. While complications are rare, they do occur. Prior to surgery, ensure that the surgery site has emergency medications, equipment and procedures in place to safely care for you if an emergency occurs. This is especially important because, unlike hospitals, an office-based or same-day surgery site may not have an emergency facility nearby.

The first two things to check have to do with the competence of those treating you. The last has to do with the pickle you will be in if you have a complication and are in a surgery center that is distant from the hospital where you need to be treated. This can be how surgery centers are dangerous for poorly chosen patients.

Who Can and Who Should Not Use a Surgery Center

Stanford University medical clinics explain who is and who is not appropriate for a surgery center.

Not all patients are candidates for outpatient surgery and some procedures still require hospitalization. A patient’s medical history and the advice of the surgeon and anesthesiologist are important in determining if the procedure is best performed on an outpatient or inpatient basis.

The most appropriate procedures for outpatient surgery are those associated with post-operative care that is easily managed at home, and those with very low rates of post-operative complications, requiring care by a physician or nurse.

The elderly and especially those with a long list of medical conditions for which they are receiving care need to be in a hospital for a tune up prior to surgery and for care of any post-operative complications. If you are eighty years old with diabetes and a bad heart you should not be getting your hip replaced as an outpatient procedure!

 

Are You Going to Lose Your Health Insurance?

The Republican controlled House of Representatives just passed a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act. The bill now passes on to the Senate for their consideration. Are you going to lose your health insurance because this? Consumer Reports discusses pre-existing conditions and health insurance premiums.

More than a quarter of adult Americans under 65 have a pre-existing health issue, which includes everything from asthma and diabetes to heart disease and cancer, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Under current law, insurers cannot deny those or other sick people coverage or charge them more than healthy people. It’s one of the ACA’s most popular provisions. 

President Donald Trump insists that the GOP’s American Health Care Act makes good on that pledge, and House Speaker Paul Ryan says on his website that “under no circumstance can people be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition.”

But a recent amendment to the AHCA, authored by House Republican Tom MacArthur , from New Jersey, provides a loophole. It allows states to let insurers charge higher premiums to sicker people if their coverage has lapsed, and if the state has set up a so-called “high-risk pool,” or special health insurance programs for sicker patients.

In general you will be OK with an Affordable Care Act repeal if you are young, healthy and wealthy. If you are old, poor and sick you are screwed. Another $8 Billion was allegedly added a planned $130 Billion to help for a few years but health insurance experts say that in the end preexisting conditions will probably not be covered and the old, poor and sick will get priced out of the insurance market.

“If you can charge sick people whatever you want, that’s effectively denying people coverage,” says Linda Blumberg, a senior fellow in the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan health policy research group.

The American Medical Association, in a letter opposing the revised bill, warned that allowing insurers to charge much higher rates to sick people would make pre-existing condition protections “illusory.”

What will the senate do with repeal of the Affordable Care Act? The New York Times says that the senate will make changes.

The House measure faces profound uncertainty in the Senate, where the legislation’s steep spending cuts will almost certainly be moderated. Any legislation that can get through the Senate will again have to clear the House and its conservative majority.

House Democrats characterized the passage of the repeal law as political suicide. The problem is that many of the people who voted for Trump and the Republicans benefit from the Affordable Care Act and may well lose their health insurance with a new law. Democrats hope that these people remember this day when they go to vote in the mid-term elections in 2017. The congressional budget office estimates that by a decade after repeal 24 million people will have lost their health insurance coverage. In addition the Medicaid program for health care for the poor would receive substantially less funding going from an opened ended program to block grants that states would handle as they choose. If you are on Medicaid you may well lost coverage.

What Can You Do if You Are Beaten Up and Dragged Off of an Airplane?

Many people have responded with shock at the video of a paying United Airlines passenger who was forcibly removed from one of their jets in order to make room for employees. The New York Times wrote about a passenger dragged from an overbooked flight although it turned out that United wanted to fly four of its employees and intended to remove paying customers to make room.

The disturbing scene captured on cellphone videos by United Airlines passengers on Sunday went beyond the typical nightmares of travelers on an overbooked flight.

An unidentified man who refused to be bumped from a plane screamed as a security officer wrestled him out of his seat and dragged him down the aisle by his arms. His glasses slid down his face, and his shirt rose above his midriff as uniformed officers followed.

