New Posts

Feb 8, 2016

Top 400 Taxpayers See Tax Rates Rise, But There’s More to the Story

As Americans were gathering party supplies to greet the New Year, the Internal Revenue Service released their annual report of cumulative tax data reported on the 400 tax r...

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Feb 4, 2016

Chlorine Bleach Plants Needlessly Endanger 63 Million Americans

Chlorine bleach plants across the U.S. put millions of Americans in danger of a chlorine gas release, a substance so toxic it has been used as a chemical weapon. Greenpeace’s new repo...

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Jan 25, 2016

U.S. Industrial Facilities Reported Fewer Toxic Releases in 2014

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data for 2014 is now available. The good news: total toxic releases by reporting facilities decreased by nearly six percent from 2013 levels. Howe...

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Jan 22, 2016

Methane Causes Climate Change. Here's How the President Plans to Cut Emissions by 40-45 Percent.

  UPDATE (Jan. 22, 2016): Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its proposed rule to reduce methane emissions...

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FDA Investigation Reveals Likely Causes of Listeria Outbreak

In the Oct. 12 edition of The Watcher, we highlighted the multi-state listeriosis outbreak as an example of the high stakes of food safety regulation. Linked to cantaloupes from Colorado-based Jensen Farms, the deadliest foodborne disease outbreak in a decade has now killed 25 people. This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a report from an investigation conducted in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that reveals some of the factors potentially contributing to the listeria contamination.

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Ongoing Listeria Outbreak Illustrates the High Stakes of Food Safety Regulation

The multistate outbreak of listeriosis, linked to cantaloupes from Colorado-based Jensen Farms, is the deadliest foodborne disease outbreak in a decade. Infections caused by listeria have taken 23 lives, caused at least one miscarriage, and sickened over 100 people in 24 different states. The grim effects of recent foodborne illness outbreaks illustrate the need for continuous improvements to our food safety programs. Public health depends on agencies having the authority and resources to issue necessary safeguards, conduct adequate inspections, and enforce food safety rules.

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Analysis of the Regulatory Accountability Act: An Unjustified, Dangerous Overhaul of Federal Rulemaking Law

The Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA), announced by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Mark Pryor (D-AR), and Susan Collins (R-ME) and Reps. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Collin Peterson (D-MN) on Sept. 22, is a radical overhaul of the federal rulemaking process that would result in a system that allows powerful special interests to dominate. The bill would cast aside public health, worker safety, and environmental quality goals that are the basis of so many public protections and make estimated costs to businesses and the economy the most important consideration in rulemaking.

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Latest Food Recall Illustrates Need for Strong Public Safeguards and Equipped, Responsive Agencies

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced the recall of approximately 36 million pounds of ground turkey products that may be contaminated with an antibiotic-resistant strain of Salmonella Heidelberg. This latest recall, one of the largest in U.S. history, should remind us why we need able government agencies to help identify, respond to, and prevent threats to public health.

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New FDA Report Illustrates How Spending Cuts Threaten Food Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a report yesterday recognizing the challenges in regulating imported products. The report acknowledges that the agency does not have "the resources to adequately keep pace with the pressures of globalization."

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FDA Chides House Republican’s “Body Count” Amendment

An amendment introduced by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) would hogtie the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by forcing the agency to wait for public health crises to happen before it could act. "This amendment would require that consumers actually be harmed before FDA can take certain actions to protect the public health,” the agency said.

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Budget Nausea: House to Cut Food Safety Spending

House appropriators this week approved major budget cuts for the two agencies responsible for protecting the American food supply: the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS – responsible for meat, poultry, and some dairy) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA – responsible for the rest).

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FDA Cracking Down on Dangerous Food Imports

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued two new standards May 4 intended to protect Americans from potentially contaminated foreign food.

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Watch What You Eat: A Groundbreaking Report on Food-Pathogen Combinations

Four months after President Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), a groundbreaking report from the Emerging Pathogens Institute (EPI) has highlighted the ten food-pathogen combinations that are the greatest burden on public health.

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FDA Makes Food Recall Search Consumer-Friendly

Last week, the FDA announced the release of a new Web search tool that will allow quicker and easier product recall searches. A new, consumer-friendly search tool covering food, drug, animal product, and medical device recalls, was mandated by the recently enacted FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

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Resources & Research

Living in the Shadow of Danger: Poverty, Race, and Unequal Chemical Facility Hazards

People of color and people living in poverty, especially poor children of color, are significantly more likely...

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A Tale of Two Retirements: One for CEOs and One for the Rest of Us

The 100 largest CEO retirement funds are worth a combined $4.9 billion, equal to the entire retirement account savings of 41 percent of American fam...

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