• Follow us


Recent editorials published in Iowa newspapers

Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. June 9, 2019

Do your research before eating Iowa-caught fish

In 2017, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection its findings from the prior two-year cycle that nearly half of the state’s bodies of water had some sort of impairment.

All told, Iowa had 750 lakes, rivers and streams that failed to meet water quality standards for an intended use - drinking, recreation or supporting aquatic life. Although that was a slight improvement from the previous report in 2015, it didn’t tell the whole story.

Because of budget cuts, not all bodies of water were tested - 52 percent of rivers, 61 percent of lakes and reservoirs and 83 percent of wetlands. In 2016, Saylorville Lake north of Des Moines was considered unimpaired - until warnings on the beach were posted that summer because of toxic algal blooms.

So what about the fish in those waterways, are they safe to consume?

A joint project by staffers at Cedar Falls High’s Tiger Hi-Line, the nonprofit IowaWatch.org (the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism) and the University of Northern Iowa’s journalism department determined the answer is yes, albeit a bit murky in Iowa and surrounding states as well.

Fishing is big business. The DNR took in $8 million from fishing licenses in 2018. Fishing locations, hot spots and tips are prominent on its website. Not as readily available, but still accessible, are its warnings.

Suffice it to say, fish are part of a healthy diet with the proper preparation. However, the quantity of fish consumed may well be determined by the species and where it’s caught (excluding private ponds, which the DNR doesn’t monitor).

The DNR advises anglers to limit consumption of fish caught in 22 Iowa lakes and rivers because of contaminants like mercury and PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls), a highly toxic industrial compound that can pose serious developmental and neurological risks to fetuses, babies and children after repeated exposure to small amounts.

Because you can’t see, smell or taste either of those contaminants, it’s best to take some precautionary measures by accessing the DNR’s “Fish Consumption Advisories” based on fish tissue samples at www.iowadnr.gov/Environmental-Protection/Water-Quality/Water-Monitoring/Fish-Tissue. (The DNR’s goal is to take fish-tissue samples from popular fishing sites every 10 years and key river segments every five years.)

For instance, in the Cedar River along U.S. 218 from Floyd to the Minnesota state line and the Iowa River from below the Iowa Falls dam to Coralville, the DNR warns against eating more than one meal per week of any predator fish (walleyes, northern pike, lake trout) because of mercury contamination.

No matter the catch, though, trim the skin and fat, particularly belly fat. In fatty fish such as carp, catfish and lake trout, PCBs tend to accumulate. By all means, clean and cook properly.

Unfortunately, the 2018 Iowa Angler Survey of 1,628 fishermen and women conducted by Responsive Management of Harrisonburg, Va., for the DNR, found that the vast majority of respondents were either unaware of or didn’t heed the warnings:

84 percent think Iowa’s fish are safe for eating.

28 percent think Iowa’s water quality is better than a decade ago; 31 believe it’s worse.

80 percent consumed some of the fish caught, while 78 percent didn’t limit consumption - a total of 4.6 million meals of Iowa-caught fish.

The Tiger Hi-Line and IowaWatch.org report found that monitoring in surrounding states is far from comprehensive:

South Dakota tested 14 water bodies last year.

Nebraska annually tests approximately 40-50 pre-selected streams and publicly owned lakes in two or three of its 13 major river basins.

Illinois tests 40-50 streams, rivers and inland lakes and four Lake Michigan open-water stations annually.

Wisconsin collects fish from approximately 50 to 100 sites annually.

Minnesota tests fish samples from approximately 130 lakes and river segments annually.

And standards vary.

Iowa advises that a healthy fish portion is equivalent to a happy-hour special - 6 ounces. In Nebraska, it’s a more realistic 8 ounces.

Using new science standards, Minnesota recently changed its risk assessment for fish contaminated by perfluorooctane sulfonate - chemicals present in non-stick cookware, food packaging, waterproof clothing, fabric stain protectors, lubricants, paints, and firefighting foams - from 800 ng/g (nanograms per gram) to 200 ng/g.

PFOS are linked to immunotoxicity, decreased sperm count, low birth weight and thyroid disease, primarily from fish consumption. Eating fish accounts for 90 percent of human exposure to PFOS.

IowaWatch.org notes “Iowa’s safety advisories offer stricter consumption guidelines than those placed on fish purchased from grocery stores and restaurants.”

