House considers universal food warning labels

first_img “They haven’t to date, have they?” said Will Rostov, senior attorney for the Center for Food Safety in San Francisco. The legislation would pose the most immediate threat, activists and California Attorney Gen. Bill Lockyer charge, to Proposition 65. Passed in 1986, it requires consumer warnings on a range of products, including food, that include contaminants known to cause cancer or birth defects. The measure is responsible for warnings to pregnant women about mercury in certain fish, an example cited Thursday by Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento. Matsui noted that doctors warned her pregnant daughter-in-law about mercury levels. But, she said, “What about all those who cannot have adequate pre-natal care? Most of us never think to go to the FDA Web site before we put together our grocery list. We see the sign as we shop.” Thirty-seven state attorneys general argued in a letter this week that food safety is a matter of state jurisdiction. “There is nothing in the public record showing that federal uniformity in this area provides a greater level of protection to consumers or is in the public interest,” the state attorneys wrote. “Without question, the target of this bill is Proposition 65,” they said, adding, “There is no evidence this popular initiative has harmed consumers or merchants.” But Stephanie Childs, spokeswoman for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, disagreed. She noted favorably that the bill would pre-empt California’s warnings about acrylamide, a chemical in French fries and potato chips that state officials say causes cancer but that industry groups believe does not. “If California inaccurately labels acrylamide, then how is California to trust its label?” Childs said. Having different standards, she added, “allows for increased confusion for the consumers.” Despite its popularity in the House, the Senate has not introduced a similar measure. Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein wrote a joint letter last month urging the Senate to block the measure. Southern California supporters of the standardization include: Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Riverside; Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Thousand Oaks; Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, D-Long Beach; and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Huntington Beach/Long Beach. Lisa Friedman, (202) 662-8731 lisa.friedman@langnews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – California warning labels could get ripped off the shelves under legislation Congress launched Thursday to try to create a national standard for food warnings. A House vote is expected next week on the National Uniformity for Food Act, which would prohibit states from creating labels that differ from federal requirements. But Democrats already are calling it an assault on consumer protection – and a direct attempt to gut a 20-year-old California law that requires companies to disclose the existence of dangerous toxins. “Don’t be fooled by the label this bill has,” Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, said as debate opened on the House floor. “This bill is the most sweeping change in decades to our nation’s efforts to protect the food supply. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant More than 225 lawmakers from both parties support the bill, including 12 Californians. They and industry advocates say different warnings in every state hurt business and confuse consumers. Creating a national Food and Drug Administration standard for labeling “would ensure consistency instead of this hodgepodge of different, and yes, even contradictory warnings among states,” said Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga. He and other backers noted it would allow states to petition the FDA to include their warnings nationally. “If it’s worthwhile for the state of California, I trust that the FDA would hold it’s worthwhile for the 49 other states,” Gingrey said. But food safety advocates said they don’t trust that the FDA will enforce stricter standards. last_img read more

