SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

April 14, 2014

A look at what others are saying

(Continued)

Another wrinkle: A National Transportation Safety Board arbitrator has called into question whether the FAA even has the authority to regulate commercial drones. The FAA has appealed his ruling, which threatens to throw open the doors to unfettered commercial use. That would probably be too much, too soon.

There are a multitude of issues that must be resolved or at least framed before drones fly freely in urban areas. When drones are deployed by law enforcement agencies, for example, the public should be informed of where they are and how they are used. It would be entirely appropriate to set rules limiting their ability to observe and collect data on law-abiding citizens.

This is a time when the technology is available and the customers are ready to use it. There’s more to be gained than lost by moving more quickly to let it happen. The FAA should drive the regulatory process, rather than be driven by it.

The Providence (R.I.) Journal

Lower meat prices could come at a high price of human suffering if sensible antibiotic-use policies are not adopted.

Legislation intended to protect the public from the growing threat of dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria remains stalled in Congress. The powerful agricultural and pharmaceuticals lobbies oppose the legislation because, while it may be good for health, it would not be good for their businesses.

Nearly 30 million pounds of antibiotics are sold annually for use in farm animals, about four times the amount used by humans. Rather than treating sick animals, industrial farms use most of these drugs to prevent disease and reduce the chances of any illnesses that do emerge from spreading in crowded conditions.

While this allows the raising of more animals at lower costs, it creates a health threat. Bacteria, persistently exposed to these antibiotics, evolve. The strongest and most resistant survive and reproduce resistant strains. When the same or similar pathogens infect humans, antibiotics prescribed by doctors can prove useless.

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