Still, as the Tiger Hi-Line and IowaWatch.org report makes clear, it’s advisable to take personal responsibility for your health and well being when catching and consuming fish.

Access the aforementioned DNR website and learn about possible contamination before casting your line.


Quad-City Times . June 9, 2019

Legislating by neglect

In defending her veto of a bill expanding the state’s medical marijuana program, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said last week that the measure was “too much of a jump for her.”

In the closing days of the session, Iowa lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to expand the state’s medical marijuana law, enhancing the allowable limit of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, so that people could purchase up to 25 grams per 90 days. The amount was higher than what state’s Medical Cannabidiol Advisory Board recommended - and more than the 3% current cap currently in place.

Proponents of the bill say the cap limits the program’s effectiveness.

The governor didn’t agree with the bill that was offered, but she said she’s willing to work with the legislature on a compromise.

It’s too bad there wasn’t more clarity on this issue during the session. Some lawmakers confessed to being confused by what the state’s cannabis advisory board was recomnending. And the governor’s veto of a bill that was overwhelmingly approved by lawmakers in her own caucus suggests a clear disconnect.

This breakdown occurs as states all around us are liberalizing their own marijuana laws. We just saw the Illinois General Assembly pass a bill legalizing recreational marijuana. With Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s expected signature, that will make Illinois the 11th state to do so. Sales will begin in January.

The new law will allow the possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana, which is a little more than an ounce. The purchases have to be made at approved dispensaries. People from out of state can buy half that, though it’s important to note, possession still is illegal in Iowa.

We doubt this kind of legalization will come to Iowa anytime soon. The state is historically cautious - sometimes to a fault - though in this instance it is a reticence that is shared by the public. A Des Moines Register poll earlier this year found the state evenly split on the question of legalization.

The trend, however, seems to be moving toward legalization.

This editorial board reflects that division. The libertarian idea that this should be the choice of individuals is reflected, as is the uncertainty that comes from the knowledge that the science is unsettled on the medicinal benefits of marijuana. We have seen reports that cannabidiol, a part of cannabis plant that does not produce a high, has promise in dealing with opioid addiction. But there is debate about that, too.

What is clear, however, is that the current law is not sufficient. Nearly 80% of Iowans in that same Register poll, said the law needs to be expanded.

Last we checked, only about 100 people in Scott County had been approved for cards. Our sense is the need is greater.

We have heard the stories of people who have been helped - whose pain has been eased - by the use of marijuana. We have also heard the stories of those who continue to suffer and are asking for more help. Their experiences should be heard and valued, even as we evaluate the conflicting medical evidence.

Our fear is that with so many states approving recreational marijuana, Iowa’s program will soon become irrelevant.

With Illinois legalizing marijuana, there is no doubt that some of it will be brought back to Iowa. Adam Sullivan, a columnist for the Cedar Rapids Gazette and a critic of the restrictions in Iowa’s law, recently wrote that this development would be troubling for public health advocates. “Lacking a workable medical cannabis program, Iowa patients will be forced into medicating themselves with lightly regulated products, outside the purview of medical professionals,” he wrote.

That surely is not what Iowa legislators want. But it is the direct consequence of legislating by neglect. Iowa passed a medical marijuana law five years ago and expanded it only slightly two years ago. Yet, it still is fairly restrictive. There are few dispensaries, a doctor’s approval is required and, even with that approval, only a limited number of number of conditions can qualify for help.

Modest attempts to loosen the language for qualifying criteria haven’t even moved forward.

Democrats in the legislature have called for a special session to overturn the governor’s veto, but that is not likely to go anywhere. Republican lawmakers voted to expand the program, but they won’t turn it into a fight with the governor.

It seems to us that legislators who don’t want to stick up for their bill but who still want to help Iowans, ought to move swiftly and aggressively to put together a program that works in this new environment. What’s clear is that sticking with the status quo isn’t adequate.


Sioux City Journal. June 9, 2019

Suspension of tariffs on Mexico is good news

Late last month, President Trump threatened to impose a 5 percent tariff on all goods imported to the U.S. from its biggest trading partner, Mexico, beginning June 10 and increase those tariffs by 5 percent each month to a permanent level of 25 percent in October unless Mexico satisfied him it is getting tougher on illegal immigration.

Because we joined what it appeared was almost-universal criticism of taking this step, we were pleased talks between the U.S. and Mexico prevented implementation of these tariffs.

