‘A Total Disgrace’: Outrage as Trump EPA Says It Won’t Ban Pesticide Linked to Brain Damage in Children

In a move environmentalists denounced as yet another case of the Trump administration putting industry profits over public health, the Environmental Protection Agency announced on Thursday that it will not ban chlorpyrifos, a pesticide linked to brain damage in children.

“The EPA’s refusal to ban chlorpyrifos ignores decades of science showing that this pesticide has irrevocable effects on human health and the environment.” — Tiffany Finck-Haynes, Friends of the Earth

“By allowing chlorpyrifos to stay in our fruits and vegetables, Trump’s EPA is breaking the law and neglecting the overwhelming scientific evidence that this pesticide harms children’s brains,” Patti Goldman, attorney with Earthjustice said in a statement. “It is a tragedy that this administration sides with corporations instead of children’s health.”

EPA chief Andrew Wheeler’s decision to reject a petition by environmental groups calling for a ban on the neurotoxic chemical ignores the assessments of his agency’s own scientists, said Tiffany Finck-Haynes, pesticides and pollinators program manager for Friends of the Earth.

“The EPA’s refusal to ban chlorpyrifos ignores decades of science showing that this pesticide has irrevocable effects on human health and the environment,” said Finck-Haynes. “The EPA is endangering the lives of children to protect pesticide industry profits.”

Today Trump’s @EPA announced that it will not #BanChlorpyrifos — a brain-damaging pesticide that EPA’s own scientists have deemed unsafe at any level.

“The EPA is endangering the lives of children to protect pesticide industry profits.”https://t.co/gBUAaTT5ws

— Friends of the Earth (@foe_us) July 19, 2019

Chlorpyrifos has been banned for household use since 2000, but the pesticide is still used by farmers on “more than 50 fruit, nut, cereal, and vegetable crops,” according to the New York Times.

“In 2016,” the Times reported, “more than 640,000 acres were treated with chlorpyrifos in California alone.”

The Obama administration in 2015 proposed banning use of the pesticide on food crops, but former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt authorized its continued use in 2017.

“Until EPA gets this stuff out of our fields and off our food, this fight is not over.”
—Erik Olson, Natural Resources Defense Council

“This is a total disgrace,” Rep. Mike Levin (D-Calif.) tweeted in response to the EPA’s decision on Thursday.

Finck-Haynes of Friends of the Earth said that as the federal government continues to work on behalf of chemical interests, states must take immediate action to protect the public and the environment.

“While the federal government refuses to act, we urge states to step in, ban chlorpyrifos, and demonstrate that they will safeguard public health and the environment,” said Finck-Haynes. “We call on [New York] Governor [Andrew] Cuomo to sign the chlorpyrifos ban bill sitting on his desk and protect New Yorkers from this toxic pesticide.”

In a statement on Thursday, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) highlighted the Trump administration’s ties to Dow Chemical, the largest producer of chlorpyrifos in the United States.

“The relationship between President Trump and Dow Chemical… has been called into question,” the group said. “Among other things, the chemical manufacturing giant reportedly donated $1 million for Trump’s inauguration, and its CEO previously played a chief advisory role to the president, heading up his now defunct American Manufacturing Council.”

Erik Olson, senior director of health and food at NRDC, said the effort to achieve a ban on chlorpyrifos will continue.

“Until EPA gets this stuff out of our fields and off our food,” said Olson, “this fight is not over.”

House passes amendment ordering Pentagon to review whether U.S. experimented with weaponizing ticks

It’s typical for lawmakers to offer amendments to the sweeping National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the defense spending bill that is reauthorized every term, and this year has been no different. One of the more unusual amendments is one offered by New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith to order the Pentagon inspector general to conduct a review about whether the military experimented with making ticks into biological weapons.

The amendment, passed by the House last week by a voice vote, would require the Pentagon inspector general to examine “whether the Department of Defense experimented with ticks and other insects regarding its use as a biological weapon between the years of 1950 and 1975.”

