Letter: Under the radar — Cancer and crops

Published 9:45 pm Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Every day on television we see ads: “Have you or a loved one suffered from mesothelioma? You may be entitled to compensation. …” Mesothelioma is one of the many cancers suffered by people who have lived or worked around asbestos. The U.S. has not banned the use of asbestos entirely, as have at least 60 countries. Previously, we purchased 95 percent of our asbestos from Brazil and the rest from Russia. Brazil recently banned the mining, use and sale of asbestos, so now Russia will pick up the slack.

I believe Donald Trump is a fan of asbestos — claiming asbestos poisoning was a mob-led conspiracy theory. Now his EPA will be allowing potential new uses of asbestos, while limiting the scope of studies that assess its risk. One of the benefactors of this new policy is Uralasbest, a Russian asbestos company in Asbest, Russia, once known as the “dying city” because if its high cancer rates. Uralasbest is shipping its asbestos pallets, featuring a seal with Donald Trump’s face in its center. The seal says, “Approved by Donald Trump, 45th president of the United States.” Their advertising claims, “Donald is on our side.”

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Formerly, American farmers exported soybeans to China and other countries. But because of the trade war Trump has embarked upon, farmers have lost a portion of their foreign markets. Again, Russia has been a beneficiary of Trump’s policies. While China has cut its purchase of American soybeans, Russian soybean sales to China have tripled. Meanwhile, Mexico will be buying corn it previously bought from the U.S. from Argentina.

Kansas cattle rancher Mike Callicrate wrote an op-ed chronicling how the Trump administration and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue have betrayed American farmers, specifically by overturning Obama’s “Farmer Fair Practices Rule,” a rule that made it easier for small farmers to bring claims against companies engaged in predatory agribusiness practices. Before that rule, a farmer had to prove a particular agribusiness predatory practice that affected him affected the entire industry in order to bring charges. Sonny Perdue says farmers should just trust big agribusiness to “treat everyone fairly.” Right.

The latest casualties of Trump’s trade policies are Harley-Davidson, and a nail factory in Missouri. Meanwhile, Wisconsin is providing the Taiwanese company FOXCONN $4 billion in incentives to build a factory in Wisconsin. Wisconsin taxpayers will pay $200,000 to $1 million for each job Trump will supposedly create in bringing FOXCONN to Wisconsin. Wisconsinites are projected to recoup their investment in 2043.

Donald Trump — making the country and leader he gives allegiance to (Russia and Putin) great again.

Lonna Gooden Van Horn