On Friday night, President Trump said tariffs on Mexican goods were “indefinitely suspended” after negotiators reached a deal on immigration enforcement.

For all of the reasons detailed below, we hope this is something the Trump administration won’t revisit in the future.

Put aside for the moment the question of whether the tariffs would have been, as U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said, a “misuse of presidential tariff authority” and the fact President Trump was telling Mexico it needed to manage the border better on its side when our own country’s leaders aren’t addressing illegal immigration through comprehensive immigration reform on our side, then consider the consequences of Mexico tariffs.

(asterisk) American consumers would feel the pain.

“Last year, Americans imported more than $346 billion in goods from Mexico, with cars and auto parts, computer equipment, manufacturing inputs and agricultural products among the top products imported. … The 5 percent tariff represents a tax increase of approximately $17 billion on U.S. consumers and businesses. Should the tariff rate escalate to 25 percent, the tax on Americans would reach $86 billion, according to a Chamber analysis of Commerce Department data,” Thomas J. Donahue, U.S. Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer, wrote in a piece for Fox Business.

(asterisk) The overall U.S. economy would suffer.

The Perryman Group, an economic analysis firm based in Texas, said tariffs, if enacted and maintained, likely would cost hundreds of thousands of American jobs.

In a report issued last week, the National Association for Business Economics said protectionist trade policy is the primary concern driving a “surge” in fear of recession by the end of 2020 among economists.

“Increased trade protectionism is considered the primary downwide risk to growth by a majority of the respondents,” Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist for Oxford Economics, said in a statement.

(asterisk) Already feeling the negative impact of the Trump administration’s trade war with China, farm states like Iowa would get hurt even more.

The U.S. exported $19 billion in agriculture products to Mexico last year, making Mexico the second-largest buyer, after Canada, of those products, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Mexico is the No. 1 market for U.S. corn, rice, dairy products, poultry, and eggs, and is a major buyer of American beef, pork, soybeans and wheat.

“Producers are extremely concerned about another potential trade retaliation from Mexico,” said National Pork Producers Council President David Herring, a pork producer from North Carolina.

(asterisk) Tariffs would have cast a cloud of uncertainty over the revised NAFTA trade deal, known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

“We need to secure the border and address our nation’s broken immigration system, but it cannot be done on the backs of Iowa farmers,” Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement. “Iowans are frustrated with Washington’s inability to reform our country’s immigration system and address the crisis at the border, but I am asking the president to rethink this approach. Mexico is Iowa’s top trading partner, and placing new tariffs could undo the progress made by the negotiated USMCA trade agreement. Congress must move forward with ratification of the USMCA.”

(asterisk) By hurting the economy of Mexico through tariffs, the Trump administration would run the risk of making the illegal immigration problem worse.

“A weaker economy (with slower growth and potentially rising unemployment) will serve to increase the incentives for Mexicans to attempt entering the U.S. in search of work. Or put bluntly, the number of illegal immigrants coming to the U.S. via the open Mexican border will almost certainly increase,” Simon Constable, a writer, economics commentator, and a fellow at The Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health and the Study of Business Enterprise, wrote in a piece for Forbes.

Without question, suspension of tariffs on Mexico is good news.


Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment PolicyThe Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.Read More

Leave A Comment

More News


Stage set for lackluster 2nd-quarter US corporate earnings 2019-07-03 13:13:23Uncertainty over U.S. trade conflicts and signs of a slowing global economy have led many S&P 500 companies to lower expectations for how much pro

Huawei still making deals, despite U.S. pressure campaign 2019-07-03 13:02:13Chinese high-tech giant Huawei is showing an ability to keep making deals, even as it copes with a pressure campaign from the Trump administration tha

UK summons Chinese ambassador over Hong Kong protests 2019-07-03 13:00:22LONDON (AP) - The U.K. government summoned China's ambassador for a dressing-down on Wednesday after Beijing officials accused Britain of meddling in

The Latest: UK summons Chinese ambassador over protests 2019-07-03 12:40:57HONG KONG (AP) - The Latest on protests in Hong Kong (all times local): 2 a.m. The U.K. government has summoned China's ambassador for a dressing-dow

Frenchman takes groping complaint case to Vatican 2019-07-03 12:39:05VATICAN CITY (AP) - One of a half-dozen men who have accused the Vatican's ambassador to France of groping them is taking his complaint directly to t

