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Kraft Recalls Some Velveeta Products Voluntarily In The U.S.

A voluntary recall was issued by Kraft Foods Global, Inc. on Friday for some Velveeta Shells and Cheese products which could contain small pieces of thin wire bristle. This announcement, from the world’s second largest food company is not because of any complaints about the products, but simply as a precautionary measure. The products under scrutiny are identifiable by their “best when used by” dates which are on the bottom of the packages. The products were manufactured in Champaign, Illinois as well as Lakeville Minnesota, but have been distributed to stores throughout the United States, but the recall does not affect Canada. as these products have not been shipped there. If you find that you have any of these products, see details in table below, then it should not be eaten, but … Read entire article »

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Students Charged by N. Y. Officials In SAT Cheating Scandal

Criminal charges have been announced against a college student from New York who is alleged to have accepted payment on at least six occasions for sitting the SAT exam on their behalf. The SAT Reasoning Test is a standardized test which is used in the United States for college admissions, and it is administered by the Educational Testing Service. Sam Eshaghoff is the 19 year old who is charged with scheming to defraud, as well as criminal impersonation and falsifying business records.. His attorney, Matin Emouna, has said that his client denies the charges against him. Eshaghoff attended the Great Neck North High School in New York, and graduated in 2010. He then spent one year at the University of Michigan before he transferred to Atlanta to attend Emory University. Earlier this … Read entire article »

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Radiation In Rice In Japan Higher Than In Previous Tests

Tests on rice grown near the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Plant in Japan has been found to contain higher levels of radiation than previously, and government officials have ordered more tests. The Japanese regulations consider that rice which has up to 500 becquerels of cesium per kilogram is safe for eating, but some of the unharvested rice sampled contained exactly this amount, officials said on Saturday. Crops, the land and the sea was contaminated after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Plant in Fukushima Prefecture in eastern Japan was crippled by the earthquake and following tsunami which struck the region on 11 March. This caused power stoppages, and overheating of three of the core reactors there. Since the disaster, the government has been testing fish, vegetables and other foods for radiation, but the highest … Read entire article »

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Texas Wildfires Likely Caused By Sparking Power Lines Officials Say

The wildfires that have been burning in Texas recently are likely to have been started by sparking power lines, brought about by trees falling on the power lines during the storm and high winds that hit the region. Fire officials are calling it the most destructive wildfire blaze in the history of Texas, and it destroyed over 1,500 homes and killed two people. On 4 September two wildfires started about 5 miles apart at about the same time in Bastrop which is about 25 miles east of Austin, Texas. Apparently one of the blazes was started when a dead pine tree fell onto the power lines which sent a shower of sparks onto the very dry vegetation, and the second fire started when tree branches got tangled with power lines, again … Read entire article »

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More Americans Living In Poverty, Census Bureau Says

The high levels of unemployment and the weakness of the economy resulted in an increase in poverty in the United States, with levels rising to 46.2 million in 2010 according to a report from the Census Bureau on Tuesday. This is a record number since record keeping for poverty began back in the late 1950s, and is the fourth straight increase. The report also shows that the number of people who do not have healthcare coverage rose from 49 million in 2009 to 49.9 million in 2010. An income of $11,139 was considered the poverty threshold for one person in 2010, while for a family of four it was $22,314. Many young people have had to move back home to their families, or move in with friends to try to ease the … Read entire article »

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Texas Burning As tropical Storm Lee Fans Flames

In a continuing year of disasters, Texas has multiple wildfires burning as a result of Tropical Storm Lee and its winds fanning the flames  of at least 20 different fires in the state which are destroying homes and land, according to the Texas Forest Service on Monday. The fire chief of the Texas Forest Service said that the largest blaze was the fire near Austin in Bastrop County which had destroyed about 300 hundred homes, and was a threat to a thousand or more others as the fire grew to about 16 miles long by the end of Sunday. The plan was to use Black Hawk helicopters on Monday morning to carry a mixture of fire retardant and water to douse the flames, and tanker trucks will also be used to … Read entire article »

