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Wednesday, Sep 02nd

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Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers

Wells for extracting natural gasThe American landscape is dotted with hundreds of thousands of new wells and thousands of drilling rigs, as the country scrambles to tap into this century’s gold rush — for natural gas.

The gas has always been there, of course, trapped deep underground in countless tiny bubbles, like frozen spills of seltzer water between thin layers of shale rock. But drilling companies have only in recent years developed techniques to unlock the enormous reserves, thought to be enough to supply the country with gas for heating buildings, generating electricity and powering vehicles for up to a hundred years.

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GMOs Causing Cattle Miscarriages, Researcher Alleges

"Unknown Organism" Found in Roundup Ready Crops


A Purdue University researcher has linked Monsanto's Roundup Ready crops to an organism leading to miscarriages and spontaneous abortions in farm animals.

Professor Emeritus Don M. Huber has sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, warning that an “electron microscopic pathogen” found in high concentrations of GM crops could significantly impact the health of both animals and humans.

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Agent Orange 'used to clear Canadian roads until 1980s'

Agent Orange soaked Ontario teensCanadian officials have acknowledged the country used Agent Orange to clear roadside brush as late as the 1980s. Provincial Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne promised an inquiry after the Toronto Star revealed use of the Vietnam War-era defoliant.

The chemical was used by the US military to strip Vietnam's jungles. Vietnam says Agent Orange is responsible for massively high instances of genetic defects in areas that were sprayed.

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No seeds, no independent research

Genertically modified cornSoybeans, corn, cotton and canola -- most of the acres planted in these crops in the United States are genetically altered. "Transgenic" seeds reduce the use of some insecticides. But herbicide use is higher, and respected experts argue that some genetically engineered crops may also pose serious health and environmental risks. The benefits of genetically engineered crops may be overstated.

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EPA revises pollution controls for boilers and incinerators

Incinerator

The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday said new pollution controls for boilers and incinerators will save thousands of lives every year but at half the cost of an earlier proposal that industry and lawmakers had strongly criticized.

EPA was under pressure from industries and members of Congress to revise the earlier proposal. McCarthy said information the agency collected during a comment period led to major changes.

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How can polar bears be saved, court asks?

How can polar bears be saved?A central question about the Endangered Species Act was behind the legal wrangling Wednesday in a federal courtroom: What, if anything, can be done to save polar bears as the earth warms and sea ice recedes?

Courts have done plenty in the past to protect endangered or threatened species, including putting a halt to logging or construction, noted U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan. But, he asked, what should be done when the primary threat to polar bears is the loss of their sea ice habitat?

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Three-quarters of world's coral reefs in danger of dying

Coral reefs in dangerThree-quarters of the world's coral reefs are at risk from overfishing, pollution and climate change, according to a report.

By 2050 virtually all of the world's coral reefs – from the waters of the Indian Ocean to the Caribbean to Australia – will be in danger, the report warns. The consequences – especially for countries such as the Philippines or Haiti which depend on the reefs for food – will be severe.

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