At least two passengers documented the physical confrontation and the man’s anguished protests, and their videos spread rapidly online on Monday as people criticized the airline’s tactics. A security officer involved in the episode has been placed on leave, the authorities said, and the federal Transportation Department is investigating whether the airline complied with rules regarding overbooking.

As the story played out the head of United backed his employees and then moved to a pose of concern about customers. The passenger, a doctor who was separated from his wife because of the incident and who simply wanted to get back to his office to see patients the next day suffered a concussion and is suing the airline. Interestingly the police report states that no unnecessary force was used in the incident. The public response has been huge. We are wondering what can you do in you are beaten up and dragged off an airplane to make room for one of their employees?

What Was This About?

This was not about bumping a paid customer from a flight. It was about the Gestapo tactics of those in charge. One Mile at a Time discusses United’s Incident.

This is no longer the kind of altercation you can nitpick with a technical interjection about “well, he should have asked for $1,000 in vouchers” without sounding tone-deaf. Because the conversation has moved on. It’s no longer about involuntary denial of boarding (or being kicked off a plane to accommodate United crew).

It’s about a massive overreach of corporate authority, a horrifying use of violence when utterly unnecessary, and generally thuggish behavior that’s tolerated because, through years of (rightly) valuing our collective security above all else, we have given airlines authority backed up with the tools of law enforcement to handle business matters with the subtlety of a bludgeon. When an airline’s revenue management task force can enforce their bottom line with physical violence and a non-threatening older man is bloodied as a result, people pay attention.

What can you do if you are confronted with this sort of situation? First of all don’t fight because you may get assaulted. If it gets out of hand pray that someone takes a video to show that you did not resist. And then go to see a lawyer about filing assault charges and a civil lawsuit with punitive damages. The only way to change the sort of behavior seen in this case is hit United or anyone else in the pocketbook or better yet put them in jail.

If you are interested the U.S. Department Transportation guidelines for involuntary bumping are on the fly rights page.

Is That Drone Spying on You?

Flying drones were once the stuff of science fiction and now three quarters of a million Americans are registered to operate drones in the USA according to the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). According to Business Insider new technology will help consumer drones proliferate.

MIT students recently unveiled software that enables any user to design and virtually test their own drones, according to Wired.

Other companies are offering similar drone-building tools, strengthening the foundation for a thriving consumer drone ecosystem.

NXP Semiconductors offers a reference design for consumer drones. This is a technical blueprint that drone makers can build from.

 Intel offers the Aero platform for drones. It includes both a microprocessor and sensors that all types of drone builders can outfit their products with.

These building blocks have contributed to a rising number of drone registrations and sightings. About 777,000 people are registered to operate drones in the US, according to March 2017 data from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). Meanwhile, complaints about drones in the UK tripled in 2016 alone, and drone sales are on the rise in China.

And as prices go down even more people will buy and operate drones. The Business Insider article cites these concerns:

  • Consumers’ privacy. Camera drones flown at low altitudes can often take pictures of people in intimate settings, such as their homes or backyards, leading to privacy concerns. This prompted a ban in Newton, Massachusetts, of drones flying at an altitude below 400 feet.
  • Interference with other aircraft. Pilots are increasingly spotting drones at airports, according to a February 2017 FAA report. These drones could pose a danger to other aircraft and lives.
  • Use in illegal activity. Drones can carry illegal parcels, often out of the line of sight of law enforcement authorities. Last July, a man was arrested in the UK for using a drone to deliver parcels to prisoners, for example.
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) is disrupting businesses, governments, and consumers and transforming how they interact with the world. Companies are going to spend almost $5 trillion on the IoT in the next five years – and the proliferation of connected devices and massive increase in data has started an analytical revolution.

Is That Drone Spying on You?

Metro.us writes about what to do if a drone is spying on you. Their first advice since they are in New York City is not to shoot it.

But barring special permits for professional and official uses, flying drones through the streets of New York City is illegal. Therefor the presence of a drone floatingnear the 27th floor of a Kips Bay apartment building (where one wayward drone flew through a window and narrowly missed a woman at her desk on Saturday) is not just unnerving, but threatening since it’s already engaged in an unlawful act.

Most parts of the country have specific laws relating to the use of drones. They have become common for safety inspections and electronic surveys at places like construction sites. However, if there is one peering in your bedroom window it is engaged in illegal activity.

