You are here: home   Issues   Two-Wheel Revolution   Inconclusive conclusions
Topic: Culture & Communities     Department: Letters

Inconclusive conclusions

Document Actions

Sierra Crane-Murdoch's thoughtful article on the legacy of the tragic cancer deaths of young children in Fallon, Nev., brought to mind the cancer clusters amid the pesticide-saturated lands in California's Central Valley (HCN, 3/3/14). The investigations result in the same inconclusive and deeply unsatisfying official conclusions. Suspicions linger for years that information has been withheld, but those most affected – farm workers and others with few resources – have little they can do except complain.

What struck me was the simplistic, single-cause model that seemed to guide both the research and the interpretation of the results. Was it arsenic? Was it something in the jet fuel? Was it tungsten? Couldn't it be the combined effect of multiple toxins?

The fact that so many of these cancers erupted at roughly the same time would suggest that these children were close to some tipping point and then something new was introduced that pushed some of them beyond the ability of their bodies to keep up with the challenge of fighting off the toxins.

The story also points to the chronic and ultimately inhumane responses all too typical of many people and seemingly of nearly all corporations. The problem very quickly shifts from "our problem" to "your problem" –– and your problem is going to make a problem for me, so get over it and let's move on. Corporations have a duty to protect their shareholders, and that easily translates to not admitting culpability for anything, and even destroying or hiding any proof to the contrary.

David E. Roy
Fresno, California

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. Idaho’s sewer system is the Snake River | As Big Ag flourishes, this massive waterway suffer...
  2. Closure of federal sheep facility would be a victory for grizzlies |
  3. The Latest: Wild Mexican wolf pups born in Sierra Madre | The species still struggles on both sides of the b...
  4. Summer swimming in a Washington lake | A writer takes the plunge in frigid water.
  5. Colorado water users gird for first statewide plan |
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. Idaho’s sewer system is the Snake River | As Big Ag flourishes, this massive waterway suffer...
  3. A graceful gazelle becomes a pest | Inrroducing an African gazelle called the oryx for...
  4. Illegal immigrants take jobs from Americans | A native-born New Mexico Hispanic points out that ...
  5. Plains sense | Ten years after Frank and Deborah Popper first pro...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
More from Culture & Communities
Metamorphosis in Winnemucca Review of ‘The Days of Anna Madrigal’ by Armistead Maupin
An award, and a whole lot of visitors Cally Carswell wins a Society of Environmental Journalists award; visitors come to call.
George Harrison’s tree is killed by beetles, and more Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.
All Culture & Communities
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone