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Climate
Air pollution in China. V.T. Polywoda / Flickr

Air Pollution Kills 9 Million, Costs $5 Trillion Per Year

By Andy Rowell

"For decades, pollution and its harmful effects on people's health, the environment, and the planet have been neglected both by Governments and the international development agenda. Yet, pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and death in the world today, responsible for an estimated 9 million premature deaths."

So begins the executive summary of the landmark Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health, just published. It continues: "The substantial health and economic costs of pollution globally can no longer be ignored."

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Runoff from a farm field in Iowa during a rain storm. Lynn Betts / U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service

Drinking Water for Millions in Rural America Contaminated With Suspected Carcinogen

Drinking water supplies for millions of Americans in farm country are contaminated with a suspected cancer-causing chemical from fertilizer, according to a new report by the Environmental Working Group.

The contaminant is nitrate, which gets into drinking water sources when chemical fertilizer or manure runs off poorly protected farm fields. Nitrate contaminates drinking water for more than 15 million people in 49 states, but the highest levels are found in small towns surrounded by row-crop agriculture. Major farm states where the most people are at risk include California, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Kansas.

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Climate
Flooding covered much of Jacksonville during Hurricane Irma. Will Dickey / Florida Times-Union

Florida Faces 3 Toxic Crises Triggered by Flooding

By Dipika Kadaba

Ah, Florida—home to famous natural landscapes and amazing wildlife, but also to more than 20 million people and billion-dollar industries. Decades of booming development in Florida—all of it built in the path of Atlantic hurricanes—have brought to a head some toxic problems the state still struggles to solve. Every major flooding event, like the one following this year's Hurricane Irma, leaches toxic waste into people's homes and drinking water.

Florida is particularly vulnerable to storm surges and flooding from hurricanes like Irma. Scroll down to explore the natural disaster risks facing Florida and increasing its residents' toxic risks:

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Food
Michael Kappel / Flickr

Ben & Jerry's to Introduce Glyphosate-Free Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry's announced it will stop using ingredients made with crops that are chemically dried with glyphosate—the primary ingredient in Monsanto's widely used Roundup weedkiller—and will source 100 percent organic dairy following reports that several of its flavors tested positive for the controversial chemical.

In a statement, the company said it was "disappointed" to learn of the test results even though only very low and "safe levels" were detected.

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GMO

Monsanto's 'Jaw-Dropping' Deception Exposed in 'Whitewash'

By Stacy Malkan

Carey Gillam's new book is available now from Island Press: Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science.

Gilliam's Whitewash is a hard-hitting investigation into the most widely used agrichemical in history, based on 20 years of research and scores of internal industry documents. For decades, glyphosate has been lauded as the chemical that's "safe enough to drink," but a growing body of scientific research ties glyphosate to cancers and a host of other health and environmental threats.

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The European Parliament's debating chamber. CC BY-SA 3.0

EU to Livestream Public Hearing on Monsanto Papers

By Jennifer Sass

Without much fanfare on this side of the Atlantic, the European Union is actively and effectively pushing back on one of the biggest bullies in the corporate sandbox, Monsanto.

This week in Brussels the European Parliament's Environment and Agriculture committees will hold a public hearing on The Monsanto Papers, documents released through lawsuits in the U.S. brought against Monsanto by over 250 people alleging that exposure to Roundup herbicide is responsible for their cancers.

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Officials test sediment samples at the San Jacinto Waste Pits Superfund site after Hurricane Harvey hit the region in Texas. EPA

EPA: Houston Superfund Site Leaked Toxic Chemicals After Harvey

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirmed that Hurricane Harvey damaged a protective cap at a Superfund site along the San Jacinto River, near Houston, and caused a spike in chemical levels in the water.

Water samples from one of 14 monitoring sites at the San Jacinto waste pits indicated levels of dioxin above 70,000 parts per trillion, more than 2,000 times higher than the site's cleanup goal of 30 parts per trillion. Dioxin is a cancer-causing chemical that stays in the environment for hundreds of years before breaking down.

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How Monsanto Manufactured 'Outrage' at Chemical Cancer Classification It Expected

By Carey Gillam

Three years ago this month Monsanto executives realized they had a big problem on their hands.

It was September 2014 and the company's top-selling chemical, the weed killer called glyphosate that is the foundation for Monsanto's branded Roundup products, had been selected as one among a handful of pesticides to undergo scrutiny by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Monsanto had spent decades fending off concerns about the safety of glyphosate and decrying scientific research indicating the chemical might cause cancer or other diseases. And even though the IARC review was still months away, Monsanto's own scientists knew what the outcome would likely be—and they knew it wouldn't be good.

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Food
"Caught red-handed: #Monsanto application copy/pasted into EU food safety body @EFSA_EU report on #glyphosate. See for yourself 👀 #EFSA," Greenpeace EU tweeted.

European Glyphosate Safety Report Copy-Pasted Monsanto Study

Two years ago, the debate over glyphosate's link to cancer took a surprising turn when the European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) infamously rejected the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer's March 2015 classification of the weedkiller as a possible carcinogen.

However, new reporting from the Guardian reveals that the European agency's recommendation that the chemical is safe for public use was based on an EU report that directly lifted large sections of text from a study conducted by Monsanto, the manufacturer of glyphosate-based Roundup.

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