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Oklahoma, Texas Lose Homes In Wildfires While East Battles Floods

In a year of extreme conditions, Texas and Oklahoma are struggling to get wild fires under control, while those states in the east are battling with the results of flooding caused by heavy rains and swollen rivers after Hurricane Irene or the Tropical Storm Irene passed through at the weekend. Texas and Oklahoma are both in drought conditions with the ground parched and the vegetation very dry, and add in to that mix strong winds and the fires are springing up all over, caused by embers blowing in the wind. As a result, dozens of homes have been burned to the ground, and have forced the evacuation of hundreds of people. The cause of the initial blaze is not yet known. In the resort community of Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas, which is … Read entire article »

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Tea Contains Unlisted Ingredients, Study Shows

A study by three New York City high school students and published in Scientific Reports, the nature journal, showed that the teas they tested contained ingredients which were not mentioned on the label. The students, Catherine Gamble, Rohan Kirpekar and Grace You worked under the supervision of staff from Rockefeller University, and they tested 70 teas and 60 herbal teas which came from 17 countries and 33 different companies. The DNA was extracted from the tea, and then sent to a sequencing facility, and the results from that used to identify the other ingredients in the tea, using the GenBank database which is maintained by the united States National Library of Medicine. Results showed that about 4 per cent of the plain teas contained other plant material, while for the herbal products, … Read entire article »

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Grandparents Have Better Driving Record Than Parents When Driving Children

Research published this week in the journal Pediatrics comes to the conclusion that children may in fact be safer when driving with their grandparents than with their own parents, results that come as a great surprise to many. The study found that children had half the risk of being injured in car crashes with grandparents as the drivers, as compared to crashes involving their own parents. The Partners for Child Passenger Safety Study looked at the data for crashes involving children between the years 2003 and 2007 who were under 16 years old, with vehicles which were insured by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. This involved analyzing data involving almost 12,000 children involved in crashes with injuries reported to 1,302 children. The study noted who was driving at the time … Read entire article »

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Late Talking Toddlers Not A Problem Study Finds

A study by Australian researchers has found that children who start to talk later in life are not at greater risk for behavioral and emotional problems when they are older than others who do express themselves earlier, provided there are no other developmental problems. The lead author of the study is Andrew J.O. Whitehouse, who is an associate professor at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research at the University of Western Australia in Perth. The study looked at children who were born between 1989 and 1991 and followed them from ages 2 to 17. The study, which was published on Monday in the Pediatrics journal, followed nearly 1,400 children who were born between 1989 and 1991, from ages 2 to 17. The parents of these children gave details of their child’s … Read entire article »

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New Safety Standards For Cribs Take Effect Today

The Consumer Product Safety Commission, CPSC, released rules which take effect on Tuesday concerning the manufacture and selling of baby cribs in the United States. Cribs which have the drop-down side rails are now banned from being both manufactured and sold in the U.S., and they cannot legally be sold secondhand either. The drop-down rail allows one side of the crib to be lowered or raised to enable easier access to the baby, but often the hardware for this mechanism is not as sturdy as it should be. The CPSC announced this ban in December 2010, giving the industry time to adjust to the new requirements, which include the more rigorous testing of cribs and mattresses. The CPSC has found that the drop-side cribs are dangerous due to gaps which can … Read entire article »

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Warning: NAPAfire and FIREGEL Gel Fuel Recalled

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a voluntary recall of the pourable NAPAfire and FIREGEL Gel Fuel bottles and jugs because these fuels can ignite unexpectedly, splattering onto anything close by. This can occur when it is poured into a firepot which is still burning, or is hot. Napa Home & Garden has had 37 reports of incidents with 23 cases of burns to consumers, some of them very serious, with consumers saying that the fuel exploded quickly, stuck to clothing, and could not be put out even when the victim dropped to the ground and rolled, or was covered to smother the flames. This applies to the clear, portable gel fuel which is packaged in clear one quart plastic bottles, as well as one gallon jugs, and is … Read entire article »

