PATH: BS | Health & Medicine | Toxic Substances

The Latest Killer: Microwave Popcorn

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You've heard of black lung, the terrible condition caused by inhaling coal dust that has afflicted so many miners in the past. You have probably heard of mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by breathing in asbestos particles. But have you ever heard of the dreaded "popcorn lung"? And could it happen to you?

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Top Forestry Official May Face Jail Time Over Fish Killing Toxin

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As if it wasn't bad enough for the Bush Administration already, contempt charges are flying in Montana.

The Administration's top forestry official has been ordered to explain why the US Forest Service failed to analyze the environmental impact of dropping a fish-killing flame retardant on wildfires -- or face contempt of court.

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Reebok Shoes Are Killer, Thanks To The Bush Administration

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[Faulty Products]
In the wake of a massive Chinese toy recall, scrutiny is showing that the Bush administration has gone out of its way to weaken existing controls to insure the safety of products imported into the country.

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Flouridated Water Lowers Your I.Q. And Has Other Health Effects

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[Science]
An international coalition of scientists and doctors have issued a statement raising awareness of the concern over use of fluoridated water and its toxic effects. Experts are calling for the immediate elimination of fluoridated water citing numerous health issues.

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Chemical In Many Plastic Containers Worries Scientists;Consumers

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[Science]
In an unusual effort targeting a single chemical, several dozen scientists on Thursday issued a strongly worded consensus statement warning that an estrogen-like compound in plastic is likely causing an array of serious reproductive disorders in people.

The compound, bisphenol A or BPA, is one of the highest-volume chemicals in the world and has found its way into the bodies of most human beings.

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FDA Says: Don't Eat Your Green Beans!

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Consumers should not eat certain brands of French-cut green beans because of concerns they could be tainted with the toxin that causes botulism, U.S. health officials warned on Friday.

The green beans were manufactured by Lakeside Foods Inc. of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and packaged in 14.5-ounce cans, and are sold nationwide under the brands Albertson’s, Happy Harvest, Best Choice, Food Club, Bogopa, Valu Time, Hill Country Fare, HEB, Laura Lynn, Kroger, No Name, North Pride, Shop N Save, Shoppers Valu, Schnucks, Cub Foods, Dierbergs, Flavorite, IGA, Best Choice and Thrifty Maid.

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Tainted Fish Get USDA Stamp Of Approval

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Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana have found banned drugs in imported seafood, according to statements by regulators in those states. The tests, conducted after the products cleared U.S. ports and were sent on for sale in grocery stores or restaurants, show the FDA isn't adequately protecting consumers from tainted fish, food safety advocates said.

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Chinese Toothpaste: Better For Your Car Than Your Teeth?

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The government warned consumers on Friday to avoid using toothpaste made in China because it may contain a poisonous chemical used in antifreeze.

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Congress To Allow Rotted Meat On Supermarket Shelves

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If the new 2007 Farm Bill passes, expect a drastic reduction in quality of food and meat products. The new bill eliminates local regulation of food safety. But don't worry, only 90% of contaminated, spoiled meat is rejected by local health inspectors & supermarkets. You'll still find 10% of that chicken Salmonella-free.

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China Has Found A Creative Way To Dispose of Toxic Waste

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[Faulty Products]
China manufactured every one of the 24 kinds of toys recalled for safety reasons in the United States so far this year, including the enormously popular Thomas & Friends wooden train sets, a record that is causing alarm among consumer advocates, parents and regulators.

Hey did you know that some rubber eyeballs imported from China and sold in the states are filled with Kerosene? Flame on!

Update:
When Mattel Inc. recalled nearly a million toys manufactured by Zhang Shuhong’s company, he fought hard to find a way to resume sales to America. They were the lifeblood of his firm, Lee Der Industrial Co., Ltd., and its lucrative share of the export boom driving China’s economic growth.

But as Zhang’s factories in the southern city of Foshan lay idle, workers started drifting off, fearing they would never start up again. Then Chinese authorities sealed Zhang’s ruin by announcing Thursday that he was prohibited from exporting toys until further notice because of the defects denounced by Mattel.

