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Wash Your Bags -- Or Else
Townhall.com ^ | February 10, 2013 | Debra J. Saunders

Posted on 02/10/2013 5:15:35 AM PST by Kaslin

San Francisco passed America's first ban on plastic bags in chain groceries and drugstores in 2007. In a research paper for the Institute for Law and Economics, law professors Jonathan Klick and Joshua Wright crunched state and federal data on emergency room admissions and food-borne illness deaths and figured that the San Francisco ban "led to an increase in infections immediately upon implementation."

They found a 46 percent rise in food-borne illness deaths. The bottom line: "Our results suggest that the San Francisco ban led to, conservatively, 5.4 annual additional deaths."

So is San Francisco's bag ban a killer? Conceivably, yes, but probably not.

Intuitively, the professors' findings make sense. The city's anti-bag laws are designed to drive consumers to reusable bags. Consumer advice types warn people about the dangers of said bags becoming germ incubators. I got this from TLC's website:

"Designate specific bags for meats and fish. Wash these bags regularly -- preferably after each shopping trip -- to get rid of bacteria. If your bag is fabric, toss it in the washing machine with jeans, and if it's a plastic material, let it soak in a basin filled with soapy water and either the juice of half a lemon or about a quarter cup of vinegar."

Ask your friends and family members how many of them regularly wash their reusable bags -- ask how many folks ever have done any of the above steps -- and you can intuit that a ban on plastic bags might not be the brightest idea.

San Francisco health officer Tomas Aragon reviewed Klick and Wright's paper and found "a biologically plausible hypothesis" but "sloppy" research. "It's a complicated topic. It's a little surprising that (they) would put this out there without a peer review," he added. If the professors had consulted with an epidemiologist, they would have understood how the city's unique demographics contribute to specific intestinal issues. (Unlike Aragon, I'm trying to be delicate here and not share too much information.)

In short, the doctor concluded that the study raised more questions than it answered.

Dave Heylen of the California Grocers Association ripped the study for not understanding something really basic about how the San Francisco bag ban worked at first. "People weren't using reusable bags," Heylen said. "They were using paper bags."

Be it noted, the grocers have supported proposals for a statewide ban on plastic bags -- which would require supermarkets to charge for single-use bags -- because they provide what the sponsor of Sacramento's latest effort, Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, calls "uniformity of experience" for shoppers and store owners. (It also means big stores can charge for bags and blame the government.)

For his part, Klick told me he cannot "rule out the possibility that there was something peculiar that happened in San Francisco." Maybe the cause isn't the bag ban. That's why there should be more studies that look into death rates and food-borne illness reports in the many communities -- San Jose and San Mateo and Alameda counties, for example -- that have passed bag laws since then-Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi introduced a bill to make San Francisco America's first city to ban plastic bags.

Mayor Ed Lee's office said the mayor will look into the health consequences of the city's now tougher bag laws if Aragon so recommends. That doesn't seem likely. Likewise, Levine didn't sound particularly concerned.

Maybe they should be. More than 60 California communities have bag bans, which means more Californians are using reusable bags. Most families probably aren't washing them. And that's not healthy.

California politicians didn't even bother studying the possible health effects of their anti-bag laws. They were in such a hurry to tell their constituents what's best for them that they forgot to check how their busybody scheme might go wrong.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; US: California
KEYWORDS: bagban; foodborneillness; healthandwellness; plasticbagban; reusablebags

1 posted on 02/10/2013 5:15:48 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

I don’t care what amenities it has, I don’t know why anyone but stupid leftists would want to live in that nutty place.


2 posted on 02/10/2013 5:19:19 AM PST by mrsmel (One Who Can See)
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To: Kaslin

Ignorant morons. As long as Mother Earth is saved, collateral damage is expected. I wonder what Red China would pay for S.F? Removing a tumor from a dying patient seems like a reasonable move.


3 posted on 02/10/2013 5:23:33 AM PST by JohnD9207 (Isn't freedom worth fighting for?)
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To: Kaslin

Liberal arrogance on display:

They mandate air bags in cars, which result in deaths to drivers sitting too close and children in the front seat.

