|US: Study says diesel emissions raise cancer risk|
by Elizabeth Fernandez, Chronicle Staff Writer, The San Francisco Chronicle
March 20th, 2008
The analysis by the California Air Resources Board, released Wednesday night, shows that the greatest health dangers related to toxic air emissions stems from diesel trucks traversing the freeways and other roadways around West Oakland and the Port of Oakland.
|US: Eli Lilly E-Mail Discussed Unapproved Use of Drug|
by ALEX BERENSON, The New York Times
March 17th, 2008
John C. Lechleiter, an Eli Lilly official who is about to become the company's top executive, wrote an e-mail message in 2003 that appears to have encouraged Lilly to promote its schizophrenia medicine Zyprexa for a use not approved by federal drug regulators.
|IRAQ: KBR Faulted on Water Provided to Soldiers|
by Dana Hedgpeth, The Washington Post
March 11th, 2008
U.S. soldiers at a military base in Iraq were provided with treated but untested wastewater for nearly two years by KBR, the giant government contractor, and may have suffered health problems as a result, according to a report released yesterday by the Pentagon's inspector general.
|US: Pollution Is Called a Byproduct of a 'Clean' Fuel|
by BRENDA GOODMAN, The New York Times
March 11th, 2008
The spills, at the Alabama Biodiesel Corporation plant outside this city about 17 miles from Tuscaloosa, are similar to others that have come from biofuel plants in the Midwest. The discharges, which can be hazardous to birds and fish, have many people scratching their heads over the seeming incongruity of pollution from an industry that sells products with the promise of blue skies and clear streams.
|CHINA: Solar Energy Firms Leave Waste Behind in China|
by Ariana Eunjung Cha, Washington Post
March 9th, 2008
The Luoyang Zhonggui High-Technology Co. of Henan, China, is a green energy company, producing polysilicon for solar energy panels. But the byproduct -- silicon tetrachloride -- is a highly toxic substance that poses environmental hazards.
|US: In Shift, Ashcroft to Testify on Oversight Deal|
by Carrie Johnson, The Washington Post
February 26th, 2008
Former Attorney General John D. Ashcroft agreed last night to appear at a House hearing to discuss his lucrative arrangement overseeing a medical equipment company, averting a showdown with committee members who had planned to meet today to authorize a subpoena.
|US: Pfizer to End Lipitor Ads by Jarvik
by STEPHANIE SAUL, The New York Times
February 26th, 2008
Under criticism that its ads are misleading, Pfizer said Monday that it would cancel a long-running advertising campaign using the artificial heart pioneer Robert Jarvik as a spokesman for its cholesterol drug Lipitor.
|US: Inside the world of war profiteers
by David Jackson and Jason Grotto|Tribune reporters, Chicago Tribune
February 21st, 2008
Hundreds of pages of recently unsealed court records detail how kickbacks shaped the war's largest troop support contract months before the first wave of U.S. soldiers plunged their boots into Iraqi sand.
|GLOBAL: 2 Reports At Odds On Biotech Crops|
by Rick Weiss, The Washington Post
February 14th, 2008
Dueling reports released yesterday -- one by a consortium largely funded by the biotech industry and the other by a pair of environmental and consumer groups -- came to those diametrically different conclusions.
|CHINA: China Plant Played Role In Drug Tied to 4 Deaths
by ANNA WILDE MATHEWS and THOMAS M. BURTON, The Wall Street Journal
February 14th, 2008
A Chinese facility that hasn't been inspected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made the active ingredient in much of the widely used Baxter International Inc. blood-thinner that is under investigation after reports of hundreds of allergic reactions and four deaths among the drug's users, the agency said yesterday.
|US: UnitedHealth Faces Suit Over Payment System
by VANESSA FUHRMANS and THEO FRANCIS, The Wall Street Journal
February 13th, 2008
The New York attorney general said his office plans to sue UnitedHealth Group Inc. as part of a broader investigation into the way the health insurance industry sets payment rates for hospitals and doctors outside of their networks.
|US: Committee Investigates Ad Tactics for Lipitor|
by Stephanie Saul, New York Times
February 8th, 2008
A Congressional investigation revealed that Pfizer agreed to pay Dr. Jarvik $1,350,000 as a celebrity pitchman for the heart drug Lipitor, and wants to know how much stunt doubles in the ads may have also been paid.
|US: Drug Ads Raise Questions for Heart Pioneer
by STEPHANIE SAUL, The New York Times
February 7th, 2008
Celebrity advertising endorsements are nothing new, of course. But the Lipitor campaign is a rare instance of a well-known doctor’s endorsing a drug in advertising — and it has helped rekindle a smoldering debate over whether it is appropriate to aim ads for prescription drugs directly at consumers.
|US: Some Campuses Decide Tobacco Company Money Is ‘Tainted’
by ALAN FINDER, The New York Times
February 4th, 2008
Across academia, universities and graduate schools are wrestling with whether to accept financing from tobacco companies for research or student activities. In the past few years, 15 public health and medical schools have turned away donations from the industry; McCombs’ move was unusual because of its longstanding ties to an array of corporations.
|CHINA: Tainted Drugs Tied to Maker of Abortion Pill
by JAKE HOOKER and WALT BOGDANICH, The New York Times
January 31st, 2008
A huge state-owned Chinese pharmaceutical company that exports to dozens of countries, including the United States, is at the center of a nationwide drug scandal after nearly 200 Chinese cancer patients were paralyzed or otherwise harmed last summer by contaminated leukemia drugs.
|US: Antidepressants Under Scrutiny Over Efficacy
by DAVID ARMSTRONG and KEITH J. WINSTEIN, Wall Street Journal
January 17th, 2008
The effectiveness of a dozen popular antidepressants has been exaggerated by selective publication of favorable results, according to a review of unpublished data submitted to the Food and Drug Administration.
|US: Protests Greet Nuclear Power Resurgence in US South|
by Matthew Cardinale, IPS
January 14th, 2008
Residents and environmental activists are in a bitter dispute with large U.S. energy corporations and the federal government over the safety of nuclear power, as more than a dozen corporations plan to, or have filed, paperwork to open new nuclear power plants, primarily in the U.S. South.