“My amendment tasks the DOD inspector general to ask the hard questions and report back,” Smith said on the House floor Friday. During the debate on his amendment, Smith said the investigation would explore the following questions:

What were the parameters of the program?
Who ordered it?
Was there ever any accidental release anywhere or at any time of any diseased ticks?
Were any ticks released by design?
Did the program contribute to the disease burden?
Could any of this information help current-day researchers find a way to mitigate these diseases?

The theory, which sounds like something straight out of a science fiction novel, contends that bioweapon specialists packed ticks with pathogens that could cause severe disabilities, disease and death among potential enemies to the homeland. Smith said he was inspired to add the amendment to the annual defense bill by “a number of books and articles suggesting that significant research had been done at U.S. government facilities including Fort Detrick, Maryland and Plum Island, New York to turn ticks and other insects into bioweapons.”

Those books, however, have been questioned by some experts who dismiss long-held conspiracy theories that the federal government aided the spread of tick-borne diseases, and federal agencies, including the CDC, may have participated in a cover-up of sorts to conceal findings about the spread of Lyme disease.

Smith has been a fierce advocate of raising awareness about Lyme disease and increasing prevention efforts. Smith, the co-chair of the House Lyme Disease Caucus, earlier this year introduced the “Ticks: Identify, Control, and Knockout Act” (TICK Act), a bill to come up with a national strategy to fight Lyme disease. If passed, the measure would authorize an additional $180 million to boost funding for Lyme disease research, prevention and treatment programs.

The CDC currently spends about $11 million on Lyme disease research.

It remains to be seen whether Smith’s tick amendment will make it into the final defense spending measure. Both the House and Senate have passed their own versions, and soon, representatives from both the House and Senate will meet in conference committee to reconcile the two bills.

From: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/house-passes-amendment-ordering-pentagon-to-investigate-whether-ticks-were-weaponized/

7 Chinese Girlfriends Buy Huge House Where They Will Retire and Die Together

A group of seven girlfriends in southeastern China purchased a dream home as part of their pact to retire and die together in the future.

What started as a joke among the friends in 2008 has now become a reality in the 700-square meter (753-square foot) house in suburban Guangzhou, Guangdong province.

 

One of the ladies stumbled upon the property in January 2018, which sits some 70 kilometers (44 miles) away from the city center, according to Yitiao TV.

Together, they then pulled around 4 million yuan ($584,000) to buy and renovate the house, Shanghaiist reported.

Today, the place is a beautiful three-and-a-half story home set in the hills and partly surrounded by paddy fields.

The ground floor provides sufficient space for communal living, while the upper floors have individual rooms for each of the ladies.

Each room has a huge tatami and is still spacious enough to accommodate them as a group.

The house also boasts a lovely kitchen, glass washroom, swimming pool and pieces of furniture from India and Morocco.

The friends, who are all tea lovers, also built a tea pavilion in the middle of a paddy field, which connects to their lot through a bamboo walkway.

“We’ll probably cook together, barbecue in the fields, sing and collect food in the village,” one said.

Among themselves, the friends have already discussed the matter of learning an individual skill that they can use to contribute to their retirement household.

These include cooking, growing vegetables, playing instruments, traditional Chinese medicine and so on.

The ladies, who have 10 years as the biggest age gap, hope to live with each other in the years to come.

“Ten or 15 years later our children might have grown up, so we also hope that we can still be together in the next years,” one said.

The friends’ story touched many netizens:

“May I be the 8th?”

“Healthy lives with girlfriends!”

“What a beautiful house and story of friendship!”

That’s really touching! Hurrah to beautiful friendships!

“This house is incredible, built with the most beautiful friendship.”

Images via YouTube / Yitiao TV

The post 7 Chinese Girlfriends Buy Huge House Where They Will Retire and Die Together appeared first on NextShark.

Donald Trump earns place in history with how USA treats migrant kids

Donald Trump earns place in history with how America treats migrant children


The Editorial Board


USA TODAY
Published 7:34 PM EDT Jul 10, 2019

On a subject as fraught as immigration, there’s plenty of room for disagreement about border security, workplace enforcement, paths to citizenship and other policies. But when the topic is the well-being of kids crammed into federal immigration centers on the southern border, there ought to be no room for debate.

For young children, toddlers and infants guilty only of being carried or led into the United States, it’s unconscionable for federal officials to banish them for days or weeks to squalor.

At the facility in Clint, Texas, according to a report by The New York Times and the El Paso Times (which is part of the USA TODAY Network), children have gone hungry and without hygiene, beds, adults to care for them. They’ve been buffeted by outbreaks of scabies, shingles and chickenpox.

Adult migrants, many fleeing Central American violence for asylum in the USA, are crammed for days or weeks in holding cells designed for a fraction of their number. The stench in standing-room-only conditions with temperatures in the 80s is a mix of unwashed bodies, untreated diarrhea and urine. That’s according to the Department of Homeland Security’s own internal watchdog, known as an inspector general.

For those watching, this is what a national disgrace looks like.

And how has President Donald Trump responded? With his characteristic deflection and denial. (“We’re doing a fantastic job under the circumstances.”) Border officials concede it’s a crisis, albeit exaggerated by monitors and media, and they’re simply overwhelmed by a 124% increase in migrants over the previous year.

A migrant holding station in McAllen, Texas, on June 11, 2019.
Department of Homeland Security Inspector General via epa-EFE

HOMELAND SECURITY: We’ve done all we could with limited resources

Maybe so, but border officers warned superiors for months that detention conditions were crashing — to no avail. Only when the inhumanity was exposed in photographs, news accounts and rushed inspector general reports did officials suddenly begin finding alternative housing for about 2,000 confined children. 

Some of  Trump’s tough-guy policies for staunching the flow of migrants have only made matters worse. When he “meters” lawful asylum seeking at ports of entry down to a trickle, desperate migrants find other ways to enter the country. When he starts threatening deportation of U.S. residents willing to sponsor child migrants, sponsorship declines and children languish in holding cells. And when he cancels or limits programs that allow for release of migrants into the community wearing ankle bracelets or under successful community supervision programs, they’re consigned to fetid, standing-room only cells. 

Migrant detention cell in McAllen, Texas, on June 11, 2019.
Department of Homeland Security Inspector General via epa-EFE

Trump declared an end to his family separation policy last year, falsely claiming it began under President Barack Obama. But strangely, inspectors still find young children held without parents, raising the question of whether another new Trump policy, of using flawed evidence of gang affiliation to separate families, is making matters worse. After a decade of not a single death, at least seven migrant children have died under federal care since December.

Thankfully, the number of children in custody has eased of late. Housing for adults has expanded with the use of tents, and $4.6 billion in congressional funding will provide further relief.

Going forward, Congress could help safeguard children by:

►Creating a multiagency, pilot program to compassionately process children and families.

►Allowing lawmakers to visit sites without advance notice.

►Establishing medical care standards for children and adults in custody.

►Providing best-practices training for border officers. 

For now, there’s lasting damage — to the children. Many already traumatized by violence they fled in their home countries risk severe mental health consequences after being separated from parents and subjected to squalor in U.S. immigration centers. 

“Most kids will have lasting scars from what they have seen or are enduring,” Harvard Medical School psychiatrist and bioethicist Wes Boyd, who has studied asylum seekers, told Axios. 

Trump covets a place in history. With his administration’s cruelty toward Central American migrants, he might well have earned it.

If you can’t see this reader poll, please refresh your page.

FDA names 16 dog-food brands with potential link to canine heart disease | CBC News

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has identified 16 brands of dog foods — the majority of them labelled “grain free” — that it says are most frequently associated with a potentially deadly canine heart condition.

