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Group to Create Rating System for Landscapes
November 5, 2007 12:22 PM - Allyson Wendt, ENN
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has been working with the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas–Austin since 2005 to research environmentally friendly landscapes for building sites, parks, and public areas.
In 2006, the U.S. Botanic Garden joined the effort, and now the group is going public with its Sustainable Sites Initiative (SSI), a project to develop guidelines by 2009 and a rating system for landscapes by 2012.
Australian town to run on solar power in 2 years
November 4, 2007 03:51 PM -
SYDNEY (Reuters) - A sun-drenched town in Australia's north hopes to use only solar power in two years after being chosen as the site for a solar thermal power station.
Remote Cloncurry, which boasts recording Australia's hottest day, would be able to generate electricity on rare cloudy days and at night from the station, which runs off heat stored in graphite blocks.
U.S. to boost testing of imported Canada meat
November 3, 2007 11:50 PM - Christopher Doering, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Meat and poultry products being imported from Canada will be subjected to increased testing and inspection after an outbreak of E. coli in several U.S. states traced to beef from a Canadian company, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Saturday.
The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service said it would increase testing for salmonella, listeria monocytogenes and E. coli O157:H7. The agency said it would require the products be held until testing shows they do not contain any of those pathogens.
The bacteria can cause abdominal pains, diarrhea and dehydration.
Protecting Organic From GMO's - New Standards Proposed
November 3, 2007 11:15 PM - Ken Roseboro, The Organic and Non-GMO Report
Baltimore, MD - A draft standard for verifying the non-GMO status of natural and organic foods was introduced at a meeting held at Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore in September. The Board members of the Non-GMO Project, an industry initiative to verify the non-GMO status of natural and organic foods, discussed the draft non-GMO standard.
Bill Clinton: "Green" economy offers great rewards
November 2, 2007 08:02 AM - Reuters
The shift to a green economy is the biggest economic opportunity facing the United States since the military buildup to World War Two, former President Bill Clinton said on Thursday.
Addressing the U.S. Conference of Mayors' Climate Protection Summit, Clinton said initiatives to combat global warming, such as the retrofit of old buildings and switching to more fuel-efficient cars, would create jobs and boost wages.
Air pollution raises preterm birth risk
November 1, 2007 09:08 PM - Megan Rauscher, reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A study conducted in Los Angeles County and published today shows the harmful effects traffic-related air pollution can have on pregnant women.
The data suggest that women who live in areas with high carbon monoxide or fine particle levels - pollution caused mainly by motor vehicle traffic -- are roughly 10 to 25 percent more likely to suffer preterm birth (delivery before 37 weeks of pregnancy), compared with women who live in less polluted areas.
Climate Bill Seen as Sign of Political Shift
November 1, 2007 08:47 PM - Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A milestone, a landmark and "the political center of gravity is finally shifting on global warming."
Those accolades greeted a Senate subcommittee's approval on Thursday of a bill to cap greenhouse gas emissions, mostly because it is the first of a dozen such measures that might have a chance of becoming law.
The approval vote, 4 to 3 ,means the bill will be debated in the full Environment and Public Works Committee, chaired by longtime environmentalist Sen. Barbara Boxer.
Totino's and Jeno's pizza recalled due to E. coli
November 1, 2007 08:38 PM - Reuters
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Almost five million Totino's and Jeno's frozen pizzas with pepperoni toppings are being recalled because the pepperoni may be contaminated with E. coli, General Mills Inc said on Thursday.
General Mills, which owns the Totino's and Jeno's brands, said the recall affects about 414,000 cases of pizza products currently in stores and all similar pizza products that might be in consumers' freezers. Each case contains 12 pizzas.
The possible E. coli contamination was uncovered by state and federal authorities investigating 21 E. coli-related illnesses in 10 states.
Push to build "green" homes picks up steam
November 1, 2007 12:11 PM - Karen Jacobs, Reuters
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Soaring energy costs and increased concern about the environment are spurring builders to step up building homes that use less energy and water. More than 30 affordable homes being built this week during a Habitat for Humanity project in Los Angeles include materials designed to reduce energy costs and save the new homeowners money. "Green building certainly is becoming more mainstream within the affordable housing community," said Ted Bardacke, senior program associate with Global Green USA, an environmental group that works with housing developers.
Galaxy Warriors toys sold at Family Dollar recalled
October 31, 2007 03:27 PM - Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - About 380,000 "Galaxy Warriors" toy figures sold by Family Dollar Stores Inc are being recalled because the surface paints contain excessive levels of lead, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Wednesday. The Chinese-made toys, space figures about 4.5 inches tall that come accessories, were sold at Family Dollar stores throughout the United States from January 2006 through October 2007 and distributed by Henry Gordy International Inc, the agency said.