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How did we ever survive?

Posted Tuesday, August 14, 2007, at 9:32 AM

Mattel announced today they're recalling millions of toys which may contain lead paint or magnets.

Good for Mattel, but it makes me realize that today's safety experts probably wonder how anyone over age 40 or so survived.

There's a country song out now, which I've only heard pieces of, alluding to this. Seems like the singer mentioned, among other things, living before the time when child safety seats were common.

I count my calories, fat and salt intake. But I don't pay a lot of attention to the additives -- those chemical-sounding ingredients that seem to take up half the side of some food containers.

We hear so often of foods and drinks which allegedly endanger health. If I skipped every food that's supposedly dangerous there'd be nothing left to eat.

I usually wear my seat belt when driving, and agree it's necessary, but it wasn't so many years ago few did. I'm surprised well-meaning safety advocates aren't demanding seat belts in office and easy chairs.

Often, being safe means simply using common sense. We can only be protected from ourselves up to a point.

What are your thoughts on unnecessary safety rules -- or some which should be implemented?


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This is mainly due to the fact that people are not willing to take responsibility for their own actions. People are not willing to step up and say, "I slipped down and broke my wrist because I was doing something stupid". They just want to blame this on someone else, requiring more rules. And those office chairs can be REALLY tricky sometimes...all those levers and such.

-- Posted by Thom on Tue, Aug 14, 2007, at 10:01 AM

Well I for one also know that some of the recalls of certain foods, etc were not the same ingredients that were in what you ate 20 years ago.

Scientists and large corporations have formed a front to offer cheaper ingredients in order to maintain higher profits. People also say that cars just aren't made as well as they used to be... The fact is, they have subsitituted actual steel for reinforced aluminum that have "Crumble zones"... Yet, more people survive accidents thanks to advanced safety measures.

If you read the label and you can not actually pronounce the ingredient you should not eat it. Same goes for skin products. Everything your skin takes in goes through your bloodstream and is supposed to cycled out through various means...

I say all of that to say, we need to be conscious consumers, coke at one point in time was made with SUGAR, now it is made with "high fructose corn syrup", just look up all of those ingredients that you can't say on wikipedia or various other sources. Milk is 4% GLUE yet do you think that is public news??? Absolutely not.

The FDA in its original design was a good thing. But why in the world can we not separate the two agencies? Food AND Drugs should never be given the same evaluations, that is of course unless they are pressured (large sums of money) by large drug companies to allow these horrid substances on the market in order to sell more drugs to 'treat' all the symptoms caused by the poisoning.

There are alternative food sources and herbal supplements that can treat, cure and maintin life as we know it. We just have to be willing to force the drug companies to sell things without a patent. It is all about money. Sadly, at the cost of lives.

-- Posted by jesuslovesevery1 on Tue, Aug 14, 2007, at 11:22 AM

Oh, I forgot to say... the more herbs and things you can find at our local health food store in town, say

"This product has not been tested by the FDA, it is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease." WHY? Because drug companies can't patent natural substances, only those man-made chemicals!

-- Posted by jesuslovesevery1 on Tue, Aug 14, 2007, at 11:23 AM

Honestly I have a problem with mandatory safety features set forth by our government for my protection. (of course you probably already knew I would have a problem with that..lol)

I agree that children should always wear a seat belt when riding in a car but yet children ride school buses everyday without any signs of seat belts..I've even seen the buses so crowded they are standing in the isles. But yet when they ride in my car they must wear a seat belt? That don't make a lot of sense to me. If there is an adult in my car ..who am I to tell them they MUST put a seat belt on before we ride? They are an adult and responsible for their own safety. If I don't wear my seatbelt I am not hurting anyone but myself I've never in my life heard of someone dying in a car accident because the other person in the car wasn't wearing a seatbelt. I worry more about loose items such as laptops, books, surf boards, backpacks and such becoming flying objects than I do a person..

My opinion is our government needs to worry more about what goes into our food and medicines if they truly care about our safety.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Tue, Aug 14, 2007, at 11:31 AM

It's my understanding that the padding on the backs of school bus seats is supposedly as protective as seat belts.

