Annoyed commuters honk their horns. Alarmed spouse frets over my safety. Agitated reptiles snap and hiss. Through it all, I remain unperturbed. I stop for turtles--on busy roads, very busy roads. It's a matter of principle. Disruption of the status quo, my own, and some courtesy of others seem to take up a lot of my time these days, and not everyone is delighted. Let's dive into some current examples.
California's 2018 Assembly Bill 626--the Homemade Food Operations Act--is a good first example. Yes, California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law legislation that legalizes home restaurants. Home cooks agree to a facility inspection if there are consumer complaints. Their food must be prepared, cooked, and served on the same day and delivered within a safe time period based on the holding capacity of their equipment. Home cooks must also obtain a professional food manager certification. I'm waiting for home cooking advertisements to pop up on my iPhone as I drive the amazing Pacific Coast Highway. When I inquired about mounting objections over this legislation earlier this year, I was told by an influential voice from within the profession in California to "get over it, the world has changed." Indeed.
Articles from this weekend's New York Times report that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Office of Children's Health Protection has placed its director on administrative leave. This move sent Twitter aflutter and served to fill my digital inbox with requests to sign onto letters demanding the director be immediately returned to the position. We declined to sign on as the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) does do not comment on internal agency personnel issues. Frankly, we don't know firsthand why the office director was placed on leave. Alternately, we are unequivocally supportive of a strong and effective Office of Children's Health Protection.
There are reports from major news outlets this weekend that the U.S. EPA Office of the Science Advisor is being dissolved. Again, my inbox is full of requests to do something. NEHA's role is to not dabble in internal agency realignment decisions. On the other hand, we are adamantly supportive of effective public health decisions anchored in science. I reached out to someone I know within the agency, someone who cares deeply for the environment and health. They conveyed to me that this agency moved. While the information wasn't too not helpful, it's not the end...