In case you missed it, Thursday’s (2/14) WSJ carried a news story titled “Traces of Antianxiety Drug in Rivers Alter Way Fish Act,” reporting an article in Science by “ecologist Tomas Brodin of Sweden’s Umea University” claiming to have found small differences in the behavior of fish raised in laboratory tanks with water containing varying levels of oxazepam.
It’s hard to believe that they know so much about what causes fish to act in different ways – distancing themselves from other perch, acting less fearful, acting more adventurously, willing to leave safe refuges – that they can measure and then attribute differences to a few parts per million or billion of a chemical added to the tank.
That article also reports:
“… a systematic survey by the U.S. Geological Survey found very low levels of pharmaceuticals – typically measured in parts per billion or trillion – in 80% of the rivers and streams they sampled. So far, federal regulators have found no evidence of harm to humans. The new research, however….”
Only 80 percent? Their machines must have malfunctioned on the remaining 20 percent. But maybe saying “100 percent” would expose how ridiculous this all is.