I know that a lot of local residents are concerned about the wastewater treatment plant to be built in this area. As a Mille Lacs Band member, I want to talk about some of the facts.
The Mille Lacs Band has always made conservation of local resources a priority. Mille Lacs Lake has provided our people with fish and game for hundreds of years, and we want the lake to stay clean and healthy for our children. One of the things we can do right now to make sure that happens is to build the wastewater treatment plant. This will keep harmful elements from entering the lake and polluting the fish and plants that live in it.
Also, the wastewater treatment plant is a joint effort of Indians and non-Indians. The Mille Lacs Band and the Garrison Kathio West Mille Lacs Lake Sewer District are working together to find a common solution to a challenge they share -- adequately treating local wastewater. Neither party is trying to take advantage of the other. They simply know that pooling their resources and efforts makes sense for the benefit of everyone who lives in this area.
The wastewater treatment plant is an investment in the future of Mille Lacs Lake. The sooner this community gets past the misinformation about the project and the Band, the closer we will be to realizing that the wastewater treatment plant is a risk-free solution we should all agree on.
The report on meat-borne pathogens in the New England Journal of Medicine bears special significance against the background of the current anthrax hysteria. Three independent studies found that up to half of supermarket meat and poultry samples were contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria that each year kill thousands and sicken millions.
All this is in spite of the implementation of the new, highly touted USDA meat inspection program and without the workings of anyone wishing us ill. Now, consider the opportunity that a slaughterhouse provides to a bio-terrorist.
U.S. slaughterhouses have a large turnover of undocumented aliens. It would be child's play for a bio-terrorist to enter the country legally or otherwise, join the slaughterhouse staff, and slip a powerful pathogen into a vat of ground meat destined for hamburgers or hot dogs (frequently eaten uncooked). The culprit would be long out of the country before the contaminated product reaches supermarket shelves and thousands of his victims begin dying.
Anyone really concerned with anthrax or other form of bio-terrorism would be well advised to lay off meat and poultry for a while.
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