EJToday: Top Headlines
EJToday is SEJ's selection of new and outstanding stories on environmental topics in print and on the air, updated every weekday. SEJ also offers a free e-mailed digest of the day's EJToday postings, called SEJ-beat. SEJ members are subscribed automatically, but may opt out here. Non-members may subscribe here. EJToday is also available via RSS feed. Please see Editorial Guidelines for EJToday content.
"The US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) today recommended the publication of two controversial avian flu papers."
When some 18 girls in the upstate New York town of Le Roy developed unexplained tics and twitches starting in August 2011, many were quick to suspect that the cause was toxic substances in the environment. There had been a major chemical spill there in 1970. Erin Brockovich, of movie fame, started an investigation (as did EPA). But many of the potential chemical causes were ultimately discounted. Later hypotheses about the cause included sociological, psychological, and infectious factors. Today, many of the victims are doing better.
"Every day, inspectors in white hats and coats take up positions at every one of the nation's slaughterhouses, eyeballing the hanging carcasses of cows and chickens as they shuttle past on elevated rails, looking for bruises, tumors and signs of contamination."
"A U.S. judge sided with tobacco companies on Wednesday, ruling that regulations requiring large graphic health warnings on cigarette packaging and advertising violate free-speech rights under the U.S. Constitution."
"When US President Barack Obama proposed a US$664-million cut in congressional funding for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in his 2013 budget request, he tried to ease the pain by replacing much of it with money from other sources. But only days after the 13 February request, a vote on Capitol Hill made clear just how vulnerable those substitutions are, suggesting that the US public-health agency is on increasingly shaky financial ground."
"Exposure to certain pollutants early in a rat’s pregnancy can foster disease in her offspring during their adulthood as well as in subsequent generations, a new study shows. A wide range of pollutants elicited such lasting effects, despite future generations never encountering the triggering pollutant."
"From sea to shining sea, Americans love the beach."
"Mount Sinai School of Medicine virologists find signs of infection in 1-2% of blood samples screened, but most people didn't seek or need treatment."
"Bird flu experts meeting in Geneva ruled that controversial research on a mutant form of the virus potentially capable of being spread among humans should be made public."
"Hoping to combat the growing problem of childhood obesity, the Obama administration on Wednesday announced its long-awaited changes to government-subsidized school meals, a final round of rules that adds more fruits and green vegetables to breakfasts and lunches and reduces the amount of salt and fat."
"With the specter of past deadly poisonings, the food industry steps up its quest for clean salad greens, testing various industrial washes and other methods like ultrasound."
"In an almost unheard-of move, scientists who study the deadly H5N1 bird flu announced a 60-day voluntary moratorium on studying the virus to allow time 'to clearly explain the benefits of this important research and the measures taken to minimize its possible risks.'"
"Federal officials have asked a biosecurity scientist panel to broadly review bird flu transmission research for public health concerns."