Sometimes, real life emulates movies, which often emulate real life. Confusing? So are these mutated trout fry, spawned from fish taken from creeks in Idaho, which have been polluted with selenium from the mining operations of the J.R. Simplot Company. Among the fished raised in laboratories, some had deformed tails, deformed faces, or two heads. Some parent fish even laid deformed eggs.
Even more confusing, is that this report was done by the company itself, and it actually concluded that it would be safe to allow selenium, a toxic metal byproduct of mining, to remain in the streams. The report even stated higher levels of selenium, above what is currently allowed by regulatory law, would be okay too.
You don’t say. I guess dead, two-headed fish babies are kind of cute.
There are a number of problems here. One, is that people had to actually do a study to see if releasing a toxic metal into streams had any negative effect. Of course it does, assholes. The effects of selenium, and other toxic metals, on the environment have been known for decades. They even made cool movies about it. However, it appears there is a debate withing the Environmental Protection Agency on how much poison we should allow to pollute the environment. A debate. On how much poison we should allow to pollute the environment. Poison known to mutate things.
I know I’m just some schmuck working at a fast food joint, but I think when the fish start growing two heads, that is a good sign there is too much poison in the environment. Maybe we’re waiting for a 9-foot, two-headed trout to wade out of a stream and bitch-slap some kid’s head off before we make that assessment.
The other problem, is that J.R. Simplot actually has any say over how much selenium should be allowed into the environment. It is like asking a dog to deiced how much of your dinner it is okay to eat while you’re answering the phone. The answer will always be, “as much as it can”. I know there is a huge outcry from certain political groups, and corporations, regarding the image the public has of corporations, and the stockholders behind them, as dirty, lying, greedy organizations, who will do anything to make a buck, even at the deteriment of everybody involved. I’d feel bad about this stereotype, if it had ever been proven wrong.
Worse yet, is that the EPA thought the study was legit. The study which featured two-headed trout babies. Did they even read it? Nobody would probably even know about this, if it wasn’t for other federal scientists who picked up on the report and noted something was a bit off.
Of course, this is just one example. I’m sure there are lots more out there. Lots. Examples not caught by the EPA. Examples not noticed by federal scientists. Examples definitely not exposed by the polluters themselves. It kind of makes me want a giant, skinless bear to show up and start making campers explode inside their sleeping bags.