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Nearly all dairy cows live in factory farms, which make up 99 percent of farms, and they spend their lives almost entirely indoors. Shutterstock

Don't Be Fooled by These 5 Misleading Dairy Ads

By Rachel Krantz

For most of my life, I genuinely believed the false advertising used to sell dairy. When I learned the truth—that nearly all cows used for dairy are kept inside, locked up, forcibly inseminated, and hooked up to painful milking machines—I was heartbroken. How had I never put two and two together: that for humans to consume cow's milk, mother cows must have their calves taken?

I had been duped by dairy brands, whose misleading ads have never been regulated, despite truth-in-advertising laws. This discrepancy prompted a 2003 lawsuit involving the "Happy Cows" campaign, but the case was thrown out over a technicality. "The state's false advertising law simply doesn't apply to the government," explained Mercy For Animals lawyer Rachel Faulkner. The 'Happy Cow' ads were run by the California Milk Advisory Board, a marketing arm of the California Food and Agriculture Department.

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Health

170 Million Americans Drink Radioactive Tap Water

Drinking water for more than 170 million Americans in all 50 states contains radioactive elements that may increase the risk of cancer, according to an Environmental Working Group (EWG) investigation released Thursday.

Radiation in tap water is a serious health threat, especially during pregnancy, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's legal limits for the most widespread radioactive elements are more than 40 years old. But President Trump's nominee to be the White House environment czar rejects the need for water systems to comply even with those inadequate standards.

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Trump Watch
Methylene chloride is a cancer-causing chemical used in paint strippers, and easily found in hardware and paint stores. CAPublic Health / YouTube

Trump EPA Delays Deadly Chemical Bans Indefinitely

The Trump administration last week proposed to indefinitely delay proposed bans of high-risk uses of three toxic chemicals: Methylene chloride and N-Methylpyrrolidone, or NMP, in paint strippers and trichloroethylene, or TCE, in degreasing.

The proposed chemical bans and restrictions were stripped from the administration's "Unified Agenda"—and are among hundreds of deregulatory actions that put the health and safety of Americans at risk by weakening protections.

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GMO
Mike Mozart / Flickr

EPA Says Glyphosate Does Not Cause Cancer, Contradicting IARC

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released on Monday a human health and ecological draft risk assessment for glyphosate, concluding that the widely used—and highly controversial—pesticide is “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans."

According to the EPA's announcement, the assessment “found no other meaningful risks to human health when the product is used according to the pesticide label." However, the announcement noted, "the ecological risk assessment indicates that there is potential for effects on birds, mammals, and terrestrial and aquatic plants."

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Health

Do You Do These 5 Things With Your Cellphone That Health Officials Say You Shouldn’t?

By April M. Short

Radiation from your cellphone could be bad for more than just your mental health, California state health officials warn.

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Cell Phone Radiation Risks: California Issues Groundbreaking Guidelines

By Olga Naidenko

This week, California officially issued groundbreaking guidelines advising cell phone users to keep phones away from their bodies and limit use when reception is weak. State officials caution that studies link radiation from long-term cell phone use to an increased risk of brain cancer, lower sperm counts and other health problems, and note that children's developing brains could be at greater risk.

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Health

Indian Point Energy Center is a three-unit nuclear power plant station located in Buchanan, New York, just south of Peekskill. Tony Fischer / Wikipedia

Is This Nuclear Plant to Blame for Soaring Thyroid Cancer Rates in New York?

By Joseph Mangano

In the late 1970s, the rate of new thyroid cancer cases in four counties just north of New York City—Westchester, Rockland, Orange and Putnam counties—was 22 percent below the U.S. rate. Today, it has soared to 53 percent above the national rate. New cases jumped from 51 to 412 per year. Large increases in thyroid cancer occurred for both males and females in each county.

That's according to a new study I co-authored which was published in the Journal of Environmental Protection and presented at Columbia University.

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Study Suggests Teflon Phaseout Has Prevented Thousands of Low-Weight Births, Saved Billions in Health Care Costs

By Bill Walker

The phaseout of a hazardous chemical formerly used to make Teflon has likely prevented thousands of low-weight births in the U.S. each year, saving billions of dollars in health care costs, according to a new study from researchers at New York University.

The overall number of American babies born underweight has been rising. But low-weight births that the researchers specifically attributed to the Teflon chemical exposure have declined by more than 10,000 a year since the phaseout began, according to the analysis published in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health.

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Health
Teens play basketball at a public park in Port Arthur, Texas. Karen Kasmauski / International League of Conservation Photographers

African Americans Disproportionately Suffer Health Effects of Oil and Gas Facilities

African American communities face a disproportionate risk of health issues caused by gas and oil pollution, according to a report issued Tuesday by two advocacy groups.

The report from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Clean Air Task Force noted the importance of Obama-era U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations that finalized standard for methane and ozone smog-forming volatile organic compound (VOCs). The report states that if the Trump administration's dismantling of environmental regulations continues, the situation for African Americans will worsen.

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