SINCE IT’S HARD TO WRITE WHEN YOU ARE DEAD (AS FAR AS I KNOW) I TAKE AN INTEREST IN STAYING ALIVE FOR A LITTLE LONGER
I PARTICULARLY OBJECT TO BEING KILLED BY SOME SUPPOSEDLY INNOCUOUS HOUSEHOLD CHEMICAL
“DEATH BY DEODERANT!” seems like a damn silly way to go to me.
PEDDLING DEATH IN THE U.S. IS PROFITABLE.In truth, toxic chemicals are no laughing matter—particularly in the U.S. where pretty much anything goes. Numerous U.S. manufacturers knowingly, and deliberately, sell products that are hazardous to health. They do so because it is profitable and they can.
EUROPE FROWNS ON MASS POISONING. It is far more difficult in Europe which operates a different form of free enterprise. It is generally known as ESD (European Social Democracy). It is far from perfect, but the most egregious deficiencies of capitalism are kept in check—and you are less likely to be poisoned.
ABM = ANYTHING GOES. The current ABM (American Business Model) doesn’t care.It lacks a moral code of any kind. All that matters is maximizing shareholder value without being punished so severely that you might actually suffer. In short, if you can get away with it, absolutely anything goes—and it is righteous!
Are all U.S. companies like this? Certainly not—there are some terrific corporations out there—but the prevailing ethos is what I’m taking about.
CRIMINALITY GETS REWARDED. That point was well demonstrated by the recent Great Recession where the most horrendous behavior by the financial sector—including blatant criminality—went almost completely unpunished. Indeed, the financial sector was bailed out by the U.S. taxpayer and the Federal Reserve. The criminals were saved and rewarded. They are now thriving again—while most Americans are seeing their incomes, if inflation is factored in, continuing to decline.
THE U.S. IS NOW A PLUTOCRACY. That kind of behavior has nothing to do with unfettered capitalism, or any other kind of capitalism. It is, however, intrinsic to the current American Business Model, and, in the opinion of most Americans, is pretty damn stupid—and wrong. Of course, that doesn’t matter because Congress doesn’t pay any attention to most voters. Its members only listen to those who fund them. The U.S. is no longer a democracy. It is a plutocracy. It is run by the ultra rich for the benefit of the ultra rich. Money rules. Thanks to sundry Supreme Court decisions, although there are technicalities to be observed, it is largely unconstrained.
WILL THINGS CHANGE? IT’S HARD TO SEE HOW. Combine virtually unlimited money with tried and true propaganda techniques—which deliver predictable results—and you have a level of political power and influence that it is very hard to counter. Add in gerrymandering, other tools of social control, and widespread ignorance of how much better other developed nations are doing, and it is hard to see where change is going to come from.
Adding insult to injury, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tasks the companies that manufacture and market cosmetics and other personal care products with ensuring their safety.
Not only does this pose an obvious conflict of interest, but "neither the law nor FDA regulations require specific tests to demonstrate the safety of individual products or ingredients."2
The average US women uses 12 personal care products and/or cosmetics a day, containing 168 different chemicals, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG). There are other chemicals risks as well, like those lurking in your household cleaning products, food packaging, furniture, and carpeting.
Dr. Julia Brody, executive director of the Silent Spring Institute, is among those speaking out against environmental chemicals and the risk they pose to human health, and in particular to women's health.
About 80 percent of the women who develop breast cancer, for instance, have no family history of the disease. Environmental chemicals, including those that disrupt your body's hormone systems (endocrine-disrupting chemicals) are thought to play a significant role.3