Ecuador listened …

Amazon Watch
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Minister Tapia:
Thank you for investigating Petroamazonas!
Now stop them from destroying the rest of Ecuador’s Amazon

Your petitions worked! Since last Thursday almost 10,000 of you signed the petition to Ecuador’s Minister of the Environment, Lorena Tapia, asking her to condemn a spill by state oil company Petroamazonas that contaminated the Aguarico and Parahuaico rivers where the indigenous Cofán, Secoya, Kichwa and Shuar communities drink, bathe, and fish.

Last week, Minister Tapia announced plans to open an investigation into Petroamazonas’ spill. Let’s thank the Minister and insist that she prohibit Petroamazonas, a company with a long history of negligence, from expanding its operations further into the Amazon.

Read the rest on Eye on the Amazon and


Alone At The Bottom


The United States Is The Only Developed County Without Paid Maternity Leave

The United States remains the only member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, that does not guarantee mothers any paid time off from work after the birth of a new child. The fact is not new, but it is so shocking that it deserves another look:

maternity leave

While mothers are technically guaranteed unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, research shows that only about half of working mothers in the United States can qualify for job-protected leave–and wage replacement is at the discretion of employers, except in the three states that have paid family leave laws enabling workers to access some form of wage replacement. Meanwhile, paid maternity leave has proven benefits for families and the society as a whole. Check out these two charts below:


Women who have access to paid leave after the birth of a new child are more likely to return to work than women who do not have access to paid leave.


Countries guaranteeing longer paid maternity leave have lower child poverty rates that countries that do not.

BOTTOM LINE: Americans pride themselves on being the best. It is frankly embarrassing that the United States comes in dead last on ensuring economic support for new moms. Our workplaces have changed–and we need policies that keep up.

Majority minority ~~~ Washington State

  Please help replace ineffective Congress lifers(16yrs) like Jim Honeyford  with good public servants of the future, like Gabriel Munoz…. the Democratic Party ~ Nativegrl77

Gabriel Muñoz is running for State Senate in the 15th District

Click here and say:
I’m with Gabriel!

The 15th District in the Lower Yakima Valley is Washington’s only majority Latino district.

Jim Honeyford has been its State Senator for 16 years, but he’s lost touch with the people he’s supposed to represent.

He’s worked to protect the interests of wealthy corporations, not working class people.

Even though his district is majority Latino, he’s repeatedly voted against The Dream Act and The Real Hope Act.

Residents of the 15th District need a public servant who will answer to their needs and be passionate about improving the community. They need Gabriel Muñoz.

Gabriel Muñoz is challenging Jim Honeyford for State Senate. Will you add your name and support Gabriel Muñoz?

Gabriel Muñoz is going to be the new direction the 15th District needs. A proud U.S. Veteran and businessman, Gabriel is committed to extending representation to those ignored by Jim Honeyford.

He is asking for the opportunity to serve his community because he is committed to the values of selfless service, integrity, and personal courage.

Gabriel will work tirelessly to create better paying jobs by reducing taxes on small locally owned businesses. He will prioritize public education with state funding, so Washington state children are set to compete in the workforce and global economy.

After 16 years of the same ineffective Senator, Gabriel is ready and determined to help improve conditions within the state and the 15th district.

This race is critical to taking back the State Senate. Add your name to support Gabriel Muñoz today.

In solidarity,


Tattoo Kits & Infections



08/07/2014 08:30 AM EDT
Contaminated tattoo ink can cause potentially serious infections. After investigating a multi-state outbreak, FDA offers strategies for controlling your risk.

FDA Logo

Union of Concerned Scientists

This week is National Farmers Market Week! I love this time of year. Living in the Northeast, we don’t have access most of the year to flavorful, local, fruits and vegetables. But right now, markets are popping up in all parts of the city with healthy, local, delicious food. At a time when our federal government is paying farmers to grow virtually the opposite of what it recommends we actually eat—spending billions of dollars to subsidize ingredients that go into sugary processed food—it’s critical that we take time to celebrate forward-thinking food initiatives that can set a model for new, national policies. With your support, we’re working to create smart food and farm policies—including investments to increase every American’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables—that will prioritize healthy people, a healthy environment, and nutritious food over junk food profits. —Karla
Science in Action
label added sugar Ensure food nutritional labels identify amounts of added sugar.Powerful sugar interests are working hard to keep us in the dark about how much added sugar they put in our foods and drinks—even in the face of scientific evidence that links high sugar consumption with heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. You deserve the ability to make informed decisions about what you eat! Encourage the FDA to follow through on their proposed update to the Nutritional Facts label to include information about added sugar.Click Here to take action
Buzz from the UCS Blog: The Equation
  John Rogers: Which States are the Clean Energy Superstars?  Ken Kimmell: New Jersey, Come Back! An Open Letter to Governor Christie on RGGI
  Aaron Huertas: Too Many Food Companies Still Attack Science, Despite Push for Greater Transparency  Dave Cooke: On Cars, Trucks, and Beauty in the Backcountry: 4 Lessons from a Summer Roadtrip
Cartoon of the Month
We are what we eat
Click to view larger image.
 We want to hear from you! What more can be done to build support for sustainable agriculture and food that is healthy, affordable, and accessible?  Newsweek:Sugar lobby buries science on health effects. Not just healthy fruits and vegetables—farmers markets have economic benefits too!
Ask a Scientist
Deborah BailinDeborah Bailin, Ph.D.
Democracy Analyst,
Center for Science and Democracy 

Deborah’s blog >>

This month, Deborah Bailin, an analyst with the UCS Center for Science and Democracy, gives us tips for how to interpret the food nutrition labels on the back of the foods we buy—and flags some things we should all look out for!The nutrition facts label is the familiar black and white panel, that, for the last 20 years, you’ve been able to find on all packaged foods and beverages in the United States. But these labels can be tricky to read. For instance, sugar is labeled in grams—but how many of us know how much sugar that really is? You might be surprised to find out, for instance, that one serving of new “Cheerios Protein Oats and Honey” cereal has four teaspoons of sugar in it! READ MORE 

Do you have a question for UCS scientists? Submit your question today.

This Just In
sugar cubes Two new UCS reports expose sugar industry deception.
Sugar. We think of it as a sweet treat, but it hides in everything from barbeque sauce to yogurt, added to foods that are often sweet to begin with. Scientific evidence has shown that overconsumption of sugar has serious health consequences. But powerful sugar interests work hard to keep us in the dark about sugar’s dangerous health effects and divert our attention away from all the added sugar in their products—many of which are marketed to us as “healthy.” Two new UCS reports expose the industry’s deceptive marketing tactics, how it’s obscured the science, and how it undermined public health policy. READ MORE