|NIGERIA: Inefficient Gas Flaring Remains Unchecked|
by Sam Olukoya, IPS
January 10th, 2008
Some of the largest multinational oil companies in the world -- including the U.K. and Dutch owned Shell, the French company Total, and the American companies Mobil and Chevron -- are responsible for the bulk of the scores of gas flares burning in Nigeria.
|US: Cloned Livestock Poised|
by Jane Zhang, John W. Miller and Lauren Etter, Wall Street Journal
January 4th, 2008
After more than six years of wrestling with the question of whether meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring are safe to eat, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to declare as early as next week that they are. The food industry appears to be divided over the issue.
|US: Suit says IBM dumped chemicals in New York state
by Dan Wilchins and Philipp Gollner, Reuters
January 3rd, 2008
Neighbors of a former IBM plant in New York state sued the company on Thursday, saying it released chemicals into the air, ground and water for nearly 80 years that caused birth defects and cancer.
|CHINA/US: The Recalls’ Aftershocks|
by Louise Story and David Barboza, New York Times
December 22nd, 2007
Toy makers are investigating whether they need to treat their tainted products with stabilization chemicals or if they must seal the toys in giant polyethylene bags.
|US: Producer of Poisonous Toy Beads Issues Apology|
by Keith Bradsher, New York Times
November 29th, 2007
The Hong Kong company that manufactured millions of poisonous toy beads in mainland China issued a public apology on Thursday, with the chairman saying that it had not occurred to anyone to check whether an inexpensive glue ingredient in the beads would be dangerous for children to eat.
|DRC: Six arrested in Congo radioactive dumping scandal|
by Joe Bavier, Reuters
November 10th, 2007
Congolese authorities arrested six people in connection with the dumping of tonnes of highly radioactive minerals into a river near the southeastern town of Likasi. A report said some 17 tons of the minerals confiscated were destined for Chinese firm Magma.
|US: V.A. Is Limiting Use of Diabetes Drug|
by Stephanie Saul, NY Times
October 18th, 2007
The Department of Veterans Affairs has decided to severely limit the use of Avandia, the once-popular drug for Type 2 diabetes, delivering another blow to the product’s maker, GlaxoSmithKline.
|US: Cribs Recalled After Deaths of 2 Children|
by Michael M. Grynbaum, nytimes
September 24th, 2007
One million cribs designed by Simplicity for Children, a manufacturer based in Pennsylvania, have been recalled after the suffocation deaths of at least two children, the government said yesterday. It was the company’s fourth recall in a little more than two years.
|US: FTC: Milk Ads Not Misleading|
by Sam Hananel, Guardian (UK)
August 28th, 2007
Federal regulators have turned down a request from Monsanto Co. to take action against dairy companies that advertise milk as free of synthetic hormones.
|INDIA: Novartis Patents Case Far From Dead|
by Praful Bidwai, Inter Press Service News Agency
August 9th, 2007
Cancer patients in India have reason to be relieved at a high court ruling this week which dismissed a petition by Swiss pharmaceuticals multinational corporation (MNC) Novartis challenging an Indian law which denies patents for minor or trivial improvements to known drugs.
|WORLD: We must count the true cost of cheap China|
by Richard McGregor, Financial Times
August 2nd, 2007
In the wake of the multiple scandals over tainted Chinese food and drug exports in recent months, Chinese goods now have an indelible image of being not just cheap, but life-threatening as well. But the fact that wrongly labelled foods, liquor and pharmaceuticals have routinely sickened and even killed people en masse in China has been largely overlooked.
|US: Mattel Recalls One Million Toys|
by Louise Story , New York Times
August 2nd, 2007
Mattel, the maker of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars, is recalling nearly one million toys in the United States today because the products’ surfaces are covered in lead paint. According to Mattel, all the toys were made by a contract manufacturer in China.
|US: FDA Panel to Review Avandia|
by Jennifer Corbett Dooren, The Wall Street Journal
July 26th, 2007
The Food and Drug Administration will ask a panel of outside medical experts Monday whether it thinks GlaxoSmithKline PLC's diabetes drug Avandia should remain on the U.S. market.
|US: 3 Executives Spared Prison in OxyContin Case |
by Barry Meier, The New York Times
July 20th, 2007
After hearing testimony from parents of young adults who died from overdoses involving the painkiller OxyContin, a federal judge Friday sentenced three top executives of the company that makes the narcotic to three years' probation and 400 hours each of community service in drug treatment programs.
|INDONESIA: Mud Volcano Sullies Top Investment Firms
by Emad Mekay, Inter Press News Service (IPS)
June 21st, 2007
Environmental campaigners are urging several heavyweight investment firms, including Credit Suisse, Barclays, Fortis Group and Merrill Lynch, to shoulder some responsibility for a catastrophic mud volcano on the Indonesian island of Java that resulted from a gas project the firms helped fund.
|CHILE: Chile Must Pay US$5.4 Million to Aricans Living Amid Toxic Waste
by Mike Hager, The Santiago Times
June 1st, 2007
In a landmark case, Chile’s Supreme Court ruled this week that the state must compensate 356 residents of two slums in the northern mining city of Arica for health problems brought on by years of exposure to open deposits of toxic waste. Promel, the Swedish company responsible for the importation of the toxic materials, cannot compensate the plaintiffs because the company no longer exists.
|US: Bristol-Myers to Pay Fine|
Agence France Presse
May 31st, 2007
Bristol-Myers Squibb has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $1 million criminal fine for lying to the government about a patent deal on its blood-thinning drug Plavix, officials said Wednesday.