Canine dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, is a disease that causes the muscle wall of a dog’s heart to thin, weakening the organ and making it harder to pump blood. Congestive heart failure, a buildup of fluid in the chest and abdomen, can result. Affected dogs may seem tired, lose weight and suddenly collapse.

The FDA’s ongoing investigation into a “potential connection between certain diets and cases of canine heart disease” focused on 515 reports of DCM in dogs received between Jan. 1, 2014 and April 30.

Of the dog-food brands on the FDA’s list, 91 per cent of the products were labelled grain-free (did not contain corn, soy, wheat, rice, barley or other grains), while 93 per cent contained peas, lentils (including chickpeas and beans), or potatoes (including sweet potatoes).

The brands identified include: 

The products are sold online and many are available in stores in Canada. 

The FDA first alerted the public it was probing a potential link between diet and DCM in July 2018, noting that the agency was receiving reports associated with breeds not typically prone to the disease

Genetic predisposition 

The underlying cause of DCM isn’t known, though it is thought to have a genetic component. 

Large and giant breeds, such as Great Danes, Doberman pinschers or Irish wolfhounds, are typically more frequently at risk. But in the FDA’s report, smaller breeds, such as Shih Tzu, Jack Russell terrier and pug, were also among those with more than one reported case of DCM.

Dr. Ted Morris, a veterinarian with the Toronto-based Bloor Animal Hospital, says he’s had more concerned dog owners calling since the findings were released. 

“It’s a lot of people just terrified of what they’re feeding their dog,” he said. “[They’re asking] ‘Am I killing my dog?'”

Many of the signs of heart disease in dogs match those of a canine that is hot, such as panting and looking tired, said Morris. The FDA’s findings also coincide with the summer’s rising temperatures.

Morris believes the popularity of grain-free feed for dogs comes from people who want their dogs to eat like they do.

“A lot of people trends will end up moving over into the animal world,” he said. “So all the low-carb diets… [People think] ‘Oh if it’s good for me, it’s got to be good for my dog.'”

Dr. Sarah Dodd, a veterinarian and researcher at the University of Guelph, studies the suitability of plant-based dog food given to animals for maintenance. The only regulation we have in Canada around pet food relates to labelling, she said, as opposed to rules around nutrient content.

“You could put anything in a bag and call it dog food, as long as your manufacturing and contact details are on the bag,” she said.

While industry regulations for the nutrition of pet food in Canada is voluntary, Dodd said feed sold in the U.S. must meet American standards. 

Exact link between diet, DCM unclear

In its latest report, the FDA said it doesn’t yet know how certain diets may be associated with DCM in dogs.

“In the case of DCM, the agency has an obligation to be transparent with the pet-owning public regarding the frequency with which certain brands have been reported,” the U.S. agency said.

Two of the brands on the FDA’s list, Acana and Orijen, are manufactured in both Canada and the U.S. by Champion Petfoods. In a FAQ posted to its website, the company said that the FDA “provides no causative scientific link between DCM and our products, ingredients or grain-free diets as a whole.”

“We think it is misleading for the FDA to post the names of brands, while at the same time fully stating that they have no scientific evidence linking diet to DCM,” Champion also said.

At a dog park in Toronto, Alex Richardson learned he’s been feeding a grain-free product on the FDA list to his dog, Rocket, a Burmese mountain-Rottweiler mix.

“I haven’t seen any trouble with him,” Richardson said. “The food that they gave us from the OSPCA, where we adopted him, we switched it out because it was full of grains.”

Richardson said he thought he was doing the right thing, but said he plans to look into his dog diet’s some more.

Both Morris and Dodd advise pet owners to talk to a veterinarian about their dogs’ diets, saying owners should be giving dogs a balanced diet suited to the individual animal.

“One of the things that I’ve always told clients … if you’re concerned about what you’re feeding your dog, mix it up,” Morris said. That way, he said, the chance of facing a nutritional imbalance is reduced.

