Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 1:46 pm
The Green Mountain State is poised to become the first to require food companies to label products containing genetically modified ingredients.
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin tweeted he will sign a bill state lawmakers passed Wednesday mandating that foods with GMOs be labeled as having been produced with "genetic engineering." The bill would also make it illegal for foods with GMOs to be labeled "all natural" or "natural."
Documents obtained by a group opposed to hydrofracking in New York show that the Cuomo Administration is conducting a thorough and comprehensive health study on the controversial natural gas drilling process. The Finger Lakes-based organization is wondering, why then, the review has been conducted almost entirely in secret.
In January, West Virginia’s Elk River was contaminated by a chemical spill from a nearby coal processing plant, affecting 300,000 local residents. People were without water for days. Now months later, is the water safe to drink?
A report released by the World Health Organization last week found that some 7 million people died from air pollution exposure in 2012. In other words, one in eight of all global deaths that year resulted from breathing bad air.
Today, the WHO considers air pollution to be the single greatest environmental health risk, linking it to cases of asthma, heart disease, stroke, and even cancer.
Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 4:19 pm
Food industry, beware of the power of the online petition.
Just a few days after food blogger Vani Hari, known as Food Babe, created a buzz with an online petition raising questions about the safety of a food additive commonly used in commercial baking, sandwich giant Subway has announced plans to phase it out of its fresh-baked breads.
The additive, azodicarbonamide, is used by the commercial baking industry to bleach flour and condition dough.
At Able Care Pharmacy and Medical Supplies in Enfield, Ashraf Moustafa often tries to avert disasters involving drugs displayed on his store’s shelves.
Moustafa, the pharmacy manager, recently spoke to an elderly woman seeking ways to treat dark blue patches on her arms. Instead of suggesting any remedies, he asked the woman what medicines she was taking, and discovered that she was dangerously mixing over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs with aspirin and the prescription blood thinner Plavix. He sent the woman to the hospital, fearing that she was suffering from internal bleeding.
“People have the impression that if a drug is approved for over-the-counter use, then it must be much safer than prescription medicine,” Moustafa says. “That’s when trouble happens.”
On 'Morning Edition': Ashton Marra reports from West Virginia
Relief is finally arriving for the 300,000 or so people in nine West Virginia counties who haven't been able to drink, cook or clean with their tap water for more than four days.
Officials announced at noon Monday that tests show the level of a potentially harmful chemical have fallen to the point where the water can be turned back on. But, they cautioned that the process of bringing customers back on line will take several days and has to be done systematically.
Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 12:52 pm
A 26-part series on genetically modified food was not Nathanael Johnson's idea. And he didn't realize it would take six months, either.
Last year, Johnson was hired as the new food writer for Grist, a website for environmental news and opinion. Grist's editor, Scott Rosenberg, was waiting with an assignment: Dig into the controversy over GMOs.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking steps to reduce artificial trans fats in processed foods. According to the agency, the move could help prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths each year. This means manufacturers, retailers, and restaurants could have to reformulate some of their recipes.
Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 1:58 pm
Voters appear to have defeated another attempt to require labels on genetically modified foods in Washington state. In early counts, the "no" campaign has what appears to be an insurmountable lead with 54 percent of votes.
The ballot initiative would require labels on the front of packages for most food products, seeds and commodities like soy or corn if they were produced using genetic engineering.
Now that we're reeling at the prospect of life after "Breaking Bad," let's find out about the real lives of chemistry teachers! Hear from Dr. Donna Nelson, the consultant "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan hired to make sure the on-screen science was correct, and then go beyond the test tubes, and meet some chemistry teachers to hear about what actually goes on in the classroom.
What did you learn in the chemistry classroom? What's the future of understanding and harnessing the power of chemistry? Remember to wear your safety goggles for this Colin McEnroe Show.
Vegetables that are genetically modified to resist pests have become a part of our daily diet, whether we like it or not. Several states have been considering legislation that would require the labeling of GMO products, but Connecticut could be the first to pass such a law. Opponents of the bill say there’s no health risk, and a law like this would pass on higher prices to consumers.
The situation in Syria gets more confusing by the day. The Obama Administration is treading very cautiously around conflicting reports of who actually staged a sarin gas attack, the government of besieged President Bashar al Assad, or the rebels fighting to take over the country.
The U.S. backed Israel’s decision to make military strikes by air in Damascus - but there are questions over whether this might mean an escalation of tensions in the region.
The Housatonic River flows from Massachusetts down through Connecticut to Long Island Sound. It’s a popular destination for people who canoe and fish. But it’s also considered “impaired” by the state because it’s polluted. The fight to clean it up has played out for decades. Now in the latest round, the state of Massachusetts is squaring off with the E.P.A. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports
Children who sleep with fumes from water-based paints and solvents are two to four times more likely to suffer allergies or asthma, according to a new scientific study. Swedish and U.S. scientists measured the compounds - propylene glycol and glycol ethers - in the bedroom air of 400 toddlers and preschoolers, and discovered that the exposed children had substantially higher rates of asthma, stuffy noses and eczema. The irony is that these compunds are supposed to be healthier than the old, high-polluting, oil-based paints and solvents.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is holding a series of workshops this week on the human health risks of PCBs in the Housatonic River and the different approaches to cleaning them up. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.
Before the mid-1970s, when polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs were deemed toxic and banned by Congress, the chemical compound was commonly used in manufacturing. General Electric used PCBs when it made electrical transformers at its former plant on the Housatonic River in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
The Environment Committee is considering legislation that would ban the use of cash register receipts that contain the chemical, BPA. The bill would also require a research institute at UConn to develop a list of toxic chemicals.