They mandate MTBE in gasoline to reduce emissions, but then contaminates millions of gallons of potable water.

They mandate all sorts of things with no regard for consequences.


4 posted on 02/10/2013 5:25:05 AM PST by Erik Latranyi (When religions have to beg the gov't for a waiver, we are already under socialism.)
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To: Kaslin

“In a research paper for the Institute for Law and Economics, law professors Jonathan Klick and Joshua Wright crunched state and federal data on emergency room admissions...”

No harm, no foul; most San Franciscans are long since used to hospital stays for communicable infections.


5 posted on 02/10/2013 5:28:22 AM PST by Jack Hammer
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To: Erik Latranyi
They even mandate "TIME".

"TIME" to do away with daylight savings time. It's just plain DUMB.

6 posted on 02/10/2013 5:30:12 AM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: Jack Hammer
No harm, no foul; most San Franciscans are long since used to hospital stays for communicable infections.

That seems to be their point. Paraphrase: "Given what we all know about the (ahem) personal habits of San Franciscans, a little extra e.coli due to changing grocery bag usage wouldn't show up in the stats. Maybe they should run some numbers in communities where everyone doesn't, well, you know ..."

7 posted on 02/10/2013 5:32:03 AM PST by Tax-chick (I have chocolate.)
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To: Kaslin

The Law of Unintended Consequences


8 posted on 02/10/2013 5:32:58 AM PST by representativerepublic (...loose lips, sink ships)
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To: Erik Latranyi
“Liberal arrogance on display:
They mandate air bags in cars, which result in deaths to drivers sitting too close and children in the front seat.
They mandate MTBE in gasoline to reduce emissions, but then contaminates millions of gallons of potable water.
They mandate all sorts of things with no regard for consequences.”

But the ultimate in chutzpah is when these grand Leftist brain storms are proved to be bad policy, the Leftists double down on the bad policy to make them WORSE rather than better.

9 posted on 02/10/2013 5:35:47 AM PST by MasterGunner01
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To: Kaslin
Maybe I can sell single use polyethylene liners for the reusable bags. In fact, you could just use my liners and skip the reusable bag entirely.
10 posted on 02/10/2013 5:37:42 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Choose one: the yellow and black flag of the Tea Party or the white flag of the Republican Party.)
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To: Erik Latranyi
They mandate MTBE in gasoline to reduce emissions, but then contaminates millions of gallons of potable water.

MTBE is no longer used. Hasn't been for almost a decade.

From what I understand MTBE is a by product of gasoline production and is costly to get rid of. The oil companies convinced the "greens" that adding it to gas would be better for the environment.

11 posted on 02/10/2013 5:39:54 AM PST by raybbr (People who still support Obama are either a Marxist or a moron.)
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To: Kaslin
California politicians didn't even bother studying the possible health effects of their anti-bag laws. They were in such a hurry to tell their constituents what's best for them that they forgot to check how their busybody scheme might go wrong.

What kind of troglodyte are you? If they had taken time to research every insignificant little detail of their proposal, then PROGRESS!!! might have been delayed. The hammer of PROGRESS!!! must never be slowed in its swing towards the anvil of state.

If some few dozen or hundred or thousand or tens of thousands get caught beneath that hammer, that's the necessary price of living in the Glorious People's Republic.

FORWARD!
12 posted on 02/10/2013 5:40:50 AM PST by Dr.Zoidberg (John Winthrop's "City upon a Hill" just became a midden heap. Infested with rats and other vermin.)
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To: Tax-chick
... a little extra e.coli due to changing grocery bag usage wouldn't show up in the stats.

About 10 years ago, I tried listening to Michael Savage. I remember him complaining that the bum infestation was so bad, SF had started using chlorine in the street cleaners when washing down the bum-frequented areas of tourist district.

Can't remember what they were finding. Hepatitis, most likely.

