Well, Diane Wilson pointed me towards these terrific (and terrifically upsetting) videos on Youtube. They show a rancher named Randy Mumme, whose family has raised cattle in Point Comfort for over 200 years. But since Formosa and Alcoa built their plants upwind of his land, his cattle have started experiencing a whole host of creepy health problems. They dropped weight. An unusual number of calves were stillborn. One was born with three legs.
Then, a couple of years ago, scientists from A&M ran a series of tests on the cattle, and found they had extensive genetic damage, perhaps because of the toxic chemicals and gases that pour out of Formosa–a company with such a horrid record of environmental abuses that it was virtually kicked out of Taiwan! (How bout the fact that if some company gets kicked out of Taiwan for being too dirty, the only place that’ll take them is Texas? Good grief. How’d we get to this point?)
But anyway, to quote a terrific article from “Scientific American” on the subject of Randy Mumme and his cattle:
“In 2002, when the cattle study began, 1.4 million pounds of 43 toxic chemicals were emitted from Formosa and Alcoa plants, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Many of the chemicals are known carcinogens, including butadiene, used in the production of rubber, and dichloroethylene, an industrial solvent.”
Mumme is, of course, disturbed about the health of his cattle. But he’s even more disturbed about the health of his family. He says he’s eager to volunteer for genetic tests similar to those performed on his cattle. But so far he hasn’t found a scientist willing to take him up on the offer.
Oh, and here’s another upsetting thing about these videos. They weren’t even originally made for American TV. They were made for Taiwanese TV, and they have Chinese subtitles. Now, I’m sure Taiwan has wonderful TV, and more power to them. But you have to wonder, why isn’t footage like this being played on Texas TV? Since it’s our cattle and our folks that are being poisoned and all?
Thank God for Youtube, is all I can say.
And thank God for Diane Wilson. Also, the “Scientific American.”
Here are those videos.
And here’s a link to the terrific article in “Scientific American.”