ALEC and polluters release new, uninspired schemes to block climate action

With most of America enduring major heat waves this week, mild and sunny San Diego is not a bad place to be — especially if you want to ignore climate change and block clean energy solutions. Turns out that’s where polluting companies and conservative state lawmakers are gathering right now for the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) annual summer conference. …

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ALLERGY SEASON MAY BE ‘WORST IN YEARS’

A long harsh winter is over and spring has arrived. But allergies, as well as flowers, are blooming. May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. Tao Zheng, chief of the allergy and immunology section at Yale University School of Medicine discussed what to expect from this allergy season and new advances in allergy treatments with university writer Ziba Kashef. …

Dry California

California Isn’t the Only State with Water Woes – Elaine Povich

With all the attention focused on California’s water woes, an observer might conclude that the Golden State’s drought is the exception. It isn’t. Forty states expect to see water shortages in at least some areas in the next decade, according to a government watchdog agency. In a 2013 survey by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), state water managers from around the country …

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FDA Database: 93% of Food Additives Aren’t Properly Studied – Barbara Minton

If the mandate of the FDA includes protecting public health by assuring the safety of the food supply, why is the organization allowing a staggering amount of additives to adulterate our food? Many of these additives have dire consequences to the health this agency is supposed to protect. Since the advent of commercially processed foods in the 1950’s, many non-food …

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Why the FDA doesn’t really know what’s in your food – Erin Quinn and Chris Young

 A massive legal loophole means companies can add new ingredients to foods with no government safety review. Rebecca Fattell was enjoying breakfast at a hotel in Berlin last summer when, after a few bites of a roll, her mouth started to itch, her gums started to hurt and before long, hives covered her skin. “My face, trunk, arms, legs,” Fattell …

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Antibiotic use in livestock going up, up, up – Avinash Kar

This morning, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released the latest report on sales of antibiotics for livestock use, that is, for use in meat and poultry production in 2013. The news follows the trends of the last few years, showing yet another increase in the numbers. Some lowlights: Livestock antibiotic sales have gone up from about 16,115 tons in 2012 to a …

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US Plans New Offshore Drilling Rules, But Questions Remain

The U.S. is set to announce new regulations on offshore oil and gas drilling as an increased safeguard against disasters like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to reports from Obama administration officials who spoke to the New York Times on Friday. The announcement, which could come as soon as Monday, is set to be timed with the five-year …

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We are eating WHAT?

What if you took a spoonful of your morning cereal and had an allergic reaction or even felt tranquillized? But when you looked at the package labeling there were no ingredients that would seem to be red flags? Increasingly, thanks to an FDA loophole, food makers use additives and chemicals that they and not the FDA have declared “safe” and the ingredients …

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Insufficient Data and Loose Regulations Worsen Fracking’s Impact, Studies Find

A slew of studies released this week, each examining different aspects of the fossil fuel extraction method known as ‘fracking,’ provide new evidence of problems with the practice. The first, an investigation by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the FracTracker Alliance into oil and gas company violations, found that information about such transgressions is only publicly accessible in three …

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Insufficient Data and Loose Regulations Worsen Fracking’s Impact, Studies Find

‘Marcellus shale waste is the elephant in the room that gas operators and regulators alike ignore,’ says environmentalist by Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams A slew of studies released this week, each examining different aspects of the fossil fuel extraction method known as ‘fracking,’ provide new evidence of problems with the practice. The first, an investigation by the Natural Resources Defense …