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Weekly Environmental Updates
The United Nations has issued a warning that three pesticides are probably carcinogenic and two others are "possibly" so. Evidence that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, malathion, and diazinon are probably carcinogens was based on limited evidence of cancer in humans. "Convincing" evidence from lab animals was the basis for the U.N. declaring the pesticides tetrachlovinphos and parathion, which are already outlawed or restricted, as possible carcinogens.
Over 100 health and environmental groups took out full page ads in the New York Times and the Washington Post this week urging the federal government to encourage Americans to reduce their consumption of meat. The organizations are concerned with the impact that meat production has on the environment. Policymakers have been meeting to discuss a revision of federal dietary guidelines.
Concern over the environment is waning among Americans according to a recent Gallup Poll. Concern peaked in the late 1980's and 1990's, but has been near historic lows since. Gallup theorizes that the economy could be a factor in declining interest.
The plastic bag industry in California has filed a ballot measure to repeal last year's law banning business from distributing free plastic bags to customers. Opponents say that banning plastic bags is expensive, inconvenient, and takes away personal choice. A poll conducted late last year found that residents would uphold the ban by 59 to 34 per cent.
A chemical found in stinging nettles and ants has been found to be effective in shutting down cancer cells when used in combination with a metal-based cancer treatment. Sodium Formate used with a compound of the metal ruthenium was shown to be 50 times more effective than just ruthenium alone. Sodium Formate is commonly used as a food preservative.
A male date palm tree sprouted from a 2,000 year old seed ten years ago is doing just fine, says the Israeli researcher caring for the plant. The grown-up tree named "Methuselah" is now ten feet tall with offshoots, flowers, and yes....dates. Pollen from the hardy plant has been used to pollinate a modern female specimen.
3/27/15
Roman Hills