Pollution

How "Organic" Is Organic? New Calls For Testing Organic Foods For GMO's
September 18, 2007 11:12 AM - Ken Roseboro, The Organic and Non-GMO Report

Should organics be tested for GMOs?
A recent disturbing incident of GMO contamination of organic soybeans raises the question of whether organic foods should be tested for genetically modified material. The US National Organic Program (NOP) rules prohibit GMOs in organics but don’t require methods to prohibit GMO contamination or establish thresholds for adventitious GM presence. The Organic & Non-GMO Report asked organic industry experts if organics should be tested for GMOs.

EasyJet boss calls for polluter tax on planes
September 18, 2007 10:53 AM -

LONDON (Reuters) - British low-cost airline easyJet called on Tuesday for the government to scrap airport taxes on passengers and replace them with taxes on aircraft that penalize the heaviest polluters.

EasyJet Chief Executive Andy Harrison told reporters at a briefing at the World Low Cost Airlines Congress in London that there were roughly 15 types of passenger aircraft, and the system should be banded to take account of their fuel efficiency.

EasyJet runs a relatively young fleet of planes that are more fuel-efficient than older models.

Retailers push reusable bags to save money, environment
September 17, 2007 12:10 PM - Michelle R. Smith, Associated Press

When Katrina Gamble goes grocery shopping, she brings her list and her bags — a pair of sturdy canvas bags she bought a few months ago for $4.99 at her local grocery store."It works just as well," said Gamble, 30, a political science professor at Brown University, adding, "It's better for the environment."

Vietnam returns bomb-grade uranium to Russia
September 17, 2007 08:09 AM -

HANOI (Reuters) - Weapons-grade uranium was removed from Vietnam's sole nuclear reactor at the weekend under anti-terrorism agreements with the United States and Russia, a Vietnamese government agency said.

The report seen on Monday said that the reactor in the southern resort of Dalat would use less than 20 percent of low enriched uranium (LEU) from about 36 percent of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) in a conversion that prevents the uranium from being used to make a nuclear bomb.

The Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety & Control described the change as a "successful tri-party cooperation between Vietnam, Russia and the United States".

Food industry group to propose safety rules: report
September 17, 2007 07:52 AM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Grocery Manufacturers Association, the industry's largest trade group, plans to unveil on Tuesday a proposal to increase U.S. federal oversight of imported food and ingredients, the Wall Street Journal reported in its online edition on Monday.

The Falling Age of Puberty in U.S. Girls: What We Know, What We Need to Know
September 16, 2007 12:18 PM -

The Problem Girls get their first periods today, on average, a few months earlier than did girls 40 years ago, but they get their breasts one to two years earlier. Over the course of a few decades, the childhoods of U.S. girls have been significantly shortened. What does this mean for girls today and their health in the future? The Breast Cancer Fund commissioned ecologist and author Sandra Steingraber to write The Falling Age of Puberty — the first comprehensive review of the literature on the timing of puberty — to help us better understand this phenomenon so we can protect our daughters’ health.

New Fingerprinting Method Tracks Mercury in Environment
September 16, 2007 12:10 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—With mercury polluting our air, soil and water and becoming concentrated in fish and wildlife as it is passed up the food chain, understanding how the potent nerve toxin travels through the environment is crucial. A new method developed at the University of Michigan uses natural "fingerprints" to track mercury and the chemical transformations it undergoes. A report on the work is published today in Science Express.

New World Record For Solar Aircraft
September 16, 2007 11:57 AM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

QinetiQ's Zephyr UAV exceeds official world record for longest duration unmanned flight White Sands, NM - There's a new world record for unmanned flight, this one solar powered, set this week by what's called an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The craft exceeded the official world record time for the longest duration unmanned flight with a 54 hour flight achieved during trials at the US Military's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. A company called QinetiQ’s made the craft, which they call Zephyr High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE).

Nations ink deal to provide safer atomic power
September 16, 2007 11:43 AM - Mark Heinrich, Reuters

VIENNA (Reuters) - Sixteen nations signed a U.S.-initiated pact on Sunday to help meet soaring world energy demand by developing nuclear technology less prone to being illicitly diverted into making atomic weapons. Eleven nations joined five nuclear fuel-producing powers -- the United States, Russia, China, France and Japan -- which formed the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership in a GNEP statement of principles at a ceremony in Vienna. The new members ranged from Kazakhstan to Poland, Jordan and Ghana. Almost two-dozen nations were present as potential candidates or observers including Canada, Libya, Turkey, South Korea, Britain and other large EU states.

Clean coal to qualify for Kyoto carbon offsets
September 14, 2007 02:38 PM - Gerard Wynn, Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Very efficient coal-fired power plants will be able to sell carbon offsets under the Kyoto Protocol, in an expansion of project eligibility under the carbon trading scheme, U.N. official Jose Miguez said. "It was approved," he told Reuters on Friday. China is set to overtake the United States this year as the world's biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, blamed for global warming, largely because of its rapidly rising coal consumption.

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