Imagine a wrecked, overturned school bus full of students pinned inside and the amount of time it would take for themselves or rescuers to untangle latched seat belts.

I've covered too many serious accidents over the years to be critical of seat belt usage.

Having said that, I also was strongly against the state requiring seat belt use.

It's a matter of individual freedom. When does goverment protection (of ourselves) become government interference? There's sometimes a thin line between the two.

-- Posted by David Melson on Tue, Aug 14, 2007, at 12:39 PM

I am one of those well meaning safety advocates that you refer to; employed as a safety manager for a large corporation for the past seven years.

I agree that safety and good common sense often times seem to be in direct conflict. Most people are going to act in their own best interest when it comes to their personal safety. Safety rules are designed to deter the that small percentage that simply do not care about thier own well being or perhaps more importantly-others. I hate cliches but it is true that one or two bad apples can spoil the whole barrell. With that said, I am also a most vociferous advocate of not allowing the government to interfere in our personal freedoms in any way shape or form. I know that David was being facetious when he made reference to the seatbelts on the office chairs and I had to laugh, but I have a freiend that is in the safety business in Nashville whose company just paid for a 67,000 dollar back surgery because one of their office workers was injured falling out of their chair! If it happens at work the employer buys it. Just another reason that proactive safety professionals will continue to implement good safe procedures for the general and private sectors. As Thom stated, there are very few people left that will simply step up to the plate and say they were at fault for their poor decision making. It's a shame that we have come to this. I am 52 years old and I long for the times when folks were accountable for themselves and didn't want the government to take care of them or point their fingers at everybody else. Since we are referencing songs, How about the Eagles Get Over It?

-- Posted by jjones on Tue, Aug 14, 2007, at 2:20 PM

My cousin and I got into a debate about the "driving" laws of today, how some are so ridiculous. Although I haven't researched it, his reponse was that Great Britian had the lowest report of vehicle accidents, and they are without red and green lights. I wonder if he was correct on this, and if so, what would America be like without lights signaling when to go and stop?

-- Posted by weezie84 on Wed, Aug 15, 2007, at 10:04 AM

Lol..

well none of the chemiclas in the food will change until the consumers get educated on the health effects of them...

people should simply go to wikipedia and type in:

aspartame

casein

high fructose corn syrup

saturated fats

trans fats

alkali

hydrogenated oils

sodium aluminum phosphate

hydrochloride

a few of those are actually metals, and most are chemicals we use to clean with.. but someone said it would be wise to put them in food...

also, aspartame was originally on the market as ant killer?!?! wonder why it affects the nervous system in humans?

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Wed, Aug 15, 2007, at 11:34 AM

In response to weezie84's comments about British traffic laws, at many intersections they have roundabouts or traffic circles, which I understand are set up something where you enter it in one lane, drive around until you get into another lane then head on to the road you're looking for. Hopefully someone who's seen them can explain better. They've supposedly been tried in some American cities and didn't work well.

But the real controversy in Britain is traffic cameras, which send automated tickets to those who speed, run traffic lights, etc.

Think about that the next time you look at the cameras above many Shelbyville intersections, which supposedly are used to regulate traffic signals. Consider what the city could do (and the money it could rake in) if its cameras could ticket drivers.

-- Posted by David Melson on Wed, Aug 15, 2007, at 12:27 PM

good point. why don't they start using those cameras for that purpose. we could use the extra cash to fix some more of the roads in shelbyville.

-- Posted by weezie84 on Wed, Aug 15, 2007, at 12:37 PM

From the way I understand it from my daughter who has been to Europe several times..The roundabouts Look a lot more dangerous than any red light could ever be..they have stickers on their cars much like a wheel tax sticker here but it has a sensor in it that tells who's car it is, their tag numbers and adress..the road signs read these sensors. They also have many toll gates on highways with another one several miles down the road they know how long it should take you to get between the tolls if you arrive to quickly at the second toll you are presented with a ticket.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Aug 15, 2007, at 1:21 PM

wasn't there something on the news the other day about the government granting 300 million dollars to begin taxing the largest cities with the most traffic?

-- Posted by weezie84 on Wed, Aug 15, 2007, at 1:47 PM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.