13 posted on 02/10/2013 5:52:17 AM PST by Calvin Locke
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To: Kaslin

I had an argument here with a bunch of people about how people get sick. They were the type that wash their hands every 5 minutes (I don’t...I wash my hands about 4 times a day, unless I’m working on my cars) and actually think that sanitizers do anything other than dry out and wreck your skin. They got really angry - I think that I burst their bubble because they complained that they still kept getting sick, while I never get sick. LOL. I asked them, if they were so smart, how come they STILL can’t figure out how to stop the common cold from spreading. I happen to think, based on my history before flu shots (which I do need), that the bugs that get you sick are always inside of you, and when you hit the right conditions (damp, cold, windy), they are able to come out and attack (as I always used to get sick after underdressing for the weather). So they can wash their hands until they blue in the face, but it’s not doing them any good.

Having said that, I do think these re-usable bags are bad news. Liquids drip out of meat packages, that simple. Put a head of lettuce in there next, have a salad, and you’ve just a whole bunch of bad things that your tummy may tell you about.


14 posted on 02/10/2013 5:56:39 AM PST by BobL
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To: Kaslin

OK it being SF and the title being “Wash your Bags” the subject was not what I was expecting.


15 posted on 02/10/2013 5:58:13 AM PST by Dusty Road
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To: Kaslin
Two things are clear in America in 2013:

(1) The results of government actions and policies don't matter.

(2) The media will ignore or cover up any bad results.

In many ways, that is all you need to know to understand our new America.

16 posted on 02/10/2013 5:59:27 AM PST by Senator_Blutarski
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To: Kaslin

There are more pet dogs than children in SF, and they all go outside. If plastic bags are banned how are they handling that problem?


17 posted on 02/10/2013 6:07:24 AM PST by Reeses
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To: raybbr

Not exactly, according to others.
http://mises.org/daily/401/


18 posted on 02/10/2013 6:08:32 AM PST by Doulos1 (Bitter Clinger Forever!)
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To: Dr.Zoidberg
"necessary price"

Or in other words, the law of unintended consequences strikes again. Funny how often that law hits liberals upside the head.

19 posted on 02/10/2013 6:13:04 AM PST by driftless2
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To: Kaslin
figured that the San Francisco ban “led to an increase in infections immediately upon implementation.” <<<

lol...I said that when they 1st came out with this....didn't need any study....Common sense is at a premium in SF....

20 posted on 02/10/2013 6:21:15 AM PST by M-cubed
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To: Kaslin

What a joke. Washing the dammed bags pollutes the environment MORE than using the plastic bags did!

But of course no liberal would ever admit that their laws are a complete joke. Instead, when their laws are proven as not working, they defend their laws and demand a strengthening of the laws.

And the plastic bags ARE reusable. You can take them back to the supermarket and use them again or you can use them for trash, wrapping the new york times in, etc.


21 posted on 02/10/2013 6:29:42 AM PST by I want the USA back (Only people with their head up their a$$ vote democrat.)
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To: KarlInOhio

I was thinking of your second option. Why dont some companies sell cartons of plastic bags to the public. Just bring then with you when you go to stores.

I read several studies of shopping carts and the Bactria contained on the carts. 80% contaminated. And these fools put their reusable bag in the cart. Game over for these libtruds.


22 posted on 02/10/2013 6:48:33 AM PST by Pit1 (Obama is the bump in the road.)
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To: Kaslin

Busybody schemes go wrong,indeed.


23 posted on 02/10/2013 7:07:01 AM PST by Vaduz
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To: I want the USA back

BAN THE BAGS!!!


24 posted on 02/10/2013 7:07:41 AM PST by LiveFreeOrDie2001 (Elections have consequences - NOW LOOK what we have to deal with...)
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To: Kaslin
An old, old, old story. Many woven plastic bags (and many bags that seem to be cloth are actually woven plastic so beware) are essentially flexible hypodermic needles lying in wait to suck in viruses and bacteria, and then pump them out when the bags are filled.

