January 31st, 2012
I believe that this could be catastrophic in terms of HIV prevention.

Michael Weinstein, president the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Weinstein was commenting on drugmaker Gilead’s application for FDA approval to market its HIV treatment medication Truvada as a HIV prevention pill. If Truvada is approved for preventive use, it “would be the first agent indicated for uninfected individuals to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV through sex,” according to a company statement at the time of the filing last month.

Gilead’s application, however, has sparked debate among public health advocates who argue that the wide availability of the drug would discourage safe sex and would, in fact, increase the incidence of HIV.

January 24th, 2012

Resistant bacteria found in US pork products

Researchers have found higher-than-expected levels of deadly bacteria in what is considered the largest sampling of raw retail meat products in the United States.

A team of researchers at the University of Iowa collected 256 samples of pork from 35 retail stores in Iowa, Minnesota and New Jersey. Samples included pork chops, ground pork, riblets, ribs, sausage, blade steak, cube steaks, pork loin, pork roasts and pork cutlets.

The researchers found that nearly 7 percent of the products tested contained methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.

Researchers from the National Pork Board were quick to point out that not all MRSA strains are harmful to people. Indeed, livestock strains of the bacteria show little effect, if any, on people.

Click through to read more.

December 23rd, 2011

America spends over $500 billion every year so that elderly Medicare patients can get the care they need. But as health care costs rise, many are taking a closer look at what exactly we’re paying for. We’ve been conducting a yearlong investigation into a prominent hospital chain in California that is reporting unusually high rates of serious diseases. Watch our video on this story, which also aired on PBS NewsHour.

December 12th, 2011

As Egyptians move into the second phase of elections this week, Sandy Tolan explores the debate over food policy in the wake of what some are calling the “revolution of the hungry.”

The Food for 9 Billion series is a collaboration with the Center for Investigative Reporting, Homelands Productions, PBS Newshour and American Public Media’s Marketplace.

Listen here.

December 7th, 2011
I don’t think the levels that are approved for use in wine in the EU and Australia will give that laxative effect.

Wendell Lee, general counsel for the Wine Institute, the trade group for California’s wine industry. Lee commented on the news that the Australian government has given the nod to winemakers to begin using a chemical contained in laxatives. 

While the chemical, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, has long been prized by the medical world for its anti-bulking and laxative properties, food scientists have discovered that, in small doses, it can be used to stabilize and thicken beverages and foods.

(via californiawatch)

Reblogged from California Watch
December 2nd, 2011


Want to know where the worst pollution is near you? With some help from Microsoft, new maps let European users see all that data in a visual form.

Eye On Earth: Mapping The Planet’s Air, Water, And Noise Pollution

Reblogged from Fast Company
November 30th, 2011

Anger over food prices helped contribute to the toppling of Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak. Through the story of one migrant family, we explore how displaced farmers, angry about agricultural policies that favor “crony capitalists,” now struggle to put food on the table.

This story is the beginning of a new series: “Food for 9 Billion,” a year-long project of the Center for Investigative Reporting, Homelands Productions, PBS NewsHour and Marketplace.

November 16th, 2011

From the PBS NewsHour: Millions of Americans Face Life Without Dental Care

November 3rd, 2011

Another wonderful video production from our project California Watch.


Living in industry’s shadow: After years of illnesses, family looks for answers

The Martin family lives 10 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, in a neat yellow house in a city called Maywood.

Starting a few blocks from their home, nearly 2,000 factories churn out Southern California’s hot dogs, pesticides, patio furniture and other products. Trucks rumble off the I-710 freeway into sprawling freight rail yards. Odors of rotting animal carcasses waft through the family’s windows on hot summer nights.

The Martins also have endured years of illness.

The USC Annenberg Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism and California Watch commissioned tests to measure the family’s exposure levels to dangerous metals and industrial byproducts.

Reblogged from California Watch
October 28th, 2011

Ana Sanchez with granddaughters Danitza Tapia, 7, and Milani Tapia, 4, in front of their mobile home at St Anthony’s Mobile Home Park in California. Because of naturally occurring arsenic in the water, she spends $20 a week or more on bottled drinking water. Read the full story On edge of paradise, Coachella workers live in grim conditions.

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At The Center for Investigative Reporting, we believe journalism that moves citizens to action is an essential pillar of democracy. Since 1977, CIR has relentlessly pursued and uncovered injustices that otherwise would be hidden from the public eye. Today, we are upholding this legacy and looking forward, working at the forefront of journalistic innovation to produce important stories that make a difference and engage our audiences across the aisle, coast to coast, and worldwide. What drives our work isn't profit – it's impact. Learn more at http://cironline.org/