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Monday, Sep 01st

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Less Nutritious Grains May Be In Our Future

less nutritious foodIn the future, Earth's atmosphere is likely to include a whole lot more carbon dioxide. And many have been puzzling over what that may mean for the future of food crops. Now, scientists are that some of the world's most important crops contain fewer crucial nutrients when they grow in such an environment.

The data come from that have been set up to see how crops will perform as levels of carbon dioxide in the air soar past 500 parts per million. (The current level is around 400 ppm.)

These experiments are operating in various parts of the world, and have included test plots of rice, wheat, peas and other crops.

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Polio Declared Emergency as Conflicts Fuel Virus Spread

Polio emergency worldwideThe spread of polio to countries previously considered free of the crippling disease is a global health emergency, the World Health Organization said, as the virus once driven to the brink of extinction mounts a comeback.

Pakistan, Cameroon and Syria pose the greatest risk of exporting the virus to other countries, and should ensure that residents have been vaccinated before they travel, the Geneva-based WHO said in a statement today after a meeting of its emergency committee. It’s only the second time the United Nations agency has declared a public health emergency of international concern, after the 2009 influenza pandemic.

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Powerade drops controversial ingredient

PoweradeCoca-Cola is dropping a controversial ingredient from its Powerade sports drink, after a similar move by PepsiCo's Gatorade last year.

The ingredient, brominated vegetable oil, had been the target of a petition by a Mississippi teenager, who questioned why it was being used in a drink marketed toward health-conscious athletes. The petition on Change.org noted that the ingredient is linked to a flame retardant and is not approved for use in Japan or the European Union.

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First Case of Deadly MERS Infection Found in U.S.

MERS infectionA deadly virus from the Middle East has been found in the U.S. for the first time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The patient, an American health-care provider who visited Saudi Arabia, flew from Riyadh to London to Chicago on April 24, and then took a bus to Indiana. The patient fell ill on April 27 and was admitted to a hospital the next day, federal officials said today. The CDC is now trying to determine who may have come into contact with the patient.

Now isolated, the patient is being “well cared for,” said Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, in a briefing today. Schuchat would not say where the person is being treated or provide personal details such as age or gender.

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Antibiotic resistance a global crisis, could turn ailments into killers

Antibiotic use crisisBacteria resistant to antibiotics have now spread to every part of the world and might lead to a future where minor infections could kill, according to a report published Wednesday by the World Health Organization.

In its first global survey of the problem, the WHO report warned that antibiotic resistance was no longer an abstract threat to deal with in the future, but one that, “is happening right now in every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country.”

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States where the most children go hungry

states where most children go hungryAccording to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 49 million people in the United States lived in households struggling to find enough food to eat. Nearly 16 million are children, who are far more likely to have limited access to sufficient food than the general population. While 15.9% of Americans lived in food-insecure households, 21.6% of children had uncertain access to food.

Feeding America — the largest hunger relief charity and network of food banks in the U.S. — created Map the Meal Gap, a study measuring food-insecurity among the general population and children at the state and county levels. While hunger remains a problem nationally, some areas of the country had nearly double the national rate. Food-insecurity rates among children were as high as 41% in Zavala County, Texas. At the state level, New Mexico led the nation with 29.2% of children living in food-insecure households.

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Vermont first state to pass GMO labeling bill

GMO labelingVermont will be the first state in the U.S. to require the labeling of genetically-modified foods.

"Every Vermonter has a right to know what is in their food," said Shap Smith, speaker of the Vermont House. "Genetically engineered foods potentially pose risks to human health and the environment. I am proud to be the first state in the nation to recognize that people deserve to know whether the food they consume is genetically modified or engineered."

Just minutes after the House voted to approve the measure 114-30, Gov. Peter Shumlin announced he would sign the bill into law.

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