These cannot be washed because detergents simply can't be sucked up into the threads to kill the bugs!

25 posted on 02/10/2013 7:09:40 AM PST by muawiyah
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To: Kaslin

26 posted on 02/10/2013 7:12:51 AM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas exercitus gerit ;-{)
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To: Kaslin

They are such naive people, it is fun to prank them.

One time, visiting a friend in San Francisco, I was wearing full western regalia, when we visited a coffee shop full of sneering p.c. bigots. They made little effort to conceal their nasty comments, speaking to each other loud enough so that I could hear.

So I decided to confirm their prejudices, speaking with a decided southern accent. I think the one that most got their attention was when I invited my friend to go dolphin fishing with shotguns. “Taste great on the BBQ!”, I asserted.

Finally, a girl my friend had previously identified as a lesbian and a noisy one, stomped over to our table to berate me, and I let her have her harridan spiel before saying, “Sorry, honey, I got me a woman. But there’s got to be a real man here, somewhere, who can give you a ‘tension breaker’, if you’re that much in need.”

She about fainted, then stomped off in a pluperfect rage.

It was a few minutes after that when some guy finally worked up his courage to try and cheap shot me, no other reason to have an empty beer mug in one hand.

Staying out of easy range, I didn’t let him get far before I asked him if he knew what the difference was between California and Arizona. “Wut?”

“Gun rights. Arizonans have guns.”

Boy was dense. He actually blurted out “what does that matter?”, before the light dawned and he backed off. Nobody messed with us after that, and we departed.

Simpletons.


27 posted on 02/10/2013 7:13:44 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Best WoT news at rantburg.com)
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To: Kaslin
...they provide what the sponsor of Sacramento's latest effort, Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, calls "uniformity of experience" for shoppers and store owners.

Wait! I thought it was diversity, not uniformity, that brightened our lives?

28 posted on 02/10/2013 7:23:13 AM PST by Yardstick
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To: Reeses

By purchasing plastic bags for that purpose at the store.


29 posted on 02/10/2013 7:36:17 AM PST by Bob
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To: Kaslin

I live in Santa Cruz County, California. Here’s a little article our county supervisors added to the bag ban

The charge imposed pursuant to this section shall not be applied to customers participating
in the California Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children,
the State Department of Social Services Food Stamp program, or other govemmentsubsidized
purchase programs for low-income residents.

So if you are on welfare you are exempt from all of this. So much for equal protection.


30 posted on 02/10/2013 7:52:35 AM PST by artichokegrower
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To: Kaslin
Red Foxx would have been onto this:


31 posted on 02/10/2013 8:15:00 AM PST by AZLiberty (No tag today.)
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To: Kaslin

I always thought San Franciscoans were sack-religious.


32 posted on 02/10/2013 8:19:04 AM PST by Chad N. Freud (FR is the modern equivalent of the Committees of Correspondence. Let other analogies arise.)
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To: Kaslin
San Francisco health officer Tomas Aragon reviewed Klick and Wright's paper and found “a biologically plausible hypothesis” but “sloppy” research. “It's a complicated topic. It's a little surprising that (they) would put this out there without a peer review,” he added.

You mean, like Manmade Global Warming?

33 posted on 02/10/2013 8:45:41 AM PST by Chgogal (Obama murdered the SEALs.They "were hung out to dry, basically exposed like a set of dog balls,...")
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To: Kaslin; forester

We need to go back to paper. It is recyclable, biodegradable, and renewable. Moreover, we do need an economic reason to harvest more timber at a higher price simply because the selective logging we need to reduce overstocking costs more than clear cutting.


34 posted on 02/10/2013 10:03:41 AM PST by Carry_Okie (GunWalker: Arming "a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as well funded")
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To: driftless2
Funny how often that law hits liberals upside the head.

Only place to hit one with the least chance of doing any lasting harm.
35 posted on 02/10/2013 4:12:05 PM PST by Dr.Zoidberg (John Winthrop's "City upon a Hill" just became a midden heap. Infested with rats and other vermin.)
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