If that is the case take photo of it and call 911. If the police arrive in time they may catch the person flying the drone and take appropriate action. And close your curtains just like you would for any other peer tom!

Getting Ready for a Baby

You are pregnant and soon to deliver. Your life will never be the same again. And getting ready for a baby is taking up much of your time and energy. BabyCenter.com has some good advice for preparing for your baby’s arrival.

Becoming a parent can feel like you’ve moved to a different planet. The days and nights are upside down, you’re handling a lot of new equipment, and there’s a tiny alien yelling in a language you don’t understand. And what’s with that weird smell?

While moving to this strange new world may seem like a daunting task, you can take comfort in knowing that many have gone before you – and now they can’t imagine living anywhere else. Here’s a guidebook to help you prepare for this beautiful one-way journey. Bon voyage!

There are lots of things that you will need and some that you can do without. There are lots of choices and ranges of expense. Start by making lists, earliest needs first.

First Six Weeks

Here are things that you need when you and baby come home from the hospital. They are arranged by category.

Feeding

  • Bibs
  • Burp cloths
  • Nipple cream
  • Breast pump
  • Formula
  • Bottles and nipples

Diapering

  • Changing table/surface
  • Diapers
  • Diaper wipes
  • Diaper disposal system
  • Diaper bag

Sleeping

  • Crib/mattress
  • Bedding and padding

Bathing

  • Baby bathtub
  • Hooded terrycloth towels
  • Baby wash and shampoo

Trips out of the house

  • Front pack or sling
  • Stroller
  • Car seat

Keeping baby entertained, quiet and happy

  • Pacifiers
  • Infant swing
  • Bouncy seat
  • Mobile
  • Nightlight

Mom’s Needs

  • Nursing bras
  • Nursing pads
  • Maxi-pads and panty liners
  • Hemorrhoid wipes and cream
  • Ice packs

Some of this will vary by preference such as if you choose to breast feed or not. But you will need diapers and baby shampoo and soap and baby clothes, etc. Much of what you need can be found in the appropriate section of the super market or pharmacy. Unless you have decided preferences it is probably best to stick with well-known brands for your baby care items.

Car Seats and Strollers

At some point you need to quit carrying your baby and use a stroller and when traveling you need a car seat. Before going out to buy something take a look at our article as kids and car seat guidelines.

In response to the damage done to the human body in high and even medium velocity collisions the law requires seatbelts for adults and car seats for children. In general children under the age of 13 should sit in the back seat of a car and should not use adult seat belts until they are 57 inches tall and between eight and twelve years old.

Three out of four car seats are improperly installed. Take your time, read the directions and do it right for your child’s safety.

Reading and Success in School

Kids who read a lot do better in school. In fact children who are read to also have a higher success rate in school according to the National Education Association’s facts about children’s literacy page.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a division of the U.S. Department of Education, children who are read to at home enjoy a substantial advantage over children who are not:
Twenty-six percent of children who were read to three or four times in the last week by a family member recognized all letters of the alphabet. This is compared to 14 percent of children who were read to less frequently.

Here are some of differences that one finds between kids who were read to and those who were not.

The NCES also reported that children who were read to frequently are also more likely to:

  • count to 20, or higher than those who were not (60% vs. 44%)
  • write their own names (54% vs. 40%)
  • read or pretend to read (77% vs. 57%)

According to NCES2, only 53 percent of children ages three to five were read to daily by a family member (1999).

The more types of reading materials there are in the home, the higher students are in reading proficiency, according to the Educational Testing Service.

The Educational Testing Services reported that students who do more reading at home are better readers and have higher math scores.

Reading increases a child’s ability to gain information from book, computers and other printed sources. And reading increases the child’s interest in and knowledge of the world. But where do you start looking for books to read to your kids or for them to read? A trip to the book store can be an adventure but so can books online. In researching this article we ran across an excellent source, Disney Wonderful World of Reading. Check out this offer and get your kids a book or two or a half a dozen!

The Harry Potter Effect

As the Harry Potter series of books was coming out it became apparent that not only were kids willing to read at higher level to enjoy the stories but the effects of their reading spilled over into their homework. The Christian Science Monitor wrote about Harry Potter and the magic of reading.

