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Environmental Health Perspectives
Environmental Health Perspectives
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Scratching Out Data on Animal Antibiotic Effects Farmers use antibiotics to help keep livestock healthy and make them grow faster. Because of concerns that this practice encourages microbial resistance to these drugs, the GAO studied research needs and federal agency efforts on the problem. The GAO’s April 2004 report found that agencies lack the data on linkages between antibiotic use in animals and emerging resistant bacteria that are needed to support research on human health risks. It recommended that the FDA expedite risk assessment of drugs used in animals that are also critical for human health, and that a plan be developed and implemented to fill data gaps in this area. Counting Hydrocarbs to Curb U.S. Oil Hunger In analyzing U.S. fossil fuel consumption, a Cornell University team has determined that energy conservation, along with the development and implementation of energy-efficient technologies, could save consumers $438 billion per year by 2014; conserve chemicals, paper, lumber, and metals; and reduce energy consumption by 33%—just over the amount provided by annual U.S. oil imports. In the June 2004 issue of Environment, Development, and Sustainability, the team reported that government subsidies of traditional energy industries, which cost American families about $410 each year in taxes, keep fuel prices artificially low, thus encouraging greater consumption and importation. Obesity Report Cards In June 2004, as part of a state antiobesity program, the nonpartisan Arkansas Center for Health Improvement began mailing annual health reports to the parents of all 450,000 Arkansan public school students. Schools submit each child’s weight and body mass index to the center, which then notifies parents of their child’s weight category and provides healthy lifestyle tips. The center found that 40% of the state’s children are either overweight or at risk for becoming so. Arkansas has also banned vending machines from elementary schools and set u

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