Skip to main content

Posts

Food Processor and Food Manufacturer in Tennessee Put On Notice from the FDA

A seafood processor in Panama and a ready-to-eat food manufacturer in Tennessee are both on notice from the Food and Drug Administration for violations of federal food safety rules.
The FDA sent the warning letters to the companies in July and September and posted them for public view in recent days. 
Companies are allowed 15 working days to respond to FDA warning letters. Failure to promptly correct violations can result in legal action without further notice, including, without limitation, seizure and injunction.
Pesca Fina, S.A. Vista Alegre, Anaijan, Panama  In a July 18 warning letter to General Manager Constantino Rusodimos, the FDA cited serious violations of the Seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulation. 

According to the warning letter, the FDA discovered and documented problems during an April 4 inspection of one of the company’s importers in the United States, while assessing that importer’s compliance with the U.S. Seafood HACCP regulation.


“That impo…
Recent posts

13 US Federal Agencies Agree Evidence of Global Warming Stronger Than Ever

A comprehensive review by 13 US federal agencies concludes that evidence of global warming is stronger than ever and that more than 90% of it has been caused by humans.

The conclusion contradicts a favorite talking point of senior members of the Trump administration.

From Miami to Shanghai: 3C of warming will leave world cities below sea level

A 477-page report released on Friday said it was “extremely likely” – meaning with 95 to 100% certainty – that global warming is manmade, mostly from carbon dioxide through the burning of coal, oil and natural gas.

The energy secretary, Rick Perry, and Environmental Protection Agency chief, Scott Pruitt, have said carbon dioxide is not the primary contributor to global warming.

Despite fears by some scientists and environmental advocates, David Fahey of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) and several authors said there was no political interference or censoring. It is the most comprehensive summary of climate science since 2013…

UPS To Award $2.6 Million In Environmental Grants

The UPS Foundation, which leads the global citizenship programs for UPS (NYSE: UPS), announced it will award more than $2.6 million in grants to nonprofit organizations focused on environmental initiatives that align with UPS’s new sustainability goals to increase its reliance on renewable energy sources and reduce its absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from global ground operations.
A significant grant will support The World Resources Institute (WRI), a global research organization that provides continued program support for the development of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the Science-Based Targets initiative, and the sustainable use of Renewable Natural Gas. These protocols and targets were used to help establish UPS’s 2020 and 2025 emissions, energy, fuel, and vehicle environmental goals. The UPS Foundation’s funding of WRI has helped produce many of the GHG Protocol Standards and Tools that companies are using to set and measure their emission reduction goals.
Grants will also b…

11 Cases of Rare Brain Cancer Diagnoses In Mount Pleasant, South Carolina Children

Cases of rare brain cancer diagnoses among Mount Pleasant, South Carolina children have local mothers whose sons battled the illness now wondering if they all may be connected, and what may be the cause.

Mount Pleasant’s Park West neighborhood is known for its pretty lawns and peacefulness, but driving past the gate only brings back bittersweet memories for Brandy Richardson.

“He was terminal upon diagnosis,” she said, recalling the day her eight-year-old son Ethan was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma.

“They give you radiation and tell you to go home and enjoy your kid till he's gone,” Richardson said.

It wasn’t just the single diagnosis of an incredibly rare pediatric brain tumor that stunned her.
“On the exact same day, another little boy named Sam was diagnosed with DIPG,” Richardson said. “It was kind of strange to me. Two kids. Same town. Same hospital. Same day.”

