Jessica McKenzie

Huge Verdict in Herbicide Case Adds to Legal Troubles of Chemical Giant Bayer

Huge Verdict in Herbicide Case Adds to Legal Troubles of Chemical Giant Bayer

A federal court jury in Missouri has ordered chemical manufacturers Bayer and BASF to pay $265 million in compensatory and punitive damages for crop losses stemming from the drift of the herbicide dicamba from fields planted with dicamba-resistant seeds to neighboring fields.

Thousands of Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells Threaten the Environment, and Taxpayers' Wallets

Thousands of Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells Threaten the Environment, and Taxpayers’ Wallets

Thousands of oil and gas wells have been abandoned across California, creating risks to the environment and the pocketbooks of taxpayers who could be stuck with huge cleanup bills. The bonds posted by the industry for well closures and cleanup are billions of dollars short of what will be needed.

Citing Risk of Dangerous Medication Errors, Pharmacists Protest Corporate Pressures That Lead to Mistakes

Citing Risk of Dangerous Medication Errors, Pharmacists Protest Corporate Pressures That Lead to Mistakes

Pharmacists at some of the top chains across the country say that understaffing and high-pressure performance metrics imposed by corporate leadership are undermining their ability to do their job safely. “I am a danger to the public working for CVS,” one said.

The Rapid Spread of a Deadly Virus

The Rapid Spread of a Deadly Virus

The fast-spreading corona virus has killed at least 106 people in China. Cases of the respiratory infection have been reported in more than a dozen other countries, including the U.S., though no deaths have occurred outside China. The virus is believed to have come from a wholesale market where vendors sold live animals from stalls in close quarters with other wildlife.

Federal Scientists Endorse Precautions in Using Cellphones in Light of Possible Cancer Risks

Federal Scientists Endorse Precautions in Using Cellphones in Light of Possible Cancer Risks

Government scientists who found evidence of a link between cellphone radiation and cancer in rats have endorsed simple safety precautions to reduce possible risks, such as reducing the time spent on cellphones or using the speaker mode or a headset to limit exposure.

'Designed By Clowns, Supervised By Monkeys':  Explosive Boeing Emails Raise Pressure on Embattled Plane Manufacturer

‘Designed By Clowns, Supervised By Monkeys’: Explosive Boeing Emails Raise Pressure on Embattled Plane Manufacturer

Explosive internal emails released by Boeing have raised pressure on the embattled airplane manufacturer in the wake of two deadly crashes of its Max 737 jets. “This airplane is designed by clowns, who in turn are supervised by monkeys,” said one of the messages. “I’ll be shocked if the FAA passes this turd,” another email said. “Jesus, it’s doomed,” read another. Congress is investigating how a plane with serious safety flaws was allowed to go on the market.

Seeking Sympathetic Allies to Slow the Push for Solar Energy, Utilities Have Cozied Up to the NAACP

Seeking Sympathetic Allies to Slow the Push for Solar Energy, Utilities Have Cozied Up to the NAACP

Utilities have donated generously to local chapters of the NAACP, and then persuaded the groups to push back against proposed energy-efficiency legislation or slow the spread of solar power. In some cases, utilities convinced civil rights groups that if affluent homeowners installed solar panels and reduced their reliance on the electric grid, lower-income residents would bear the brunt of higher rates to maintain power lines, a fact energy experts dispute. In reality, critics say, many of the policies industry groups were advocating would actually hurt low-income communities of color the most in the long run.

Big Railroads Said to Have Funded Long-Running Campaign of Climate Denial to Protect Lucrative Coal Hauling Business

Big Railroads Said to Have Funded Long-Running Campaign of Climate Denial to Protect Lucrative Coal Hauling Business

The four largest American freight railroads have been accused of funding decades-long efforts to discredit climate science and oppose federal climate regulation. The reason? Coal makes up almost one third of American rail freight. Two of the railroads issued statements rejecting assertions that they fostered climate denial.

Routine Medical Billing Practices Blasted as Fraud By Another Name

Routine Medical Billing Practices Blasted as Fraud By Another Name

Unsavory billing practices that are common in the health care industry may be legal, a medical writer notes, but must be curtailed if we are to rein in soaring health care costs.

Life Expectancy Rising in Many Parts of the World, But Declining in the U.S.

Life Expectancy Rising in Many Parts of the World, But Declining in the U.S.

Life expectancy in the U.S. fell for the third year in a row, a new study shows, led by declines in the 25 to 64 year old age group. “It would be easier if we could blame this whole trend on one problem, like guns or obesity or the opioid epidemic, all of which distinguish the U.S. from the other countries,’’ the study’s lead author Steven H. Woolf said. “But we found increases in death rates across 35 causes of death.’’