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Environmental brief ~ Red dye scare in UK leads to food recalls

[JURIST] In Tuesday's environmental law news, over 400 food products [official list from FSA] in the UK have been revealed to be contaminated with the industrial food dye Sudan 1 [New Zealand food safety factpage] by the Food Standards Agency (FSA)[official website]. Most of the products are in the process of being recalled. The red dye is a suspected carcinogen banned for human consumption, although a British scientist has said that the likelihood of getting cancer from the ingestion of one of the contaminated products would be similar to the risk of cancer from smoking a single cigarette. From London, the Daily Telegraph has more.

In other news...

  • Over 100 environmental ministers are currently debating mercury limits at the United Nations Environment Program's [official website] headquarters in Kenya. The meeting is to decide whether to begin to create an international treaty that would restrict the buying, selling and use of the element. Two different approaches are being considered. The EU favors strict restrictions on usage and a timetable that would eventually eliminate practically all use. The US opposes a binding treaty, and instead has proposed partnerships between industries, governments and environmental groups to share information about mercury-free technologies, best business practices and health advisories on contaminated fish. Mercury is predominately used in developing nations that, the US administration argues, may not be in the best position to understand the scope of the problem or be able to negotiate workable timetables. A vote is expected Thursday or Friday. The Los Angeles Times has the more.

  • The Agricultural Marketing Service [official website] seeks comments on a proposed rule [text] that would raise the assessment rate for olives grown in California from $12.18 to $15.68 per ton. The money collected goes to the California Olive Committee [official website] which administers the order, authorizes marketing and funds research. The increased rate should amount to 2.33 percent of the expected California olive revenue for the upcoming crop year. Comments can be made here until March 24.

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