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Plenty of talk, not enough action

February 4, 2010
There has been a lot of food safety news and food safety talk recently, but very little meaningful action has taken place to protect consumers. Awareness of food safety is important and we appreciate it, but if no action takes place then its value is lost. Recently, we wrote about the anniversary of the PCA peanut products outbreak that happened one year ago. Today, we received notice that 120 of the 700 victims who were sickened are receiving a settlement from PCA's insurance company. While nothing will ever take away the suffering these victims went through, this is still good news for them...

Speak Up About Designing Out Toxins

January 29, 2010
It's virtually impossible to stay on top of current events and not see how toxic chemicals are impacting the health of our environment and our bodies. For me, it’s all overwhelming and difficult to digest at times. And I can’t stop thinking about how the toxic chemicals that are hidden in the products I use everyday are impacting my life’s goals. I’ve wanted a large family for as long as I have wanted to defend environmental and social justice and this month I read about three studies that are particularly unsettling for me as a future mother. (1) Scientists Link Flame Retardants and Reduced...
Renee Blanchard's picture

Finally -- More Direction at the USDA

January 28, 2010
S.T.O.P.—Safe Tables Our Priority extends our congratulations to Dr. Elisabeth Hagen on her nomination for the position of Undersecretary for Food Safety. Dr. Hagen has hands on experience working for the United State’s Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) in addition to being board-certified in both internal medicine and infectious diseases. She has also been in various management positions that include risk assessments and applied epidemiology activities that include foodborne illness investigations. I am confident that these qualifications and her...

"The Health Case for Reforming TSCA," New Report from Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families

January 28, 2010
In Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things , a new book by Environmentalists Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie, there’s a scene where Smith, caught in the middle of a chaotic two-kid-household bedtime routine, is stopped in his tracks by the discovery of flame retardants in his sons’ new pajamas. It was a familiar scene with heavy implications, one that made me think of a similarly fraught pajama story from my own childhood: I was eight years old, standing with my arms spread out, as my mom tailored one of my dad’s old flannel shirts into a nightgown. My new checkered...
Claire Moshenberg's picture

This Month’s Flavor for Toxic Jewelry: It's Cadmi-yummy!

January 27, 2010
So it turns out that cadmium (atomic number forty-eight, for those of you scoring at home) is more than a long-forgotten square on the periodic table. It’s also a toxic heavy metal found in our children’s jewelry. Earlier this month, the Associated Press (AP) revealed that it recently found high levels of cadmium in children’s jewelry bought from major retailers. In a few cases, the cadmium levels were shockingly high, with some kids’ pieces made from more than 80% of the toxic metal. Since the news broke, media crews and concerned parents have been flooding into our office and burning up our...

Could BPA and Breast Milk be the Mercury-Fish Catch22 for the Next Generation?

January 20, 2010
Last week the New York Times reported that the Food and Drug Administration is now willing to look into the health hazards of Bisphenol-A (BPA). Given that BPA is present in the lining of infant formula cans, the article tells us the FDA recommends that nursing mothers continue breastfeeding for twelve months. But there's a catch. The same New York Times article failed to mention that BPA has also been found in breast milk itself. Researchers believe that BPA arrives in breast milk via the countless food and beverage containers we adults use every day that also contain BPA . The effects of...
Mary O's picture

BPA Study Needs You!

January 6, 2010
Our colleagues at Breast Cancer Fund sent us this notice about an opportunity to volunteer in a study about the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA). Check it out! *** Researchers at Vassar College, the Breast Cancer Fund and Silent Spring Institute are collaborating on a study to determine whether or not eating only fresh (non-processed) foods will decrease the level of the endocrine disrupting chemicals Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates in our bodies. We are seeking families with two children between the ages of 3-11 and two adult parents (of any gender), who all live in one residence, to participate...

Who's Really Ruining Christmas

December 23, 2009
A few days ago an outrageous column was printed in the Wall Street Journal —it accuses “chemical crusaders” of “ruining Christmas” because we want to put safer regulations on toys. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is expected to vote on lifting the enforcement stay on testing of phthalates on Wednesday. The column is obviously meant to spread doubt, despite the scores of scientific studies and biomonitoring reports that show that phthalates have been linked to serious health problems and hormone disruption. These chemicals are ubiquitous in the bodies of most Americans, including...

Dangers of Chemicals on Reproductive Health

December 22, 2009
Last week, I went to the Reproductive Health Technology Project , Association of Reproductive Health Professionals , and Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families congressional briefing on the “Dangers of Chemicals on Reproductive Health.” I was astounded by what I learned at the briefing, and also frightened. Who knew that infertility is becoming an increasingly common problem for the 30-and-under set? At my age, the biggest reproductive health worry for my friends and I is finding ways not to get pregnant; I never thought I should already be worrying that I won’t be able to get pregnant when I want...
Claire Moshenberg's picture

Shifting the Agenda: Replacing Problems with Solutions

December 22, 2009
The climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark is over. What happens, of course, will affect all of our families. But it will have profound effects for the poorest people around the globe, two-thirds of them are women and children. There is a world of difference in how environmental damage affects these women and their families, from breast cancer to turning women who rely on the land into environmental refugees. Once the pundits unpack, it will be time to make our New Year’s Resolutions. Climate change discussions will likely fade away as the trendy media turns to stories on losing the...
Linda Tarr-Whelan's picture

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