Health

When No News Would Be Good News: The Ongoing Trials of Prop 65

California’s Proposition 65 law has been consistently making the news lately — but not for the reasons it should.

This summer, California’s unique-in-the-nation law governing human exposure to toxic chemicals, Proposition 65, has been consistently making Page 1 — but in ways that belie the adage that “all publicity is good publicity.” Most heavily reported, and acutely politically perilous to the law’s supporters, has been a state trial court ruling that coffee must bear […]

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Trump Loses Another Big Court Case

Ninth Circuit reverses Pruitt decision to allow a dangerous pesticide on food.

Last Thursday, the Ninth Circuit ruled that Scott Pruitt had no justification for allowing even the tiniest traces of a pesticide called chlorpyrifos (also called Lorsban and Dursban) on food. This is yet another judicial slap against lawlessness by the current Administration. Chlorpyrifos was originally invented as a nerve gas, but it turns out that […]

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Hot Enough Yet?

Apparently not.

Two weeks ago, my family vacation took us past the self-proclaimed “world’s largest thermometer,” in Baker, California, which read 111 degrees when we visited it–the hottest air temperature my kids had ever felt.  Back at UCLA we’re feeling the heat today, too, with much of the LA basin scorching in record temperatures.  L.A.’s heat wave […]

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Pruitt’s Utterly Opaque “Transparency” Proposal

Ironically, the proposal calling for greater transparency provides little clue into the agency’s thinking.

EPA recently issued a notice of proposed rulemaking entitled “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science.” The proposal would prohibit the agency from considering studies of health risks unless enough data is made publicly available to allow EPA or industry to validate the results. That sounds fine, but these studies often involve either confidential health records or […]

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Nutrition & Food Safety at Trump’s FDA

I posted earlier about an FDA move to remove nicotine from cigarettes in the hope of preventing addiction. FDA is also moving forward on some food nutrition issues. That makes FDA’s Commission, Scott Gottlieb, an oasis of sanity within the Trump Administration. First, as of May, FDA will begin enforcing a regulation requiring restaurants to […]

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The Obesity Epidemic

Obesity is bad for public health, bad for the environment. What can be done?

[There was a technical problem with the version of this posted earlier.] Obesity is an issue that gets sporadic media attention. But it’s a serious problem, and it’s getting worse. An ever-increasing proportion of the population suffers from obesity. If present trends continue, over half the U.S. population will be obese in another twenty years […]

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Everyday Christmas: The Gift of the Commons

Clean air. Clean water. We receive these public goods every day without payment.

Each day we receive benefits free of charge: the air we breathe, the clean, unpolluted water we depend on, the climate we live in. We get those regardless of whether we pay taxes or how much or how little we consume. In short, from the view of any one individual, these are freebies, gifts from […]

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Guest Bloggers Michael Wara and Danny Cullenward: Understanding SB 775: A Realistic Path to Achieving California’s Climate Goals

SB 775 Provides a Strong Carbon Pricing Policy and Addresses Legal and Political Constraints

Two recent Legal Planet contributors have shared concerns about SB 775 over the last several days (Ann Carlson’s piece is here and Dallas Burtraw’s is here). We write here to provide context—economic, legal, and political—to help readers, and perhaps even these respected authors, better understand why the bill proposes to extend and evolve California’s approach […]

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Guest Bloggers Amy Vanderwarker and Kay Cuajunco: Equity at the Center: SB 775 and AB 378 Create New Path Towards More Equitable, Effective Climate Policy

By Prioritizing Equity, We Fight Climate Change, Improve Local Air Quality and Public Health, and Deliver Economic Benefits

California is at a crossroads in our strategy to fight climate change. With the current form of cap and trade due to end in 2020, our state is deciding to what extent carbon pricing will play a role in meeting the 2030 targets enacted in 2016, and if so, what the program will look like. […]

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Scott Gottlieb and the FDA

The FDA nominee compares favorably with some of Trump’s choices. But there are still problems.

There was a time when it might not have seemed particularly noteworthy that a presidential nominee was competent and sane. But we do not live in those times. So it is actually worth taking notice of the fact that Scott Gottlieb, Trump’s nominee to head FDA, is competent and sane. And unlike some other Trump […]

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