Researchers Genetically Alter Plants Hoping They'll Vacuum Up Toxins
October 15, 2007 10:41 PM - Julie Steenhuysen, Reuters
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Scientists hope they've figured out a way to trick plants into doing the dirty work of environmental cleanup, U.S. and British researchers said on Monday.
"Our work is in the beginning stages, but it holds great promise," said Sharon Doty, an assistant professor of forest resources at the University of Washington, whose study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
In work they describe as preliminary, researchers at the University of Washington say they've genetically altered poplar trees to pull toxins out of contaminated ground water, perhaps offering a cost-effective way of cleaning up environmental pollutants.
China considers environmental tax on polluters
October 15, 2007 07:50 AM - Reuters
China is considering an environmental tax on polluters to cut emissions, a senior government official said on Monday.
"We are actively promoting this idea. But we have to consult with relevant ministries," Pan Yue, deputy head of the State Environmental Protection Administration, told reporters on the sidelines of the ruling Communist Party's five-yearly Congress.
Polluted "concrete coastline" no lure for Greeks
October 15, 2007 07:49 AM - Karolos Grohmann -Reuters
Greece is struggling to contain coastal pollution which threatens its renowned azure waters and golden coastlines, the main sources of its booming tourism industry.
"A few years ago I swam here every day but in the past two summers it is just too dirty so I just play on the beach," said 37-year-old Stavros Georgiadis, who plays racquet ball on the beach of Alimos along the capital's coast almost daily.
Smoking Turns On Cancer Genes, Permanently: Study
October 14, 2007 09:59 PM -
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Smoking may turn on some genes in the body in a permanent and harmful way, scientists said on Thursday in a study that may help explain why the risk of cancer remains high even after smokers quit.
They found many genetic changes that stop when a smoker quits, but found several genes that stay turned on for years, including several not previously linked with tobacco use.
"These irreversible changes may account for the persistent lung cancer risk despite smoking cessation," the researchers wrote in their report, published in BioMed Central journal BMC Genomics.
Pollution Killing up to 25,000 Canadians Annually :Report
October 14, 2007 09:21 AM - The University of British Columbia
Canadians are awash in toxic chemicals -- and it is costing our health care system up to $9.1 billion and 1.5 million hospital days annually, according to a new study led by University of British Columbia Trudeau Scholar David Boyd.
The research is the first to measure the magnitude of adverse health effects caused by exposure to environmental hazards such as air pollution, pesticides, dioxins, heavy metals, flame retardants and other persistent organic pollutants (POPs) for Canada.
Ingredient Composition Becomes More Important as Organic Personal Care Product Market Evolves
October 12, 2007 07:06 PM -
London – The natural & organic sector is the fastest growing in the North American cosmetics & toiletries industry, with sales increasing by 20% a year. Organic Monitor projects the market share of natural & organic personal care products to expand from 8% this year to 15% in the coming years.
High market growth rates are because of the rise in ethical purchasing and ‘mainstreaming’ of natural & organic products. Distribution in mass market retailers is increasing as retailers focus on ecological and natural products. Mass merchandisers like Wal-Mart and Target are introducing natural & organic personal care products, supermarkets like Safeway and Loblaws are expanding product ranges, whilst drugstores are launching exclusive products.
World Bank fund to pay for protecting forests
October 12, 2007 02:42 PM - Lesley Wroughton, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new fund being developed by the World Bank would pay developing countries hundreds of millions of dollars for protecting and replanting tropical forests, which store huge amounts of carbon that causes climate change.
The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), announced by the World Bank on Thursday, will be part of U.N. climate change negotiations in Bali in December to shape a global agreement for when the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.
ConAgra Foods Recalls All Banquet Pot Pies and Store Brand Pot Pies
October 12, 2007 10:59 AM -
OMAHA, Neb.- ConAgra Foods announced today that it is continuing its efforts to ensure consumer safety by voluntarily recalling all varieties of Banquet brand frozen pot pies and all varieties of store brand frozen pot pies sold under the names of Albertson's, Hill Country Fare, Food Lion, Great Value, Kirkwood, Kroger, Meijer and Western Family.
Earlier this week, ConAgra Foods was contacted by state health officials regarding concerns that some of its Banquet poultry pot pie products may be linked to an outbreak of salmonella. In cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), on Oct. 9, ConAgra Foods directed retailers to remove the poultry pot pies from shelves, suspended pot pie production in its Marshall, Mo., plant and advised consumers to not eat these products and discard these products while an investigation was conducted.
New Research: Pollutant linked to bronchitis in toddlers
October 12, 2007 09:51 AM -
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Toddlers who breathe polluted air are far more likely to be diagnosed with bronchitis than children living in cleaner environments, U.S. and Czech researchers reported on Thursday.
They found a component of pollution known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, was strongly linked with cases of bronchitis among children aged 2 to 4 and a half.
The study is one of the first to look at PAHs, which are produced when fuels that contain carbon such as wood, coal, diesel or tobacco are burned.
Most environmental regulations in the United States and Europe focus on controlling particulate emissions -- tiny particles in the air -- as well as sulfur dioxide and ozone.