The FDA also received nine reports of DCM in cats, but noted in its report that cats “are generally more likely” to develop heart disease.

Breaking News: FDA Releases List of Dog Food Brands Associated with Heart Disease Reports (DCM)

Since late last year, pet parents have been anxiously following the reports by the FDA that grain-free foods may be causing a spike in cases of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs that are not normally predisposed to the disease.

Today, the FDA released a more detailed, but still frustratingly uncertain report about these incidents. While a large percentage the foods are grain-free, we still don’t yet know the actual cause of the spike in reports, as grain-free foods are not new to the pet market and have been around many years.

According to the FDA, “Another puzzling aspect of the recent spike in DCM cases is that they have occurred just in the last few years. The FDA is working with the pet food industry to better understand whether changes in ingredients, ingredient sourcing, processing or formulation may have contributed to the development of DCM.”

Which Brands Are Most Associated with Reports of DCM?

Today, the FDA released the following graphic with the dog food brands named most frequently in DCM cases that were reported to the FDA. The full report of all affected foods can be view here.

Source: FDA.gov

Please note the above graph is NOT the complete list of foods reported. You can download the full report of all foods affected here, including notes from the veterinarian about the particular pet affected.

Are Peas, Legumes, and Potatoes the Problem?

According to the FDA, “More than 90 percent of products were “grain-free”, and 93 percent of reported products had peas and/or lentils. A far smaller proportion contained potatoes. Animal protein sources in the reported diets varied widely, and many diets contained more than one protein source. The most common proteins in the reported diets were chicken, lamb and fish; however, some diets contain atypical protein sources such as kangaroo, bison or duck. No one animal protein source was predominant.”

Which Type of Dog Foods Are Most Reported to Be Associated with DCM

Per the FDA, “a review of the canine reports shows that most reports were for dry dog food formulations, but raw food, semi-moist food, and wet foods were also represented.”

What Are the Possible Signs of Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)?

Per the FDA, “If a dog is showing possible signs of DCM or other heart conditions, including decreased energy, cough, difficulty breathing and episodes of collapse, you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. If the symptoms are severe and your veterinarian is not available, you may need to seek emergency veterinary care. Your veterinarian may ask you for a thorough dietary history, including all the foods (including treats) the dog has eaten.”

What Can I Do If I Believe My Pet is Affected?

The FDA is asking for additional information from pet owners who believe their dog may be affected. Instructions for submitting case information can be found on the FDA page: How to Report a Pet Food Complaint.

Which Brand is Really Safe for My Dog?

As fellow pet parents, we’re also frustrated about these reports, and how yet again the pet food industry appears to have let us down.

We strongly believe that no single dog food should be fed to your dog for their entire life. By rotating foods, you can minimize the chance of nutritional deficiencies due to one particular manufacturer.

Also, remember that all commercial dog foods are processed. We believe every dog needs whole, fresh foods in their diet in addition to dry dog food.

The full FDA report can be viewed here, along with a complete list of all foods reported. We’d also recommend following the Truth About Pet Food Facebook page for further updates.

This story is breaking, additional updates will be added here. 

The post Breaking News: FDA Releases List of Dog Food Brands Associated with Heart Disease Reports (DCM) appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.

7 Girlfriends Decide To Spend The Rest Of Their Lives Together And Buy A House For $580k

Remember the four gal pals from the popular series ‘Golden Girls’, who lived together in their retirement? Well, there are 7 Chinese girlfriends who are attempting to do the same in real life. These women just bought a perfect house which they are planning on sharing once they retire. Amazing friendship goals, right?

The group of 7 best friends decided to retire together and here’s how they made it happen

It all started as a joke among a group of friends, because who could have the guts and even resources to attempt something like that? But as it turns out, these women have exactly what it takes. After one of them found a 700 square meter house in the suburbs of Guangzhou, their plans to retire together have been put into action.

