Shawn Yanity: Protect our water and our resources from pollution

"Many Washington residents, including treaty Indian tribes, believe that we should be limiting pollution, not the amount of fish and shellfish that we eat. Oregon recently raised its fish consumption rate to about 12 pounds a month, which is the most protective rate in the country. Washingtonians deserve at least the same protection.

Although it is difficult to argue against protecting our fish, shellfish and public health, opponents challenge the dietary studies behind the fish consumption rate in Oregon and the similar rate proposed for Washington. But those studies were designed in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, state and federal health agencies, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The studies were then peer-reviewed by a panel of highly qualified independent scientists in public health and toxicology.

Those opposed to clean water and protecting human health also claim that we can’t afford to raise the fish consumption rate. They say that new rules will lead to everything from lost jobs to higher sewer rates at a time when our economy is struggling. The sad truth is that we all have been paying for our unrealistically low fish consumption rate for many years. We’ve been paying for it with the quality of our water, our food and our health."

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Shawn Yanity: Fish Consumption Rate Needs Updating (Indian Country Today 7/5)

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