The Justice Department said in a statement that the company’s actions had threatened to reduce competition for the drug, one of the best-selling prescription medications worldwide.
|THAILAND: Holding Big Pharma's feet to the fire|
by Marwaan Macan-Markar, Inter Press Service
May 17th, 2007
For nearly a week, the advertising pages of Thai- and English-language dailies have been the stage for debates on Thailand's decision to break patents on anti-AIDS drugs in the interest of public health. A lobby championing the cause of the powerful pharmaceutical companies ran full-page spreads in the morning newspapers with an eye-catching warning in large, bold text, which said: "The Wrong Prescription for Thailand".
|US: Another Chemical Emerges in Pet Food Case|
DAVID BARBOZA, The New York Times
May 9th, 2007
A second industrial chemical that regulators have found in contaminated pet food in the United States may have also been intentionally added to animal feed by producers seeking larger profits, according to interviews with chemical industry officials here.
|US: Gore needs a greener Apple|
by Marc Gunther , CNN Money
April 3rd, 2007
Environmental groups tell Al Gore to push the computer maker to improve its practices and limit its impact on the environment.
|US: World Bank raps Exxon over Chad|
by Lesley Wroughton, Reuters
March 22nd, 2007
The World Bank has told an Exxon Mobil-led consortium to take corrective action to fully compensate farmers in southern Chad who lost land and their livelihoods as the U.S. company expands its search for oil in the Doba basin.
|PERU: Human Rights Commission May Examine Violations at La Oroya, Peru|
Earthjustice Legal Fund and CIEL
March 21st, 2007
Public health and environmental organizations from throughout the Western Hemisphere today announced the filing of a petition with the human rights division of the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C. The petition accuses the Peruvian government of doing little to halt contamination from a metallurgical complex that is impacting the lives and health of the citizens of La Oroya, Peru.
|HONDURAS: Protests Mount Against Mining Giant|
by Stephen Leahy, Mines & Communities
February 24th, 2007
Dangerous levels of lead and arsenic have been found in the blood of Honduran villagers living downstream from a controversial gold and silver mine owned by Canada's Goldcorp Inc., the world's third largest gold mining firm.
|NIGERIA: Oil Spill Displaces 10 Ijaw Communities
by Emma Arubi, Vanguard (Lagos)
February 13th, 2007
CHEVRON'S Abiteye flow station oil spill of over 1,500 barrels of crude has rendered over 10 Ijaw communities and 500 hundred persons homeless in Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri South West local government area of Delta State.
|UK: Campaigners urge Shell to put profits into clean-up|
by Terry Macalister, Guardian (UK)
January 31st, 2007
Record annual profits to be announced by Shell tomorrow should be used towards paying off a bill estimated at more than $20bn (£10bn) for the damage caused by its oil activities to local communities and the wider environment, according to an alliance of human rights and green groups including Friends of the Earth (FoE).
|US: Nicotine boost was deliberate, study says|
by Stephen Smith, Boston Globe
January 18th, 2007
Data supplied by tobacco companies strongly suggest that in recent years manufacturers deliberately boosted nicotine levels in cigarettes to more effectively hook smokers, Harvard researchers conclude in a study being released today.
|US: Toxic Teflon: Compounds from Household Products Found in Human Blood|
by Stan Cox, Alternet
January 2nd, 2007
DuPont and other companies use those synthetic compounds to make an extraordinarily wide range of products, including nonstick cookware (e.g, Teflon), grease-resistant food packaging (e.g., microwave popcorn and pizza boxes), stain-resistant fabrics and carpets (e.g., Stainmaster), shampoos, conditioners, cleaning products, electronic components, paints, firefighting foams, and a host of other artifacts of modern life.
|ASIA: Asian Govts Push Generic Drugs|
by Marwaan Macan-Markar, Inter Press Service
December 18th, 2006
In moves that are winning them praise, two South-east Asian governments -- in Thailand and the Philippines -- appear determined to push ahead with plans to provide cheaper generic drugs even if they incur the wrath of pharmaceutical giants.
|US: Apple gets low score in Greenpeace e-waste report|
by Jim Dalrymple, Macworld
December 6th, 2006
Environmental group Greenpeace on Wednesday issued the first quarterly update on the technology industry’s performance on environmental issues. While the group recognized many companies are improving Apple does not appear to be among them — Apple remains in last place.
|GHANA: Ghana's gold inflicts heavy price|
by James Haselip, People and the Planet
December 6th, 2006
Gold mining is Ghanaï¿½s most valuable export industry: in 2005, US$1.4 billion worth of gold was shipped from the country, dwarfing the value of its other major foreign currency earners - timber and cocoa. However, very little of the gold revenues stay in the country while damage to the physical environment by both large and small-scale mining is inflicting an incalculable cost to the economy with vast tracts of farming land permanently ruined, forests destroyed and water resources diverted and polluted.
|PHILIPPINES: Banana firm bars DoH team from proving chemical poisoning|
by Jeffrey M. Tupas, Inquirer (PHIL)
December 1st, 2006
Experts from the Department of Health (DoH) were denied entry Thursday by the management of the Tagum Agricultural Development Corporation, Inc. (Tadeco) to the company-owned hospital in Panabo City where victims of toxic chemical inhalation from the nearby town of Braulio Dujali in Davao del Norte were confined.
|WORLD: Safety of Nanotechnology Needs More Attention|
Environment News Service
November 28th, 2006
The number of consumer products made with nanotechnology is exploding, with a 70 percent increase in the past eight months. While recognizing the value of these molecular-level advances, critics say the Bush administration is doing too little to ensure the safety of nanotechnology for workers and the public.
|US: The Package May Say Healthy, but This Grocer Begs to Differ|
by Andrew Martin, The New York Times
November 6th, 2006
The chain, Hannaford Brothers, developed a system called Guiding Stars that rated the nutritional value of nearly all the food and drinks at its stores from zero to three stars. Of the 27,000 products that were plugged into Hannaford’s formula, 77 percent received no stars, including many, if not most, of the processed foods that advertise themselves as good for you.
|US: Pfizer Drug Dealt Blow in Testing
by Alex Berenson, The New York Times
November 1st, 2006
Pfizer said yesterday that clinical trials of torcetrapib — a heart medication that is the most important drug in the company’s pipeline — confirmed that it raises blood pressure, a potentially serious side effect.
|US: Unwanted Imports: Goods deemed toxic elsewhere shipped to U.S.|
October 15th, 2006
Destined for American kitchens, planks of birch and poplar plywood are stacked to the ceiling of a cavernous port warehouse. The wood, which arrived in California via a cargo ship, carries two labels: One proclaims "Made in China," while the other warns that it contains formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical.
|INDIA: 80,000 coal belt families face evacuation|
Statesman News Service
October 10th, 2006
As many as 80,000 families living near the Jharia mine in Dhanbad coal belt face relocation. Officials say the coalfield area is, in effect, sitting on a “giant fireball deep inside the earth,” after they discovered at least six underground leaks of toxic fumes. Experts fear massive underground explosions followed by subsidence occuring at any moment.
