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News from FABBS

What We Don’t Know Can Hurt Us: Toxic Chemicals, Science, and Policy

June 21st, 2017

Environmental protection is the subject of heated debate these days. In February of this year, President Trump signed an executive order to roll back the clean water rule, which limits corporations’ ability to pollute about 60% of U.S. waterways. The irony is that we know more than ever before about how toxic chemicals adversely affect people, and we can be certain that what we don’t yet know can hurt us. Scientific research on potential chemical contaminants is both

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How to prevent obesity? Look to anti-smoking efforts

May 25th, 2017

Almost half of deaths in the U.S. are caused by our decisions to engage in unhealthy behaviors like poor food choices and alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use. So it should be easy to improve health, right? Not really, as it turns out. People continue to make self-destructive choices, despite knowing that their behaviors will likely cause them problems in the long run. That means policymakers need to understand why people make those choices, and then give them good

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An ounce of prevention for depression and anxiety

April 20th, 2017

A shocking third of Americans have been affected by clinical depression or anxiety in their lifetimes. That high number suggests that mood disorders, which were once thought of as personal problems, may be more accurately thought of as societal problems. Indeed, social and economic trends like the recession of 2008 are correlated with the prevalence of depression. And the implications are societal as well; depression cost the American economy over $200 billion in a

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Should Non-Standard English Be Taught in Schools?

March 15th, 2017

The 2016 presidential election brought into sharp focus the divisions among Americans about how to handle diversity. While race and country of origin came to the forefront of public and private debates, language is another issue that sparks passionate arguments. Oral language – the words we say and the way we speak them – is a strong marker of cultural background, not just across countries, but within them.

Americans have long debated educational policies for

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