Zhang was found dead in a company warehouse two days later, colleagues said Monday, apparently having hanged himself in despair. His death dramatized the high stakes in an international scare over unsafe Chinese products and an increasingly vigorous government crackdown designed to restore confidence in the vital export industry

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Alli OOPS - Xenical-Based Diet Drug Not Getting Rave Reviews

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GlaxoSmithKline has launched a $150 million promotion campaign for its over-the-counter (OTC) weight loss drug, Alli. But not all media coverage is up-beat about what is a lower-dose version of Roche's prescription only drug, Xenical. New York Daily News reporter Julian Kesner reports that Alli consumers "might just find themselves $50 poorer, lacking in vitamins ... and suffering a bout of diarrhea."

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Chinese Toys Contain Lead Paint

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More than 1 million of the popular "Thomas & Friends" wooden railway toys made in China are being voluntarily recalled because some may contain lead paint, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Wednesday.

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Avandia: Helps Diabetes; Hurts Life Expectency

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The widely prescribed diabetes drug Avandia (generic name rosiglitazone) is linked to a greater risk of heart attack and possibly death, says a new scientific analysis published online Monday.

GlaxoSmithKline downplayed the risks today and announced their new Avandia ad slogan: "When you're dead, you'll never have to worry about Diabetes again."

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Chinese Add Dangerous Chemicals To Pet Food & People

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[Industry]
Over the past few weeks countless pets have died after eating food contaminated with the industrial chemical called melamine added to feed by certain Chinese producers to artificially boost protein content. FDA has learned that melamine contamination extends beyond pet food to chicken and pork and perhaps other foods eaten by consumers. Although FDA has assured the public that risks to people are not significant, the agency has not divulged the scientific basis for this assertion. FDA has noted that "Other than a few limited authorizations for use in food contact materials for human food, melamine has no approved use as an ingredient in human or animal food in the United States" (FDA 2007). The government has required producers to quarantine and destroy contaminated livestock, but has allowed contaminated food to remain on supermarket shelves.

Why add Melamine? It appears to increase the protein content in food, at the expenses of rashes, tumors, ulcers, oh and death too.

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Cell Phones Destroying Bee Colonies; No Bees = No Pollination

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The latest environmental disaster appears to be related to the disappearance of bee colonies all around the world. Scientists are collecting evidence which suggests that cell phone signals and RF radiation is having an impact on bees and crops are not getting properly pollinated as a result.

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Your Pet: A Canary In A Coal Mine

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[Beating Dead Horses]
U.S. officials said on Friday that melamine, a chemical found in fertilizers in Asia and which should not be in pet food in any amounts, has been detected in the wheat gluten used by Canada-based Menu Foods.

The FDA said the wheat gluten in question came from a company in China, and was not known to be used in any human food yet.

Yet? Oh goody.

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Recall of Oscar Mayer/Louis Rich Chicken Breasts

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Is it my imagination or are there a lot more recalls lately? Aren't these companies cleaning up after themselves?

Carolina Culinary Food is recalling packages of Oscar Mayer ready-to-eat chicken breast strips with rib meat because they may be contaminated, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service said Sunday.

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Peter Pan/Great Value Not So Great A Value

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Consumers should throw away certain jars of Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter after the spread was linked to a salmonella outbreak that has sickened almost 300 people around the country, ConAgra said.

Lids of jars produced by ConAgra Foods with a product code beginning ''2111'' can be returned to the company for a refund, the company said.

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Do You Prefer Your Meat Gassed With Carbon Monoxide?

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[Industry]
Hey did you know that fresh-looking meat in your favorite grocery store may not be what it seems? The FDA has bowed to the meat industry and is keeping it secret when older meat is sprayed with chemicals to make it look pink in color!

The FDA claims consumers don't look at the color of meat when determining freshness so they don't have to label when your meat has been gassed to look fresh.

Where's the beef? Oh it's there. It just might actually be brown underneath that facade of carbon monoxide.

