Listening to Hurricane Sandy coverage as I write this week’s Friday Pearl brought home lots of important messages: Enjoy life to the fullest every day possible; always hope for the best, be kind and be prepared for and cautiously anticipate the worst.
Our hearts break for everyone affected including our Eastern seaboard friends, family and colleagues and we send all of them our sincere sympathy and understanding.
Unfortunately, more often than not, it takes a major wake-up call to make us remember how important it is to promote the unity required to successfully address disaster.
A Tale of Two Philosophies
While up-town Manhattan has power restored as I write this column, lower Manhattan is still totally in the dark on my pre-dawn office TV screen. This lack of lower Manhattan power is clearly about geography, but the eerie dichotomy video reminds me of those who take responsibility for keeping themselves and our planet healthy vs. those who chose to ignore science and promote fewer industry regulations because easy over-consumption of everything feels good . . . until it suddenly doesn't.
Apparently some of the affected cities on the East Coast heeded the scientific community warnings of pending coastal disasters related to either man-made or cyclical Atlantic Ocean warming and found funds to shore up their properties and infrastructure. Other cities totally ignored the warnings of well-qualified scientists and continued their Moderation in Nothing approach to life and city management. It's reasonable to suspect those who did what they could to keep their cities healthy will suffer a bit less.
Disasters of this magnitude are beyond the total capability of any city or state . . . as are the pandemic preventable degenerative diseases that require government intervention at the Washington, state, and local level. In a perfect world, individuals and all levels of government would take responsibility for both personal and planet health, but we will never live in a perfect world so it’s up to all of us and our elected officials to become more responsible and to work together as best we can for both personal and greater good.
As an aside: I applaud Mayor Bloomberg for having the nerve to limit the size of sodas sold in Manhattan. Some strongly feel this is interfering with individual freedom, but the obesity / type-2 diabetes epidemic is directly related to excessive empty-calorie junk food consumption and we, the collective tax payers, are paying the price in rising healthcare costs related to this epidemic. I also applaud the state of California for putting the GMO label issue on their November 6 ballot. Consumers have the right to know what’s included in the foods they buy to feed their families.
My Personal Take on Industry RegulationsNone of us like the burden of industry regulations: I complain a bit about the amount of time required to be absolutely compliant with all of the finally-addressed DSHEA, and ever growing FDA, and FTC dietary supplement regulations. I complain, but I also feel good about the difference the appropriately expanded regulations have made in consumer confidence in our industry. In this 21st century profit-before-everything society, expanding regulatory burdens seem to be required to save us from ourselves. Every time I question regulations, I remind myself of the unregulated Wall Street disasters that came way too close to destroying our country, mostly because too many of us ignored all of the informed folks who kept warning us the overly-inflated and under-regulated banking, housing and stock market bubble would burst.
Our country seems to be evenly politically divided with both parties representing good and bad ideas. Shame of all of us if we supported any of the political vitriol that caused a four year old girl in Fort Collins, CO named Abby to burst into tears on camera because she was terrified of pictures of both Obama and Romany (her pronunciation, not my misspelling). We are collectively better than scaring little children and every one else with outrageous and questionable pack-paid-for political ads from both sides.
A well-functioning democracy always depends on citizens participation. So let’s try to be a kinder, unified and more responsible nation and all show up to vote for the candidate of our choice on Tuesday. Let’s also commit to supporting our next president, whomever he may be. We collectively deserve better than another four years of divisive stagnation.
Ellen Troyer, MT MA
Biosyntrx CEO / Chief Research Officer