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December 10, 2010
Since 2007, members of the Achuar tribe, indigenous to Peru's Amazon rain forest, have been fighting to have their class-action suit against Occidental Petroleum tried in the United States. The Achuar allege that over a 30-year period, the Westwood-based oil company dumped millions of gallons of wastewater into their rivers and disposed of waste in unlined pits, sickening people and contaminating the land. The company, they maintain, should be held accountable in California courts. This week the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, overturning a lower court ruling that said Maynas Carijano vs. Occidental Petroleum should be tried in Peru.
November 26, 2010 | By Lynne Terry
An artisan cheese maker in California linked to a multi-state outbreak of E. coli is recalling all of its cheese after listeria was found at its plant. Bravo Farms, which specializes in raw-milk cheese, sells Gouda, pepper jack, Tulare Cannonball and cheddar cheese at stores mainly on the West Coast but also elsewhere in the country. This month its Dutch Style Gouda sold in about 50 Costco stores was pulled after it was linked to an outbreak of E. coli . At least 37 people have been sickened in that outbreak in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
October 27, 2010 | By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
Even by the extreme standards of typical college mayhem, the small-town college party in central Washington this month looked bad. Police were initially called to a supermarket parking lot, where they found a girl passed out in the back seat of a car next to a boy with a bloody nose. At the private house the two had just left, three girls were sprawled on a bed, a barely conscious young man was being dragged out of the backyard, a girl was prostrate on the bathroom floor and three young people were splayed senseless in a car outside.
September 15, 2010 | By Andrew Zajac, Tribune Washington Bureau
An Iowa egg producer involved in the biggest egg recall in U.S. history received a positive test result for Salmonella enteritidis on Aug. 4, more than a week before the Food and Drug Administration confirmed the bacteria's presence and pressed the company to launch the recall, according to records released Tuesday by congressional investigators. The records also indicate that in the two years leading up to the recall, testing at Wright County Egg found more than 400 positive tests for some strains of salmonella, including 73 samples that were potentially positive for Salmonella enteritidis, the strain responsible for sickening more than 1,500 consumers.
August 26, 2010 | By Julia Love, Tribune Washington Bureau
Food and Drug Administration officials said Thursday their investigators had homed in on chicken feed as a likely major contributor to the salmonella contamination that triggered a nationwide egg recall and potentially caused nearly 1,500 cases of illness. Feed found at Wright County Egg in Iowa tested positive for salmonella, FDA officials said at a joint news conference with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Salmonella also was found in walkways and manure at Wright County Egg, as well as in ingredients used in the feed.
February 19, 2010 | By Kate Linthicum
One day last week officer Al Polehonki took his police cruiser out for a garden tour of Los Feliz. He was looking for a toxic plant called angel's trumpet, a plant common in Southern California that is known for its large, flared flowers that Polehonki described as looking "like lilies with long necks." Each time he spotted the plant in front of a house, he got out, knocked on the door and asked whoever answered: Do you know that kids pick these flowers and chew them to get high?
January 29, 2010 | By John M. Glionna and Coco Masters
For 15 years, Tokyo taxi driver Kiyomi Hashimoto has been a loyal Toyota man. Not once has he considered changing brands or even the possibility of car problems. But now, sitting in his black Prius, pondering the news of Toyota's recent U.S. recalls, there are cracks in his once armor-plated confidence in the world's biggest automaker. "I never once thought I'd have a problem before," he said. "Now, I'm not so sure." News that the preeminent icon of Japanese industry had halted U.S. sales of eight popular models because of a design defect -- after issuing recalls of 7.6 million cars and trucks in the U.S. in the last few months -- has had a sickening effect on the national psyche.
November 14, 2009 | Barbara Demick
People in their 30s and 40s here complain of unpredictable senior moments: They go to the store and can't remember what they wanted to buy, or they forget the names of old friends. The children lose so much weight that they look like they're shrinking instead of growing. The leaves drop from the trees throughout the year -- not just autumn -- and the corn crop is stunted. Piglets are stillborn. Now thousands of Chinese are trying to flee a landscape poisoned by decades of lead manufacturing.
October 26, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Six Harvard University medical researchers were poisoned in August after drinking coffee that was laced with a chemical preservative, according to university officials. In an internal memo first reported in the Boston Herald, the school said the coffee came from a machine near their lab that later tested positive for sodium azide, a common preservative used in labs. After drinking the coffee Aug. 26, the six reported symptoms including dizziness and ringing in the ears, and one passed out. They were treated at a hospital and released.
September 4, 2009 | Rong-Gong Lin II
A group of preschool teachers in Los Angeles was sickened by marijuana this year after unknowingly eating pot brownies purchased by a fellow instructor, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. The incident took place April 7 at an unidentified preschool and was investigated by Los Angeles police, according to the CDC report. The preschool teacher who brought in the brownies told investigators that she had purchased them two days earlier from a street vendor who claimed to be selling them as a church fundraiser.
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