|US: Dump site back on Superfund list
by Laura Incalcaterra, The Journal News
September 27th, 2006
Pollutants dumped by Ford Motor Co. and others have led the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to restore the Ringwood mines and landfill to the Superfund National Priorities List of the country's most-contaminated sites.
|US: Tobacco Makers Lose Key Ruling on Latest Suits |
by David Cay Johnston and Melanie Warner , The New York Times
September 26th, 2006
In a legal blow to the tobacco industry, a federal judge in Brooklyn ruled yesterday that people who smoked light cigarettes that were often promoted as a safer alternative to regular cigarettes can press their fraud claim as a class-action suit.
|IVORY COAST: Toxic dumpers face jail term|
September 24th, 2006
SUSPECTS charged in connection with the dumping of toxic waste in Ivory Coast, which killed seven people and made thousands ill, could face up to 20 years in jail if convicted, a Justice Ministry official said.
|PERU: Leaching Out the Water with the Gold|
by Milagros Salazar, Inter Press Service (IPS)
September 20th, 2006
The conflict that brought operations at Yanacocha, Latin America's largest gold mine, to a halt just a month after President Alan García took office in Peru was merely the latest illustration of the tensions between mining companies and local communities in the northern province of Cajamarca.
|COLOMBIA: 'No' to Storm Sewer Runoff, Says Fishing Village|
by Constanza Vieira, Inter Press News Service
September 14th, 2006
The residents of a picturesque fishing village in northern Colombia are up in arms against a storm drain system being built by a majority Spanish-owned water and sewage company that will serve shantytowns in the nearby port city of Santa Marta, discharging the runoff into the cove where their village is nestled.
|US: Walking with purpose|
by Edward Marshall, The Journal
September 5th, 2006
After 32 days and 380 miles of walking, Ed Wiley, a concerned grandfather of a Marsh Fork Elementary School student and grass roots activist, stopped in Shepherdstown Monday to speak with residents on his way to Washington where he hopes to meet with federal lawmakers.
Wiley is on a mission to ensure the safety of the children in Sundial, W.Va., where their elementary school sits next to a coal preparation plant and just 400 yards downstream from a dam holding back over two billion gallons of toxic sludge.
|US: It's Not Easy Being Green: Are weed-killers turning frogs into hermaphrodites?
by William Souder, Harpers
August 25th, 2006
In the summer of 1997, Tyrone Hayes, a biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, accepted what seemed a harmless offer to join a panel of eight other scientists investigating the safety of the common weed-killer atrazine. The panel had been commissioned by atrazine's inventor and primary manufacturer, the Swiss-based chemical giant then called Novartis and since renamed Syngenta. The company wanted to know if its product threatened “non-target” organisms, including fish, reptiles, and amphibians—creatures whose fate had remained largely unexplored through the half century in which atrazine had become the most heavily used herbicide in the United States as well as one of its most widespread environmental contaminants.
|INDONESIA: Newmont Exec to Defend Himself in Court|
by Robin McDowell, Associated Press
August 25th, 2006
An American gold-mining executive was preparing Friday to defend himself in court for the first time against charges his company dumped millions of tons of mercury and arsenic-laced waste into an Indonesian bay, sickening villagers.
|US: Alaska's Air Sullied by Oil Production|
by David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle
August 24th, 2006
North Slope operations -- like oil production facilities everywhere -- release into the air a steady stream of pollutants and greenhouse gases, spewed by vehicles, power generators and the drilling process itself. Estimates vary, but the North Slope oil fields probably produce more smog-forming nitrogen oxides than Washington, D.C., and more carbon dioxide than San Francisco.
|THAILAND: Patent or patient? How Washington uses trade deals to protect drugs|
by Alan Beattie, Andrew Jack and Amy Kazmin, The Financial Times
August 22nd, 2006
As the World Health Organisation's top man in Thailand, William Aldis knew Thai officials were hosting their US counterparts in the northern city of Chiang Mai to negotiate what to many outsiders might seem an entirely worthy objective: a bilateral free-trade deal. But he saw dangers - and decided to make his views public.
|INDIA: Pesticide Charge in India Hurts Pepsi and Coke|
by Amelia Gentleman, International Herald Tribune
August 22nd, 2006
When claims were first published on the front pages of Indian newspapers this month that Coca-Cola and PepsiCo beverages were contaminated with pesticides, executives at the two companies were breezily confident that they could handle the issue.
Three weeks later, though, they are still struggling to win back Indian consumers. One-quarter of India’s component states have imposed partial bans on their products, and a complex legal battle to overturn those bans is only just beginning.
|US: Unapproved Transgenic Rice Found in U.S. Rice Supply|
Environment News Service
August 21st, 2006
U.S. supplies of long grain rice have been contaminated with a genetically modified variety not approved for human consumption, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said late Friday. The secretary said he learned about the contamination from the company that engineered the rice, Bayer CropScience, and could say nothing about how the contamination arose.
|US: Mother's Milk Saves Lives|
by Alberto Cremonesi, Inter Press News Service
August 21st, 2006
Although experts say that breastfeeding gives children the best start in life, protecting them from life-threatening diseases and providing essential nutrients, barely a third of all infants in developing countries are exclusively breastfed for the first six months.
|WORLD: Has Coke become the new McDonald's?|
by David Teather, The Guardian (UK)
August 18th, 2006
Welcome to the Coke side of life. Africa's planned legal action is just the latest in a litany of alleged human rights and environmental abuses in developing markets that has made Coca-Cola a cause celebre.
|US: Once an Enemy, Health Industry Warms to Clinton|
by Raymond Hernandez and Robert Pear, The New York Times
July 12th, 2006
Some of the same interests that tried to derail Mrs. Clinton’s health care overhaul are providing support for her Senate re-election bid. The Health Insurance Association of America ran the famous “Harry and Louise” commercials mocking the Clinton health care plan as impenetrably complex. Some companies that were members of that group are now donating to Mrs. Clinton.