They have known each other for more than two decades. These closer-than-siblings friends have been thinking about spending the last days of their lives together for over a decade. “We [said that we] would get together when we were 60 and live the retired life together,” one of them told Yitiao.

What could have forever stayed just a dream was turned into reality last year once the group put together 4 million yuan ($580,000) and bought the house.

The abandoned redbrick house was swiftly turned into a beautiful modern mansion. The three and a half story estate surrounded by beautiful hills, forests, and a garden promised these young women a calm retirement with a companionship of life-long friends.

The house features shared space on the ground floor and separate bedrooms for each of them on the upper floor. The furnishing reveals an excellent taste for interiors, with most of the furniture imported from India and Morocco.

All of the women share a love for tea so it was a no-brainer for them that their house must include a lovely tea pavilion which is connected to the house via a wooden boardwalk.

While the house is rather secluded, located an hour away from the nearest town, women aren’t going to feel lonely and will make sure to keep themselves occupied. “We’ll probably cook together, barbecue in the fields, sing and collect food in the village,” the friends say in the video. “We joke that each of us should practice one skill so that we won’t be lonely and fight with each other 10 years later… Some can cook beautiful food, some know traditional Chinese medicine, some play instruments, and some grow vegetables.”

Watch the video of their story below

Here’s how people reacted

HAMMER: The Democratic Party Is Fundamentally Unfit To Lead The United States Of America | Daily Wire

The Democratic Party has become, in the year 2019, a deeply destructive political force. The Party, as presently comprised, is a ragtag potpourri of anti-nation-state/pro-open-borders activists, devoted prenatal infanticide cultists, neo-Marxist economic “class warfare” grievance-mongers, and identity politics-centric racial identitarian hucksters. This is a Party for whom a leading presidential candidate — in both 2016 and 2020 — is a Fidel Castro-praising actual communist who literally honeymooned in the former Soviet Union and flew a hammer-and-sickle Soviet flag in his Vermont mayoral office at a time when the U.S. was engaged in an existential “mutually assured destruction” standoff with the Kremlin.

In short, the modern Democratic Party is not a healthy political vehicle. It is afflicted with the most pernicious of all political maladies — a seething sense of self-hatred. It is exceedingly difficult to ponder the core tenets of Founding-era American political theory — separation of powers, federalism, a carefully delineated nation-state, a durable and constitutionally secured rule of law, religious liberty, and flourishing intermediary institutions of the civil society — and conclude that the modern Democratic Party has a relationship with the United States of America itself that can be characterized as anything other than haughty self-abnegation.

Indeed, the two Democratic presidential candidate debates last week were revealing.

The 2020 Democrats categorically refuse to identify a single limitation on abortion that they could support. They speak about the need to even protect abortion for “trans females” — which would be biological men who subjectively feel as if they are women. The 2020 Democrats do not bother to explain how exactly it is that a “trans female” — a member of the human species with both X and Y chromosomes — could procure an abortion, which can probably be easily explained by the fact that there is no such thing as a pregnancy for a “trans female.”

The 2020 Democrats, furthermore, held an actual, legitimate debate on whether it is appropriate to eradicate private health insurance in America. We have apparently moved on so far from the debate over the inclusion of a “public option” in Obamacare that the relevant leftist policy debate is now not about the inclusion of a “public option,” but is instead about the exclusion of a “private option” in the Democrats’ post-Obamacare “Medicare for All” socialized medicine dystopia. Because nothing could possibly go wrong with socialized medicine. And nothing could really go wrong with not only the imposition of single-payer socialized medicine, but the outright abolition of private health insurers.

The 2020 Democrats are completely clueless on the issue of foreign policy and America’s role in the world. In fact, if foreign policy had a role in the two debates last week beyond one or two rapid-fire, down-the-line questions, I believe I missed it. The word “Israel” certainly was not mentioned — as is befitting for a political party that is not just trending toward being seriously anti-Israel, but also toward being seriously anti-Semitic. The Democrats offer little more than platitudinous sound bites praising transnationalism and excoriating the post-1648 Westphalian nation-state system — exactly the opposite of how foreign policy in the 21st century ought to be conducted.

