Monday, May 12, 2003

shitstorm swirls [NYT]
Some former government employees said industry pressure had limited their ability to study and combat the problem.

Former Environmental Protection Agency prosecutors said they started looking at air pollution from factory farms in 1998, but political appointees issued a directive in early 2002 that effectively stymied new cases. "You had decisions about enforcement that were being made on the political level without any input from the enforcement," said Michele Merkel, a prosecutor who resigned from the agency in protest....

At the Agriculture Department, officials have reclassified research topics relating to industrial farms and health, including antibiotic-resistant pathogens, as "sensitive." As a result, at least one scientist, James Zahn, has left the department. "It was a choke hold on objective research," said Dr. Zahn, who had studied swine and bacteria until he left last fall. "Originally we were praised for the work we were doing. All of a sudden we were told, no more antibiotic resistance work."

Who could be responsible -- and why? Plus: Iowa microsm; shit = power in Cali.; a simple way to get rid of H2S.

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