Monsanto Predicted Crop System Would Damage US Farms ; What Social Distancing Looked Like in 1666 ; and More Picks 3/31

Revealed: Monsanto Predicted Crop System Would Damage US Farms (Reader Pat)

The author writes, “The US agriculture giant Monsanto and the German chemical giant BASF were aware for years that their plan to introduce a new agricultural seed and chemical system would probably lead to damage on many US farms … Risks were downplayed even while they planned how to profit off farmers who would buy Monsanto’s new seeds just to avoid damage, according to documents unearthed during a recent successful $265m lawsuit brought against both firms by a Missouri farmer.”

Civil Rights Organizations Condemn Idaho Governor’s Signing of Anti-Transgender Legislation (Dana) 

The author writes, “House bill 500 bans transgender girls and women from playing in female sports, while also requiring girls to prove their gender to participate in high school sports through a genital exam, DNA test, or testosterone levels test. House bill 509 bans Idahoans from changing the gender marker on their birth certificate.”

Pelosi: Mail-in Voting Will Protect ‘Integrity of the Election System’ Amid Coronavirus (Gabriella)

From Politico: “‘The integrity of the election system is central to our democracy,’ Pelosi said. ‘How anyone could oppose our enabling the states to have vote-by-mail raises so many other questions, but let’s just be hopeful and have public opinion weigh in on that.’”

Would Everyone Wearing Face Masks Help Us Slow the Pandemic? (Gerry)

From Science: “KK Cheng, a public health expert at the University of Birmingham … expects masks to become more important in the United States and Europe once the peak of COVID-19 cases passes and social distancing restrictions loosen. ‘Just imagine you’re traveling in the New York [City] subway on a busy morning. If everyone wears a mask, I’m sure that it would reduce the transmission,’ he says, adding, ‘Don’t ask me to show you a clinical trial that it works.’”

Even After Trump Declared a National Emergency, Some Talk Radio Hosts Weren’t Convinced (Russ)

The authors write, “Some hosts groused that aggressive measures to contain the disease were a political ploy to undercut the president or ram through unpopular Democratic legislation.”

What Social Distancing Looked Like in 1666 (Chris)

The author writes, “Quarantining was invented during the first wave of bubonic plague in the 14th century, but it was deployed more systematically during the Great Plague. Public servants called searchers ferreted out new cases of plague, and quarantined sick people along with everyone who shared their homes. People called warders painted a red cross on the doors of quarantined homes, alongside a paper notice that read ‘LORD HAVE MERCY UPON US.’ (Yes, the all-caps was mandatory).”


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