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Culture of Complicity Blamed in Japan’s Nuclear Disaster

As nuclear experts and industry watchdogs seek explanations for the institutional breakdown in Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi disaster, many are pointing to a culture of cozy relationships among companies, regulators and politicians that produced a blase attitude toward safety. As The New York Times reports, in 2000, Kei Sugaoka, a Japanese-American nuclear inspector, went to the […]

Chinese Authorities Seize 26 Tons of Tainted Milk Powder

The Chinese government has seized 26 tons of contaminated milk powder, the latest episode in an ongoing struggle to combat toxic dairy products. Authorities reportedly confiscated the milk powder, which was tainted with the industrial chemical melamine, from an ice cream maker based in the southwestern city of Chongqing. Reuters, citing an account from the […]

Wildfires Near Chernobyl Could Release Radiation, Scientists Warn

A quarter-century after the Chernobyl meltdown, forests surrounding the Ukrainian nuclear power plant still are soaked with radiation. Now a consortium of scientists is warning that a catastrophic wildfire could release radioactive particles from the trees, and it is urging that more money be spent immediately on forest management to avert a new disaster. Forests […]

2 Fuel-Efficient Cars Also Praised for Safety

Being fuel-efficient on the road doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice safety. As the Detroit Free Press reports, the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, the two darlings of the electric car market, were awarded the highest crash-test ratings in the small-car category by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Each car was given the top […]

FDA Retreats on Plans for Regulating E-Cigarettes

The Food and Drug Administration has given up on its bid to regulate electronic cigarettes as drug delivery devices, which would have enabled authorities to require extensive clinical trials before the products could come out on the market. Instead, the agency will regulate e-cigarettes as tobacco products, which means manufacturers will face less stringent requirements, […]

New Center to Pursue Drugs for Treating Rare Diseases

Victims of rare diseases often are left without options from the pharmaceutical industry, but a new federal government effort aims to change that. As the Associated Press reports, the National Institutes of Health will open a center this fall to speed genetic research on potential drug therapies for rare diseases. The government work will focus […]

Smoking Restrictions Flouted in Atlantic City Casinos

Enforcement of Atlantic City’s smoking restrictions for casinos is “virtually non-existent,” with overtaxed city inspectors issuing only one violation on a casino floor since the ban went into effect in 2007, a newspaper The Press of Atlantic City reports. Smoking in Atlantic City’s 11 casinos is allowed only in enclosed smoking lounges that are not […]

Recall Rundown: Cucumbers, Nissan SUVs & More

Salmonella Potential Prompts Cucumber Recall Jonathan’s Sprouts Recall is Extended Nissan Recalls SUVs Because of Dangerous Rust Recall Watch: 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid Airbags Spark Renault Samsung Recall

Japan Braces for Post-Quake Surge in Suicides

As Japan struggles to get back to its feet following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, public health officials are worried that the ongoing emotional trauma will lead to another disaster: a surge in suicides. As the Los Angeles Times reports, the nation already had one of the world’s highest suicide rates, and authorities worry […]

Pediatricians Group Calls for Tougher Regulation of Chemicals

The federal government fails to protect the public, especially pregnant women and children, from the harms of toxic chemicals. That, at least, is the position of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which has issued a call for an overhaul of the way federal authorities regulate chemicals. The new policy statement takes aim at the federal […]