Disease linked to microplastics in your gut

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Scientists around the world have been ringing alarm bells about microplastics, tiny particles now found in pregnant people’s bodies, in the deepest reaches of the Earth’s oceans and unfortunately, your gut. For years it’s been unclear how these tiny pollution particles affect human health, but continued research is starting to zero in on the consequences.

Case in point, a new study by scientists in China found a link between microplastics and IBD, or inflammatory bowel disease…

According to Science Alert, it’s not clear whether people with IBD have more trouble filtering plastic out of their body, causing the increased levels, or whether the plastic itself causes the disease. What is clear, though, is that there’s some kind of link between chronic gut issues and microplastics exists, and it’s strong.

Scientists say we’re reaching an irreversible tipping point in the fight against plastic pollution. Once chemicals and particles enter our bodies, they may be with us for generations, and it’s not exactly easy to comb the Earth for microscopic particles.

Another cheerful news note to start off the New Year, eh?

Feds out to bust crooks who stole Billion$ from Payroll Protection Plan

Estimates ranging from $100 billion to over $400 billion have been stolen from Covid-19 unemployment and other pandemic relief programs. The United States Labor Department reported that nearly $90 billion in unemployment benefits alone could have been paid improperly due to fraudulent activities, according to PBS NewsHour.

…Investigations have resulted in the seizure of millions of dollars and have assisted in the return of approximately $2 billion…

The story sounds like a script for an upcoming movie, starring George Clooney, in which an international collective of bad actors from around the world…and right here at home, wantonly looted unemployment funds earmarked for out-of-work Americans by perpetrating fraudulent claims. Unknowingly, naive Department of Labor workers sent out checks to bad guys.

Anyone who’s gone through the hassles of collecting unemployment checks will snicker at that bullshit last sentence.

It seems, in hindsight, political leaders knew about the possibility of fraud and theft, especially as the Payroll Protection Plan, a program to bailout small businesses, was co-opted by large corporations and other entities that were not entitled to participate.

The politicians turned a blind eye, as they felt money needed to get into the hands of the folks who were out of work and took the gamble that everything would work out well. Gene Sperling, a point person for President Joe Biden’s stimulus plan, blamed the fraud on Donald Trump’s administration, calling it “one of the most serious challenges we inherited…”

Big corporations stole funds from programs meant to aid ordinary working folks? Shock and amazement!