To the editor:
I am writing to thank Don Hassig for his many years of effort to protect public health by increasing awareness of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and their connection to cancer and many other diseases.
With scientific evidence accumulating to support his claims, Don decided to make a run for Congress on the Green Party line as a vehicle to keep this vital information in the public's mind.
When putting forth ideas that the political establishment wants suppressed, you can expect ad hominem attacks, character assassination and exclusion from debates and media coverage. That is what Don experienced!
There is an old saying pertaining to child rearing that extrapolates to our rigged political system: A child would rather be praised than punished but would rather be punished than ignored. So what's a nonviolent activist to do when being ignored and marginalized? You refuse to be ignored to the point of being arrested, and Don has suffered a number of principled arrests for refusing to relinquish his First Amendment rights to speak about the dangers of POPs.
If you take the time to educate yourself, you will find that, if anything, it is even worse than what Don has been saying. We are swimming in a soup of 100,000 man-made chemicals that have not been adequately tested for health effects.
The NIH, FDA, NCI, ACS, Farm Bureau, etc., which you might suppose are looking out for your best interests, are, in fact, covering up the pandemic of diseases and suffering that are caused by POPs. These agencies and charities are quite simply controlled by the corporations they are supposed to regulate!
I am invoking my RN degree for whatever credit that gives me; you should understand that they don't teach about POPs in most establishment medical schools. CNN, Fox News and the New York Times also won't give you a clue. I learned about these issues on my own by reading widely.
As our vice president would say, "This is a (BFD)." We are being systematically poisoned and sacrificed on the altar of Profit and Greed. Corporations are allowed to dump their toxic waste because it would cut down the CEOs' outrageous salaries to properly clean up their messes.
Dr. Samuel Epstein, emeritus professor of environmental medicine at the University of Illinois School of Public Health, says, "The incidence of cancer has escalated to epidemic proportions, now striking nearly one in two men and over one in every three women in their lifetimes. Even more disturbing is the recent recognition that this very high incidence of cancer is going to increase further still, and by the year 2050, it will double the current very high incidence rate."
He further states, "The petrochemical companies and other industries have contaminated our environment - air, water, workplaces and foodstuffs - with a wide range of petrochemicals and other carcinogens. They have done this knowing full well that these chemicals are carcinogenic."
Instead of shooting the messenger (or throwing him in jail), we would be better served to confront this depraved indifference to life with a society-wide dialogue about the facts. Start with www.preventcancer.com.
Thanks again, Don Hassig, for reminding us that this is a BFD.