Environmental Health News

What's Working

  • Garden Mosaics projects promote science education while connecting young and old people as they work together in local gardens.
  • Hope Meadows is a planned inter-generational community containing foster and adoptive parents, children, and senior citizens
  • In August 2002, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board voted to ban soft drinks from all of the district’s schools

Rachel's News and Rachel's Precaution Reporter will stop publication on February 26, 2009 with issue 1,000 of Rachel's News. This website is an archive of Rachel's News and Rachel's Precaution Reporter and other content, but the site is not being updated with the exception of the RSS Feed from Environmental Health News. 

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In the latest issue...

Rachel's Democracy & Health News #956

The Bridge at the Edge of the World
This is the introduction to an extraordinary new book (The Bridge at the Edge of the World) by Gus Speth, who is currently Dean of the School of Forestry at Yale University. I don't recommend very many books, but I feel sure that nearly every Rachel's reader will find Gus Speth's new book illuminating and worthwhile reading. -- P.M.
Reasonable Doubt
"New evidence of an association between increased cancers and proximity to nuclear facilities raises difficult questions. Should pregnant women and young children be advised to move away from them? Should local residents eat vegetables from their gardens? And, crucially, shouldn't those governments around the world who are planning to build more reactors think again?"
Small and Thin
In 1986, David Barker's basic claim that heart disease was "related to nutrition during prenatal and early postnatal life" -- now known as the "Barker hypothesis" -- was regarded as heretical. Now it is widely accepted.
Warmer Seas, Over-Fishing Spell Disaster For Oceans: Scientists
The current plunder of the oceans is risking long-term sustainability with "too many fishing boats taking too many fish and not allowing the stocks to regenerate.... Once the oceans are gone, we're gone. The oceans sustain the planet."
EPA Opens Chemical Risk Assessment to Corporate Lobbying
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopts a new process that marginalizes government scientists and promotes industry influence in government decisions.

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Rachel's Precaution Reporter #139

If This Meat Was From a Cloned Animal, Would You Eat It?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has now lifted a voluntary ban on the sale of cloned food that has been in place since 1999. Farmers can freely sell the meat and milk from the offspring of cloned animals. Would you knowingly eat such products?
Living Above the Line
Our legal and economic systems are based on the assumption that economic growth always provides more benefits than harms. But now that we have exceeded many of Earth's ecological limits, that basic assumption no longer holds true. The implications are profound.
Greener Grass
"As to how much exposure or how much of a risk that is, it's still ill-defined. It comes down to the precautionary principle. If we don't know the risks of these [lawn] chemicals, then we should take precautions and not use them, especially because it's an aesthetic use."
Brussels Wants Better Warnings on Violent Video Games
Despite its concern that some video games could cause "aggressive behaviour" in individuals, the commission admitted that a direct link between video games and violence is difficult to establish. Instead, commissioner Kuneva said, "we need to work... on the precautionary principle".
Study Finds EU Leading Way In Nantech Safety
The European Commission is playing a leading role in the global debate on responsible nanotechnology through its initiatives such as the Code of Conduct for Responsible Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Research. In this code, the Commission specifically asked member states to respect the precautionary principle in research on nanosciences.
New Law Introduces Civil Liability For Environmental Damage
Malta has adopted a precaution approach to environmental damage, including a duty to prevent harm, and the principle that polluters shall pay.
Swiss Retailers Introduce Code of Conduct For Nanotechnology
An association of Swiss retailers has adopted a code of conduct that includes the precautionary principle for the sale of products involving nanotechnology.

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