World moves into the ecological red
October 6, 2007 06:25 PM - Jeremy Lovell, Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) - The world moved into "ecological overdraft" on Saturday, the point at which human consumption exceeds the ability of the earth to sustain it in any year and goes into the red, the New Economics Foundation think-tank said.
Ecological Debt Day this year is three days earlier than in 2006 which itself was three days earlier than in 2005. NEF said the date had moved steadily backwards every year since humanity began living beyond its environmental means in the 1980s.
"As the world creeps closer to irreversible global warming and goes deeper into ecological debt, why on earth, say, would the UK export 20 tonnes of mineral water to Australia and then re-import 21 tonnes," said NEF director Andrew Simms.
Sam's Club recalls Cargill-made hamburgers in U.S.
October 6, 2007 06:18 PM -
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Sam's Club is pulling frozen hamburgers made by agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. from its stores shelves across the United States as Minnesota health officials investigate four cases of E. coli associated with the burgers.
In a statement dated Friday, Sam's Club owner Wal-Mart Stores Inc said the warehouse club is removing the American Chef's Selection Angus Beef patties from U.S. locations and giving refunds to customers who already purchased the burgers.
All four cases of E. coli being investigated occurred in children, the Minnesota Department of Health said in a statement. The cases are associated with eating ground beef patties purchased from Sam's Club stores in late August and September.
Sam's Club customers should return or destroy any American Chef's Selection Angus Beef purchased from Sam's Club since August 26, the department of health said.
Olympic Star Jones Plans Guilty Plea; Steroids
October 5, 2007 05:16 PM - Christine Kearney
WHITE PLAINS, New York (Reuters) - Athletics superstar Marion Jones told a judge on Friday she would plead guilty to two felonies in connection with a steroid investigation, a decision that could cost her the five medals she won in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Earlier on Friday federal law enforcement sources said she would likely plead guilty to lying to federal investigators about her steroid use before the 2000 Olympics and to lying to federal agents about a separate check fraud case.
Jones would become the first athlete convicted in connection with a probe into the San Francisco-area laboratory BALCO, the center of a doping scandal that has tarnished the reputations of leading athletes in baseball, football and athletics.
Blind people: Hybrid Cars Pose Hazard
October 5, 2007 04:55 PM - AP, Ben Nuckols
BALTIMORE - Gas-electric hybrid vehicles, the status symbol for the environmentally conscientious, are coming under attack from a constituency that doesn't drive: the blind. Because hybrids make virtually no noise at slower speeds when they run solely on electric power, blind people say they pose a hazard to those who rely on their ears to determine whether it's safe to cross the street or walk through a parking lot.
Topps Meat goes out of business after recall
October 5, 2007 03:39 PM - Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Topps Meat Co LLC announced on Friday it was going out of business, crushed by the recall of 21.7 million pounds of beef linked to 30 cases of E. coli-related illness.
"In one week we have gone from the largest U.S. manufacturer of frozen hamburgers to a company that cannot overcome the economic reality of a recall this large," Anthony D'Urso, chief operating officer, said in a statement.
It was the fifth-largest meat or poultry recall in U.S. history, the Agriculture Department said. But no deaths have been reported due to the outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7, which can cause diarrhea and dehydration.
Organic Tofu Recall, Listeria Discovered
October 5, 2007 12:05 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
San Francisco - As a precaution, a San Francisco tofu company has expanded a recall of their organic tofu. The soy products are being recalled after a bacteria called San Francisco - As a precaution, a San Francisco tofu company has expanded a recall of their organic tofu after a bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes was discovered in three of 29 products and 3 plant swabs. The organism can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. The company, Quong Hop & Co. of South San Francisco, California issued the recall voluntarily. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.
Kentucky counties sue makers of "hillbilly heroin"
October 5, 2007 09:34 AM -
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Several Kentucky counties filed suit on Thursday against the makers of the potent painkilling drug OxyContin, charging that abusers of "hillbilly heroin" have filled state jails and treatment centers.
"Following the introduction of this drug into Kentucky's market (in 1995), addictions increased dramatically, crime increased dramatically, all the social costs associated with addiction increased dramatically," Kentucky Attorney General Greg Stumbo said in a telephone interview.
Purdue Pharma L.P., the privately-held manufacturer of OxyContin, said it would fight the lawsuit filed in Pike County, in eastern Kentucky. It says OxyContin's label contains proper warnings.
Genes and toxic chemicals
October 5, 2007 08:13 AM - The National Academies
Research is increasingly revealing how toxic chemicals disrupt gene activity and other cell processes in ways that lead to health problems
Diet For Small Planet May be Most Efficient if it Includes Dairy and a Little Meat, Cornell Researchers Report
October 5, 2007 08:04 AM - Cornell Chronicle, Susan Lang
A low-fat vegetarian diet is very efficient in terms of how much land is needed to support it. But adding some dairy products and a limited amount of meat may actually increase this efficiency, Cornell researchers suggest. This deduction stems from the findings of their new study, which concludes that if everyone in New York state followed a low-fat vegetarian diet, the state could directly support almost 50 percent more people, or about 32 percent of its population, agriculturally. With today's high-meat, high-dairy diet, the state is able to support directly only 22 percent of its population, say the researchers.
Bird Flu Virus Mutating into Human-Unfriendly Form
October 4, 2007 08:37 PM - Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The H5N1 bird flu virus has mutated to infect people more easily, although it still has not transformed into a pandemic strain, researchers said on Thursday.
The changes are worrying, said Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
"We have identified a specific change that could make bird flu grow in the upper respiratory tract of humans," said Kawaoka, who led the study.
"The viruses that are circulating in Africa and Europe are the ones closest to becoming a human virus," Kawaoka said.