FDA Partners With Veterinary Labs to Help Animals


 

03/26/2014 12:05 PM EDT
FDA has formed a web of veterinary labs to assist one another in detecting potentially harmful substances in animal foods and tissues. FDA research biologist Renate Reimschuessel, pictured above, started the Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN), and has grown the program to 34 state and university veterinary laboratories across the country.

Read the Consumer Update to learn more about what this FDA network is doing to keep pets safe.

Paid Sick Time Ballot Initiative​s Win Big in Tuesday’s Election


A Better Balance the work and family legal center.
Paid Sick Time Ballot Initiatives Win Big in Tuesday’s Election
On Tuesday, paid sick time was on the ballot in 4 elections, and we won all of them! Massachusetts is now the 3rd state to guarantee paid sick time statewide, which is wonderful news for the nearly 1 million workers in the state who currently lack paid sick time. Two cities in NJ, Montclair and Trenton, passed paid sick time laws, bringing the total number of cities in NJ with such laws to 8 (all passed in the last year!). And in California, voters in Oakland passed an expansive paid sick time ballot measure. We’re especially thrilled with the huge margins of support for each ballot initiative: approximately 60% of the vote in Massachusetts, 85% in Montclair, 75% in Trenton, and 81% in Oakland.
A Better Balance has provided legal research, bill drafting, and other technical support to all of these campaigns and can’t wait to build on the incredible momentum from these wins. But we couldn’t do it without such incredible supporters and campaign partners! For background and to learn more about these 4 paid sick time ballot initiatives, check out our recent blog post.
The Pregnancy Penalty: How Motherhood Drives Inequality & Poverty in New York City
In Case You Missed It
October was also an exciting and busy month for ABB’s efforts on behalf of pregnant workers.   The New York Times’ Rachel Swarns featured our client, Angelica Valencia, in “The Working Life Column,” which garnered over 800 reader comments and an offer from Angelica’s employer to reinstate her.  Our latest report—The Pregnancy Penalty: How Motherhood Drives Inequality and Poverty in New York City—was featured, along with ABB Co-President Dina Bakst and ABB Community Advocate Award recipient, Armanda Legros, on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show on MSNBC.  And our new website resource for pregnant and parenting workers was highlighted in the New York Times and Washington Post.  We’re thrilled to see the media focusing on this issue and expect the coverage to continue next month as the Supreme Court hears arguments in the case of Peggy Young v. UPS. Stay tuned!

Washington​: Stop the approval of GMO apples! a repost


I’m Peter Stocker of the organization Friends of the Earth, and I started a petition to U.S. Department of Agriculture, which says:

The USDA should not approve the genetically engineered Arctic apple. 

If approved by the USDA, genetically engineered apples could end up everywhere from school lunches to grocery stores, posing risks to our health, our environment, and apple farmers across the U.S.

Unlabeled genetically engineered apples could contaminate conventional and organic foods, including fruit slices, juice, baby foods, and applesauce—products predominantly consumed by children and babies, who are at increased risk for any adverse health effects.

GMO apples may contaminate nearby organic and conventional apple orchards and could potentially cause valuable export markets to reject U.S.-grown apples, as happened in the past when wheat and rice crops were found to be contaminated by GMOs. The U.S. Apple Association, Northwest Horticultural Council, British Columbia Fruit Growers’ Association, and other apple grower groups have repeatedly stated their disapproval of these GE apples due to the negative impact they could have on farmers growing organic and non-GE apples and the apple industry as a whole.

This product is unnecessary and poses numerous risks to apple growers, the food industry, and consumers. The USDA should not approve this genetically engineered apple.

The USDA is poised to approve the first genetically modified apple. 

If approved, these genetically engineered apples could end up everywhere from school lunches to grocery stores, posing risks to our health, our environment, and apple farmers across the United States.

Like other GMOs, they won’t be labeled and won’t have undergone independent safety testing—regulators will rely on the company’s sole assessment that the apple is safe for human consumption. 

Worse yet, this GMO apple was genetically engineered via a new, virtually untested experimental technique called RNA interference, which many scientists are concerned may have negative, unintended impacts on human health and the environment.

We need your help today, right now, to tell the USDA to say no to GMO apples.

Click here to add your name to this petition, and then pass it along to your friends.

Thanks!

–Peter Stocker

Toxic T-shirts?


ZARA is using cancer causing chemicals and polluting the world’s waters.Toxic Water in China

It’s time Zara cleaned up its act. Send a message now urging it to detox by 2020!

 

For months, Greenpeace conducted research into many of the world’s top clothing brands and found disturbing news — ZARA, along with several other retailers — is polluting waters in China with hazardous chemicals.

Those chemicals then wash into our waters when we rinse our clothes. Most of the fashion industry is treating public waterways like its own private sewers.

It’s time we eliminate hormone-disrupting chemicals from the world’s waters before it’s too late. That’s why we’re challenging some of the most popular clothing brands to eliminate toxic chemicals from its process by 2020 — and we need your help.

If 40,000 of us send a message to ZARA in the next 48 hours it will encourage the company to take the pledge to detox its clothing and stop the use of hazardous chemicals.

www.greenpeaceusa.org 

Let’s face it, beautiful fashion shouldn’t cause toxic pollution. H&M and British retailer Marks & Spencer know that. These companies have committed to eliminating all toxic chemicals from its supply chains and products. But ZARA, one of the world’s biggest fast fashion retailers, remains silent.

ZARA is famously responsive to trends and keeps a close watch on buzz about its brand. If all of us can pressure the company to follow in the footsteps of those who have committed to clean up its act, this is one trend it won’t be able to ignore.

We know it’s possible to clean up the toxics, we’ve seen it happen before. Thanks to you, the detox campaign secured commitments from Puma, Adidas and other sports apparel makers to clean up their practices and detox their line by 2020. So it can be done, but we’ll need your help.

Reach out to ZARA right now with an urgent message to clean up its practices and detox today.

 http://www.greenpeaceusa.org

As consumers your voice is critical to convincing ZARA and other companies to do the right thing. If the company responds the rest of the industry could follow, so it’s urgent we act now.

Thanks for your help,

John Deans
Greenpeace Toxics Campaigner

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