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California 1273 articles

PG&E Under Fire for Falsifying Safety Records

California regulators have ordered an investigation into Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Company, accusing the utility of falsifying safety documents for years, even when it was embroiled in the aftermath of the deadly San Bruno gas explosions. The California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) Dec. 18 order accuses PG&E of faking thousands of safety records pertaining to its natural gas infrastructure from 2012 through 2017. “This is the period immediately following the 2010 San Bruno gas explosion and fire that resulted in eight fatalities, numerous injuries and damage to property,” the CPUC’s order observes. The CPUC’s order for an investigation of ... Read More

Glyphosate likely cause of high cancer death rate in Argentina farming town

In 2015, authorities in rural Monte Maiz, Argentina called on researchers from the University of Cordoba to study the people in the town and whether the environment was affecting their health. Researchers collected soil, air, water and blood samples from the locals and found agrochemicals like glyphosate in many of them. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s weed killers that include the brand-names Roundup and Ranger Pro. For two decades, the herbicides have been used liberally on the 28 million hectares of crops in Argentina genetically modified to resist the effects of glyphosate, resulting in higher yields of crops ... Read More

Arkansas Truck Driver ‘A Hazard to Public Safety,’ FMCSA Says

Federal authorities have ordered an Arkansas-licensed commercial truck driver to cease driving any commercial vehicles across state lines, calling him “an imminent hazard to public safety.” The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says that it served truck driver Jeffery Scott Mitchell with an out-of-service order on Dec. 14, citing a record of serious “egregious violations,” including some concerning alcohol and drug use. During five separate roadside safety inspections within the last nine months, Mr. Mitchell has been cited and taken into custody by law enforcement officers in Arizona, California, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee for being either under the influence ... Read More

Roundup herbicide found in orange juice

Orange juice is a breakfast staple for many. It’s packed with vitamin C that benefits many body functions and protect against the common cold. But a new study found several brands of orange juice also contain glyphosate, the likely cancer-causing active ingredient in the pesticide Roundup. The news comes just months after research by the Environmental Working Group revealed 28 brands of oat-based cereals and cereal snack bars, like Cheerios and Quaker Oats, contained glyphosate. The latest study, conducted by advocacy group Moms Across America, investigated six brands of orange juice including Florida’s Natural, Tropicana, Minute Maid, Starter Bros, Signature Farms ... Read More

Trucking Companies Can Disregard California Break Rules, FMCSA Says

Commercial trucking companies do not have to comply with a California law requiring them to provide drivers with paid rest and meal breaks, federal regulators announced just before Christmas. In a written statement, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Administrator Raymond Martinez suggested that pre-empting California’s stricter safety rules would lead to increased highway safety. The federal government’s hours-of-service (HOS) rules allow truck drivers to spend more time behind the wheel without a break. “Safety is FMCSA’s top priority and having uniform rules is a key component to increasing safety for our truck drivers,” Mr. Martinez said. “During the public comment ... Read More

Rapid tapering from opioids can be dangerous, experts warn

Rapidly forcing patients off highly addictive opioids can destabilize patients, lead to a worsening of pain, precipitate severe opioid withdrawal symptoms and cause a profound loss of function, medical experts warned in an open letter published in the journal Pain Medicine. In the wake of the nation’s opioid epidemic, which took more than 48,000 lives last year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advocated for tapering and discontinuing opioids in some patients who use them for long-term pain management. But Beth Darnall of Stanford University in California, and coauthors, say that such “aggressive” dose reductions over ... Read More

California Romaine Grower Linked to E.Coli Outbreak Recalls Other Produce  

A California farm linked to the E. coli-contaminated romaine lettuce that triggered a massive nationwide recall is now recalling other types of produce as a precaution. Adam Bros. Farming, Inc. of Santa Maria, California, said the new recalls include red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, and cauliflower harvested on Nov. 27 through Nov. 30, 2018. Although none of the produce has tested positive for the E. coli strain associated with the outbreak (E. coli O157:H7) and no illnesses have been reported, the company says it’s voluntarily recalling the extra produce out of an abundance of caution. The recalled cauliflower was ... Read More

E. Coli Linked to Romaine Lettuce Traced to Santa Barbara Farm

Romaine lettuce is starting to appear in grocery stores and restaurants again after an E. coli outbreak that sickened people in several states forced a recall of nearly all the lettuce. But if you can’t identify where the romaine was grown, it’s probably a good idea to avoid it. That’s the gist of an update from U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. According to the announcement, federal and state investigators using traceback methods have identified one source of the outbreak as Adams Bros. Farms in Santa Barbara County, California. FDA investigators visited several potential outbreak sources to ... Read More

Former USC gynecologist kept photos of naked patients in storage unit

Last spring, Los Angeles police launched an investigation into sexual assault claims against University of Southern California (USC) gynecologist Dr. George Tydall. Several former and current female students had reported that he had inappropriately touched them, unnecessarily penetrated them with his hands, made lewd comments, and photographed them while they were at his office for medical exams. The investigation became one of the largest – if not the largest – sex crimes investigations involving an individual in the Los Angeles Police Department’s history. As part of their investigation, police began following the former gynecologist, noting that on two occasions Tydall, ... Read More

Positive Train Control (PTC) Delayed on Metro-North for Another Two Years

Positive Train Control or PTC, the technology that can automatically slow trains in dangerous sections of track, will not be installed in the Metro-North rail system for another two years after federal regulators gave the railroad a deadline extension. Metro-North, the New York City-based commuter rail operated by New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), was supposed to have PTC up and running on all of its trains by Dec. 31, 2018. The rail says it has achieved critical benchmarks in its implementation of PTC technology across its 800 miles of track, but it needs more time to complete installation and ... Read More