ALL THE WORLD IS ONE COUNTRY
by Dante Picciano
November 16, 2007
The Internet is a wonderful tool. It allows us to freely communicate with all the world. We recently made contact with some Italian citizens. Dr. Raoul Mantini is a member of a group of concerned citizens fighting to protect the public health and environment. The name of the group is Comitato per la Salvaguardia dell'Ambiente e della Salute Pubblica di Gualdo Cattaneo e Giano dell'Umbria. This translates to Committee to Safeguard the Environment and the Public Health of Gualdo Cattaneo and Giano dell'Umbria. The group maintains a web site at: http://comitatoambientegualdocattaneo.blogspot.com.
Dr. Mantini informs us that people in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy are concerned about the health effects from the toxic emissions from trash-burning incinerators or plants. The region has nine of these incinerators. One incinerator was closed down by court action after local doctors and concerned citizens presented evidence of the adverse heath effects and environmental impacts of the toxic emissions from the plant.
Recently, a group of medical doctors in the region asked local officials in the region to oppose the construction of any additional trash-burning plants. In just the city of Forli, 200 doctors raised concerns about serious health problems resulting from the emissions from the incinerators.
Then, as here, the government stepped in and interfered with the inalienable rights of the people to protect their own health, safety and environment. The Minister of Economic Development asked the Minister of Health and the Minister of Justice to investigate the medicals doctors in the Emilia Romagna region because of their opposition to the trash-burning plants.
The Minister of Economic Development wants to see if more than disciplinary measures can be taken against the doctors for their actions. It seems that the Minister wants to bring some type of criminal action against the doctors for trying to protect the health of their patients! Some Italians refer to the Minister of Economic Development as the Minister of Dioxin. We wonder if he is related to Chemical Ali.
The similarities with our situation are obvious. We have the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture siding with industry on all matters that concern the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the commonwealth.
We can do something about our sorry mess. We can begin by voting out our state senators and representatives who passed the laws giving these agencies the authority to protect industry rather than the citizens of Pennsylvania. Hopefully, our friends and allies in Italy can do the same. Yes, all the world is one country.