Food

On March 31st, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that his agency would deny a petition to ban the dangerous pesticide chlorpyrifos from being sprayed on food. He announced this decision despite EPA scientists’ earlier findings that concluded that chlorpyrifos, which is manufactured by Dow Chemical, can harm brain development of fetuses and infants after ingesting even small amounts. The news that the EPA would continue to allow the spraying of chlorpyrifos alarmed doctors and other public health officials, but what’s even more interesting is that according to several recent Freedom of Information Act requests, Pruitt met with Dow CEO Andrew Liveris at a Houston hotel just twenty days prior to making his controversial decision.

Shrinking the Dead Zone, Reducing Fertilizer Use

By | Bill Wenzel
Food and Farming Program Director

Last week, scientists predicted that this year’s hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico will be the 3rd largest since monitoring began 32 years ago. The “dead zone” will cover about 8,185 square miles — an area roughly the size of New Jersey.

Issue | Food

Healthy Farms, Healthy Families

Report | Center for Environmental Health and Maryland PIRG Foundation | Public Health, Food

Kicking the Can?

Bisphenol A, often called BPA, is one of the most widely used and thoroughly studied toxic chemicals. Despite hundreds of scientific studies showing that exposure to BPA is linked to significant health concerns - diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and cancer - it is still used in food cans that millions of Americans buy every day. 

News Release | Maryland PIRG | Public Health, Food

Taco Bell to Phase Out Chicken Raised on Routine Antibiotics; Students Host Event to Educate Peers

In a long-awaited victory for medically-important antibiotics, Taco Bell announced it will no longer serve chicken raised on human antibiotics in U.S. locations starting in 2017. Two Maryland PIRG interns this semester seized the opportunity to educate their peers on the dangers of antibiotic-overuse.

Media Hit | Public Health, Food

Will Yum! Brands Commit to Better Antibiotic Stewardship Policies?

"Despite these successes, we need to re-double our efforts to counter new threats from superbugs that increasingly diminish the effectiveness of antibiotics. We will continue to ramp up our consumer awareness and advocacy campaigns to ensure that the superbugs don't win."

Save Antibotics

Antibiotics are meant to be given in precise doses to treat specific types of infections. When they are used in mass quantities by farming operations it increases the likelihood that all kinds of bacteria, including the ones that make people sick, will develop resistance, and our life saving medicines won't work.

News Release | Maryland PIRG | Public Health, Food

McDonald’s announces plan to cut overuse of antibiotics in chicken

McDonald’s announced a new policy today to curb the overuse of antibiotics in raising the chickens that ultimately become McNuggets or other McDonald’s products.  Within two years, farming operations supplying McDonald’s USA restaurants will not be allowed use medically important antibiotics to chickens, a practice that is commonplace, even when animals are healthy.

Resource | Food

A Year of Progress:

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and foods derived from GMO ingredients were introduced into U.S. markets comparatively recently, with the first such foods approved for commercial use twenty years ago.[i]  Yet the pace of adoption has been blistering.  As of 2013, 90% of the corn and 93% of the soy grown in the U.S. are GMO varieties, and by the mid-2000s, 87% of the domestic canola crop was genetically modified.[ii]

Because many of these crops are the source of ubiquitous food additives like high fructose corn syrup and soy and canola oils, the industry estimates that 70%-80% of the food Americans eat contains GMO ingredients.[iii]  However, this massive shift has mostly been invisible to consumers.  While 64 countries require the disclosure of GMO ingredients on food labels, the U.S. has yet to adopt mandatory GMO labeling.[iv]  Thus, while the USDA organic label does signify that a product is GMO-free, and there are voluntary GMO-free labeling efforts, American consumers are largely left in the dark.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Food

Support us

Your tax-deductible donation supports Maryland PIRG Foundation's work to educate consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress.

Learn More

You can also support Maryland PIRG Foundation’s work through bequests, contributions from life insurance or retirement plans, securities contributions and vehicle donations.