SA ready for Rea Vaya

first_imgThis Rea Vaya station in Johannesburg will start operating at the end of August. Commuters will now have affordable, safe transportation in and around the city. School children will also benefit immensely from the BRT system as it will cover a number of stops around the city. (Images: Rea Vaya)Khanyi MagubaneSouth Africa’s transport system is set for a major boost when phase one of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system comes into effect on 30 August in Johannesburg, Africa’s leading economic hub.Named Rea Vaya – meaning “we are going” in township slang – the project will start operating at 23 of its 27 stations across greater Johannesburg.About 3.5-million trips are made in the City daily. Of these, 47% are made by public transport including minibus taxis, trains and busses.The system, however, has not been upgraded or improved over the years, resulting in public transport becoming increasingly unreliable and unsafe to use.But, according to Head of Transport in the City of Johannesburg, councillor Rehana Moosajee, the current state of transportation in the City, and the country as a whole, will soon be a thing of the past.“Johannesburg’s commuters will have a first taste of their own world-class public transport system.“We must never forget that BRT is … for the elderly and school children to travel safely, for mothers that need to reach their children speedily and for people with disabilities to have access.”Phase one A, will consist of a main route, known as the trunk route, which will run from the Regina Mundi station in Soweto to Ellis Park East in Johannesburg’s central business district.Supported by four complementary routes, the 143 busses included in the roll out plan will make stops at several key places in the City including University of Johannesburg’s Doornfontein campus, the fashion district, the City’s cultural hub Newtown, the City library and the Johannesburg art gallery.At a media briefing on the progress made on BRT, Moosajee revealed some facts and figures of phase one A of the project;25.5km of dedicated lanes have been constructed, which will serve an estimated 69 000 passengers on a daily basis.3 300 jobs were created during the building phase of Rea Vaya.It’s expected to generate R158-million (US$20-million) in its first year of operation and will use a smart card system, which passengers can reload at approved vendors’ kiosks.One of the attractive features of BRT is its affordability. Bus fares will range between R8 ($1) for a full trip using both the trunk and complementary routes, and R3 (39 cents) for the complementary routs running within the city.Buses will arrive at stations every three minutes during peak hour and every 10 minutes during off peak hours.SA transport new lookThe BRT system is part of the South African government’s plan to overhaul the public transport system in the country, ahead of the upcoming 2010 Fifa World Cup and beyond.BRT has been designed on similar types of public transport models developed in Columbia, France, Australia, Equador and Brazil.In the countries where the system has been tried and tested, BRT benefits cited have been its efficiency and reliability, its friendliness to people living with disabilities and the elderly, as well as its decreased energy consumption and vehicle emissions.Cape Town, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth will also be rolling the BRT system concurrently, and in Cape Town, the system is expected to be operational in March 2010.Roping in the taxi industryOne of the biggest challenges in rolling out the BRT system has been the resistance from the minibus taxi industry, currently Johannesburg’s majority means of transport.The taxi industry’s concerns have been the anticipated major job losses and collapse of the industry when the new BRT system is implemented.  The industry is also concerned with how the new system would fall in line with the government’s taxi recapitalisation programme, which is already underway.The taxi recapitalisation programme, approved in 1999, was set up to reduce the number of old vehicles on the road, as well as introducing a new non-cash based system.Government partnered with the industry to remove old, unroadworthy taxis by offering operators a “scrapping allowance” to replace ageing and unsafe minibus taxis with newer models.According to a survey conducted in 2000, there were approximately 126 000 taxi vehicles in South Africa.Most of the vehicles were at least 10 years old and no longer fit for road use as public transport.Government had planned to spend R7.7-billion ($56-billion) over seven years to finalise the system.In the wake of confusion over the future of the taxi industry, on 24 March, Johannesburg was brought to a standstill when taxi drivers staged a major protest against the new BRT system.Taxis blockaded major highways around the City, causing traffic standstills on various key roads to and from the City.In the wake of the unprecedented move by the taxis, President Jacob Zuma pleaded with the council that Rea Vaya should be put on hold, to give the new administration a chance to acquaint themselves better with the project and the grievances of the taxi industry.Fortunately, significant progress has been made with the industry, represented by the National Taxi Association, Top Six and the Greater Johannesburg Regional Taxi Council.After a steering committee was set up, both the City of Johannesburg and the steering committee have been able to reach some agreements with regards to the future of the taxi industry in Johannesburg. Local taxi operators have now been offered a stake in the new bus operating company as well as a stake in the station management companies.Some taxi drivers will be employed as bus drivers, as well as station managers.Those previously in the taxi industry will also have the opportunity to invest and own companies linked to the BRT system.Do you have any comments or queries about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at: khanyim@mediaclubsouthafrica.comRelated articlesCape Town’s new bus systemNew infrastructure for the 2010 Fifa World CupFirst glimpse of the GautrainUseful linksRea Vaya City of Johannesburg Scrap Taxilast_img read more

Hootsuite to Add Delicious Blackberry Flavor

first_imgcurt hopkins Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts center_img Tags:#Microcontent#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Hootsuite Twitter client is launching a private beta of its Blackberry app. Blackberry may arguably not be as cool as other smart phones anymore, but the people who use them tend to do so in an enterprise context. Their concerns are more around efficiency, ease and profitability than cool. Hootsuite’s Blackberry client may offer them more than the device’s native Twitter app. The ability to manage multiple Twitter accounts and social networks, as well as multi-user accounts, blog integration and scheduling features, all from the handheld you’re already used to employing may prove a load off of die-hard Blackberry users. Their new social relationship and support tools indicate Hootsuite’s depth of commitment to enterprise, as IntoMobile reminds us. last_img read more

Meghalaya resents Punjab giving funds directly to Sikhs in Shillong

first_imgThe Meghalaya government on Monday took exception to its Punjab counterpart providing funds for the benefit of people residing in Punjabi Lane here without informing the State government.The issue was raised in the Assembly by Urban Affairs Department Minister Hamlet Dohling. He informed the House that the Punjab government had sanctioned ₹1.5 lakh for treatment of 10 Sikh widows in 2015. It had also sanctioned ₹10 lakh for the construction of the Guru Nanak School at Bara Bazar in 2016, he added. “I am surprised that the Punjab government had sanctioned funds directly to the East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner without informing the State government,” he said while replying to a supplementary question raised by Congress MLA from East Shillong Ampareen Lyngdoh.Shilling had witnessed large-scale violence in June last year following clashes between Sikhs living in Punjabi Lane and local tribals. NCP MLA Saleng A. Sangma attacked the government saying it reflected its irresponsible attitudelast_img read more

World Cup: Lloyd, Hussain back India

first_imgLegendary West Indian captain Clive Lloyd on Friday said the current Indian ODI squad is well equipped to win the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. “India is very good side. Their batting is strong. Also they are currently No 1 Test side in the world,” Lloyd, who led West Indies to the Cup glory in its 1975 and ’79 editions, told Headlines Today, as former greats such as Kapil Dev, Arjun Ranatunga, Sourav Ganguly and Md Azaharuddin sat to review the Cup preparations of different teams, along with cricket analyst Charu Sharma and former cricketer Nikhil Chopra. Former England captain Nasser Hussain, while favouring India and Sri Lanka, also echoed the views of Lloyd, who cautioned against complacency on the fielding front, saying a good fielding side that stops the run flow wins games in an ODI. “Obviously India are a very good side. They have superstar names,” Hussain said, adding, no one should write off the Aussies, despite the Ashes loss.  While former Pakistan captain Aamer Sohail believed his national team was better prepared compared to 1992, when Imran Khan made his country the world champions, Kapil Dev said it’s an open WC. “Everyone is on an equal footing,” said Sourav Ganguly.last_img read more