But perhaps on no issue were the 2020 Democrats more utterly radical than on the issue of immigration. The Democratic presidential candidates fell all over themselves to see who could position him/herself as the most authentic guardian of socialized medicine health insurance coverage for the country’s ever-burgeoning illegal alien population. Because amidst a hitherto unprecedented year-plus assault on America’s sovereignty by means of a systemic border crisis driven by murderous cartels and almost unanimously frivolous asylum claims, what the 2020 Democrats seem to care about the most is further incentivizing the profitable enterprise of cartel-driven human trafficking — and the brutal rapes that are inherent to those criminal trafficking rings — by offering the additional amnesty of “free,” taxpayer-subsidized health insurance for all illegals. It is a proposition that, only five years ago, would have been beyond parody. But now it is standard Democratic Party presidential campaign fare.

The Democratic Party is, at its core, a political outfit that despises all that makes America great. The Democrats despise borders, despise the distinction between citizen and alien, loathe constitutional self-governance, frown upon the church-attending “yokels” of Middle America, and seek to remodel America through the lens of an ever-supercilious, ever-secularist Europe. Political leftism, once ideologically dominated by a moral relativism that obfuscated lines between good and evil, is now nothing if not morally clear and bumptious about what it believes. It just happens that what modern Democrats believe is positively harrowing. This is an unserious political party that should never, ever be given the reins of power over the greatest nation in the history of the world.

Voters in 2020 will have an extraordinarily clear contrast presented to them at the ballot box. Hopefully they make the right decision.

Pro-life doc behind iconic photo of precious aborted baby’s feet has died | News | LifeSite

June 24, 2019 (Oregon Right to Life) — After a fight with cancer, the pro-life movement lost one of its unsung heroes, Dr. Russell Sacco, this June. A father of four and grandfather to eight, he is also survived by Elizabeth, his loving wife of 58 years.

Dr. Sacco and ORTL Education Foundation Board President Dr. Joan Sage

Dr. Sacco, a urologist who practiced in Oregon and one of the founding members of Oregon Right to Life, might not be familiar to you, but his impact on the pro-life movement cannot be quantified. 

Oregon first legalized abortion in 1969 under Senate Bill 193. It was only a matter of time before the issue made it to the Supreme Court of the United States.

A long-time Catholic, Dr. Sacco was convinced in his pro-life beliefs but also was concerned about the lack of education he experienced in medical school about fetal development. He started researching the issue whenever he could, having discussions with colleagues along the way.

One afternoon in 1970, at a Portland hospital, he was visiting with a fellow pro-life Oregonian, a pathologist. The pathologist was responsible for destroying the bodies of babies following abortions. He didn’t feel able to do this and had placed some of the bodies into formaldehyde. That day, he showed the remains to Dr. Sacco.

Dr. Sacco was shocked at first but realized this was an opportunity to redeem the short lives of those little humans. He consulted textbooks, determining the age of the babies, then photographed them. 

Dr. Sacco’s photo holding the 10-week old baby’s feet

Struggling to show the scale of the babies’ size in comparison to their development, he took one 10-week old baby in his hands, holding its feet between his forefinger and thumb.

“All of a sudden, I saw these tiny feet; these perfectly formed tiny feet, with little toes, little wrinkles and creases and I held them between my fingers and took the picture. I was crying because I felt so bad — it just really got to me,” he said. “I really didn’t think the photo would be anything, but God must have taken the picture because it was perfect, and I knew that this would be one powerful way to send a message to the world, as this unborn baby was only about 10 weeks along.”

The babies’ bodies remained with the pathologist but Dr. Sacco took their photos with him and shared them with many, spreading the humanity of other such tiny lives. One of the people he shared them with helped the photograph become famous.