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Using Girly Oils Really Might Turn You Into A Girl!

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[Faulty Products]
Certain oils commonly referred to as "essential oils," specifically lavendar and tea tree oils, can potentially cause enlarged breasts in young boys. The condition, known as gynecomastia to scientists and a screaming nightmare to middle-school boys, occurred in three boys age 4, 7, and 10 who had been using products containing the oils. The oils can mimic the action of the female hormone estrogen, and can also block male hormones that control masculine characteristics and inhibit the growth of breast tissue.

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Plastic: What's In It? Is It Harming Us?

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[Industry]
We bathe with it, clean with it, play with it and eat off it. Plastic. It's a petroleum engineer's dream and a product manufacturer's best friend. It allows for lighter, tougher and better packaging and provides cheaper options for gifts and merchandise.

Yet, the very substance that revolutionized consumer goods may actually be harming us.

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U.S. Caught Shipping Tainted Beef To S. Korea (again)

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[Beating Dead Horses]
South Korea has asked the United States to explain why a shipment of American beef rejected for having banned bone fragments also contained unacceptable levels of the toxic chemical dioxin, an official said Friday.

The discovery was the latest bad news for the U.S. cattle industry in South Korea, already dealing with the rejection of three recent shipments of beef for including banned bone fragments, which South Korea fears could potentially harbor mad cow disease.

Officials said the beef with the dioxin was in the third of the shipments, which was rejected on Dec. 6.

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Latest E. Coli Outbreak Traced to Green Onions

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[Faulty Products]
California's farming industry is girding for another potential black eye after a second outbreak this year of a potentially deadly E. coli strain linked to its crops.

Green onions served in Taco Bell restaurants are suspected as the source of dozens of illnesses in the Eastern United States and the fast-food chain has called for an industry review of the produce supply chain stretching to California.

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Acetaminophen To Cause Some Headaches

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As many as 11 million bottles of the painkiller acetaminophen manufactured by generic brand drug manufacturer Perrigo Co. and marketed by stores such as CVS, Wal-Mart, and over a hundred other retailers are being recalled. The reason? They may contain fragments of unidentified metal ranging from "microdots" to 1/3 of an inch pieces of wire. I think it's actually brilliant--it'll make you forget the pain in your head by making you focus instead on your lacerated mouth, throat, or intestinal tract!

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US Caught Selling Illegal Genetically-Modified Rice In Europe

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[Biotech]
While you never hear anything about this in the United States, Europeans are very wary of the health and environmental concerns of GM (genetically-modified) food. Everyone (most without their knowledge) is eating it in the United States, but the Europeans have enacted restrictions on "cloned" products of this nature until more is known on its affects on people. This hasn't stopped Americans from sending rice to Europe certified as "non-genetically modified" but in reality, containing these banned commodities.

Because of this hanky panky, European nations have now decided to test all rice imports to find out if they're the victims of bait-and-switch.

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Sugar-Free Foods May Be Fatal To Dogs

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[Pets]
Keep those sugarless treats out of Fido's reach. Veterinarians warned on Friday that a commonly used sweetener, Xylitol, might cause liver failure in dogs, and perhaps even kill them.

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U.S. Citizens At Risk For Military Testing?

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It barely made news last week when Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne called for the testing of nonlethal weaponry on US citizens in crowd-control situations. According to Wynne, "If we're not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation."

But it’s naïve to think that once developed, US military weapons will only be used against foreign populations. The Bush administration’s "you’re with us or against us" mentality leaves little room for domestic dissent, and as the line blurs between military and national security technologies, folks back home will find themselves increasingly targeted.

Read more to find out the history of these types of activities. It may shock you.

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News Flash: Sugary Drinks Make You Fat

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[Junk Food]
Department of Duh Researchers have published a new study with astonishing results: guzzling large amounts of flavored sugar-water is making Americans fat.

Researchers say that just drinking one extra soft drink per day can pack on 15 pounds of unsightly fat in a year. Since Americans are drinking more of these beverages than ever before, they may have found one of the primary causes of the current obesity epidemic.