A 2006 study by Scholastic and Yankelovich found that the Harry Potter books have had a positive impact not only on kids’ attitudes toward reading, but also on the quality of their schoolwork. The Kids and Family Reading Report surveyed 500 children ages 5 to 17 and their parents or guardians. More than half of Harry Potter readers said they hadn’t read books for fun before the series, and 65 percent said they have done better in school since reading the books. The study also found that the reading habits of boys – who consistently have lower literacy test scores than girls – changed the most as a result of reading the books.

Reading and success in school are linked but so are reading and enjoyment of life. If you want to get your kids started on the road to being readers consider the Disney Wonderful World of Reading for wholesome stories that everyone enjoys.

Drinkable Sunscreen Is Bunk

If you thought that they finally came up with a drinkable sunscreen you are wrong. The maker of two products, Osmosis Skincare and Harmonized Water, is being sued for consumer fraud by the Iowa Attorney General’s Office. CNBC reports on the so-called drinkable sunscreen.

The makers of two brands of “drinkable sunscreen” failed to prove their product really protects users against sunburn and instead relied on “seriously flawed” testing that “recklessly gave consumers hollow assurances that they were protected from known health hazards,” according to a consumer fraud lawsuit filed Tuesday by the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.

Osmosis Skincare and Harmonized Water – both controlled by the same Colorado-based owner – have advertised their enhanced water as the “world’s first drinkable sunscreen,” protecting users from harmful ultraviolet light. The water contains a “form of radio frequencies called scalar waves,” according to Osmosis. “When ingested, they vibrate above the skin to neutralize UVA and UVB, creating protection comparable to an SPF 30.”

What the heck are scalar waves? Rational Wiki has some useful info on this subject.

The main current proponent of scalar wave pseudophysics is zero-point energy advocate Thomas E. Bearden, who has concocted an entire pseudoscientific “scalar field theory” unrelated to anything in actual physics of that name. It starts with Maxwell’s equations originally having been written as quaternions; Bearden holds that the (mathematical) transformation to vectors lost important information.

The claim that these products have properties other than that of water is disputed by the Iowa State Attorney General in their petition to the court. It turns out that “doctor” Johnson was forced to surrender his license to practice medicine in the state of Colorado back in 2001. They contend that Johnson does not prove that his water has the said properties. The attorney says that although drinkable sunscreen is bunk the burden of proof is on the seller and not on the state.

Testimonial versus Proof

The way that makers of products like the so-called drinkable sunscreen manage to avoid trouble with the law is that they never make any claims. Rather they publish testimonials from people who state that they used the product and that they got better or in the case of the drinkable sunscreen did not get burned. In fact the products themselves have disclaimers saying that these products were not evaluated by the FDA. The manufacturer’s attorney says that these disclaimers are sufficient to protect his client.

Standard of Proof

To get approval from the Food and Drug Administration for a product or medicine with therapeutic value the manufacturer needs to pass a couple of tests. First of there needs to be proof that in animal and then human trials there is no proof of harm. Then the gold standard is a double blind cross over trial. People are treated with the product without the person being treated or the person doing the treating knowing who is getting the product and who is getting a placebo. Results are tabulated by someone who never sees the patient or physician. Then half way through the study the treatment and placebo are reversed. People need to have gotten better on the treatment in both halves of the study and need to have experienced no benefit in the placebo half. Drinkable sunscreen is bunk because scalar waves are bunk and because exposing a dozen people to the sun for an hour after drinking the water does not meet the standard of proof.

When Has a Debt Collection Company Gone Too Far?

Consumers complain about debt collectors. In Colorado, in fact, debt collectors lead the list of top consumer complaints to the state attorney general.

Gripes about debt collection companies again topped the list of consumer complaints reported to Attorney General Cynthia Coffman’s office last year, her office announced Tuesday as part of National Consumer Protection Week.

Coffman’s Consumer Protection Section logged 8,707 complaints and inquiries in 2016. Other top complaints involved utility companies, telephone scams of all sorts and problems with auto dealers.

If someone owes you money you should be entitled to seek to collect. And if a debt collection service pays a creditor 10 cents on the dollar they have a right to try to collect on the original debt. But when has a debt collection company gone too far?

Abusive Debt Collection

This info and advice about debt collection abuse comes from an attorney web site.

Federal law prohibits abusive debt collection.  This is conduct by debt collectors where they “harass, oppress, or abuse”.  Bill collectors may not call without identifying themselves.  They may not call before 9 am or after 8 pm. They may not call you at work.  Unless you give permission, these calls violate federal law.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires debt collectors to stop calling if you tell them you want no further contact.  If you notify the collector that you are represented by an attorney and give the lawyer’s name and address, the collector then violates federal law by ever contacting you and not the lawyer.  Of course, your attorney has a duty to reasonably communicate.

Within five days of a collection agency’s first communication with you, often an annoying telephone call, they must send you written notice.  The notice must include information including the amount owed, the name of the original creditor, and your right to dispute debt’s validity. If you do not dispute within 30 days, they’ll tell you they will consider it valid.  If you do dispute, they must send you verification.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act specifies what is considered harassment or abuse.

(1) The use or threat of use of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation, or property of any person.
(2) The use of obscene or profane language or language the natural consequence of which is to abuse the hearer or reader.
(3) The publication of a list of consumers who allegedly refuse to pay debts, except to a consumer reporting agency or to persons meeting the requirements of section 1681a(f) or 1681b(3)1 of this title.
(4) The advertisement for sale of any debt to coerce payment of the debt.
(5) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.
(6) Except as provided in section 1692b of this title, the placement of telephone calls without meaningful disclosure of the caller’s identity.

These are examples of when a debt collection company has gone too far. Other issues are false and misleading representations and unfair practices. If you believe that a debt collection company has gone too far contact an attorney and have them deal with the issue.

If Genetically Modified Foods Don’t Cause Cancer What’s Wrong?

In the last twenty years the amount of genetically modified food that we eat has increased astronomically. Along the way people started to worry that these “changed” foods were dangerous even to the point of causing cancer. The bottom line is that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) don’t cause cancer but there are other problems. Here is a graph from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) showing the increasing percentages of genetically modified crops in the USA in the last twenty years.

According to the USDA:

Herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops, developed to survive application of specific herbicides that previously would have destroyed the crop along with the targeted weeds, provide farmers with a broader variety of options for effective weed control.

Insect-resistant crops containing the gene from the soil bacterium Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) have been available for corn and cotton since 1996. These bacteria produce a protein that is toxic to specific insects, protecting the plant over its entire life.

As the graph shows the percentages of corn, soybeans and cotton planted as GMOs has risen over the years into the 80% to 95% range with soybeans leading the way.

The odds are that unless you are very knowledgeable and very careful the majority of what you eat includes genetically modified ingredients.

Do GMOs Cause Cancer?

Regarding if GMOS cause cancer the MD Anderson Medical and Cancer Center at the University of Texas:

Many people believe that altering the DNA of a plant or animal has a significant effect on a person’s chances of developing cancer. But the current research on the health risks of GMOs is inconclusive. In other words, researchers cannot confirm whether or not GMOs increase cancer risks.

The problem is that proving that something does not and will never cause cancer is a virtual impossibility. Thus, while there is no proof that GMO’s don’t cause cancer there is no firm evidence that they do. So, if genetically modified foods don’t cause cancer what’s wrong?

The Corporate Farm

This writer grew up on the Northern reaches of the American Corn Belt. The typical farm was 160 acres so there were four farms and four farm families per square mile. Today the average farm size across the entire USA is 446 acres and where this writer grew up you can drive mile after mile and not see a family farm. The average age of farmers is also increasing as young people cannot afford to go into farming or simply choose not to. And incidentally the world has more people and more mouths to feed. Thus we see the development of corporate agribusiness. Think Progress writes about how corporate agribusiness is quietly seizing the heartland.

Corporate agribusinesses have managed to convince voters across the Midwest to approve vaguely-worded measures that could have wide ranging impacts, from preventing environmental legislation against factory farms to allowing animal mistreatment in slaughterhouses. These right-to-farm laws are gaining traction in big ag states across the country, but opponents say they are nothing more than a continued “power grab” by corporate agribusinesses.

The vague language in right-to-farm amendments can prevent states or localities from regulating any number of issues, from pollution, pesticide use, or animal abuse, no matter how much evidence there may be that a certain practice or company is harming the environment. It also makes it much harder to stop factory farms from poisoning water or air quality with noxious animal waste, or even keep track of repeat offenders.

In many areas the family farm is simply gone and replaced by factory farms. The short term bottom line is important and not long term preservation of the soil and water table. Genetically modified crops may not cause cancer but they are a part of the corporate takeover of agriculture.


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