Beginning in the early 1900s and continuing to this day, much widespread chemical use has occurred in our country. Chemicals were used with little or no testing for adverse health effects.
The persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have come to be recognized as a particularly dangerous group of substances. These chemicals break down very slowly in the environment. They dissolve in fat and are stored in the body’s fat tissue. POPs are present in all animal fats. Thus, all animal fat containing foods are a source of POPs exposure. Continuing intake leads to ever increasing body burden. Higher body burden imposes increased disease risk.
In 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) published “Persistent Organic Pollutants: Impact on Child Health”. This report recommends action to minimize the exposure that children receive to POPs. People need to know about POPs in food. Once people have come to know that POPs contaminate all animal fat they can make up their minds about how much animal fat they want to eat. Many people will choose to eat less animal fat to keep POPs out of their bodies.
It is the responsibility of governmental public health entities, including the New York State Department of Heath and the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department to provide the public with information on the POPs exposure health hazard. St. Lawrence County Legislator James Bunstone has been chair of the Services Committee for several years. Legislator Bunstone possesses knowledge about POPs in the food supply. I have worked for years to educate Legislator Bunstone and the other members of the county legislature concerning these matters. St. Lawrence County government can move forward with educating residents on the subject of POPs exposure minimization by obtaining the guidance of a scientific expert. I have asked Legislator Bunstone to invite David O. Carpenter, MD to make a presentation on POPs exposure minimization to the Services Committee. Mr. Bunstone promised to do this, but after many months he has not yet offered the invitation.
I have discussed these matters with Joe Timmerman. Dr. Timmerman is an opponent of James Bunstone in the 2014 county legislature race. Candidate Timmerman stated to me that he favors action by county government to provide the public with information about these harmful chemicals in food. St. Lawrence County needs leaders who value education and are willing to take action to protect public health. I am hopeful that voters will think about what is related here when deciding who to support among the candidates for county legislature.