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Trump Gives Polluters a Pass by Weakening EPA Enforcement​​​​​​​ | Take Action Tuesday @EarthFoodLife

July 21, 2020
Power to polluters: Citing the pandemic, the Trump administration moved last month to weaken federal oversight of clean air and climate change rules. (Photo credit: Steve Nelson/Flickr)

League of Conservation Voters: President Trump has ceased enforcement of virtually all environmental laws at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The policy is set to expire next month, but the administration may seek to extend it. EPA enforcement must be restored immediately. Every hour these suspensions are in place, pollution can be ramped up without punishment or accountability for Big Polluters. This is a grave danger to public health, particularly for communities of color, as well as Indigenous and low-income communities already suffering the worst consequences of environmental injustice. “By signing this executive order, Donald Trump is muzzling the voice of environmental justice communities, and continues to make clear his total disregard for those speaking out and fighting for racial justice and a sustainable environment,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York said in a statement.
>>>Demand the EPA to restart enforcement immediately.

Citizens for Alternatives to Animal Research and Experimentation: Boston Children’s Hospital is killing mice and rats to develop an enhanced version of botulinum toxin, a product already in widespread use for cosmetic and medical use. These live animal tests are deadly, harrowing and completely unnecessary. Since 2011 scientists have developed an in vitro alternative to using mice and rats to study the safety and efficacy of botulinum toxin. Called the cell-based assay, it is considered superior to the mouse test, especially when investigating the cellular and intracellular effect of the toxin. Inexplicably, some scientists at Boston Children’s Hospital are still using barbaric animal tests. In one phase of the test, researchers dissected pregnant rats and removed their living embryos so they could extract cortical neurons from their brains. Another phase involved the egregious LD50 test, which injects enough toxin to determine which dose causes death in 50% of the animals. Botulinum toxin, which causes muscle paralysis, was injected into mice to test for local and systemic paralysis. Systemic paralysis causes a slow death as it gradually affects the respiratory muscles, causing mice to gasp hopelessly for air. Some will die by asphyxiation, but other mice will die because they cannot reach food or water. Their death is the result of dehydration and weight loss, and not the toxin per se, making the animal test even more unreliable, in addition to being incredibly inhumane.
>>>Urge Boston Children’s Hospital to stop paralyzing animals to test botulinum toxin and immediately employ the cell-based assay that was developed for this purpose.

PETA: Droughts and bushfires have decimated Australia’s landscapes and the animals living there, and yet the government continues to allow permits to be issued for the slaughter of wildlife. Extensive research by the Kangaroo Roundtable—a partnership of organizations, scientists, researchers and academics concerned about kangaroo conservation—indicates that reported Australian kangaroo populations are already overestimated. This would be concerning at any time, but after some 7.3 million hectares of land were burned in the recent blazes and an estimated 1 billion animals were killed in them, it’s more important than ever that we take the pressure off our native animals by favoring conservation over cruel killing. And make no mistake: the killing is cruel. Kangaroos are hunted after dark, increasing the risk that the shots won’t kill the animals instantly, subjecting them to long, painful deaths. Hunters are required to shoot at-foot joeys (kangaroo babies out of their mothers’ pouches) and decapitate or “crush the skull and destroy the brain” of those still in the pouch. The government must stop issuing permits to landholders and commercial hunters to kill native animals.
>>>Urge the New South Wales and Victoria governments to stop issuing permits to kill wildlife.

Danger zonesSuperfund sites—locations that are subject to the nation’s most hazardous waste—disproportionately affect low-income communities of color, a fact highlighted in a new report by the Shriver Center on Poverty Law. (Image: EPA)

Round of applause…

Check your sunscreen: A green turtle swims among corals at Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in Hawaii (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service/Flickr)

Parting thought…

America, the not-so-beautiful: An active open pit mine in Maryland. 
The environmental impact of open mining operations include land degradation, noise, dust, release of poisonous gases into the air, pollution of water sources and destruction of wildlife habitat. (Photo credit: Maryland Department of the Environment)

“Oh Beautiful for smoggy skies, insecticided grain,
For strip-mined mountain’s majesty above the asphalt plain.
America, America, man sheds his waste on thee,
And hides the pines with billboard signs, from sea to oily sea.” 
George Carlin

Earth | Food | Life (EFL) explores the critical and often interconnected issues facing the climate/environment, food/agriculture and nature/animal rights, and champions action; specifically, how responsible citizens, voters and consumers can help put society on an ethical path of sustainability that respects the rights of all species who call this planet home. EFL emphasizes the idea that everything is connected, so every decision matters.

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Questions, comments, suggestions, submissions? Contact EFL editor Reynard Loki at [email protected]. Follow EFL on Twitter @EarthFoodLife.

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