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Fort Worth Fire Kills Infant

An investigation was launched in Fort Worth on Sunday after an infant girl was tragically killed by a house fire there at about 11 a.m. local time. When firefighters arrived on the scene at Sarah Jane Lane, there was heavy smoke pouring from the home. One child and five adults did escape from the fire, but the Fort Worth Fire Department spokesman Tim Hardeman said that the young victim, who was only a few months old was found by firefighters in the room where the fire is thought to have started. The baby’s mother was away from the home, attending a graduation rehearsal, according to reports, but the adults in the home, assumed that she had her daughter with her, and it was only when the family were outside that they … Read entire article »

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New Dietary Guide Issued By USDA

A new dietary guide was released on Thursday by the United States Department of Agriculture, with the unveiling of an icon in the shape of a plate. The plate is divided into four showing the rough proportions of the food groups that we should be eating. There are five food groups, fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy, and the icon shows roughly half of our food should be from fruits and vegetables, and the remainder from the protein, grain and dairy groups. This visual representation called MyPlate is simple to understand, even for children, and replaces the food pyramid which has been used for about twenty years, and is considered to be too complicated. In fact some grade six children thought that because fats were at the top of the pyramid … Read entire article »

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USDA: Pink Pork Ok To Eat

The United States Department of Agriculture today announced that cooking pork to only 145 degrees Fahrenheit instead of the previously recommended 160 degrees Fahrenheit is safe, if the cooking is followed by a 3 minute “rest”. This means that it is now safe to cook all cuts of red meat to the lower temperature, provided it is allowed to rest for three minutes before carving or eating, but it does not apply to ground meats. The safe temperature for ground meats stays at 160 degrees Fahrenheit, while the temperature for poultry remains at 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Elizabeth Hagen, the USDA’s under secretary for food safety said that “With a single temperature for all whole cuts of meat and uniform 3-minute stand time, we believe it will be much easier for consumers to … Read entire article »

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RHS Chelsea Flower Show Set To Open For 22nd Year

The Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show, more commonly called the Chelsea Flower Show, is the world’s most prestigious horticultural extravaganza, and opens in London, England on Tuesday 24th May, lasting until 28th May. Once again the garden designers have put in an incredible amount of work, for a display that lasts such a short time. However, the garden designers all agree that despite the tremendous amount of work, the high stress of getting everything right, most of them come back again and again. This year the theme is to grow your own, and encourages people to grow their own food, even in an urban setting. Designer Patrick Collins said that in his garden every plant is connected to food or drink, and yet is still considered an ornamental garden despite … Read entire article »

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Cell Phone Signals Contribute to Decline in Bee Population

According to new studies out of Switzerland, cell phone signals are having a serious impact on the bee population, causing confusion and even the death of bees. The decline in the bee population has negative implications for farmers who still rely on bees for crop pollination. Daniel Favre is a researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and along with his team, conducted 83 experiments recording the bees’ reaction to nearby cell phones. The reactions were tested while the cell phones were in off, standby or call mode, and the results showed that the bees were up to ten times noisier when a phone call was received or made to the phone close by. This increase in the noise is called “worker piping”, and is usually a signal for the bees … Read entire article »

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Gates Foundation Awards $100,000 Grant to Convert Human Waste into Energy and Fertilizer

Currently undergoing trials in the UK, the Loowatt toilet system is waterless and chemical free, using a sealing mechanism to package feces and urine into an odorless cartridge within a biodegradable lining material. The cartridge is emptied regularly into an anaerobic digester which uses microorganisms in an oxygen-free environment to convert human waste into methane, carbon dioxide and a semi-liquid manure. The gas can be burned as fuel, simply generating carbon dioxide and water; the fertilizer can be separated into liquid plant food and a more solid manure. Considerable ergonomic design is involved in the toilet system to enable it to fit into many different toilet forms, not just the Western “sit” toilet. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports innovative research that … Read entire article »

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