A matter that should be causing us all some real concern was given relatively little space in the Portland Press Herald. It was an abridged reprint of an article in The Washington Post by Christopher Ingraham: “Americans die younger than global counterparts” (Page A2, Dec. 28).

Ingraham reports that up until 1979, Americans lived 1.5 years longer than those in other wealthy nations, but since then, our average lifespan has become less than that of people in the other 34 Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development countries.

By 2015, we had become less long-lived than the average person in all the other OECD nations. The drop increased in 2016 and is expected to continue. Beyond that, the cutting back on Obamacare was indicated as likely to produce even lower levels of life expectancy.

It cannot be coincidental that all the other Western nations of the OECD have a much greater level of medical care, that does not focus primarily on the bottom line of profit, as do all the corporations of our medical-industrial complex.

There is something else that must be taken into account: Most of the other nations in the OECD have been far more active in reducing toxic petrochemicals in their fertilizers, pesticide, and herbicides used in corporate agricultural production.

Somehow, little attention here has been given to the well-known facts that these toxins get into the foods we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, tend to collect in our cells, and thereby produce our most widely extent diseases. How can this cost to human life be ignored?

George Eaton

South Portland


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