Endangered Species Protection, Soybean Allergies and Earth Friendly Shopping

This short series of reports includes news on Congress denying protection to endangered species, Brazil nut proteins in soybeans causes allergic reactions and earth friendly shopping.

| August/September 1996

News briefs on Congress denying protection to 240 endangered species, Brazil nut proteins in soybeans causing allergic reactions and saving the planet using an earth-friendly shopping guide.  

Endangered Species Protection, Soybean Allergies and Earth Friendly Shopping

It was originally enacted to protect popular American animals like the bald eagle, the grizzly bear, and the blue whale. But now, owing to a congressionally mandated moratorium imposed in April of 1995, the Endangered Species List has gone a record amount of time without a new species listing. According to William Snape, legal director for the Washington, D.C.— based environmental protection group Defenders of Wildlife, the list is facing its own extinction.  

"The Republican Congress wants to shut down the Endangered Species program." Says Snape, "They don't want any new species to come onto the list even if they deserve it." Snape describes the method by which the 104th Congress passed the moratorium as an act of legislative "trickery."

"What they did," says Snape, "was attach a completely unrelated rider onto a $5 billion defense spending bill. This technique is one that they have become quite masterful at. They stick all these very nefarious and tricky riders onto spending bills and budget bills that the president sometimes is forced to sign because there are a lot of other things riding upon it."

Since its implementation, the moratorium has prevented over 240 new species from being added to the Endangered Species List. "At this point the listings program for the Fish and Wildlife Service is entirely shut down," says Assistant Director of Ecological Services Jamie Clark.

Some of the animals that are facing virtually assured extinction are the jaguar (only a few Mexican populations remain), the Atlantic salmon (only 120 returned to their native rivers in Maine to spawn last year), the Florida black bear (less than 1,500 remain), and the Quino checkerspot butterfly (only six known populations are in existence). All of these species were proposed for listing by the Fish and Wildlife Service, but were denied because of the moratorium. There have been over 100 plant species proposed as well.

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