USDA Pest Management Program, an Artificial Pancreas and a U.S. Department of the Environment

This short series of reports includes news on a new USDA pest management program, scientists create an artificial pancreas and the formation of a new U.S. Department of the Environment.

| November/December 1977

  • News on a new USDA pest management program, an artificial pancreas and the new U.S. Department of the Environment.
    News on a new USDA pest management program, an artificial pancreas and the new U.S. Department of the Environment.
    Photo by Fotolia/Yio

  • News on a new USDA pest management program, an artificial pancreas and the new U.S. Department of the Environment.

News briefs on the USDA pest management program, the creation of an artificial pancreas and the new U.S. Department of the Environment.

Promotion of an Integrated USDA Pest Management Program

M. Rupert Cutler — the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Assistant Secretary for Conservation Research and Education — announced recently that he intends "to develop a plan to emphasize natural controls over chemicals as part of an Integrated pest management program which USDA will communicate to growers". In a surprising about-face from past USDA policies, Cutler said that from now on "the full support of our research effort in USDA will be behind biological controls", adding "I feel an obligation to work closely and cooperatively with the Environmental Protection Agency on establishing integrated controls in the U.S. We now have a shared interest in this. We will not be adversaries any longer."

Small Households On The Rise

A recent census bureau report shows that 51.2% of the nation's households are inhabited by either one or two persons . . . a 10.3% rise from the 1960 figure. "Low fertility, postponement of marriage . . . the ability of young singles and the elderly to finance and maintain [a household] . . . and marital dissolution are all contributors to the increase," the report concedes.

Breast-Feeding vs. Cancer

New evidence that woman who breast-feed their young are less prone to breast cancer than those who don't breast-feed comes from medical researchers Roy Ing, J.H.C. Ho, and Nicholas Petrakis (see the British journal Lancet, Vol. II, p. 124, 1977). The investigators visited a Chinese boat-dwelling community whose female members feed their babies from the right breast only . . . and learned that of 73 women who developed breast cancer between 1958 and 1975, nearly two-thirds had had the disease in the left breast. The most plausible explanation is that — somehow — breast-feeding protects a breast (the right breast, in this case) from developing cancer.

U.S. Department of the Environment: On its Way?

President Carter has reportedly asked the Office of Management and Budget to study the feasibility of creating a super environmental agency, parallel in design to the recently created Department of Energy. Speculation has it that such an agency would combine the Interior Department, the EPA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Forest Service.

Nuclear Waste Truck Driver Caught With Beer

Earlier this year, the Wisconsin Highway Patrol stopped a nuclear waste truck that was passing through the state and found the driver to be in possession of eight cans of beer. (The Highway Patrol was tipped off by a motorist who-while following the truck-had allegedly seen a beer can fly out the truck's window.) Since none of the eight cans was open, no arrest was made . . . however, State Representative Dave Clarenbach has sent letters to Wisconsin's governor and the Federal Highway Administration calling for assurances that a similar incident will never happen in the future.

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