"Secret Ingredients: Who Knows What’s in Your Food?"

"British chef and food activist Jamie Oliver ignited a firestorm in January 2011 when he mentioned on the Late Show with David Letterman that castoreum, a substance used to augment some strawberry and vanilla flavorings, comes from what he described as 'rendered beaver anal gland.' The next year, vegans were outraged to learn that Starbucks used cochineal extract, a color additive derived from insect shells, to dye their strawberry Frappuccino® drinks (eventually, the company decided to transition to lycopene, a pigment found in tomatoes)."

Source: EHP, 04/09/2013

White House Opens Tax-Funded Research to Taxpayers

Such a move had been resisted for years by the few large companies that dominate the scientific publishing industry. Some open-access groups hailed the memo as a breakthrough that would really allow taxpayers to read the research they pay for. Still, the proof will be in the implementation.

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EPA Allows Drinking Water Reports Online — But Can Consumers Hack It?

EPA bowed to industry, ruling in a January 3, 2013 memo that local drinking water utilities no longer have to notify their customers of contamination in writing. "The memo fails to set clear standards for electronic notification and delivery and makes it likely that segments of the public will have less access to these reports," the Center for Effective Government wrote in response to the EPA memo.

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