Ethan died within a few months of his July 2013 diagnosis. Meanwhile, in a subdivision just a few …

Climate Change Is Taking A Major Toll On Public Health

Climate change is already taking a major toll on public health and threatening to reverse progress made over the past century in combatting infectious diseases, according to one of the world’s oldest and most respected medical journals.
In a landmark new report released Monday evening, The Lancet found that heatwaves over the past two decades were hotter and lasted longer, vector-borne diseases increased as warmer temperatures spread insects, and allergies worsened as unseasonable weather prolonged exposure to pollen.
The journal discussed the potential health effects of climate change in an earlier version of the report, called the Lancet Countdown, but this year’s 107-page paper is the first to chronicle the existing impacts. As another new feature, the study included a 10-page companion report focused on the United States.
“When you go to the doctor and have high blood pressure or a fever, what the doctor does is take a measurement and track it over the next few days,” Howard Frumkin,…

Cancer-Causing Chemicals In New Jersey's Water Finally Getting Attention

The Christie administration said Wednesday the state will regulate levels of two contaminants in drinking water that have been largely unregulated across the country but which are quite common and have been linked to cancer and various other illnesses.
The maximum allowable levels being proposed for the chemicals PFOA and PFNA would be the most stringent standards in the nation. 
The state Department of Environmental Protection is accepting the standards proposed by a scientific water quality panel that had studied the issue and made the recommendation more than a year ago.
“Setting protective standards for these contaminants continues New Jersey’s long tradition of being a national leader in using strong science to ensure residents receive the highest quality drinking water,” DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said during an announcement about the new standards.
The PFOA standard will be 14 parts per trillion, and the PFNA standard will be 13 parts per trillion.
Since 2007 the state had less str…

Arsenic, Lead & Cadmium Found In Baby Formula

Arsenic, lead, and cadmium are chemicals you'd expect to find in rat poison and batteries—not baby formula.

But on Wednesday, the Clean Label Project, an initiative that tests products for industrial and environmental contaminants and rates them, said it found arsenic in 80 percent of infant formulas, according to USA Today. 

In fact, the study—which has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal—found that certified some organic baby food products had more than twice the amount of arsenic found in the conventional baby foods it tested.

The group looked at 86 different types of baby formulas and checked for more than 130 different toxins ranging from heavy metals to cancer-linked chemicals, the Clean Label Project's website says.

"It is important for consumers to understand that some contaminants, such as heavy metals like lead or arsenic, are in the environment and cannot simply be removed from food," an FDA spokesperson, told USA Today.

Though arsenic was the most co…

Why Are the FDA & CDC Withholding Details On Tuna Salmonella Outbreak?

FDA, CDC won’t release details on tuna Salmonella outbreak
Although a county epidemiologist reported extensive details this week on a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella linked to tuna, federal agencies won’t release information on the investigation, which began more than a month ago.
Before the epidemiologist’s presentation to the Clark County, WA, health board on Wednesday, no agencies at the local, state or federal levels had gone public with any information on the outbreak, which is ongoing and has sickened at least 31 people in seven states from Hawaii to New Jersey.
Representatives from both the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Friday for Food Safety News that the federal agencies are involved in the outbreak investigation. 
Both said their respective agencies had not informed the public about the ongoing outbreak because they haven’t found anything worth revealing.
“CDC is working with several states and FDA to investigate 31 i…

US Government Dangerously Slow to Act on ABX Resistance

Chicken Farms Fueled a Massive Public Health Crisis—While the Government Turned a Blind Eye A new book shines a light on how the poultry industry spread antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotic-resistant infections — everything from gastrointestinal illnesses to recurring urinary tract infections and staph — are among the most menacing issues in public health today, sickening 2 million people a year and killing at least 23,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So perhaps it’s not surprising that government has begun to take steps to limit antibiotics in animal agriculture, where many of these infections arise before they wreak further havoc in humans.

It may sound like a success story, propelled by the public campaigns of health advocates, consumers, and big corporate buyers demanding solutions. And it is. Yet, as Maryn McKenna makes clear in her new book, Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Ea…

Environmental Pollution Deadlier Than War, AIDS or Hunger

In 1970, Congress pushed forward the Clean Air Act, which took aggressive steps to monitor and control pollutants in the environment via federal regulations. 

Over the years, people living in the United States have been exposed to considerably fewer contaminants such as lead and carbon monoxide.

But as a new study in the Lancet medical journal points out, pollution continues to be a global crisis and one that might carry a far more devastating mortality rate than previously believed. Analyzing the complete picture of contaminated regions around the globe, study authors believe pollution killed 9 million people in 2015—more than smoking, AIDS, war, or deaths from hunger.

