"British chef and food activist Jamie Oliver ignited a firestorm in January 2011 when he mentioned on the Late Show with David Letterman that castoreum, a substance used to augment some strawberry and vanilla flavorings, comes from what he described as 'rendered beaver anal gland.' The next year, vegans were outraged to learn that Starbucks used cochineal extract, a color additive derived from insect shells, to dye their strawberry Frappuccino® drinks (eventually, the company decided to transition to lycopene, a pigment found in tomatoes)."
"The EPA announced [March 27] that it will study the health and environmental risks of 23 chemicals, with an emphasis on chemical flame retardants that are found in many common products."
"Many pesticides used in consumer products and agriculture received federal approval through a loophole that doesn't require thorough testing, according to a study released Wednesday by an environmental group."
Such a move had been resisted for years by the few large companies that dominate the scientific publishing industry. Some open-access groups hailed the memo as a breakthrough that would really allow taxpayers to read the research they pay for. Still, the proof will be in the implementation.
"Critics call on FDA and EPA to review popular anti-microbial's safety in light of new science."
"The effects of the so-called sequestration budget cuts on the federal government are revealed in a Jan. 25 memo to National Park Service staff written by Park Service Director Jon Jarvis."
EPA bowed to industry, ruling in a January 3, 2013 memo that local drinking water utilities no longer have to notify their customers of contamination in writing. "The memo fails to set clear standards for electronic notification and delivery and makes it likely that segments of the public will have less access to these reports," the Center for Effective Government wrote in response to the EPA memo.
"The California Public Utilities Commission held an initial meeting Tuesday in an investigative process that could eventually result in ratepayers getting a refund for a portion of the bills they have paid during the San Onofre nuclear plant's year-long outage."
"Last week, federal lawmakers trumpeted the passage of the Drywall Safety Act of 2012 as a bipartisan victory for thousands of homeowners harmed by contaminated drywall."