Distracted Driving, Animal Antibiotics, and Anglo-American Relations
The National Transportation Safety Board is pushing for a nationwide ban on "nonemergency" use of mobile phones by drivers.
"Obviously the NTSB isn’t going to call for bans on speaking in motor vehicles or isolating the driver from the rest of the cab with soundproofing technology. But there are plenty more potential internal distractions to worry about: watching your kids in the backseat through the rear-view mirror, reading a map, eating and drinking, smoking, grooming, adjusting the stereo, using a navigation device, adjusting climate controls, retrieving objects from seats or the floor, etc. All of these internal distraction factors are primarily or partially responsible for some accidents. Rather than institute bans on what drivers may or may not be doing inside their automobiles, drivers ought to be educated on safe driving behaviors. Multitasking while driving naturally increases crash risk, but does anyone for a minute believe that prohibiting any multitasking would be enforceable or even beneficial?"
A few weeks ago, the FDA denied a citizens' petition by environmentalist groups to limit the use of antibiotics on animals.
"The use of antibiotics in animals is only one factor (and a small one at that) in the emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, and it contributes far less to the development of resistance than does misuse among human patients. More importantly, though, the use of antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals delivers substantial benefits for both animal and human health. Even the often criticized sub-therapeutic uses of these drugs contribute to reduced pathogen loads in animal-derived foods and have a positive impact on human safety. The question that few have even bothered to ask, and that the scientific community has not yet answered is whether, on balance, forbidding sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock would do more good than harm. There is good, though by no means conclusive, reason to believe the answer is no."
Read the letter here.