The study’s authors aggregated premature deaths on a global basis that were attributable to pollution, singling out certain regions that continue to struggle with high concentrations of toxic materials. In India, one in four premature deaths (2.5 million) was related to environmental contamination. 

In China, 1.8 million p…

Environmentalism Dominated by Negativity and Partisan Bickering

For far too long, environmentalism has been dominated by negativity, partisan politics, bickering, and divisive policies. It has been driven by fear by money-seeking and politically-driven individuals and groups.
As a result, modern-day environmentalism has unfortunately pushed the political right to dispute science and disregard many environmental problems. The environment, however, should (and can) be the issue that brings Americans together during our current political divide.
For that to happen, the tone on environmental policy must change. Instead of telling Americans to change their way of life to help the environment "or else," we should be focused on the positives of being pro-environment.
Changing the focus to the economic benefits of a sound environment is a fantastic place to start. According to an Environmental Defense Fund report from July of this year, renewable energy is creating jobs 12 times faster than other sectors of the economy.
Additionally, data prese…

Puerto Rico Slipping into an Environmental Crisis

Five weeks after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, the island appears to be in the midst of a growing environmental catastrophe.
One in four Puerto Ricans still lacks access to reliable clean water. Some people whose water service hadn’t been restored were last week reportedly dragging bottles and barrels through holes in chain-link fences to siphon water from wells that may be infused with toxic waste from a nearby Superfund site.
There have also been reports of water contaminated raw sewage and at least 74 suspected cases and two deaths from leptospirosis, a deadly animal-borne disease that can also live in water.Health care workers on the ground are increasingly concerned about additional outbreaks of water-borne illnesses.Landfills are at capacity, according to CNN.
And as Vox’s Alexia Fernández Campbell reported, the water situation in Puerto Rico may be worse than the government is letting on, with pumping stations powered by intermittent generators and limited fuels for pe…

Greenpeace Activists Arrested at French Nuclear Power Plant Found Not Guilty

Greenpeace activists arrested at French nuclear power plant action British Reverend and Quaker activist found not guilty of trying to disarm BAE fighter jets headed for Yemen.
Sam Walton and Rev. Daniel Woodhouse have been acquitted after breaking-in to BAE Systems factory to “disarm” Typhoon fighter jets.
BAE’s Typhoon fighter jets are being used by Saudi-led forces in the ongoing bombardment of Yemen.
The UK has licensed £3.8 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia since the bombing began in March 2015.
On the afternoon of October 26, Reverend Daniel Woodhouse and Sam Walton, a Quaker activist from London, were found not guilty at Burnley Magistrates Court, following their arrest for trying to disarm Typhoon fighter jets at BAE Systems’ site in Warton, Lancashire on 29 January 2017.
 Their aim had been to stop the jets, which had Saudi markings painted on them, from going to Saudi Arabia where they would be used to support the ongoing bombing of Yemen. Sam and Daniel successfully argued th…

How N.J. Wine Became Big Business

New Jersey wine country is having a major moment.
For years Garden State growers have insisted that connoisseurs need not fly to the Napa Valley or overseas to experience very good vino -- there are plenty of great grapes right here in New Jersey.
But suddenly the argument feels completely legit, not just a case of local boosterism.
"You have basically the ability to grow 90 percent of the world's great wine varieties and wine grape varieties [in New Jersey]," said John Cifelli, general manager at Unionville Vineyards. "And you have winemakers that are constantly becoming more skilled."
But where are such respected producers as Unionville Vineyards or Laurita Winery or Heritage Vineyards actually located? You probably have no idea. 
That's been the challenge for wine growers like Cifelli and others across the state, as they try to improve the visibility of New Jersey's product and boost its reputation. (They are in East Amwell, Plumsted and Harrison Township…

