May 26th, 2011

An interesting Infographic from GOOD. School Cafeteria Food vs. Prison Food.

May 23rd, 2011

From CBS News: The debate on child farm labor: In agriculture, children as young as 12 are allowed to work unlimited hours outside of school. Byron Pitts reports on the “Migrant Stream” and the families who are part of it whose children work alongside them in the fields for minimum wage.

May 18th, 2011

Childhood cancer outbreak possibly caused by mosquitoes

Something happened to the children of Fallon, Nev., between 1997 and 2003.

Fourteen children were diagnosed with childhood leukemia, a rate for that population size that should only occur, by chance, once every 22,000 years, according to epidemiologists.The Fallon rate was 12 times higher than typically expected.

A new study by California researchers examines the geographic and seasonal occurrences of the diagnoses, and concludes that mosquitoes may have been behind the outbreak.

“The rural location of most cases suggests mosquitoes as a possible vector,” Joe Wiemels, an epidemiologist at UC San Francisco, told New Scientist Magazine. More

(photo via bogdog Dan/Flickr)

May 9th, 2011
Researchers from UC Davis determined that California babies conceived in March had a significantly higher rate of autism, perhaps adding to a body of research that links spring and summer pesticide exposure to birth defects.
April 28th, 2011

New plastic chemical study linked to industry

Four authors of a new report concluding that bisphenol A is safe have ties to companies and groups that benefit from the controversial chemical.

Two of the researchers – Hermann Schweinfurth and Wolfgang Völkel – reported their affiliations in the report’s “declaration of interest.” Two others – Werner Lilienblum and Peter-Jürgen Kramer – have professional websites linking them to the chemical industry.

BPA was originally developed as a synthetic form of estrogen but quickly became more valued as an ingredient in the manufacturing of the clear, hard plastic known as polycarbonare. It is also used in the lining of food and beverage cans and has been detected in other food packaging containers, including those labeled “microwave safe.”

When heated, or exposed to acidic or caustic substances, BPA is known to leach out of containers into food.

Photo via Inferis/Flickr

April 26th, 2011

California districts consider even shorter school year

CEFutcher/istockphoto.comThe likelihood is growing that many school districts will have to cut the number of days students spend in class in response to the state’s deepening budget crisis, according to state education leaders and experts.

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California Watch, the largest investigative journalism team operating in the state, was launched in 2009 by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Investigative Reporting. Areas of coverage include education, health and welfare, public safety, the environment and the influence of money on the political and regulatory process.