So Long, and Thanks for All the Intersex Fish
Do a few stretches, and then wrap your brain around these three facts:
- Hormonal contraceptives contribute significantly to water pollution. Ethinyl estradiol, the active ingredient in most birth control pills, is very difficult to remove from wastewater, and so it infiltrates waterways, causing disastrous mutations in fish and other wildlife.
- Oral contracpetives are classified as one of only about 100 Class 1 carcinogens, substances known to cause cancer in humans. Some forms of contraceptive double the user's risk for cancer.
- Michael Potter, the founder and CEO of the popular, 45-year-old organic foods company Eden Foods, does not want to be forced to pay for his employees' water-polluting, cancer-causing contraceptives.
Well, we keep hearing about all the health benefits of eating clean, pure, organic food. I guess we can add "extreme flexibility of intellect" to the list of benefits of all that clean eating, because a large portion of Eden Foods' clean-living clientele is flipping out over Potter's decision to sue the government over the HHS Mandate. Yep, organophages are twisting themselves into mental pretzels: they love, love, love to make sure that everything they put into their mouths is clean, clean, clean, and that their lifestyle does nothing but good, good, good for the environment . . . but they hate, hate, hate the idea that Eden Foods refuses to pay for the very hormones that pollute the waterways and cause cancer.
Salon attempted an adorable little hit piece on Eden Foods, accusing it of "marketing itself to a liberal clientele and then quietly harboring a right-wing, ideological agenda."
Let's take a deep, cleansing breath and see what Eden Foods actually says. In his official statement, Potter points out:
Our actions have been, and will remain, principled and transparent. Eden's focus is pure food, ethical business practice, and the nurturing of all people and the planet.
and reminds us that
Eden employee benefits include health, dental, vision, life, and a fifty percent 401k match.
He just doesn't want to pay for contraception, and doesn't understand why he (or anyone) should have to. He says in a follow-up interview with Salon :
I don’t care if the federal government is telling me to buy my employees Jack Daniel’s or birth control. What gives them the right to tell me that I have to do that? That’s my issue, that’s what I object to, and that’s the beginning and end of the story ... I’m not trying to get birth control out of Rite Aid or Wal-Mart, but don’t tell me I gotta pay for it.
His official statement clarifies:
We believe in a woman's right to decide, and have access to, all aspects of their health care and reproductive management. This lawsuit does not block, or intend to block, anyone's access to health care or reproductive management. This lawsuit is about protecting religious freedom and stopping the government from forcing citizens to violate their conscience. We object to the HHS mandate and its government overreach.
And he points out, in the Salon interview:
I'm not in your bedroom. Obama's in your bedroom.
He's not trying to force you to eat organic food, and he's not trying to prevent you from putting hormones in your body. He's just reaffirming his right not be forced to supply those hormones to his employees. Imagine for a moment if the government required all food companies to sell GMO foods. Think we'd see an outcry then? Would a mandate like that make it clear to the consumer that the government has no right to tell employers what they must pay for?
Organic food is expensive, and I don't buy much of it. But I think I'll be doing a little stretching of my own this week. Let's see if my budget is limber enough to cover a few Eden Food products. At least I'll know, when I support Eden Foods, that my dollars won't be going to an organization that pollutes the waterways and increases women's risk of cancer. You'd think that consumers who seek out clean living would feel the same, but I guess they're just a little too flexible.