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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Editorials: Breathe, eat, chew ...

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- Low standards: Utah handicaps its own air quality - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

Spend much time listening to Utah political leaders, and you are certain to hear how tired they are of being pushed around by the federal government. They complain at length about how those far-away bureaucrats don’t know anything about how real Utahns live and why we would be better off making our own rules.

Yet the law that prevents the Utah Department of Environmental Quality from holding industry to higher standards than those set by the federal Environmental Protection Agency is a state law, not a federal one. Other states can and do look at their own circumstances and their own values and set more stringent standards than do the feds.

Not here. In Utah, the Legislature has commanded the DEQ to do little more than rubber stamp emissions permit requests such as the one on the verge of approval for the $180 million expansion of the Tesoro refinery in Davis County. ...

Of course, it could be worse:

- Water of life - Deseret News Editorial

... For more than a billion of the Earth's inhabitants, however, there is no guarantee of access to safe drinking water, and for more than 2 billion there is no access to basic sanitation. ...

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- Too small a step: Antibiotics deserve better protection - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

Under pressure from scientists, public health advocates and, as of last week, a federal judge, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made a move toward reducing the flood of antibiotics that are being pumped daily into the bloodstreams of American livestock. But it is a very tentative and all-too-secret step that promises very little in the way of harm reduction. ...

- Antibiotics, animals and us - Los Angeles Times Editorial

Voluntary guidelines for pharmaceutical companies will not wean the livestock industry off its addiction to antibiotics. ...

- Why you should care that 70% of antibiotics go into animal feed - Ezra Klein/Wonkbook/The Washington Post

... If we didn't pump our livestock full of antibiotics, they would get sick. They are, after all, packed into dim and dirty enclosures. They're stacked on top of one another. And they're being fed food they didn't evolve to eat. All of this makes animals sick. But rather than raise them in a way that doesn't make them sick, but costs somewhat more, we just keep them on constant doses of antibiotics.

And then we eat them. ...

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- U. dental school: Its time has come - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

The decision of University of Utah trustees to launch a School of Dentistry should bring smiles to the faces of Utahns.

The university has offered a dental education program through its School of Medicine since 1980. Students take their first year of training at the U. before transferring to Creighton University in Nebraska for three more years. It would be a logical next step for the U. to provide the entire four-year course. ...

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