Tag: health

West Coast states, cities, challenge Trump on climate policies

Leaders vow to fight effort to roll back Clean Power Plan

Mercury, heat-trapping greenhouse gases and other pollutants from the Craig Station power plant in northwest Colorado have global impacts. @bberwyn photo.

Staff Report

The Trump administration will reportedly soon unveil an executive order to try and undo climate policies developed under Obama, but West Coast states say they have intention of going along with that half-baked proposal. Continue reading “West Coast states, cities, challenge Trump on climate policies”

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EU warns of persistent air quality violations

5 countries now on notice face potential legal action

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Clouds and haze over Vienna, Austria, where particulate air pollution often exceeds standards set to protect human health. @bberwyn photo.

By Bob Berwyn

Five large EU countries are on warning after repeatedly failing to meet air pollution  standards for nitrogen oxide, a precursor to smog and a serious health risk in and of itself. If Member States fail to act within two months, the Commission may decide to take the matter to the Court of Justice of the EU.

Studies have shown that more than 400,000 people die prematurely each year due to poor air quality, while millions more suffer from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Persistently high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) caused almost 70 000 premature deaths in Europe in 2013, which was almost three times the number of deaths by road traffic accidents in the same year.

Because of the persistent breaches, the European Commission this week sent final warning to  Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom, urging those countries to improve air quality and safeguard public health.

Continue reading “EU warns of persistent air quality violations”

Medical marijuana cuts costs of Medicare’s prescription drug benefit program

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Medical marijuana is legal in 25 states, and is reducing costs for Medicare’s prescription drug benefit program, according to a new study.

Patients using cannabis as alternative to prescription drugs

Staff Report

A new study by health experts at the University of Georgia suggests that people are using marijuana as an alternative to prescription medications for ailments that range from pain to sleep disorders.

That trend translates to about $165.2 million in savings for Medicare’s prescription drug benefit program in 2013, the researchers reported in the journal  Health Affairs.The results suggest that if all states had implemented medical marijuana the overall savings to Medicare would have been around $468 million.

The can give policymakers and others another tool to evaluate the pros and cons of medical marijuana legalization, said study co-author W. David Bradford, who is the Busbee Chair in Public Policy in the UGA School of Public and International Affairs. Continue reading “Medical marijuana cuts costs of Medicare’s prescription drug benefit program”

Food: Campbell’s to support mandatory GMO labeling

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GMO labeling coming soon to Campbell’s products. @bberwyn photo.

Citing widespread support among American consumers, Campbell’s has announced it will label products that contain genetically engineered ingredients.

“We are operating with a ‘Consumer First’ mindset. We put the consumer at the center of everything we do,” Campbell’s president and CEO Denise Morrison said in a prepared statement that was distributed to employees.

“That’s how we’ve built trust for nearly 150 years.  We have always believed that consumers have the right to know what’s in their food. GMO has evolved to be a top consumer food issue reaching a critical mass of 92 percent of consumers in favor of putting it on the label,” Morrison said. Continue reading “Food: Campbell’s to support mandatory GMO labeling”

Health: Feds say eat less meat

What's the energy footprint on your dinner plate? @bberwyn photo.
Lots of veggies and a little fish makes for a healthy meal. @bberwyn photo.

New dietary guidelines point out health benefits reducing red meat consumption

Staff Report

For the first time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a new set of dietary guidelines calling on Americans — especially men — to cut back at least a bit on consumption of red meat.

The new guidelines were greeted as a positive step by environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council, which said in a release that cutting meat consumption is not only good for public health, but benefits the environment by reducing climate and water pollution from the meat industry.

The report advises that cutting back on meat can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. Read the new guidelines here. Continue reading “Health: Feds say eat less meat”

Activists challenge permit for Navajo Generating Station

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A lawsuit claims the federal government didn’t follow open-meeting requirements as it developed a permitting plan for the Navajo Generating Station near Page. Ariz. Photo via Wikimedia and the Creative Commons.

Legal complaint alleges federal agencies violated open meeting rules

Staff Report

Community activists will challenge the federal government’s permit for the pollution-spewing Navajo Generating Station, alleging in a lawsuit that the EPA and the U.S. Department of Interior violated open-meeting regulations during the permitting process.

The plant, located on Navajo lands near Page, Arizona, is one of the nation’s oldest and dirtiest coal-fired plants. Toxic emissions fall especially heavily on the Navajo Nation, which suffers some of the highest rates of asthma and other lung problems in any community in the country. Continue reading “Activists challenge permit for Navajo Generating Station”

Study says U.S. consumers waste 1.3 billion pounds of seafood per year

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A fisherman in Piran, Slovenia, tends his nets. @bberwyn photo.

Discarded seafood could feed 10 million people

Staff Report

With food waste on the UN agenda this week, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future say that as much as 47 percent of the edible U.S. seafood supply is lost each year — mainly from consumer waste.

In the U.S. and around the world, people are being advised to eat more seafood, but overfishing, climate change, pollution, habitat destruction and the use of fish for other purposes besides human consumption threaten the global seafood supply. Continue reading “Study says U.S. consumers waste 1.3 billion pounds of seafood per year”