Want to Protect Public Health? Get Money From Politics. • Protecting the Health of Children

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Late last month, the Senate failed to pass “For the Work of Mankind”- a bill designed to protect voting rights and preserve our democracy.

The bill also contains campaign finance reform guidelines that have significant public health implications. Now those rules are in desperate need of a champion, as well as strong public health advocates.

Public health may not be the first thing a fellow anti-corruption legislation, however, requires disclosure of dark money donors, matching funds for small-dollar donations, and empowering the Federal Election Commission to enforce campaign finance rules that rein in corporate interests that pollute our air, water and bodies with harmful chemicals.

we argue limitations of money in politics clear a channel for science to inform public health decision -making.

Damage from exposure to chemicals as a result of commercial activity is a silent crisis. For example, scientists and regulators are battling with widespread contamination of personal and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). This group of more than 9,000 chemicals, everything from carpets to cosmetics, Which is contaminated more than 200 million already people drinking water in the US

A study of 69,000 people infected with PFAS in drinking water from a DuPont facility in Parkersburg, West Virginia, found significant partners in developmental, hormonal, and immune effects, as well as cancers.

New studies show PFAS exposure worsens COVID-19 results. Although the ones that cause great damage from PFAS already know for at least 20 years, these chemicals have still not been systematically controlled. Taken together, the largest PFAS maker in the U.S. has spent $ 61 million in political spending between 2019 and 2020.

This is not just a problem in the US. The Global Burden of Disease estimates that in fact a third of the disease is attributed to behavioral risk due to commercial interests, such as chemicals, fOOD and tobacco industries. Environmental and occupational hazard factors, also driven by commercial interests, account for another 13% of the world’s disease. The influence from these interests is aptly called the commercial health professionals, Which poses disease risks to individual and population health.

public health scientists and communities with chemical contamination are tired of watching over and over again causing great damage from short-sighted decisions. Often human diseases from toxic chemical exposure can be prevented with better policies and regulations. This is not for lack of testing. As public health researchers, we communicate our science to activists, consumers, communities, institutions and policy makers to inform decisions.

This includes fighting the gravity generated by the widespread amount of corporate money centered on shareholder returns. If we care about creating a healthy society, we recognize that it is time to change the rules of the game.

Corporate money is affected by chemical regulations

Current history shows how monetary interests have affected U.S. chemical regulations The Toxic Substances Control Act was originally written to be a comprehensive management scheme for all commercial chemicals. However, the influence of chemical manufacturers weary the law passed in 1976, which exempted all existing chemicals from regulation and required proof of damage before the Environmental Protection Agency could act.

Updating 2016 research to correct vulnerabilities has also plagued the chemical industry, giving nearly $ 3 million to lawmakers in the four years leading up to the bill’s passage, according to Open Secrets .

Political money is a complex web of advertising, PR, lobbyists, campaign spending and infinitely dark money, damaging the two major political parties. This is the gateway issue to many urgent public health challenges. Responding to large amounts of corporate money and power (on a regular basis aligned with anti-Black and white superior ideology) shaping our laws to improve public health outcomes, access to healthcare, public education, gun control, close private prisons and address change in climate.

Even if the “For the People Act” passed with vigorous campaign finance reforms, other corporate measures that threatened public health needs were targeted. Corporate money influences research agendas in universities, including how research is designed and conducted and whether it gets published.

Industry-funded research on tobacco health research studies, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, food, and alcohol have consistently been found to exploit corporate interests a (successful) playbook to manipulate research in accordance with them. Political spending limits will open the door to address these biases in the future. To quote former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis: “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.”

As public health researchers, we will discuss our findings and refute manipulated science generated by industry-funded research. we must also be in violation of an ongoing pattern of studying people ill with commercial interests. To avoid these causing great harm, we need to limit the influence of the industry on elected representatives. Laws and regulations should protect people’s health rather than products.

Originally published on Environmental Health News.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.

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