Food

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Women Living Near Pesticide-Treated Fields Have Smaller Babies

by Lindsey Konkel of Environmental Health News
Sat, Sep 21, 2013 at 7:31 AM

Women in Northern California farm towns gave birth to smaller babies if they lived within three miles of strawberry fields and other crops treated with the pesticide methyl bromide, according to researchers.
Methyl bromide is one of many pesticides used in the Salinas Valley, which has been dubbed the nation's "salad bowl."

“There’s been very little research on residential exposure to methyl bromide. Our study is the first to look at methyl bromide and birth outcomes,” said Kim Harley, study author and associate director of the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health at UC Berkeley.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Must Reads: AG Holder Relaxes Sentencing Guidelines for Nonviolent Drug Offenders; GOP House Votes to Decimate Food Stamps

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. United States Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered federal prosecutors nationwide to stop seeking long prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders, the Washington Post reports. The major policy change affects defendants who have been charged with low-level drug crimes but have not yet gone on trial as well as those who have been convicted but not yet sentenced. Holder’s order, which follows a recent directive by his office to lay off marijuana cases in states in which cannabis is legal for recreational or medical use, could have a major impact on the nation’s overcrowded prisons. “Although the United States is home to 5 percent of the world’s population, almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners are in US prisons, according to the Justice Department,” the Post reports. “There are more than 219,000 federal inmates, and almost half of them are serving time for drug-related crimes.”

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thursday Must Reads: Misleading Labels Cause Massive Food Waste; Appellate Court Rules Against Big Oil

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Sep 19, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Misleading labels — like “sell by,” “use by,” and "best by" — are causing Americans to throw away massive amounts of food because they mistakenly believe that food becomes unhealthy after the expiration dates, the Chron reports, citing a new study from Harvard University and the National Resources Defense Council. The report found that 90 percent of Americans mistakenly throw away food because of the labels — which only reflect manufacturers estimates about when food will taste best, not whether the food is unhealthy.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

California Health Officials Issue Warning About Ginger Candy

by Elly Schmidt-Hopper
Tue, Aug 6, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Ginger sweets imported from Vietnam, known simply as "Ginger Candy," contain high levels of lead and should not be eaten, Dr. Ron Chapman of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reported this morning. Evershing International Trading, Inc, the San Jose based importer of the contaminated candy, has voluntarily recalled the product, and CDPH is urging consumers in possession of Ginger Candy to discard it immediately.

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

California's Children Face Higher Health Risks from Food Contaminants Than Adults

by Jennifer Wolstenholme of Environmental Health News
Sat, Jun 8, 2013 at 7:33 AM

Preschoolers and school-age children eat a large number of contaminants in a variety of foods at levels that have known health effects, according to a study of kids and adults in California. Exposure to the pollutants at the levels identified in the study is associated with a wide array of health effects including cancer, liver toxicity, and damage to the neurological and reproductive systems.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wednesday Must Reads: Oakland City Unions Schedule Strike Vote; NorCal Farms Struggle to Meet Demand for Rabbits

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Jun 5, 2013 at 6:58 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The City of Oakland’s two largest unions — SEIU, Local 1021 and IFTPE, Local 21 — have scheduled strike-authorization votes for early next week in protest over Mayor Jean Quan’s budget proposal, which includes no pay increases. The Trib reports that the unions believe Quan and City Administrator Deanna Santana have greatly underestimated the city’s projected tax revenues for the next two years, as Oakland’s economy continues to rebound. The strike votes would give the unions more leverage at the bargaining table and would authorize leaders to call for a strike should negotiations with Quan’s administration fail to produce a deal. The unions last went on strike in 1946.

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Must Reads: Consultants Criticize OPD’s Failure to Investigate Crimes; Berkeley Schools Slash Acclaimed Cooking and Gardening Program

by Robert Gammon
Fri, May 10, 2013 at 6:56 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. A team of high-priced consultants, led by William Bratton, the former head of the New York and Los Angeles police departments, criticized OPD’s failure to adequately investigate crimes — a problem that has plagued the department for years. Bratton’s team issued a set of recommendations that it promised would reduce crime in the city, calling on OPD to beef up its investigative units and assign detectives to cover smaller areas of the city. As the Express has repeatedly reported, OPD has one of the worst records for solving crime in the nation.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wednesday Must Read: Assault Weapons Ban Is Dead; Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s Won’t Sell Genetically Modified Salmon

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Dianne Feinstein’s proposal for a federal ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines has died in the US Senate, the Chron reports. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told Feinstein last night that he would not bring the proposed ban to the Senate floor because it doesn’t have enough votes to pass. Republicans, who are united in their opposition to the proposed ban, have been joined by conservative, pro-gun Democrats in red states. Reid, however, is pushing forward with a proposal to mandate universal background checks on gun purchases nationwide.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wednesday Must Read: Berkeley Rents Skyrocket; Proposed Law Would Let Bars Stay Open to 4 a.m.

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Rents have jumped sharply in Berkeley as people are outbidding each other for access to a limited supply of housing, the Trib reports. The median rent for a two-bedroom in the city was $1,850 in the final quarter of 2012, up 8.8 percent from the year before. The median rent for a one-bedroom was $1,325, an increase of 6 percent from 2011. As we noted in this week’s cover story, some anti-growth activists in Berkeley have been using the state’s primary environmental law to block the construction of new housing in the city.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Eating Fruits and Vegetables May Reduce Harm from Air Pollution

by Virginia T. Guidry of Environmental Health News
Mon, Aug 13, 2012 at 7:06 AM

Eat your fruits and vegetables, especially if you have chronic respiratory ailments. A study of adults with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) found that those with lower levels of certain antioxidants in their blood were more vulnerable to the harmful effects of air pollution. Air pollution can aggravate both asthma and COPD, producing symptoms that can be strong enough to lead to hospitalization. This study is important because it indicates that a healthy diet including fruits and vegetables may protect against the common health threat of air pollution.

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