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China's Pollution Reaches U.S. West Coast

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[Environment]
On a mountaintop overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Steven Cliff collects evidence of an industrial revolution taking place thousands of miles away.

The tiny, airborne particles Cliff gathers at an air monitoring station just north of San Francisco drifted over the ocean from coal-fired power plants, smelters, dust storms and diesel trucks in China and other Asian countries.

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Germans Worried about World Cup Beer Supplies

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[Sports]
It's almost too ironic to be believed: Germany, the nation most associated with beer drinking, may be in danger of running out of the frothy brew before the World Cup soccer finals roll around. And it's not even the German fans who are causing the drought--it's the English fans drinking the local braureien dry. Even the German bartenders, who see some beer drunk on an average day, are astonished by the capacity of the English.

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Sanofi-Aventis Continues Trials Of Dangerous Drug?

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A new antibiotic that has been found to cause four times the average rate of acute liver failure in adults continues in a trial for more than 900 children worldwide, despite criticism from a U.S. Food and Drug Administration official and a study consultant.

"How does one justify balancing the risk of fatal liver failure against one day less of ear pain?" asks Dr. Rosemary Johann-Liang, of the FDA's Office of Drug Safety.

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Do You Know Where That Tissue Has Been?

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Don't worry, the doctor told Brian Lykins' parents, as he prepared to use cartilage from a cadaver to fix their son's knee. A million people a year have operations that use tissue from donated dead bodies. The nation's largest tissue bank had supplied this cartilage. It was disinfected and perfectly safe, he assured them. But it wasn't.

Four days after this routine, elective surgery, Lykins—a healthy, 23-year-old student from Minnesota—died of a raging infection.

He died because the cartilage came from a corpse that had sat unrefrigerated for 19 hours—a corpse that had been rejected by two other tissue banks. The cartilage hadn't been adequately treated to kill bacteria.

None of this broke a single federal rule.

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Oil Company PAC Launches Pro-Pollution Ad Campaign

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"Carbon Dioxide... they call it pollution, we call it life."

The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a political action group funded by oil companies, is launching an aggressive campaign designed to snowjob people into thinking that global warming may not actually be going on, and that the pollution from oil companies and related industries is a good thing. Just how low will the oil companies stoop? How gullible do they expect the populace to be? Check out this commercial and see for yourself.

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Ionic Air Purifiers Hurt Human Lungs

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[Faulty Products]
I've known this for quite some time after doing research into these monstrosities when a friend tried to hawk some high-priced air purifier on me from his network marketing club. Ozone is the byproduct of these devices, like what you see at Sharper Image, and ozone is also a principal component of "smog" and air pollution. It also doesn't get along well with organic materials like human flesh. Read on for the science.

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Feds Use Ebay To Track Down Terrorists

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Ok, that's wrong. Actually, the Feds are much more interested in drug dealers than terrorists. As evidenced by Tommy Chong's incarceration in contrast with Bin Laden's freedom. Which brings me to the point. If you're setting up a clandestine ecstasy lab, you probably don't want to equip yourself via eBay, because your auction history appears to be "probable cause" for the DEA to raid your home.

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Bush Suspends Environmental Regulations; Cites High Prices

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As if we're living in some kind of bizarro world, GW Bush today announced that he is suspending environmental regulations regarding air standards and pollution as some sort of means to address increasing fuel prices.

So now we get more pollution, and the claim is this will reduce gas prices? Anyone actually believe this??

DailyKOS says, "Is anyone else detecting a pattern here?

In the wake of Katrina, Bush suspends prevailing wage laws.

In the aftermath of 9/11, Bush basically suspends the Fourth Amendment and, at Gitmo, the right to a fair trial.

There is no tragedy, crisis or concern in this country that will go unmet by this administration ... with a boon to cronies or a bolstering of executive power."

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Did We Say Cell Phones Are Safe? Do They Cause Cancer?

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[Technology]
In the on-again, off-again debate over whether or not having a high power radio transmitter constantly near your head may cause brain tumors, the current status is ON-AGAIN.