Putin pulls out of Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty 2019-07-03 11:13:38Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree Wednesday to formally suspend Moscow's participation in a 30-year-old strategic nuclear treaty, adde

Life sentence for accomplice of Kenya attack that 2019-07-03 11:00:06NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - A Kenyan court on Wednesday sentenced one man to life in jail and two others to 41 years each for being accomplices to the 2015

In Libya, a rogues' gallery of militias 2019-07-03 10:16:20BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) - The airstrike that hit a detention center for migrants near the Libyan capital early Wednesday killing more than 40 people and

Putin signs bill suspending participation in nuclear treaty 2019-07-03 09:06:53MOSCOW (AP) - President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill suspending Russia's participation in a pivotal nuclear arms treaty. Putin's decree, release

US trade deficit rises to 5-month high of 2019-07-03 08:35:28WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. trade deficit rose to a five-month high in May as the politically sensitive imbalances with China and Mexico widened. The C

Deals made at secretive EU summit deliver top 2019-07-03 07:40:57BRUSSELS (AP) - In the end, the European Union's top jobs jamboree had a familiar old-time ring to it. Instead of embracing a transparent future, lea

China lashes back over British remarks on Hong 2019-07-03 04:38:30BEIJING (AP) - China's foreign ministry lashed back Wednesday at remarks by Britain's foreign secretary on the causes of recent anti-government prot

FOX News

Chernobyl's $1.7B nuclear confinement shelter revealed after taking 2019-07-03 13:33:48A new structure built to confine the Chernobyl reactor at the center of the world's worst nuclear disaster was previewed for the media Tuesday.

French thieves steal over half a million dollars 2019-07-03 12:48:00Thieves in Paris made off with at least 150 bottles of wine, estimated at over half a million dollars, Monday after police say they cut a hole into th

China accuses UK of 'basking in the faded 2019-07-03 12:28:19China’s foreign ministry lashed back Wednesday at criticism by Britain’s foreign secretary on the recent protests in Hong Kong, saying the

More than 100 civilians killed by violence outbreak 2019-07-03 12:15:37The world’s newest nation, South Sudan, has once again descended into a wave of fresh fighting that is said to have claimed the lives of more th

Thousands of mourners attend funeral of UAE prince, 2019-07-03 11:41:03A funeral was held Wednesday for the son of an influential Emirate sheikh who died on Monday during an alleged drug-fueled party in London.

Kenya's president blunt on scourge of al-Shabab: 'I 2019-07-03 11:03:43Wedged in the middle of chaos, bordered by the long-running instability of South Sudan to the northwest and Somalia to the east, the East African nati

Hundreds hospitalized with food poisoning during Imelda Marcos’ 2019-07-03 10:29:44Outside Manila, about 260 people were hospitalized on Wednesday after experiencing food poisoning during Imelda R. Marcos’ birthday celebration.

Indian man, 20, wakes up at his own 2019-07-03 09:21:41An Indian man thought to be dead woke up just before he was set to be buried during a funeral ceremony.

Airstrike in Libya flattens migrant detention center, killing 2019-07-03 08:43:56At least 44 people have been killed Wednesday in Libya after an airstrike flattened a detention center for migrants near the war-torn country’s

Russian oligarch says he spent $20M after McCabe 2019-07-03 08:39:20A Russian oligarch caught in the crosshairs of Robert Mueller’s Russia probe says he spent over $20 million of his own money at the behest of An

Torrential rains in Japan force over 1 million 2019-07-03 08:27:52An onslaught of heavy rain across the southwestern part of Japan has forced more than 1 million people to be evacuated amid fears of landslides and wi

Kremlin refuses to reveal details about fatal Russian 2019-07-03 08:24:49Two days after a mysterious fire aboard a Russian submersibles killed 14 people, little details have emerged as the Kremlin continued Wednesday to shr

CBC | World News

Rouhani says Iran will enrich uranium to 'any 2019-07-03 04:37:25Iran's president warned European partners in its faltering nuclear deal on Wednesday that Tehran will increase its enrichment of uranium to "any amo

Make July Fourth great again? Trump accused of 2019-07-03 04:00:34It's going to be a hot one in much of the U.S. this Fourth of July — and not only because of the forecasted high of a sweltering 34 C. There's

Thousands marvel as total eclipse darkens Chile, Argentina 2019-07-03 03:56:50Tens of thousands of tourists and locals gaped skyward Tuesday as a total eclipse of the sun darkened the heavens over Chile and Argentina.

