(me and the sysop)

U.S. Halts Import Of Brazilian Beef Following Tainted Meat Scandal

U.S. food safety regulators have put a stop to fresh beef imports from Brazil, following earlier reports that meatpackers in the country — one of the world’s largest beef exporters — had allowed rotten, salmonella-tainted meat to be shipped abroad. [More]

Mike Mozart

San Francisco Could Be First City To Ban Sale Of Flavored Liquid Nicotine

Last fall, the American Academy of Pediatrics called for a ban on flavored tobacco products. Now, one city is poised to do just that: San Francisco took steps this week to become the first city to approve a sales ban on flavored vaping liquids in a bid to prevent young adults from becoming addicted to the products.   [More]

Renee Rendler-Kaplan

A Plastic Bag Could Soon Cost You Five Cents In New York City

If you forget your reusable bags at home it could soon cost you in New York City, as local lawmakers are poised to vote on a measure that would add a five cent fee to consumers’ bills if they opt for a plastic or paper bag at checkout.  [More]


Chicago Raises Smoking Age To 21, Exempts Feminine Hygiene Products From Sales Tax

Yesterday, the Chicago City Council voted to approve a pair of hot-button measures: One that raises the minimum age for buying cigarettes in the Windy City, and another that does away with the so-called “pink tax” or  “tampon tax” on feminine hygiene products. [More]

Mike Mozart

It’s Official: No More Smoking E-Cigarettes On Planes

Four months ago, the Department of Transportation banned e-cigs from being checked in baggage after a couple dozen fires and explosions. Now, the agency is taking another step toward safety by actually banning the devices from being used during flights. [More]

Proposed Rule Would Ban Smoking In All Public Housing

Proposed Rule Would Ban Smoking In All Public Housing

Even though smoking has reached historically low levels in the U.S., regulators continue to try to snuff out cigarettes with bans on smoking in public spaces. We’ve already seen beaches, parks, and office buildings say no to tobacco, and a new federal rule would extend this anti-smoking stance to all public housing in the U.S. [More]


The Senate has approved an extension of the ban on state Internet access taxes for 7 more years. This follows a similar vote in the House a couple of weeks ago. The two chambers now have to work out any conflicts and send the bill to Bush, who has indicated he will approve it. [Reuters]

FDA Ban Fails To Catch 1 Million Pounds Of Chinese Seafood

1 million pounds of shrimp, eel, and catfish somehow slipped past the FDA’s ban on Chinese seafood. All seafood covered by the ban arrives at U.S. ports under an import alert, which ostensibly prevents the fish from leaving until private testing proves the absence of banned antibiotics and drugs. Chinese importers, resorting to tricks possibly gleaned from Wile E. Coyote, evade the FDA by shipping their contraband under the names and addresses of companies unaffected by the import alert. From the AP:

FDA Bans Import Of Chinese Seafood

FDA Bans Import Of Chinese Seafood

The FDA is detaining all farm-raised catfish, basa, shrimp, dace, and eel from China over concerns that the fish may be on drugs. Tests since last October repeatedly revealed the presence nitrofuran, malachite green, and gentian violet – antibiotics that are not approved for human consumption in the United States. Though no general recall has been issued, the “FDA is concerned about long term exposure as well as the possible development of antibiotic resistance.” Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Wang Xinpei responded in classic form, saying:

Trans-Fats Banned In Philadelphia

The Philadelphia City Council has unanimously passed a city ordinance banning trans-fats from most dishes served by restaurants: