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EWG News and Analysis

The latest from EWG’s staff of experts >>

The latest from EWG’s staff of experts

Thursday, April 14, 2005

During debate over the energy bill in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Tuesday, Representatives Hall, Green, Murphy, Rogers, Pickering, and Committee Chair Barton, among others, voiced their opposition to any restrictions on future oil and gas exploration within the United States. The committee majority shot down a number of minority amendments, including an amendment by Rep. Stupak of Michigan to prohibit directional, slant, or offshore oil and gas drilling on the Great Lakes.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Defense and intelligence officials under former presidents Reagan and Bush are joining environmentalists in urging the White House to produce an energy bill that focuses on decreasing American oil consumption, saying the U.S.‘ oil addiction is a growing threat to national security.

Key Issues: 
Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Fresh wild salmon is gaining popularity over its farmed cousins for its leaner, tastier, less chemically-laden qualities, but recent studies from the New York Times reveal that even if stores say it’s wild, safety-conscious consumers may be paying top dollar for exactly the fish they’re trying to avoid.

Key Issues: 
Tuesday, April 12, 2005

According to The Associated Press, documents show that fundraisers for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) routinely identified legislative actions that would interest possible donors.

Wednesday, April 6, 2005

As of March 7, 2005, National Institute of Health (NIH) employees are no longer allowed to accept consulting fees and stock options from pharmaceutical companies. A group of scientists have formed an association, the Assembly of Scientists, to roll back this commonsensical conflict of interest rule. (L.A. Times March 3, 2005 Home Edition).

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

California will keep its recommendation for the legal limit of the toxic rocket fuel chemical perchlorate in drinking water at 6 parts per billion (ppb), despite EPA levels set over four times higher, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports. California’s level takes into account rocket fuel exposure from multiple sources, including milk, lettuce and other foods. It was adjusted to protect the most sensitive populations, including pregnant mothers, infants and children.

Friday, April 1, 2005

In the wake of weak mercury pollution standards proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency last week, The Washington Post reported that the EPA failed to include findings from their own study showing stricter protections on mercury emissions benefit human health.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Tests on household dust in seven states show that we’re breathing in a hodgepodge of chemicals from consumer products, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. On the shortlist of 35 toxic industrial chemicals found are phthalates, plasticizers that soften products with vinyl, including shoes, face and body lotions, upholstery, shower curtains, nail polish and garden hoses; PFOA, the Teflon chemical, in everything from pots and pans to Scotchguard and StainMaster carpeting, waterproof jackets, and stain-resistant clothing; flame retardants, found in mattresses, carpet and curtains; and pesticides.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Not content to pander to the cosmetics industry by requiring no safety testing on American personal care products, the Bush administration is now working to thwart Europe’s attempts at improving product safety. Government correspondence uncovered by staff of the House Committee on Government Reform shows that the administration mixed with the American Chemistry Council (ACC) for a lobbying campaign to cripple Europe’s new laws, the Oakland Tribune reports.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Bush Administration says it will allow coal-burning power plans and other mercury polluters to trade emissions allowances, rather than requiring each facility to meet stricter standards. The cap-and-trade policy allows facilities in mercury “hot spots” to continue emitting high amounts of mercury.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


The Associated Press reports that Congress is considering cutting food programs for the poor instead of reforming wasteful farm subsidies to huge agribusinesses. The farm programs cost taxpayers billions while hurting small family farms and ranches.

Key Issues: 
Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Congressional Quarterly reports that Senator Grassley (R-IA) won support on his amendment to reasonably limit wasteful farm payments.

Key Issues: 
Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Oakland Tribune devoted three days and thousands of words to telling the story of one local family's exposure to toxic chemicals. The paper's superb series presents a new and updated take on the pollution in people pioneered by the Environmental Working Group's ground breaking 2003 report, Body Burden, which tested the blood of nine Americans for more than 200 contaminants. EWG staff advised reporter Douglas Fischer on what to test for, where to test it, and what the results mean.

Friday, March 11, 2005

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) took the EPA to task this week for using fuzzy math and ignoring health effects to bolster President Bush’s cap-and-trade proposal for mercury emissions from power plants, The Washington Post reports. The EPA skewed its analysis to indicate that the administration’s proposal would garner greater savings than enforcing pollution caps on all plants, the technology-based plan favored by conservationists.

Friday, March 4, 2005

Spikes in bladder cancer in dogs and hermaphroditic amphibians show a connection to increased pesticide use in the United States, two new studies show. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that a study at Purdue University revealed that Scottish terriers exposed to lawns or gardens treated with herbicides and insecticides showed a significant increase in the risk of bladder cancer over dogs exposed to untreated areas. The risk of bladder cancer was higher in dogs exposed to the most commonly used agricultural chemical, phenoxy acid herbicides.

Key Issues: 
Tuesday, March 1, 2005

DuPont Corp. has agreed to pay a settlement of over $100 million to residents of Parkersburg, WV, after knowingly contaminating their drinking water with PFOA, a toxic chemical used to make Teflon.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

In the wake of the W.R. Grace indictment for asbestos poisoning in Libby, Mont., Australian building products company James Hardie Industries is working hard to make sure it escapes responsibility for asbestos building products and brake linings it exported to the U.S. from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Key Issues: 
Thursday, February 17, 2005

New tests by Toronto's Globe and Mail and CTV News show some of the world's highest levels of chemical fire retardants in common Canadian foods.

Friday, February 11, 2005

With the Bush administration dragging its heels on limiting mercury emissions from power plants, concerned New Hampshire citizens are calling for legislation independent of federal regulations, the New Hampshire Union Leader reports. A new bill in the state Senate requires an 80 percent reduction in mercury emissions in eight years, as well as a cap on carbon dioxide.

Key Issues: 
Tuesday, February 1, 2005

The Washington Post reports that half the fish consumed worldwide will be farm-raised instead of wild-caught by the year 2025, exposing Americans to more fish with plenty of healthy omega-3s and dangerous levels of toxic PCBs.