A new Swedish study may have found a link between long-term, heavy cell phone use and the risk of brain tumors.

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Ice vs. Toilet Water

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[Science]
Those ice-cold drinks from favorite fast food restaurants may not seem as refreshing after a seventh-grader's science project reveals what may lurk inside the cup. Benito Middle School student Jasmine Roberts examined the amount of bacteria in ice served at fast food restaurants and compared the results to water from the same facilities' toilets.

Are you sure you want to know more?

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Halliburton Serves Tainted Water to Troops; Doesn't Tell 'Em

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Troops and civilians at a U.S. military base in Iraq were exposed to contaminated water last year and employees for the responsible contractor, Halliburton, couldn't get their company to inform camp residents, according to interviews and internal company documents.

Halliburton, the company formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, disputes the allegations about water problems at Camp Junction City, in Ramadi, even though they were made by its own employees and documented in company e-mails. Unfortunately the person discovering the contaminated water was actually the company's water treatment and testing expert, and not the company's minister of information. Everyone obviously knows by now, the public relations department are the only ones who know the real truth, right?

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Beware Death by Flying Shrimp

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So, you're at one of those Japanese restaurants where they cook the food right in front of you. Your chef hurls a sizzling-hot shrimp right into your brother-in-law's forehead like a blazing crustacean third eye. Then he sears your son's arm with another shrimp. So when he slings yet another hot grease-slicked shrimp straight at your face, you twist to dodge it. And you hurt your neck.

A year later, you're dead--the clear victim of shrimpicide.

Thank goodness your family can sue for $10 million to assuage their grief.

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Cancer Danger Lost In Translation?

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A groundbreaking public health study by Chinese doctor Zhang JianDong in 1987 was used by U.S. regulatory agencies "as evidence that a form of" the chemical chromium "might cause cancer." Ten years later, "a 'clarification and further analysis' published under his name in a U.S. medical journal said there was no cancer link to chromium." But "Dr. Zhang didn't write the clarification" - it was "conceived, drafted, edited and submitted to medical journals by" ChemRisk, a firm hired by PG&E, "a utility company being sued for alleged chromium pollution" by California residents. ChemRisk was previously paid $7 million to help "save industry hundreds of millions of dollars in cleanup costs for chromium pollution in New Jersey."

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DuPont Hid Studies Showing Product Was Harmful

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"DuPont Co. hid studies showing the risks of a Teflon-related chemical used to line candy wrappers, pizza boxes, microwave popcorn bags and hundreds of other food containers," according to a former employee and leaked company documents. The chemical, Zonyl, degrades into perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), the safety of which is debated by the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. The leaked documents describe "laboratory tests showing [Zonyl] came off paper coating and leached into foods at levels three times higher than the FDA limit set in 1967." Another test showed rats and dogs fed Zonyl for three months "had anemia and damage to their kidneys and livers." The EPA has accused DuPont of repeatedly failing "over a 20-year period to submit required data about PFOA," and will hold a hearing on the issue this month. DuPont settled one PFOA contamination class-action lawsuit for $107.6 million but faces another.

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New German Beer Includes A Cigarette Pack's Worth Of Nicotine

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[Faulty Products]
For those who might be living in areas where smoking is banned in bars, a new beer has been launched in Germany which contains nicotine and 6.3 per cent alcohol. Drinking a 250ml can of the beer is equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes. No word if the beer is also available in menthol.

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Forest Service Fires Official Who Complained About Pesticide Use

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[Environment]
A U.S. Forest Service official who voiced concerns about alleged pesticide misuse in forests across the Southwest has been fired.

Doug Parker, who worked as the pesticide coordinator and assistant director of forestry health for the agency's Southwestern region, told The Associated Press that he was removed from his duties last week because his supervisor said he failed to follow instructions.

Parker, who has not spoken publicly about his case, worked for the agency for nearly four decades and said he was proud to wear the Forest Service uniform.