|INDIA: Petri Dish for Pharmaceutical MNCs|
by Ann De Ron, Inter Press News Service
July 10th, 2006
Pharmaceutical multinationals, seeking to ramp up profits through cheap drug trials, are increasingly turning to India with its combination of a vast pool of poor, ignorant patients on the one hand and skilled medical personnel and fine research infrastructure on the other.
|US: Another Merck Drug Is Under Legal Attack|
by Molly Selvin, The Los Angeles Times
July 5th, 2006
As Merck & Co. defends itself against a deluge of litigation involving its pain reliever Vioxx, the pharmaceutical giant also is fielding the first of what could be another wave of lawsuits involving Fosamax, its second-biggest seller.
|US: Charities Tied to Doctors Get Drug Industry Gifts|
by Reed Abelson, The New York Times
June 28th, 2006
Around the country, doctors in private practice have set up tax-exempt charities into which drug companies and medical device makers are, with little fanfare, pouring donations — money that adds up to millions of dollars a year. And some medical experts see that as a big problem.
|US: Drug Firms a Danger to Health – Report|
by Sarah Boseley, The Guardian (UK)
June 26th, 2006
Drug companies are accused today of endangering public health through widescale marketing malpractices, ranging from covertly attempting to persuade consumers that they are ill to bribing doctors and misrepresenting the results of safety and efficacy tests on their products.
|AUSTRALIA: Mt Isa Lead Risk For Children|
by Michelle Wiese Bockmann, The Australian
June 21st, 2006
Children in the Queensland mining capital of Mount Isa have been put at risk by fallout from the city's copper and lead smelters because the state Government has failed to routinely test for lead poisoning.
|US: Drugs firm blocks cheap blindness cure
by Sarah Boseley, The Guardian
June 17th, 2006
A major drug company is blocking access to a medicine that is cheaply and effectively saving thousands of people from going blind because it wants to launch a more expensive product on the market.
|US: Lawyer: Merck Scrapped Study on Vioxx|
by Linda A. Johnson, The Associated Press
June 16th, 2006
Merck & Co. scrapped a planned study of the cardiac safety of Vioxx once it knew U.S. regulators were going to tone down their warning about heart risks for patients taking the painkiller, a plaintiff's lawyer argued Friday in a product liability trial.
|CANADA: Abnormal Birth Rates in Canadian Native Reserve|
by Cindy Drukier and Rory Xu, The Epoch Times
June 9th, 2006
There's something is in the air at the Aamjiwnaang First Nations reserve near Sarnia, Ontario. But it's not just in the air. It's also in the water, the soil, and in the residents themselves: alarming levels of toxic chemicals, believed to be behind the area's skewed birth ratios. In Aamjiwnaang, two girls are born for every boy.
|US: Grandmother Takes on Merck in Vioxx Trial|
by LINDA A. JOHNSON, Associated Press
June 5th, 2006
Drug maker Merck & Co. repeatedly tried to downplay the cardiac risks of its painkiller Vioxx, so user Elaine Doherty didn't know about them and couldn't control them before she suffered a heart attack after taking the drug, her lawyer told jurors as a product liability trial began Monday.
|CANADA: Air Pollution Goes Global |
by Stephen Leahy , Inter Press News Service (IPS)
June 2nd, 2006
Last month, the province of Ontario joined the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, along with two environmental groups, in a legal action against seven coal-fired electricity plants run by Duke Energy Corp.
|AUSTRALIA: Judge Reopens Investigation of BAT|
by Elizabeth Sexton, The Age
May 31st, 2006
A Sydney judge has reopened the legal assault on the tobacco industry with a preliminary finding that British American Tobacco's controversial document retention policy was intended to conceal the destruction of legally potent records.
|US: Merck Admits a Data Error on Vioxx|
by Alex Berenson, New York Times
May 31st, 2006
In an admission that could undermine one of its core defenses in Vioxx-related lawsuits, Merck said yesterday that it had erred when it reported in early 2005 that a crucial statistical test showed that Vioxx caused heart problems only after 18 months of continuous use.
|US: FDA Warns Wyeth on Quality at Puerto Rico Plant|
May 30th, 2006
Possible contaminants in headache remedies, hormone replacement therapy and other pills made at Wyeth's (WYE.N: Quote, Profile, Research) plant in Puerto Rico have not been adequately checked out or corrected, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday.
|WORLD: From Asia to America, How Bausch's Crisis Grew|
by Barnaby J. Feder, The New York Times
May 18th, 2006
Early in March, Bausch & Lomb received a troubling phone call from a New Jersey eye doctor. Dr. David S. Chu, a specialist in cornea diseases, alerted the company that three of his recent patients had been afflicted with a microbe that caused a potentially blinding eye infection.
|US: Disney Loses Its Appetite for Happy Meal Tie-Ins|
by Rachel Abramowitz, Los Angeles Times
May 8th, 2006
Disney is not renewing its cross-promotional pact with the fast-food giant, ending the arrangement with this summer's release of "Cars" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest." One reason, say multiple high-ranking sources within Disney, is that the company — which prides itself on being family friendly — wants to distance itself from fast food and its links to the epidemic of childhood obesity.
|US: The Case Against Coke|
by Michaeil Blanding, The Nation
April 14th, 2006
The Coca-Cola Company will hold its stockholders' meeting, an annual exercise designed to boost the confidence of investors. If the meeting is anything like last year's, however, it may do the opposite.
|NIGERIA: Government Investigation Indicts Shell over Toxic Waste|
by Yemie Adeoye, Vanguard (Lagos)
April 4th, 2006
THE Ministerial investigation committee into alleged dumping of toxic waste by the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) at Igbeku and Ejekimoni communities of Sapele local government area of Delta State has come up with recommendations for the company to remove and treat in situ the "alleged buried waste" to acceptable statutory levels.
|US: Survey Ranks 'Organic-ness' at Dairies|
by Marian Burros, The New York Times
March 22nd, 2006
THE CORNUCOPIA INSTITUTE, a nonprofit agricultural policy research group in Cornucopia, Wis., will release a report today that ranks organic milk and dairy products based on federal organic standards as well as environmental and humane concerns.
|INDIA: Battle over Indian steel mills|
by Mark Dummett, BBC News
February 26th, 2006
A South Korean firm, Posco, last year promised to build a steel plant costing $12bn - the biggest ever single foreign investment in India. The only problem is that many of the people living in Kalinga Nagar, near the town of Jajpur, do not want to make way for the new factories.
|US: Chromium Evidence Buried, Report Says|
by Rick Weiss, The Washington Post
February 24th, 2006
Scientists working for the chromium industry withheld data about the metal's health risks while the industry campaigned to block strict new limits on the cancer-causing chemical, according to a scientific journal report published yesterday.
|US: Teflon Chemical a Likely Carcinogen|
by Randall Chase, Associated Press
February 15th, 2006
A group of scientific advisers to the Environmental Protection Agency voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a recommendation that a chemical used in the manufacture of Teflon and other nonstick and stain-resistant products should be considered a likely carcinogen.
|EU: Europe Defends Stance on Genetically Altered Foods|
by Paul Meller, The New York Times
February 8th, 2006
The European Commission defended its current practices on screening genetically altered foods in the wake of a report from the World Trade Organization that criticized its past action in restricting the entry of modified products into the European Union.
|US: Exposed: the secret corporate funding behind health research |
by George Monbiot, The Guardian
February 7th, 2006
Three weeks ago, while looking for something else, I came across one of the most extraordinary documents I have ever read. It relates to an organisation called Arise (Associates for Research into the Science of Enjoyment). Though largely forgotten
today, in the 1990s it was one of the world's most influential public-health groups.
|LATIN AMERICA: Big Tobacco Fights Back|
by Diego Cevallos, Inter Press Service
January 12th, 2006
According to the non-governmental Corporate Accountability International, based in the northeastern U.S. city of Boston, the tobacco industry is interfering in public health policy in several Latin American countries, and is attempting to block the regulations implemented in compliance with the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
|US: For One Clerk, Fight for Wal-Mart Bill Is Personal|
by Mary Otto, Washington Post
January 12th, 2006
The debate over the Fair Share Health Care Fund Act, commonly known as the Wal-Mart bill, has dominated politics in the run-up to the General Assembly, with the retailer arguing that Democrats have unfairly singled out one company and union leaders arguing that workers deserve better treatment.
|US: Former Biogen Executive Settles Insider-Trading Charges|
by John Hechinger, Wall Street Journal
January 12th, 2006
The former general counsel of Biogen Idec Inc. settled securities-fraud and insider-trading charges, agreeing to pay more than $3 million related to his sale of company shares on the day the biotech company learned that a patient taking its new multiple sclerosis drug was sick with a deadly infection.
|US: Moving Mountains|
by Erik Reece, Orion Magazine
January 9th, 2006
It is the people of Appalachia who pay the highest price for the rest of the country's cheap energy—through contaminated water, flooding, cracked foundations and wells, bronchial problems related to breathing coal dust, and roads that have been torn up and turned deadly by speeding coal trucks.
|US: General Electric workers sue Monsanto over PCBs|
by Carey Gillam, Reuters
January 4th, 2006
More than 500 General Electric Co. employees have sued Monsanto Co. along with two related companies, claiming they were exposed to toxic chemicals manufactured for decades by Monsanto, the company said Wednesday.
|US: F.D.A. Puts Restrictions on Guidant |
by Vikas Bajaj, The New York Times
December 28th, 2005
The Food and Drug Administration yesterday released a warning letter it sent to the Guidant Corporation, restricting the ability of the company to win approval for some new medical products. In the letter, sent a week ago, the agency said Guidant, the heart device maker, had not fully responded to its concerns about manufacturing procedures at the company's biggest plant.
|US: Lilly Pleads Guilty to Misdemeanor Violation|
December 21st, 2005
Eli Lilly and Co. said on Wednesday it will plead guilty to a misdemeanor violation as part of a settlement with the government over its marketing and promotional practices for an osteoporosis drug.
|AFRICA: Death By Dilution|
by Robert Cockburn, American Prospect
December 20th, 2005
When fakes of a GlaxoSmithKline anti-malarial drug turned up in Africa, authorities assumed the drug giant would want to know. Instead, they learned about a huge, evil trade in fake drugs -- and about an industry that doesn’t want the truth to get out.
|INDIA: Testing Drugs on India's Poor |
by Scott Carney, Wired
December 19th, 2005
Multinational corporations are riding high on the trend toward globalization by taking advantage of India's educated work force and deep poverty to turn South Asia into the world's largest clinical-testing petri dish.
|UK: Tobacco giants face smuggling fines|
by Tom McGhie and Dan Atkinson, Financial Mail
December 18th, 2005
Giant tobacco firms face punishing fines of more than £350m a year if they fail to help squash a smuggling racket that costs the Treasury billions in lost revenue.
|US: Court reverses Philip Morris verdict|
by Brad Dorfman, Reuters
December 15th, 2005
The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday reversed a $10.1 billion verdict against Philip Morris USA, ordering a lower court to dismiss the case in which the company was accused of defrauding customers into thinking "light" cigarettes were safer than regular ones.
|US: DuPont fined more than $10M over Teflon|
by Randall Chase, Associated Press
December 14th, 2005
DuPont Co. has agreed to pay $10.25 million in fines and $6.25 million for environmental projects to settle allegations by the Environmental Protection Agency that the company hid information about the dangers of a toxic chemical used to make the non-stick coating Teflon, officials said Wednesday.
|US: Big Tobacco Outspends Stop-Smoking Programs 28 to 1 |
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
November 30th, 2005
There is a growing gap between the inadequate amounts states are spending on tobacco prevention programs and the record sums the tobacco companies are spending to market cigarettes and other tobacco products, putting at risk the nation's progress in reducing youth smoking, according to a report released today by a coalition of public health organizations.
|US: EPA, DuPont in Settlement Over Chemical|
The Associated Press
November 29th, 2005
Federal regulators have reached an agreement with DuPont to settle allegations the company hid information about the dangers of a toxic chemical known as C8 used in the manufacture of Teflon.
|US: Engineer: DuPont hid facts about paper coating|
by Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY
November 16th, 2005
A former engineer for the DuPont company has accused his ex-employer of concealing test results almost two decades ago that showed toxic chemicals leaching out of a paper coating used to give grease resistance to microwave popcorn bags, fast food and candy wrappers, and pizza box liners.
|INDIA: Health Minister: 'Coke Plant Will Not Be Allowed to Function' |
October 25th, 2005
Health Minister K.K. Ramachandran on Monday said the Government "would not allow the bottling plant of Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd. at Plachimada to reopen against the will of the people." (Mr. Ramachandran is the first Minister to have visited Plachimada where the local people have been waging an agitation for the last three years demanding the closure of the company for allegedly exploiting the groundwater, leading to shortage of water for drinking and irrigation purposes.)
|ECUADOR: Amazon Indians say Texaco left damage|
by Gonzalo Solano, Associated Press
October 20th, 2005
About 50 Cofan Indians, some holding handkerchiefs over their faces to fend off an acrid chemical stench, gathered around two contaminated open pits they say were left behind and never adequately cleaned up by the former Texaco Corp.
|US: Smoking the fast-food industry: Fight against warning labels reminiscent of tobacco fray|
by Thomas Kostigen, MarketWatch
October 6th, 2005
The state of California is suing nine top food manufacturers, including Burger King, Heinz and McDonald's, over their reluctance to issue warnings that some of their snacks could contain the potentially cancer-causing chemical acrylamide.
Acrylamide was found to be linked to cancer in 2002. Then, the Swedish Food Administration reported high levels of it in carbohydrate-rich foods, such as french fries and potato chips, cooked at high temperatures. Studies indicated the chemical caused cancer in rats.
|US: F.D.A. Had Report of Short Circuit in Heart Devices|
by Barry Meier, The New York Times
September 12th, 2005
Months before the Food and Drug Administration issued a safety alert in June about problems with Guidant Corporation heart devices, the agency received a report from the company showing that some of those units were short-circuiting, agency records obtained by The New York Times show.
|US: Vioxx Verdict Raises Profile of Texas Lawyer|
by Alex Berenson, The New York Times
August 22nd, 2005
Merck is found liable for the death of Robert C. Ernst, who died in 2001 after taking Merck's painkiller Vioxx for eight months. The jury awarded $253.5 million to Carol Ernst, Mr. Ernst's widow and Mr. Lanier's client, in one of the largest damage awards ever to a single plaintiff.
|US: Drug Industry Creates Voluntary Ad Guidelines|
by Jennifer Corbett Dooren, Dow Jones
August 3rd, 2005
Responding to increased criticism from Congress, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, announced a set of voluntary guidelines aimed at governing the way drugs are advertised to consumers.
|US: Wal-Mart Is Focal Point Of Democrats' Health Bill|
by By Amy Joyce, Washington Post
June 23rd, 2005
Several congressional Democrats introduced a bill that would force states to report the names of companies that have 50 or more employees who receive government-funded health care, an effort to pressure Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in particular to improve employee health coverage.
|NICARAGUA: Chiquita's Children
by By Nicolas Bérubé and Benoit Aquin, In These Times
May 23rd, 2005
In the ’70s and ’80s, the banana companies Dole, Del Monte and Chiquita used a carcinogenic pesticide, Nemagon, to protect their crops in Nicaragua. Today, the men and women who worked on those plantations suffer from incurable illnesses. Their children are deformed. The companies feign innocence.
|WORLD: The Truth about McDonald's and Children|
by by Morgan Spurlock, Independent
May 22nd, 2005
Obesity rates in American children remained stable throughout the 1960s, but they began to climb in the 1970s. In the past 20 years, the rate of obesity has doubled in children and trebled in teenagers. Kids are starting to clock in as obese as early as the age of two. If we find that surprising, we shouldn't.
|US: Is Fast Food Just What the Doctor Ordered?
by Melanie Warner, New York Times
May 2nd, 2005
In the last two years, at least two dozen leading nutrition scientists and experts have started working for large food companies, either as consultants or as members of health advisory boards. Most do not directly promote products, though Dr. Arthur Agatston, a practicing cardiologist and author of "The South Beach Diet," has a licensing deal with Kraft Foods to sell a line of South Beach foods, which are appearing on supermarket shelves this month.
|LATIN AMERICA: AIDS Patients See Life, Death Issues in Trade Pact
by Marla Dickerson and Evelyn Iritani, LA Times
April 22nd, 2005
Under CAFTA American pharmaceutical giants would gain a five-year edge on the development of new drugs by low-cost competitors. Generic versions of name-brand drugs are the main weapon for battling the AIDS pandemic in the developing world.
|US: Jury Rules for Philip Morris|
by Myron Levin, LA Times
April 22nd, 2005
A Moreno Valley man didn't prove that smoking caused his lung cancer, the panel decides after less than three hours of deliberations.
|LATIN AMERICA: New Gold Rush Runs into Opposition
by Mark Stevenson, Associated Press
April 12th, 2005
A surge in world gold prices is attracting U.S. and Canadian companies eager for another crack at the Latin American lodes that once enriched the Old World. But their modern-day methods -- strip mines and cyanide-based refining -- are meeting fierce resistance.
|US: Want Cancer With That?
by Starre Vartan, AlterNet
June 1st, 2004
Carbs have been taking a beating lately, and the news isn't getting any better. A pending lawsuit filed against fast food mega-corps McDonald's and Burger King may leave one of America's most beloved junk foods with a cigarette-like warning label: "May cause cancer."
|US: Health Advocacy Group Warns of Conflicted Science|
by J.R. Pegg, Environment News Service
July 14th, 2003
Powerful corporate interests continue to use science and scientists to manipulate public opinion and influence public policy on health and the environment, experts say. The public may be aware of several prominent examples such as lead, tobacco and asbestos, but the "publicized cases are the tip of the iceberg," said Drummond Rennie, the deputy editor of the "Journal of the American Medical Association."
|INDIA: Holding Corporate Terrorists Accountable|
by Indra Sinha, AlterNet
May 6th, 2003
At noon on May 1, two Indian women, watched by a crowd of sympathizers, seated themselves on the sidewalk under the bull statue on Wall Street to begin "a fast unto death." Rasheeda Bee and Champa Devi Shukla are survivors of what the people of Bhopal still refer to as "that night."
|WORLD: Factory Farms Growing in Developing Nations|
Environmental News Service
April 22nd, 2003
Factory farms are expanding into developing countries, bringing these nations a wealth of environmental and public health concerns, finds a new paper by the Worldwatch Institute.
