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FDA’s Approval of GE Salmon Based on Bad Science, Say Consumer Advocates – November 25, 2015

Agency’s move sets a low bar for future approvals of genetically engineered animals for human consumption

More than 20 years after the first genetically engineered plant hit American grocery stores, the FDA has approved the first transgenic animal for human consumption: a salmon.

The AquaBounty Salmon, as it is known, is an Atlantic salmon genetically engineered to grow more rapidly than its non-GE counterpart, allowing it to reach market size in just 18 to 20 months, compared to the standard 28 to 36 months. 

Photo of GE Salmon ProtestPhoto by Steve Rhodes The FDA received roughly 2 million public comments in opposition to the approval of GE salmon.

The FDA’s announcement last week was met with frustration, if… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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Obama Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline – November 6, 2015

President says transporting crude oil from Canada won't help the economy, lower gas prices, or increase the United States' energy security

In a huge win for environmentalists, President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline proposal today.

Had transport company TransCanada's proposal been approved, the pipeline would have transected six states, carrying crude oil 1,700 miles from Canada’s Alberta tar stands to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

President Obama at his desk Official White House Photo by Pete SouzaThe President said that the pipeline was neither be a silver bullet for the economy, nor the express lane to climate disaster.

In a White House press briefing this morning, Obama said that the pipeline “would not serve the national interest of the United States.” The… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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Building Islands and Burying Reefs in the South China Sea – July 21, 2015

China’s land reclamation activities in the Spratly Islands are causing permanent damage to marine habitat

Island-building isn’t new. San Francisco built Treasure Island in the 1930s for the Golden Gate International Exposition. Miami’s exclusive Star Island was constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers back in the 1920s. And of course there are more recent examples, such as Dubai’s infamous Palm Islands.  

Fiery Cross ReefPhoto courtesy of Asia Maritime Transparncy InitiativeChinese development at the newly reclaimed Fiery Cross Reef, which lies on the west side of Spratly Island. China’s island-building boom is widely seen as an attempt to tighten its control over the South China Sea.

Now, China is fervently adding to that list at an unprecedented… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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Americans Are Paying Attention to Food Waste, But Still Throw Away More Food Than They Think – June 24, 2015

New survey finds nearly three-fourths of Americans believe they toss less food than the average consumer

We all throw away food. In fact, in the United States, an estimated 40 percent of all food is trashed as it makes it way from farm to table, or more aptly, as it doesn’t. But how aware are we of our own waste? And what motivates us to rethink our shopping habits or reconsider that wilting lettuce in the back of the fridge?

Photo of Food Waste Photo by Stephen Rees, on Flickr Nearly three-quarters of the 1,010 survey respondents said they waste less food than the average American.

Those are the questions a team of researchers at Johns Hopkins University… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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China to Shut Down Domestic Ivory Trade – June 2, 2015

Announcement offers hope amid African poaching crisis and dwindling elephant numbers

Last week was a big one for African elephants. China, the world’s largest market for illegal ivory, announced that it would phase-out its legal, domestic ivory market. With elephants under dire threat from poaching, the news could not be more welcome to conservationists.  

Photo of Guangzhou, China Ivory CrushPhoto by International Fund for Animal Welfare Chinese officials prepared to begin crushing stockpiles of confiscated ivory at a January 2014 crush event in Guagzhou, China. On Friday, officials crushed 662 kilograms of ivory in Beijing at China’s second crush event.

“Under the legal framework of CITES and domestic laws and regulations, we… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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