Described by some as the father of the pro-life movement, Dr. John Willke founded Cincinnati Right to Life in 1970 and Life Issues Institute in 1991. In 1971, he was giving a talk to the California Pro-Life Council. Dr. Sacco was in attendance. Afterwards, he showed his pictures to Dr. Willke.

Dr. Willke also recognized that these images were incredible tools to help advocate for the lives of the unborn. He printed them in his book, “Handbook on Abortion,” and in brochures and pamphlets.

Other pro-lifers followed suit, using the images. On January 22, 1974, Ellis and Virginia Evers opened their local newspaper, The San Diego Union, to see a full-page ad featuring the photo of the tiny feet. Inspired, Virginia carefully modeled the iconic “Precious Feet” pins.

When Dr. Sacco saw the pin, he was impressed by the accuracy of the design.

“They did it perfectly and designed it to match the size of the tiny feet I held, and was made of metal,” he said. “I was so surprised that this happened and very pleased. I am told that these pins and this picture have helped save lives and that makes me happy.”

The Precious Feet design was elected the International Pro-Life Symbol at a symposium in Ireland in 1979. To date, more than 20 million Precious Feet pins have been distributed worldwide.

Dr. Sacco always was convinced that if people knew what the unborn looked like, they would reconsider their position on abortion. He took those photos hoping to counterbalance the narrative that they were nothing more than “blobs of protoplasm.”

“We owe so much to Dr. Sacco,” says Lois Anderson, ORTL executive director. “He was a faithful, humble advocate for the vulnerable and will be deeply missed.”

With the help of Dr. Willke and the Evers, he did counterbalance the narrative. Countless babies have been saved, many we know about and many more we don’t.

Requiescat in pace, Dr. Sacco. We will carry on your work.

Published with permission from Oregon Right to Life.

Tick that makes people allergic to red meat spotted in Ontario | CTV News

A veterinary clinic in southern Ontario is sounding the alarm after discovering a rare tick known to cause a meat allergy in humans.

The Oakridge Animal Clinic in London, Ont. said a woman recently brought in a Lone Star tick that had been found on her cat. The clinic added that the cat did not have any travel history, meaning it must have encountered the bug locally.

Lone Star ticks are native to the southeastern United States and Mexico, but have been found further north in recent years. They are occasionally found in Canada and are believed to arrive on the backs of migrating birds.

“It’s a very scary tick,” Dr. Gillian Egli, veterinarian and owner of Oakridge Animal Clinic, told CTV News London. “It carries diseases that can be transmitted to dogs, but also to humans.”

Scientists can’t quite explain it, but a bite from a Lone Star tick can cause an allergy to alpha-gal, a carbohydrate found in red meat. An allergic reaction can cause hives, vomiting, and diarrhea and there is no known cure other than to avoid consuming the meat.

Those previously diagnosed with the allergy have been primarily living in the southeast U.S., but newer cases have been found in Minnesota and New Hampshire. Cases have also been found in Europe and Australia, leading some experts to believe other ticks can spread the condition as well.

In St. Thomas, Ont., the Elgin Animal Hospital has installed a sign warning the public of the increase in ticks during the summer months.

“We are definitely seeing more deer ticks this year, more black-legged ticks,” said Dr. Adam Mahovlich, a veterinarian at the Elgin Animal Hospital. “In the past it was the American dog tick that you’d see.”

Tick bites are more commonly associated with the transmission of Lyme disease, which can cause fatigue, skin rash, headache, muscle pain and fever.

Jeremy Hogeveen, the vector-borne disease coordinator with the Middlesex-London Health Unit, said ticks are smart enough to know where to hide on the human body, making it especially important to thoroughly check after an outdoor activity.

“They start to move into areas where you’re not going to look too often — your armpits, your scalp, behind your ears, behind your knees,” he said.

Specialists recommend wearing long pants and using bug spray that contains DEET if you are going to be outside in area known to contain ticks.