INTRO: What do you believe is the most important social policy issue involving human development today? How would you persuade the government to improve citizen’s lives related to this particular issue? (ie. Healthcare, Education, Environmental problems, etc.)
Part I: Unsuspecting Teratogens
Go to www.ted.com and watch Tyrone Hayes & Penelope Jagessar Chaffer: The Toxic Baby? found at http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/tyrone_hayes_penelope_jagessar_chaffer_the_toxic_baby.html (Run time approx. 17 min.).
After watching the video address the following questions in a developed essay format:
Who should be responsible for protecting the unborn fetus from environmental toxins? Should the government regulate the use of chemical compounds such as Atrazine and BPA or should we keep the government regulation to a minimum and allow individuals to police and regulate exposure to these chemicals? How should the public be educated about the prevalence of these chemicals, the safety of our food source, and the harmful effects of exposure? Many governments subsidize certain agricultural products. In the US, we subsidize corn production. Given that Atrazine is used on corn, is the government then responsible for the harmful effects of the chemicals used to enhance corn production?
Part II: Self-Induced Teratogens
Hidden or misunderstood environmental toxins are one teratogen source. Another occurs when a pregnant female willingly and knowingly ingests harmful substances into her body, teratogens that may indeed endanger the life of her unborn child.
Should women who smoke, drink alcohol, or ingest harmful drugs during pregnancy be prosecuted for child endangerment? Why or why not?
In addition to your textbook, below are some additional helpful resources. Of course, you may research further scholarly resources as you deem appropriate.
The Toxic Baby: http://www.toxicbaby.com/
What Babies Think: http://www.ted.com/speakers/alison_gopnik.html