Lee Iacocca, former Chrysler CEO who rescued company 2019-07-02 22:34:22Lee Iacocca, the auto executive and master pitchman who put the Mustang in Ford's lineup in the 1960s and became famous when he resurrected Chrysler

Airstrike kills at least 40 migrants, injures dozens 2019-07-02 21:33:11An airstrike hit a detention centre for migrants early Wednesday in the Libyan capital, killing at least 40 people, a health official in the country'

Sundance co-founder sentenced to at least 6 years 2019-07-02 20:38:32A filmmaker who co-founded the Sundance Film Festival and produced a movie whose lead actress won an Oscar in the mid-1980s was sentenced Tuesday to a

Jury acquits U.S. Navy SEAL accused of murdering 2019-07-02 18:50:57A military jury acquitted a decorated U.S. Navy SEAL of premeditated murder Tuesday in the killing of a wounded ISIS captive under his care in Ir

German captain who brought migrants to Italy freed 2019-07-02 17:44:48An Italian judge ruled on Tuesday that the captain of a charity ship had not broken the law by crashing through a naval blockade, saying that by

U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence abruptly cancels New Hampshire 2019-07-02 17:38:52U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence has abruptly cancelled a planned trip to New Hampshire, but the White House and his office refuse to say why.

Facebook campus gets all-clear after nerve agent scare 2019-07-02 16:30:29Facebook's Silicon Valley campus receivea the all-clear after fears that a package at its mail facility contained the nerve agent sarin.

Ivanka Trump's starring role on Asia trip 'surreal' 2019-07-02 15:03:50Democrats on Tuesday continued to criticize Ivanka Trump and the White House for what they said was her improper place as a part of U.S. delegations a

Christine Lagarde, Ursula von der Leyen nominated for 2019-07-02 13:55:38European Union leaders agree to nominate France's Christine Lagarde to be the new head of the European Central Bank and seal a deal on filling the ot

NYT > International Home

Luis Alvarez, a Hero to Fellow 9/11 Responders, 2019-07-03 14:28:06During Mr. Alvarez’s emotional plea before Congress, his frail appearance brought in stark relief the realities facing many of the first respond

Hacking, Glitches, Disinformation: Why Experts Are Worried About 2019-07-03 14:28:06The government plans to deploy new technology for next year’s head count, but risks abound.

Teenager Accused of Rape Deserves Leniency Because He’s 2019-07-03 14:28:05The family court judge also said the victim should have been told that pressing charges would destroy the accused’s life.

Boeing Pledges $100 Million to Those Affected by 2019-07-03 14:16:34The announcement comes as the families of some victims are escalating their legal battles against Boeing, and as costs for the manufacturer mount.

‘Kind of Blingy’: The Tricked-Out Golf Carts of 2019-07-03 14:11:27“If you can’t have a real Corvette, you can at least drive something designed to look like one,” said an employee of the Villages&rs

‘Leave Tanks for Red Square’: Trump’s July 4 2019-07-03 14:08:59President Trump’s plan to deploy battle tanks in Washington for the July 4 celebration has prompted worries about politicization of the military

Lee Iacocca Was a C.E.O. for the Television 2019-07-03 14:04:51Before the cult of the modern corporate chief, the former Chrysler leader fused his identity with his company’s, helping him sell cars and win o

Rouhani Says Iran Will Begin Enriching Uranium at 2019-07-03 14:02:08Iran will “take the next step” on Sunday in enriching uranium beyond levels specified under the 2015 nuclear deal, President Hassan Rouhan

U.S. Olympics Chief Received $2.4 Million Severance Amid 2019-07-03 13:47:17Scott Blackmun resigned amid the fallout from the gymnastics sex abuse scandal. He received a multimillion dollar settlement.

‘Filters Off!’ Chasing the Total Solar Eclipse in 2019-07-03 13:47:05As the shadow of the moon swept across the Atacama Desert, the 52 Places Traveler stood celestially transfixed.

Jim Beam Warehouse Fire Destroys 45,000 Barrels 2019-07-03 13:45:45Fire officials let the warehouse burn to avoid contaminating a creek that runs into the Kentucky River.

Trump Vows to Move Forward With Citizenship Question 2019-07-03 13:42:50The president contradicted statements by his Justice and Commerce Departments that census forms were being printed without the question and they would

Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.