May 6, 2016
Today's first course?
A new study conducted by Portland State University (PSU) researchers, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality found that native oysters in Oregon’s Netarts and Coos bays contain a “cocktail of pharmaceuticals,” carcinogenic compounds, and chemicals, which include pain relievers, antibiotics, mercury, and pesticides. These bays are protected and harvesting the native oysters is illegal because of a project to restore the species. Though the “individual concentrations of chemicals” found in the oysters are below what state health officials deem to be safe, the ecological effects and potential human risks are unknown.
As journalists, one of the most integral tools of our job is the Freedom of Information Act. We can legally place FOIA requests for government records and information from organizations that would otherwise be classified to the public. A new bill, as part of the 2017 House Agricultural Bill, currently being backed and pushed by major beef, egg, and milk producers, would exempt big agriculture from FOIA requests. The specific groups pushing for a media blackout are the marketing arms behind the famous “Beef: It’s What’s for Dinner” and “Got Milk?” campaigns. Currently, the USDA oversees these programs, but if Big Agro has its way, the new language in the bill would declassify these research and marketing divisions as under USDA jurisdiction.
A new controversial technology is known as Stingray can be used to locate terrorists by collecting data from nearby cell users. However, police in Annapolis, Maryland recently used the technology to track down a pizza robber. That’s right, a hardened criminal who stole $56 worth of wings and subs from a Baltimore pizza delivery guy. Police actually could not find their target and had to get a court order to use the Stingray technology. Baltimore police have confirmed that although the Stingray technology has been used 129 times in the past five years, leading to 27 arrests and zero terrorists caught.
That’s today’s Daily Dish, thanks for watching. Stop by tomorrow for another helping.