"Pandora's Lunchbox" -- Ingredients in Processed Food Products May Surprise You

"The vitamin D in your milk ... is almost surely a derivative -- after many chemical stages -- from lanolin from Australian sheep wool, concocted in a factory in China. ... Vitamin A, is often synthesized from acetone, a principal ingredient in nail polish remover," notes George Kenney based on his interview with Melanie Warner, a former writer for the New York Times.

The Tiniest New Technology Poses Unanswered Safety Questions

You might use nanotechnology in the sunscreens you squirt or lather on your kids. You might lick your lips and taste it in your favorite lip-gloss. You might even eat it in your Jell-O pudding. But is it safe?

The "Other NRA," the National Restaurant Association, Pushes Preemption of Paid Sick Days

Today, the feisty advocates at the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC), an organization founded in honor of the 73 employees of the Windows on the World restaurant who died on Sept. 11th, will be paying surprise visits to restaurants across the country that are members of the National Restaurant Association, including Capital Grille, Olive Garden, and Red Lobster.

Americans for Prosperity Goes After ObamaCare (Again)

-- by Seep Paliwal

Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a conservative advocacy group founded and funded by David Koch, is spearheading an ad campaign aimed at young women attacking the 2010 federal health reform law dubbed "ObamaCare." It is spending more than $1 million to run the ad in Virginia and Ohio, with plans to expand it to a total of seven states.

Mandatory Ultrasound Bill Moves from Conception to Passage in Just Ten Days

In ten short days, Wisconsin Republicans steamrolled a radical abortion bill through the state legislature to mandate ultrasounds and close abortion clinics, despite passionate opposition from Democratic Assemblywomen. The debate had many dramatic moments and video of the Senate President furiously gaveling down the opposition made national news.

NFIB and AHIP: Hidden influence-peddling in Washington

-- by Wendell Potter, The Center for Public Integrity

I was not among those who believed the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision would open the floodgates of corporate money to influence elections and public policy. While the decision enables corporations to call for the election or defeat of federal candidates, those expenditures have to be reported and few corporations will take the risk of losing customers by getting involved in politics so publicly.

Is Monsanto's New Genetically Engineered Soy a Health Food?

Monsanto just announced a deal with DSM Nutritional Products to sell a new type of genetically engineered (GE) soybean: one with supposed nutritional benefits.

Efforts to Deliver "Kill Shot" to Paid Sick Leave Tied to ALEC

By Brendan Fischer and Mary Bottari

In a victory for working families, New York is poised to become the largest U.S. city to require businesses offer paid sick days to workers. Community activists and labor leaders struck a deal with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to allow a vote on a paid sick leave ordinance that would cover almost 1 million people. But workers in more than 700 other large American cities must choose between spreading their illness and getting paid.

Chemical Industry Clout Delays EPA Regulation of Hexavalent Chromium

The hit 2000 film Erin Brockovich, which tells the story of how a novice legal clerk holds a huge corporation liable for contaminating a town's drinking water with the carcinogenic chemical hexavalent chromium, or chromium (VI), ends in justice for those harmed. But as it turns out, Hinkley, California, the real-life town featured in the movie, is still contaminated.

New Study Reveals Widespread and Copious Use of Toxic Flame Retardants

A study published this week in the Environmental Science & Technology journal, "Novel and High Volume Use Flame Retardants in US Couches Reflective of the 2005 PentaBDE Phase Out," reveals that 85% of couches purchased in the United States between 1985 and 2010 contain chemical flame retardants. The most prevalent include polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), tris (1-3-dichloroisopropyl) phosphate (TDCPP), and the newer Firemaster 550 (FM 550) mixture, as well as tris (4-butylphenyl) phosphate (TBPP), which according to the study has not been reported to be used as a flame retardant until now.

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