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Recall Rundown: Ground Beef, Cantaloupe, Spinach Dip and More

E. Coli Scare Prompts Tyson to Recall Ground Beef USDA Recalls Beef Headed for Georgia School Lunches Kansas Firm Recalls Cantaloupe Linked to Listeria Outbreak Pennsylvania Firm Recalls Pureed Pork Products That May Contain Foreign Materials New York Firm Recalls Chicken, Beef, Veal and Pork Products Due to an Undeclared Allergen Publix Recalls Spinach Dip…

To Save on Health Care, First Crack Down on Fraud

LAST week, the Obama administration announced a plan to cut $320 billion over 10 years from the projected growth of Medicare and Medicaid. The plan would raise premiums and deductibles, lower payments to hospitals and require elderly people who receive care at home to make co-payments. But before charging consumers more and eliminating valuable services,…

Canada Unveils Bigger Graphic Cigarette Pack Warnings

Canada Unveils Bigger Graphic Cigarette Pack Warnings

On the theory that bigger is better when it comes to scaring people away from smoking, Canada is bringing out expanded graphic warning labels on packs of cigarettes and small cigars. The new regulations will require the labels to cover 75 percent of the front and back of packs of smokes, up from 50 percent…

A Single Senator Plugs Up Pipeline Safety Bill

Prompted by last year’s deadly gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, Calif., lawmakers in Washington moved uncharacteristically quickly. The Senate Finance Committee in May unanimously passed the Pipeline Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2011 to toughen regulations. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, support for the legislation was so broad that Senate Democrats initiated steps…

Shanghai Subway Crash Raises Red Flags About China’s Transit Safety

China’s rush to improve its mass transit rail systems has produced lots of spending and new construction. But the hasty work also is being blamed for flaws that have undermined safety. That was underscored Tuesday when a speeding subway car slammed into a stalled train on a new metro line in central Shanghai, reportedly injuring…

Hurrying to Extract Oil, U.S. Energy Firms Waste Tons of Natural Gas

Every day, more than 100 million cubic feet of natural gas — enough energy to heat a half-million homes for a day — is treated as waste and burned off by oil companies operating in the Bakken shale field in North Dakota. The New York Times reports that the companies are rushing to extract oil and…

San Bruno Disaster Probers Say Utility Still in the Dark About Pipeline Flaws

The utility whose gas pipeline exploded in San Bruno, Calif., a year ago, killing eight people, still doesn’t have a handle on whether other dangerous flaws exist in its natural gas transmission system that could lead to another disaster. That’s what the National Transportation Safety Board concluded in its final report on the 2010 catastrophe….

Jewelry Industry Pushes Voluntary Curb on Toxic Cadmium in Kids’ Items

The U.S. jewelry industry has agreed to voluntarily limits on the amount of the toxic metal cadmium in children’s necklaces, bracelets and rings sold in this country. But The Associated Press reports that the cap, which follows more than a year of cadmium-related jewelry recalls and legal setbacks, comes with a catch: It’s intended as…

Arrests Expose New York’s Underground Market in Pesticides

An underground market in illegal pesticides used to combat roaches, rats and other vermin is thriving in some of New York City’s immigrant neighborhoods. As The New York Times reports, the black market trade was spotlighted last week by the arrests of 12 people on federal and state misdemeanor charges related to selling illicit pesticides….

Hospital Handouts of Infant Formula Rile Breast-Feeding Advocates

Many hospitals around the country give parents of newborn babies goody bags stuffed with free infant formula and formula coupons. But as The Associated Press reports, it’s a practice that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants to end in the interest of encouraging more mothers to breast-feed. The CDC released a “Breastfeeding…