About these ads

Study: Fracking brew blocks basic body chemistry

Human thyroid functions at risk in exposure to fracking fluids

asdf

The United States of fracking?

Independent journalism isn’t free. Support Colorado Environmental Reporting!

Donate Button with Credit Cards

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Exposure to the semi-secret brew of chemicals used for fracking blocks hormone receptors and interferes with other other functions that regulate basic body chemistry, scientists said this week, announcing the results of a study that identifies specific health outcomes related to the poisons.

Previous research has described the impact of endocrine-disrupting toxins to reproductive hormones. In the new study, the biologists found that fracking chemicals also disrupt glucocorticoid and thyroid hormone receptors. Continue reading

About these ads

Is a global food shortage looming?

dfhg

Can food production keep pace with demand?

Cuts in research threaten ability to keep pace with growing demand

Staff Report

FRISCO — A top food expert says the world could be facing a serious food shortage in 40 years, when production won’t be able to keep up with growing demand.

“For the first time in human history, food production will be limited on a global scale by the availability of land, water and energy,” said Dr. Fred Davies, senior science advisor for the U.S. Agency for International Development. “Food issues could become as politically destabilizing by 2050 as energy issues are today.” Continue reading

Environment: Colorado Supreme Court OKs GMO food labeling ballot initiative

gh

gh

Decision clears way for statewide petition drive

Staff Report

FRISCO — Coloradans will likely have a chance to vote on new labeling requirements for genetically modified foods in November, after the Colorado Supreme Court this week rejected a challenge to the proposed ballot initiative.

The court’s decision will enable backers to start gathering the signatures needed to add the measure to the ballot.

“We are pleased that the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of the GMO labeling ballot title, and we look forward to bringing a GMO labeling initiative before the voters of Colorado this fall,” said Right to Know Colorado organizer Larry Cooper. Continue reading

Study sees health threat from silver nanoparticles

Silver nanoparticles used in food packaging and many other common products may trigger over-production of disease-causing free radicals in cells.

Silver nanoparticles used in food packaging and many other common products may trigger over-production of disease-causing free radicals in cells.

‘We can confirm that nano-silver leads to the formation of harmful, so called free radicals in cells …’

Staff Report

FRISCO — Nano-engineered particles may help help boost the efficiency of solar power generation and improve pesticides, but they also present threats to the environment and human health.

Researchers in Denmark say silver nanoparticles can penetrate human cells and cause damage. Silver nanoparticles are used by the food and cosmetics industries because of their antibacterial properties. The particles can be found in drinking bottles, cosmetics, band aids, toothbrushes, running socks, refrigerators, washing machines and food packaging. Continue reading

Travel: National Parks boost healthy, sustainable food

The cafeteria at Muir Woods National Monument in California showcases organic, locally produced foods.

The cafeteria at Muir Woods National Monument in California showcases organic, locally produced foods. bberwyn photo.

New guidelines also encourage shift to locally produced food

By Bob Berwyn

Hot dogs and hamburgers will remain on the menu at 250 national park snack bars and restaurants, but 23 million park visitors are also finding healthier options like fish tacos and yogurt parfaits.

The changes come under a new two-part set of rules finalized in April 2013 and  rolled out across the country this summer.

“Park visitors are going to  see really tasty choices that are healthy for them, with sustainable attributes, some regionality and a softer environmental footprint,” said Kurt Rausch, a National Park Service contracting specialist who helped develop the new guidelines for businesses offering food sales in parks. Continue reading

Could a user fee curb excessive antibiotics use?

Industrial feedlots are huge sources of greenhouse gases. PHOTO COURTESY DAVIS CREEK FARMS.

Large-scale use of antibiotics for food production needs to be curbed, scientists say.

‘The real value of antibiotics is saving people from dying. Everything else is trivial’

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Massive use of antibiotics for food production is only marginally beneficial and poses a huge long-term risk to human health, researchers in Canada say. In a new paper, the scientists proposed a user fee that could help curb excessive application antibiotics in the agriculture and aquaculture industries.