"The whole reason behind this is I reported some significant pesticide misuse problems to the regional forester and they don't want to have controls over this process"

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Bush Leaves Rest Of World In Smoke

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[Industry]
President George W. Bush ruled out any accord on climate change at the Group of Eight summit that involves limiting carbon emissions as a threat to the U.S. economy.

U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is hosting leaders of the largest industrial nations in Gleneagles, Scotland July 6-8, is seeking agreements to cut poverty in Africa and curb climate change, which he describes as the single greatest threat facing the world. Blair is asking G-8 partners to recognize the science of climate change and wants a plan to deal with the problem, according to his representative at pre-summit talks in London over the weekend.

When he was elected president in 2000, Bush rejected the 1997 Kyoto treaty that sets targets for developed nations to reduce emissions of gases linked to global warming. He said any similar proposal this week would be rejected.

Interesting how America, at least according to GW, has an economy that is precariously centered around select polluting industries, and any attempt to curtail the belching of their filth into the atmosphere would put the entire economy in dire straights... or so the Bush administration implies.

Now maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm naive and idealistic, but I'd like to think that Americans are resourceful and adaptive. I believe if all the oil disappeared tomorrow, we'd have some alternative in place within months -- we'd get by, and maybe some people would shift jobs, but people would still be employed and industry paradigms would change, but we'd survive. This is the problem though. There's no incentive to develop alternate non-polluting industry when you have a president who is in the oil business and he and his whole administration profit from pollution. And yet the average American doesn't seem to care.

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US Takes 7 Months Before It Buries Mad Cow Story On A Friday

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Late Friday, June 24, is a perfect time to bury bad news in Washington, DC. That's when Mike Johanns, the United States Secretary of Agriculture held a news conference. He announced that a beef cow suspected last November to be positive with mad cow disease, and finally properly tested, was indeed positive. Even now the USDA is keeping secret which state the cow was from, but Texas has long been mentioned in media articles. The initially-botched finding of a second mad cow in the United States emphasizes the failure of the United States Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration to protect Americans from the deadly dementia called mad cow disease.

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Clean Your Keyboard... Blow Your Mind

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Apparently times are tough. Teens are now getting warnings that inhaling compressed air dusting aerosol cans can be harmful or fatal to your health.

Here's some advice to stupid teenagers: anything will get you "high" or possibly dead. Why waste time huffing household objects? Simply pick up any heavy object and whack it against your head a few times. It's more efficient.

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"Center for Consumer Freedom" Takes Aim At PETA

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Richard Berman, a professional lobbyist, and head of the organization, Center for Consumer Freedom (which ultimately is a shill for fast food, tobacco and other industries that have a vested interest in smokescreening concern over carcinogens and wholesale animal cruelty & slaughter) has in the past criticized anyone who threatened the profitability of his clients, whether it was to discredit Mothers Against Drunk Driving, stop government education to consumers on the dangers of Salmonella, or sabotaging efforts to raise minimum wage by purchasing influence among politicians such as Newt Gingrich. This high powered professional propagandist organization's next target? PETA, who has managed to get some fast food places to pay more attention to their meat harvesting procedures.

I'm no big PETA supporter; I think both extremes of the spectrum, from rabid pro-lifers to radical animal rights groups need to mellow out a bit. There seems to be no public word that I can find in response to the attack on PETA, but one thing is for sure, the people behind it have just as many skeletons in their closet, so it's time to call BS.

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New Pharma Breakthru: Anti-depressants Cure Depression Via Death

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After reviewing hundreds of studies on controversial antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), Canadian researchers have concluded people on the drugs (such as Paxil, Zoloft and Prozac) are twice as likely to attempt suicide as those taking inactive pills. The FDA is actually considering doing something? Well not really.

What's that sound? It's ten thousand lawyers having a spontaneous orgasm.

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Nice Lookin' Nails.... for a Corpse!

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You've seen the commercials... ugly toe-inefectin' creatures scrounging around under your nails. Ewwwww. You have to get rid of this "fungus" right? Well, BigPharma(tm) thinks so, and with snake oil like Lamisil, they're willing to kill you in the process.

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