News·4 min read

Daily Skimm: Freshwater Fish, Jan 6 Panel, and Madonna

Man  catches a brook trout in the main pond at Connetquot River State Park Preserve in Oakdale, New York, on March 16, 2022
January 18, 2023

Toxic Scales

The Story

Freshwater fish could be dangerous for your health.

What’s this about?

Yesterday, a new study found that a majority of freshwater fish — including catfish and bass — caught in US lakes and rivers could contain high levels of PFAS and PFOS. These are known as “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down naturally in the environment. They’re found in non-stick cookware, makeup, and clothing. The gov has been issuing warnings about PFAS in drinking water since the toxins have been linked to high cholesterol, infertility, lowered immune responses, and cancer. But that wasn’t before the chemicals had already seeped into US soil, air, and even food. PFAS have been found in fish, livestock, and other animals. Now, a new study is saying the toxins could be worse than we thought.

How bad?

Researchers looked at more than 500 samples of fish from rivers and lakes across the US between 2013 and 2015. They found that eating one serving of freshwater fish could be the equivalent of drinking water with PFOS at 48 parts per trillion for a month — which is 2,400 times what the EPA allows in drinking water. It also found that toxic levels in freshwater fish were 278 times higher than store-bought fish. Scientists said the findings raised social and environmental justice concerns. Especially for communities that depend on fishing for their food and can't afford to buy it. But given the potential health risks, scientists are calling for more awareness on the issue.


It’s been over five decades since the government first approved “forever chemicals." Now, study after study shows that PFAS chemicals may be more dangerous than we initially thought. And that limiting our exposure may be more challenging.

And Also...This

Who may have not given us the whole story...

The Jan 6 House committee. Yesterday, The Washington Post reported the committee didn't detail all of its findings on tech companies' role in the deadly attack. In a 122-page draft memo obtained by the Post, congressional investigators reportedly outlined evidence that social media platforms like Twitter ignored their employees’ warnings about extremist content. And that tech platforms “bent their rules” to avoid “penalizing conservatives.” But a lot of the details in the memo didn’t make it into the committee’s final report, according to the Post. The reason? Some committee members reportedly wanted to avoid a battle with Big Tech. Now, critics are saying the Democrat-led panel missed an opportunity to hold social media companies accountable for the attack. It all comes as platforms like Twitter scale back on its content moderation efforts. 

  • Next up: It’s unclear if this draft memo would be released by the Republican-led House. Meanwhile, House Republicans have promised their own investigation into Jan 6 and are considering releasing security footage from that day.

Who’s playing musical chairs…

House Republicans. Yesterday, GOP House members reportedly gave Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) committee assignments. In 2021, House Democrats booted both lawmakers from their panels. Greene for posting violent remarks about Democratic lawmakers on social media. And Gosar for posting an animated video that depicted him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and attacking President Biden. Now, Greene’s apparently set to be part of the Homeland Security Committee, where she could play a big role in border security. And she’s expected to join Gosar on a separate committee that’s planning to launch probes into President Biden. But there’s…

  • More change on the horizon: House Republicans signaled Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) will be kicked out in retaliation for removing Greene and Gosar in the first place. Just another day on the hill.

What’s saying ‘this doesn’t fly’…

The Australian Open. Yesterday, Tennis Australia banned Belarusian and Russian flags from the tennis tournament. The move came after fans displayed a Russian flag during a match between a Russian and Ukrainian player — prompting concerns about intimidation amid the Russian war in Ukraine. The Russian embassy called the ban "regrettable.” But organizers said they're working to provide “the best possible environment” for fans and players.

While Mercury in retrograde’s end is getting us through hump day...

Madonna is in her celebration era.

What's no longer feeling itty bitty…


Who's got police saying never...mined...

Greta Thunberg.

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