Transforming the garden state into the pipeline state

Whenever someone asks me where I'm from, I tell them, "I'm from the most beautiful place you've never heard of - and it's in New Jersey."
That usually elicits a puzzled look, since, despite its Garden State designation, Jersey isn't exactly known for its natural beauty (at least not in the popular imagination). 
But once I explain that I was raised in the Pinelands, things fall into place. The Pinelands National Reserve is the first national reserve in theUnited States and spans 1.1 million acres (around 445,000 hectares) across seven counties.
It takes me about three hours to get from New York City's Penn Station to my parents' house, and the view on the way down is so intoxicatingly gorgeous, it'll break your heart if you're not used to it. 
You'll travel through silent seas of scaly, blue-green pine trees and rattle down dirt roads the color of bone china beneath the bluest sky imaginable; it's so quiet you can hear deer crunching t…

Oyster Creek nuclear plant in N.J. may close before planned 2019 shutdown

The Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in Ocean County, New Jersey, may be shut down a bit sooner than scheduled.

Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday the plant’s owner is indicating it might not take until the end of 2019 to close the oldest operating nuclear plant in the nation.

“I can tell you from recent conversations with the executives at Exelon, that plan is not only on track and on time, but a little bit ahead of schedule,” he said. “And we’re working to get as much of that done and completed before we leave office in January.”

About 9 percent of the electricity in New Jersey is generated by the Oyster Creek plant. Christie believes utilities will be able to make up for that when it closes.

“That’s why our energy master plan has focused on the increase in building natural gas plants,” Christie said. “That’s why the DEP and others have worked so hard to make sure that the pipelines are built to bring natural gas here from Pennsylvania.”

Whatever negative impact the shutdown might have…

New Jersey Adds $75M to Flooded-Home Buyout Program

New Jersey is adding another $75 million to its program to buy and demolish homes in flood-prone areas, this time in a Raritan Bay community that was damaged by Superstorm Sandy.


Republican Gov. Chris Christie announced Monday that the state is adding money to its Blue Acres program for Keansburg and other communities.
It's designed to buy and knock down homes in areas that flood repeatedly. But none of the 689 homes bought under the program has been along the ocean. Instead, many have been along rivers and bays, which also have received flood damage.
"The expansion of this successful program will provide a lifeline and new hope for hundreds of additional families, ensuring they can live free from the looming threat of future storms, disasters and floods," Christie said. "This extra infusion of state money will help the Blue Acres program to convert several hundred more at-risk homes in Keansburg and elsewhere around the state into safe open-space opportunities."
O…

Jersey Shore's future in an age of climate change

The 2017 hurricane season has already brought the U.S. three devastating storms, and the season doesn't end for another two months.

As Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands struggle to recover from Maria, Florida from Irma, and Texas from Harvey, New Jersey approaches the fifth anniversary of its own terrible hurricane.

Despite the lessons, we should have learned from the $70 billion of the damage wrought by Sandy, and the numerous storms that preceded it, our 130 linear miles of coastline and 239 coastal towns remain as vulnerable to another hurricane as they were in 2012.

Preoccupied with a desire to return the coast to its pre-storm state, we have done very little to prepare for another Sandy -- which hit our shores with 80 mph winds and a storm surge that reached as high as nine feet -- let alone a Maria, which made landfall in Puerto Rico with winds at 165 mph.  Given rising sea levels and a warming climate, the chance of another Sandy or a more powerful storm hitting New Jers…

Will Climate Change Bring Back a Regional Coastal Commission

Hurricanes and extreme storms, sea-level rise, major flooding are more than a single municipality can deal with on its own.

Could climate change lead the state to embrace an idea it shunned more than three decades ago: the creation of a coastal commission?

The prospect of establishing a strong regional entity to plan and adapt to the chronic flooding and rising sea levels expected to leave much of the Jersey coast vulnerable was floated yesterday at a wide-ranging conference on the Shore of the Future at the War Memorial in Trenton.

The event, the first of a series of conferences planned by New Jersey Future, found planners, conservationists, and policymakers generally agreeing that the issues posed by a changing climate far outstrip the ability of local communities to cope with and be resilient to extreme storms to come.

Reviving the concept
Former Gov. Thomas Kean initially proposed a coastal commission back in his second term in the 1980s, but it died in the Legislature, and other attem…