The new paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine explains that in the United States 80 per cent of the antibiotics in the country are consumed in agriculture and aquaculture for the purpose of increasing food production.

The flood of antibiotics sprayed on fruit trees and fed to livestock, poultry and salmon has led bacteria to evolve. Mounting evidence cited in the journal shows how resistant pathogens are emerging — resulting in an increase in bacteria that is immune to available treatments. Continue reading

‘Superbugs’ spreading from water treatement plants

dsfg

E. Coli bacteria.

‘There’s no antibiotic that can kill them …’

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Scientists already know that genetic mutations have made some bacteria resistant to antibiotics, and new research suggests that those superbugs are able to withstand purification efforts at water treatment plants. The bacteria are even multiplying in the very facilities meant to eliminate them.

“We often think about sewage treatment plants as a way to protect us, to get rid of all of these disease-causing constituents in wastewater,” said Rice University environmental engineer Pedro Alvarez, who led the recent study at two wastewater treatments plans in China. “But it turns out these microbes are growing. They’re eating sewage, so they proliferate. In one wastewater treatment plant, we had four to five of these superbugs coming out for every one that came in.” Continue reading

Environment: European food safety agency eyes human health impacts of systemic neonicotinoid pesticides

A honeybee gathers pollen on a wildflower in Austria.

A bee gathers pollen on a wildflower in Austria. bberwyn photo.

Are U.S. regulatory agencies putting humans at risk with rushed approval of toxic chemicals?

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — It stands to reason that, if systemic neonicotinoid pesticides are bad for honeybees, they’re probably not too good for people, either. The European Food Safety Authority this week acknowledged the potential humal health threat of the toxic chemical compounds that have already been implicated in the global honeybee die-off.

The agency said that acetamiprid and imidacloprid may have harmful effects on people’s brain development and recommended lowering levels of acceptable exposures. Earlier this year, citing unacceptable hazards to bees — and on the recommendation of the EFSA — the European Union put a two-year moratorium on the use of three widely used neonicotinoids, including imidacloprid. Continue reading

Study: Ecosystem alterations leading to widespread human health impacts

Research consortium proposes systematic assessment approach

sdfg

In Belize, agricultural runoff is changing lowland wetlands to favor a proliferation of mosquitoes that are efficient malaria vectors. bberwyn photo.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — The accelerating pace of human-caused changes to natural systems may threaten the Earth’s ability to sustain a growing population at a fundamental level, a team of researchers said in a new paper published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The paper describes a new branch of environmental health that focuses on the public health risks of human-caused changes to Earth’s natural systems. Researchers contributing to the paper work with the Health & Ecosystems: Analysis of Linkages consortium.

The approach differs from the classic discipline of environmental health, which focuses on micro-level impacts — for example, how changes in the home environment can affect the health of an individual or a family, said Dr. Samuel Myers, a research scientist in the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard School of Public Health. Continue reading

Health: Building a better pizza

A made-from-scratch Napoli-style pizza, with anchovies and black olives.

A made-from-scratch Napoli-style pizza, with anchovies and black olives.

Scottish researchers go back to pizza’s roots to find a healthy recipe

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — It turns out the secret to a better pizza might not be a double-stuffed cheese crust — all it takes is a little bit of seaweed and some whole grain flour, according to nutritionists with the School of Medicine at the University of Glasgow.

“Traditional pizza should be a low-fat meal containing at least one portion of vegetables, so mainly made from ingredients associated with better cardiovascular health,” said Professor Mike Lean.

“However, to enhance shelf-life, commercial pizza recipes today include much more fat and salt than desirable. Until now, nobody has stopped to notice that many essential vitamins and minerals are very low or even completely absent. From a nutrition and health perspective, they are hazardous junk,” Lean said. “Pizzas are widely consumed and regarded as meals in themselves, and yet their impact on human nutrition does not seem to have been studied,” he added.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Historically, pizzas were made from a few humble ingredients: Bread, tomatoes and a little cheese, combined to form a traditional, healthy meal. Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,260 other followers