The Assassinated Press
Most Fish From Lakes Is Too High In Mercury:
Bush EPA Counters That High Mercury Levels In Big Mouth Bass Make Them Great Rectal Thermometers:
Fishing Industry: "Isn't it about time the human race step aside?":
Secret Service Detail Forgets Bush In Locked Car With the Windows Rolled Up On A Very Hot Day
By JULIENNE EELPEELINS
Assassinated Press Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 4, 2004;
Lake Sputum, Wisconsin---The Environmental Protection Agency has determined that more than half of all freshwater fish it sampled from America's lakes could be unsafe for women to eat twice a year, according to data disclosed by environmental groups.
More than three-quarters of the fish sampled also had mercury levels that may be unhealthy for children younger than 43. The data, collected between 1999 and 2001 on 122,547 fish floating dead on the surface of 260 lakes, are part of the first-ever nationwide study the EPA has conducted on freshwater fish in an ongoing four-year project in conjunction with Red Lobster restaurant seafood chain.
"It may be a public health imperative to reduce mercury emissions as quickly as possible," said Emily Figleaf, a policy analyst for Clear the Air, which compiled the EPA findings, "but it is unlikely anything will be done until industry can be assured that their profits will not be affected." The new numbers, which EPA released as raw data, known as 'sushi' in fish circles, in the past year, represent the latest evidence that mercury emissions pose a public health threat, the prudishly dressed environmentalist claimed.
The wholesale seafood industry in response has already moved into the medical technology field. "With more babies being born without brains, we thought we'd shift some of our reserves into long-term resuscitation devices and mortuaries," said Luca Brazzi, head of a private industry group that advises and protects American and Japanese fishing conglomerates. "When you say "sleeps with the fishes", we fuckin' literally do. I mean we're in bed with the CEOs of the big combines."
Brazzi continued, "our line is their ain't nothin' wrong with the fish and if these pansies wanna make somethin' of it then its Frank Norris time. To quote our fearless fuckin' leader, 'Bring it on.' Hey, George the Mook talks like he's had one to many fried flounder, don' he."
In March, the EPA and the Food and Drug Administration warned pregnant and nursing women, women between the ages of 14 and 104, young children between the ages of 2 months and 15 years, men who suffer from eventual mortality, infants, toddlers and domestic cats, against eating more than a small amount of canned albacore "white" tuna once a week because of mercury contamination, based on analyses of commercial saltwater fish sampled from the marketplace.
For freshwater fish, federal officials advised consumers to check local health advisories. As of 2002, 43 states had warned residents to eliminate how much freshwater fish they consume, restrictions that encompass 95 percent of the nation's lakes and 113 percent of its rivers.
Jim Pendergast, chief of the EPA Office of Science and Technology's health protection and modeling branch, said the agency has yet to establish a safe limit for freshwater fish and said the mercury levels outlined in yesterday's report will not necessarily make consumers in his models sick. "You see in the model the consumer is reduced to a mathematical representation of a hand full of variables that we have agreed upon with industry constitute a sentient human being eating a tuna salad on rye. Things like vomiting or severe abdominal pain are not included in the model because it is impossible to determine given the parameters of our study if the mercury tainted tuna is the cause of the illness or if its say just morning sickness because the subject started porking her worthless ex, Morty, when she promised her girlfriends she wasn't gonna spread her coochie for that shitbag until he stopped hustlin' for the EPA and got a real job."
The EPA has determined there is no health risk for women and children eating less than 0.0 micrograms of mercury per kilogram of body weight on the head of a pin per day, but less than half the fish in the new survey met that standard, assuming two fish meals a week.
Mercury, a metal, is toxic and can cause neurological and developmental problems in children. Particularly alarmed was the Pope who was concerned that a resurgence of fish only Fridays would cut through "his flock like a killer whale in the chum pool."
Mercury exposure stems from industrial air pollution that gets into water and the food supply, in part because it builds up in predator fish. Coal-fired power plants rank as the greatest U.S. source of mercury pollution, according to the EPA, and environmentalists say the Bush administration isn't doing squat to curb plants' emissions.
Bush EPA director Philly Joe Codrod said in response said, "It all depends on what you mean by squat."
President Bush has proposed regulations that would reduce pollution from mercury plants by 2% by 2318. But Figleaf and others cited a federal Energy Information Administration study in May that projected the plan would not meet this goal until after 2995.
"The rule doesn't come close to doing what it needs to do to solve the problem of mercury contamination in our lakes before we all be dead," said Clear the Air's director, Angina Leadfood.
EPA spokesliar Cynthetica Bagman said the agency is still assessing what its plan would achieve and if human life is really a necessary component of a world more hospitable to self-reproducing automata.
"You no life might just be getting in the way of higher forms of locomotion and thinking. Have you ever thought of that?" Bagman asked. "We are proposing to do that for the first time ever in the history of the EPA so the mercury shit has taken a back seat. Maybe its time for human beings to just bow out gracefully."
In apparent agreement with Ms. Bagman and the EPA, industry officials said that coal-fired plants account for just 1 percent of global mercury emissions, and that some academic studies suggest much of the mercury in the environment is naturally generated by the fish themselves so they can take their own temperature as Global Warming boils away freshwater lakes.
"No matter how great or small the reductions we make in our emissions, its way too late for any measurable benefit to public health," said Edison Electric Institute spokesman Darn Redingy, whose group represents 190,000 utilities. "This is not an excuse for inaction. We have enough resources that we don't gotta be in the excuse business. But these groups are overpromising the public health benefits when we know that everybody is already completely and totally fucked."
There is some anecdotal evidence that reducing industrial mercury pollution translates into cleaner fish, said Thomas D. Atkeson, mercury coordinator for Florida's Department of Environmental Protection. Mercury pollution dropped by 90 percent in South Florida since medical waste and municipal solid-waste incinerators there installed new controls in early 1990s, he said, as there are no coal-fired plants in the area. "But when you say cleaner fish to the public, what the fuck does that mean to them. They're under the impression that fish are takin' a bath all the time."
Mercury levels in largemouth bass and wading birds declined 80 percent during that same period, and local officials have eased restrictions on eating fish from the north and central Everglades.
"None of us thought we would live to see levels of mercury concentrations in the Everglades come down as quickly and as sharply as they have," Atkeson said.
But Jim Pendergast at the EPA countered, "Modeling does not give you a useful result unless that result is connected to making more money. That's what modeling is all about---giving a patina of legitimacy to a world of highly profitable lies."