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Stories by Lisa Stein

The Sciences

Obama names FDA chief, announces new food safety panel

President Barack Obama today tapped former New York City Public Health Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, 54, to head the embattled U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and announced creation of a new panel to examine and update food safety laws in the wake of an outbreak of salmonella that sickened hundreds.  Obama announced the moves during his weekly radio address in which he blamed a lack of food inspections and antiquated laws and regs for creating a "demoralized" FDA as well as conditions ripe for a string of food-borne infections over the past few years, including the recent salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter and paste churned out at a contaminated Georgia plant...

March 14, 2009 — Lisa Stein
The Sciences

"Beetle" juice: Is your food bugged?

Warning: if you have a delicate stomach—stop reading this now. Ditto if you're eating.

For you heartier souls out there… A show of hands, please: How many of you know that many common foods and beverages with a blush—think yogurt, ice cream, candies, fruit drinks—get their reddish (pinkish, purplish or orange) glow from carmine and cochineal, colorings extracted from the dried bodies of teensy female cochineal insects, sometimes referred to as cochineal beetles?...

January 9, 2009 — Lisa Stein
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