This Week’s Cartoon: “Better Babies Through Chemistry”

cartoon about babies and toxinsNicholas Kristof had a good column the other day about the President’s Cancer Panel report, which declared that we need more testing and regulation of chemicals used in industry. Few people seem to be talking about this, as far as I know, but I’d say it’s one of the more admirable steps the current administration has taken. The fact that babies are now born with over 300 pollutants in their bodies is a sign of a diseased society, both literally and figuratively speaking.

A technical note about the second panel: PFOAs are a synthetic chemical used in the production of fluoropolymers, which lend special properties like nonstick and waterproof surfaces to a variety of products. So a baby stuffed with PFOAs, which are persistent toxins in the environment, would probably not have nonstick properties, although I’m thinking one coated with a thick layer of fluoropolymers might. I couldn’t explain all that in the cartoon, but you probably didn’t read that panel as scientific realism anyway. At least, I hope you didn’t.

I’m sure the toddler lawyers at Baby Rights Watch will be contacting me any day to condemn the treatment of tots in this strip.


Jen Sorensen is a cartoonist for Daily Kos, The Nation, In These Times, Politico and other publications throughout the US. She received the 2023 Berryman Award for Editorial Cartooning from the National Press Foundation, and is a recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. She is also a Pulitzer Finalist.



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