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What Zika And The Flint Water Crisis Have In Common


What Zika And The Flint Water Crisis Have In Common

Judy Stone

Zika and the epidemic of birth defects, like the lead poisoning in Flint, highlight the added burdens especially facing the poor and people of color.

There are striking similarities between the lead-poisoned water hurting Flint citizens and the burdens facing Latin American women with babies born with microcephaly, likely due to Zika infections.

What do these two tragedies have in common? They—and many other similar problems—largely affect poor people of color, people who are politically powerless.


Thank you for saying this, Ms. Stone. I've yet to hear or read this factor mentioned anywhere else. Most U.S. media treat women as if they all walked off the set of "Sex In The City" and everything to do with sexuality is absolutely chosen and consensual. As if!

"Given these disturbing numbers regarding partner violence, Galli believes the government recommendations to delay pregnancy are totally unrealistic. She observes there are “unequal power relations in this very patriarchal society” and emphasizes that the governments are putting the onus on individual women—with their limited autonomy—rather than assuming responsibility to deal with the public health crisis. “Zika is major public health crisis with potentially devastating consequences for women and girls of reproductive age and their families.”

When will the Catholic Church take a RESPONSIBLE position towards both this health threat (to unborn babies) and that of over-population by sensibly prescribing birth control and making it available to those who most need it!


"Finally, the disasters of of both Flint and Zika reflect the failure of governments to protect citizens."

What are you talking about? Don't you know that our brave women and men in our military services are protecting the children of Flint from the bad guys in Iraq and elsewhere in the world? They are protecting our freedom to drink tainted water and eat polluted food and have no medical insurance. Are you unpatriotic or something?
What do you want? Socialism? Ha! You are going to lose.


Good article and also comments.. I'm now rather long in the tooth but I now have this horrid feeling of deja vu - been here before.
Long ago, back in the Dark Ages before the Internet, unborn children were damaged by a drug prescribed by doctors..
Thalidomide was the brand name of a drug called Distaval ,It was advertised in the 1950s as the only medicine of its type that was safe for pregnant women to take..
The manufacturers - a company called Distillers (better known for alcohol products) - spent a lot to prevent anyone knowing about the harm it was doing. As a result this misleading advertising was continued in the Pharmaceutical Journal.- even months after the Sunday Times had done an in-depth article about this, and long too after the US Food and Drug Administration had refused to allow its use in the US, having noted the serious reports from other countries.
So doctors went on prescribing it..
Many thousands of children were born with horrific damage. Their families had to fight hard and long for legal compensation.
And the UK government health minister,Sir Keith Joseph, in answering in the first debate in Parliament about the issue, started his speech by declaring a "conflict of interest" since he was a member of a consortium involved in providing Distillers with re-insurance if they found the company had to pay out costly compensation. As an investor, he had wagered a bet against the families winning a lawsuit..
Instead of representing the interests of the injured and damaged children and their parents, this spokesman for 'free markets' and 'enterprise', this close ally of Margaret Thatcher ("milk snatcher!")
was more concerned to stand up for the shareholders and directors of Distillers - a clear case of profits before people!
With such horrors as this and now Flint, capitalism again and again shows how unsafe it is - at any speed.
Socialism - not yet tried - would mean a responsible system, not one skewed to the profits of an elitist minority. I suggest this incident and similar ones be cited whenever you hear the good ol' boys proclaiming the wonders of capitalist free enterprise and entrepreneurialism..


I don't have the particulars in front of me, but Thalidomide has been dusted off and there have been experiments with using it to "cure" other diseases.

After W.W. II, there was a lot of fluoride laying about, so that ended up in the U.S. water system under the guise that it would help to prevent tooth decay.

Monsanto's Agent Orange has its cousins currently in use to get rid of plant pests.

MANY dangerous chemicals end up "recycled" because it's cheaper for the corporations (many of them on contract with the U.S. military) to find "uses" for them.

How many dump sites have toxic things that have never been properly measured, no less regulated?

How many toxic dump sites are YET to be cleaned up since the Super Fund allocation of funds only covers a pittance of them.

I don't trust Big Pharma, Monsanto, Big Insurance, or a great many corporate powers because their current model is not to do no harm; but rather to do harm until they get caught; and at that time, they hire the best team of lawyers to push the presumption of innocence clause. That, incidentally, is not difficult given that a climate of so much toxic exposure makes it inordinately difficult to place the ONUS on one particular offending agent.

I have made that point here many times and I often see those with credentials stating the same thing.


"Back in the Day"...1960's pre- Rove v Wade, a married friend of mine was pregnant and had taken Thalidomide for insomnia. When she read about the horrific birth defects caused by Thalidomide, she and her husband decided on abortion. Their families raised enough money for her to travel to Sweden to have a therapeutic abortion. Subsequently, she became active as a spokeswoman promoting the legalization of abortion...she even gave Sarah Weddington an affidavit of her experience for the Roe V Wade case before SCOTUS. There were others who did not have the means to travel abroad that chose to go across the border to medical clinics in Mexico for the procedures. No telling how many resorted to back-alley abortionists or self-aborting or any number of toxic "cures." Yet the anti-choice crowd and their political allies persist in all-out assault on PP and Roe v Wade. Meanwhile, women continue to carry the burdens with a list too long to enumerate. Sad, so very sad.


Wasn't there also lead contamination from the aqueducts that helped the decline of the Roman Empire?