CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 23, 2012 |
EAST OROSI, Calif. - This was to be the first year Jessica Sanchez was in charge of Thanksgiving dinner. She began preparations Wednesday, crossing through her family's small kitchen to a bottled water dispenser in the living room and filling a pan to wash the turkey. She couldn't use the tap water because East Orosi is one of many Central Valley farm communities where the supply is tainted - by nitrates, arsenic or bacteria traced to decades of agricultural runoff. Jessica's mother, Bertha Diaz, makes about $7.50 an hour picking grapefruit and lemons in the winter, grapes and blackberries in the summer. The cost of the tap water they use for bathing and gardening, plus the bottled water for drinking and cooking, is about 30% of her income.
September 22, 2012 |
In response to a recent investigation that found "substantial" levels of arsenic in rice and many rice-based products, a group of Democrats proposed legislation that would impose federal limits on the dangerous element. Reps. Rosa De Lauro of Connecticut, Frank Pallone of New Jersey and Nita Lowey of New York said in a joint statement that their bill would require the Food and Drug Administration to set a maximum amount of arsenic permissible in foods containing rice. The move Friday is based on a Consumer Reports finding this week urging consumers to cut back on rice ingestion after researchers said they discovered "worrisome" traces of inorganic arsenic in products including brown and white rice and rice-based infant cereals, pastas, drinks and crackers.
September 20, 2012 |
ARSENIC AND RICE After a study revealed “worrisome” levels of arsenic in most rice products surveyed, consumer groups are calling for federal regulation. The Food and Drug Administration says that it has found no evidence that rice is unsafe to eat but that it is in the middle of a new study of 1,200 grocery-store rice products to measure arsenic levels. [San Jose Mercury News] FRENCH STUDY LINKS GMO CORN AND RAT TUMORS French scientists say rats fed genetically modified corn sold by Monsanto suffered tumors and kidney and liver damage, among other complications.
September 19, 2012 |
All along the rice shelf at the grocery store, where brown and white rice sit alongside rice-based breakfast cereals, rice pastas, rice drinks and rice crackers, there's arsenic, and often at troubling levels. The new findings from a Consumer Reports investigation show “significant” and “worrisome” amounts of inorganic arsenic in nearly every rice product tested. The watchdog group urged consumers to scale back ingestion of rice products and asked the Food and Drug Administration to set limits.
July 9, 2012 |
In a long awaited but hardly unanticipated development, two teams of scientists reported Sunday that a strange bacterium called GFAJ-1, once reported to use arsenic instead of phosphorus in its cellular machinery, requires phosphorus to grow after all - just like every other organism on Earth. The microbe “is still a phosphate-dependent bacterium,” one of the research teams wrote in the journal Science. The two groups' research papers may put to rest a debate that began in December 2010 when a group of scientists, including a NASA-affiliated researcher named Felisa Wolfe-Simon, announced a jaw-dropping discovery that a strange bacterium they had discovered in California's Mono Lake seemed to use arsenic in its cellular machinery instead of phosphorus.
February 16, 2012 |
Worrisome levels of arsenic have been found in two infant formulas that contain organic brown rice syrup as a main ingredient, researchers reported Thursday. Arsenic was also found in some cereal bars that contain organic brown rice syrup. The toxic element is a known contaminate found in rice because the crop absorbs arsenic from soil. According to the authors of the study, from Dartmouth College, the type found in the food products has been identified as a human carcinogen. Arsenic can also cause skin, lung and intestinal irritation as well as miscarriage and infertility.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 21, 2011 |
Finally, some sanity regarding smokestack emissions. After decades of political squabbling, on Wednesday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued its Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, or MATS, which will dramatically cut the amount of highly toxic mercury and about 70 other pollutants released in the United States. The rules target the emissions from coal-fired power plants. Mercury is the key element addressed by these rules, but it's only one of many chemicals -- plus fine particulate matter, which plays a role in asthma and other respiratory illnesses nationwide -- that are regulated by MATS.
November 30, 2011 |
Arsenic levels in some commercial fruit juices may be higher than expected, finds a study from Consumer Reports. The discovery comes just months after television host Dr. Mehmet Oz proclaimed results from his own investigation showed that arsenic levels in apple juice were unhealthful. The Food and Drug Administration claimed Oz's statistics were faulty and said juice was safe to drink. Apple juice contains a certain amount of organic arsenic, and what Oz found, they said, represented the total amount of arsenic and wasn't an accurate reading.
September 16, 2011 |
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but apple juice? That's asking for trouble. Witness the white-hot flames of controversy this week over Dr. Mehmet Oz's claims that apple juice contains unhealthful levels of arsenic. Here's the background in a nutshell: On his syndicated television show, Oz made the claims about apple juice containing arsenic, which prompted the Food and Drug Administration and others to fire back, saying that Oz's claims were unfounded and that the juice was safe to drink.