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More than 12,000 cases of Pillsbury brand flour have been recalled due to a potential Salmonella contamination, Food Safety News reported Sunday.
The recall was first announced Friday night on the websites of Publix and Winn-Dixie, two grocery stores that carried the product. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) then tweeted out a recall notice Monday.
The recall was issued voluntarily by Pillsbury owner Hometown Food Company and affects around 12,185 cases of Pillsbury Unbleached All Purpose Flour with lot codes of 8 292 and a best-by date of April 19, 2020 or 8 293 and a best-by date of April 20, 2020, CNN reported.
"Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase for a refund," Publix wrote in a recall notice reported by Food Safety News.
Neither grocery store's recall notice mentioned how or when the flour became contaminated. The Winn-Dixie announcement said that there had been no reports of illness associated with the product so far.
Hometown Food Company bought Pillsbury's baking and desserts product in September, 2018, USA Today reported.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) used the recall as a teachable moment on the dangers of eating uncooked flour.
It retweeted the recall with a link to an article on the dangers of raw dough. Most customers think that eating dough is dangerous because of the presence of uncooked eggs, but the FDA explained that flour itself can be contaminated.
"Flour is derived from a grain that comes directly from the field and typically is not treated to kill bacteria," senior advisor in FDA's Office of Food Safety Leslie Smoot, Ph.D. said. If animals relieve themselves in a field, for example, nothing has been done to the flour between harvesting and purchase to kill those bacteria.
In 2016, dozens of people learned this the hard way when they came down with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O121. The FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local authorities investigated the outbreak and identified the bacterium making people sick in flour that had been used in dough eaten raw by some of the patients. In the end, ten million pounds of flour were recalled, the FDA said.
If you love cookie-dough ice cream, don't worry; the FDA says that commercial brands should be made with treated flour and pasteurized eggs.
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Global Banks, Led by JPMorgan Chase, Invested $1.9 Trillion in Fossil Fuels Since Paris Climate Pact
By Sharon Kelly
A report published Wednesday names the banks that have played the biggest recent role in funding fossil fuel projects, finding that since 2016, immediately following the Paris agreement's adoption, 33 global banks have poured $1.9 trillion into financing climate-changing projects worldwide.
By Patti Lynn
2018 was a groundbreaking year in the public conversation about climate change. Last February, The New York Times reported that a record percentage of Americans now believe that climate change is caused by humans, and there was a 20 percentage point rise in "the number of Americans who say they worry 'a great deal' about climate change."
England faces an "existential threat" if it does not change how it manages its water, the head of the country's Environment Agency warned Tuesday.
By Jessica Corbett
A new analysis revealed Tuesday that over the past two decades heat records across the U.S. have been broken twice as often as cold ones—underscoring experts' warnings about the increasingly dangerous consequences of failing to dramatically curb planet-warming emissions.
By Madison Dapcevich
Ask any resident of San Francisco about the waterfront parrots, and they will surely tell you a story of red-faced conures squawking or dive-bombing between building peaks. Ask a team of researchers from the University of Georgia, however, and they will tell you of a mysterious string of neurological poisonings impacting the naturalized flock for decades.
The initial cause of the fire was not yet known, but it has been driven by the strong wind and jumped the North Santiam River, The Salem Statesman Journal reported. As of Tuesday night, it threatened around 35 homes and 30 buildings, and was 20 percent contained.
The unanimous verdict was announced Tuesday in San Francisco in the first federal case to be brought against Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, alleging that repeated use of the company's glyphosate-containing weedkiller caused the plaintiff's cancer. Seventy-year-old Edwin Hardeman of Santa Rosa, California said he used Roundup for almost 30 years on his properties before developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
"Today's verdict reinforces what another jury found last year, and what scientists with the state of California and the World Health Organization have concluded: Glyphosate causes cancer in people," Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook said in a statement. "As similar lawsuits mount, the evidence will grow that Roundup is not safe, and that the company has tried to cover it up."
Judge Vince Chhabria has split Hardeman's trial into two phases. The first, decided Tuesday, focused exclusively on whether or not Roundup use caused the plaintiff's cancer. The second, to begin Wednesday, will assess if Bayer is liable for damages.
"We are disappointed with the jury's initial decision, but we continue to believe firmly that the science confirms glyphosate-based herbicides do not cause cancer," Bayer spokesman Dan Childs said in a statement reported by The Guardian. "We are confident the evidence in phase two will show that Monsanto's conduct has been appropriate and the company should not be liable for Mr. Hardeman's cancer."
Some legal experts said that Chhabria's decision to split the trial was beneficial to Bayer, Reuters reported. The company had complained that the jury in Johnson's case had been distracted by the lawyers' claims that Monsanto had sought to mislead scientists and the public about Roundup's safety.
However, a remark made by Chhabria during the trial and reported by The Guardian was blatantly critical of the company.
"Although the evidence that Roundup causes cancer is quite equivocal, there is strong evidence from which a jury could conclude that Monsanto does not particularly care whether its product is in fact giving people cancer, focusing instead on manipulating public opinion and undermining anyone who raises genuine and legitimate concerns about the issue," he said.
Many regulatory bodies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, have ruled that glyphosate is safe for humans, but the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer found it was "probably carcinogenic to humans" in 2015. A university study earlier this year found that glyphosate use increased cancer risk by as much as 41 percent.
Hardeman's lawyers Jennifer Moore and Aimee Wagstaff said they would now reveal Monsanto's efforts to mislead the public about the safety of its product.
"Now we can focus on the evidence that Monsanto has not taken a responsible, objective approach to the safety of Roundup," they wrote in a statement reported by The Guardian.
Hardeman's case is considered a "bellwether" trial for the more than 760 glyphosate cases Chhabria is hearing. In total, there are around 11,200 such lawsuits pending in the U.S., according to Reuters.
University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias told Reuters that Tuesday's decision showed that the verdict in Johnson's case was not "an aberration," and could possibly predict how future juries in the thousands of pending cases would respond.