|South Africa: Indigenous Group Wins Rights to its Healing Herbs|
by Mercedes Sayagues, Inter Press Service
March 28th, 2003
ANDRIESVALE, South Africa, Mar. 28 (IPS) -- In a victory for indigenous groups, a landmark profit-sharing agreement has been signed providing credit and compensation to one of South Africa's oldest groups with extensive traditional knowledge of healing plants and herbs.
|ARGENTINA: Leap in Unsafe Abortions|
by Marcela Valente, Inter Press Service
March 12th, 2003
Hospital admissions arising from unsafe abortions in Argentina rose 50 percent in five years, and multiplied by a factor of 2.5 in some provinces -- a lethal consequence of the economic crisis and soaring poverty.
|USA: Bush Blocks Cheap Drugs for World's Poor|
by Charlotte Denny, Guardian/UK
February 19th, 2003
George Bush's close links with the drugs industry were last night blamed for the failure of talks in Geneva aimed at securing access to cheap medicines for developing countries.
|Brazil: Hopes Lift at WTO Drugs Talks|
by Bayan Rahman, Financial Times
February 17th, 2003
Brazilian proposal at the weekend has raised hopes of a breakthrough in the World Trade Organisation's deadlocked talks on poor ountries' access to essential medicines.
|UN: Water Deemed As Public Good, Human Right|
by Gustavo Capdevila, InterPress Service
November 27th, 2002
The United Nations Committee on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights issued a statement Wednesday declaring access to water a human right and stating that water is a social and cultural good, not merely an economic commodity.
|US: Cosmetics Industry Approves Controversial Chemicals|
by Cat Lazaroff, Environment News Service
November 20th, 2002
The U.S. Cosmetics Ingredients Review panel has approved the continued use of phthalates in cosmetics, concluding that the chemicals are "safe as currently used." Activist groups, noting that the European Union has just ordered the phase out of some phthalates in cosmetics, said the panel's decision leaves U.S. women at risk of exposure to chemicals that some tests suggest may be linked to birth defects.
|Taiwan: Workers Link Cancer to RCA Plant|
by Matthew Yi, San Francisco Chronicle
May 24th, 2002
While many laud the globalization of technology as a positive force that spreads the wealth and helps industry grow, a group of Taiwanese workers came to Silicon Valley Thursday to tell a different story.
|ECUADOR: Amazon Indians Appeal Texaco Case Ruling|
by Gail Appleson, Reuters
March 11th, 2002
Rainforest Indians of Ecuador and Peru urged a U.S. appeals court on Monday to reinstate nine-year-old litigation against Texaco, alleging that toxic dumping devastated their environment and exposed residents to cancer-causing pollutants.
|ECUADOR: Farmers Fight DynCorp's Chemwar on the Amazon|
by Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn, Counterpunch
February 27th, 2002
The International Labor Rights Fund has filed suit in US federal court on behalf of 10,000 Ecuadorian peasant farmers and Amazonian Indians charging DynCorp with torture, infanticide and wrongful death for its role in the aerial spraying of highly toxic pesticides in the Amazonian jungle, along the border of Ecuador and Colombia.
|Bayer Won't Pull Poultry Antibiotics|
November 1st, 2001
Recent threats of bioterrorism have highlighted how important it is to safeguard the effectiveness of America's antibiotics supply. But when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently proposed a ban on the use of certain antibiotics to treat sick chickens and turkeys, Bayer Corporation refused to comply.
|USA: Crumbling Public Sector Makes Country Vulnerable to Bio-Terrorism|
by Naomi Klein, Toronto Globe & Mail
October 24th, 2001
Only hours after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Republican Representative Curt Weldon went on CNN and announced that he didn't want to hear anyone talking about funding for schools or hospitals. From here on, it was all about spies, bombs and other manly things.
|TURKEY: Court Bans Cyanide Gold Process Near Ancient Town|
by Jon Gorvett, Environment News Service
January 16th, 2001
Despite an order from the country's Supreme Court backing up environmentalists, the pressure is mounting this week for the reopening of a controversial mine in one of Turkey's most visited tourist areas.
|US: Vermiculite Products Could Expose Consumers to Asbestos|
by Cat Lazaroff, Environment News Service
February 15th, 2000
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is investigating whether products made from vermiculite could expose consumers to asbestos. Preliminary test results on common household products indicate that a particularly lethal form of asbestos fibers contaminates some attic insulation, but researchers do not yet know whether normal use of these products could endanger consumers.
|US: Asbestos Tainted Ore Affected Thousands, Suit Charges|
by Cat Lazaroff, Environment News Service
February 1st, 2000
A class action lawsuit filed Monday seeks cleanup and medical monitoring funds to help more than 26,000 people exposed to asbestos from contaminated vermiculite ore. The suit alleges that decades of unsafe mining operations in Libby, Montana have led to illness and death for thousands of mineworkers, processing plant employees, and Libby residents.
by Traci Griggs and Martha Valds, La Jornada
December 9th, 1998
Non-profit environmental justice groups such as the San Diego-based Environmental Health Coalition (EHC), are trying to remove the rose colored glasses and expose the harsh reality of the U.S/Mexico border in an attempt to protect public and environmental health. EHC's battle against an abandoned maquiladora turned toxic dump, serves as a microcosm of what's wrong with border health and how NAFTA, for the most part, has exacerbated the problem.
|A Movement Blossoms: Cross-Border Activism Picks Up Speed|
by Kent Paterson, Borderlines
October 20th, 1998
In October 1998, after years of protest by an unprecedented bi-national coalition, the proposed Sierra Blanca nuclear waste dump was defeated. The proposed site for the commercial nuclear waste dump was just 16 miles from the Texas-Mexico border.
|Death, Neglect and the Bottom Line|
by William Allen and Kim Bell, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
September 27th, 1998
St. Louis-based Correctional Medical Services leads the expanding field of private companies providing medical care behind bars. The industry tries to keep a low profile, but a five-month investigation by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch found a disturbing pattern of deaths and untreated illnesses behind bars.
|US: Disney Shows Two Worlds|
by Mark Fritz, Associated Press
September 30th, 1996
Because Disney World controls so much of its corporate and municipal universe, it can't help but act in a heavy-handed manner in order to ferociously protect its self-interest.