Monthly Archives: April 2015

Consumers growing aware of aspartame dangers

A controversial artificial sweetener is being removed from Diet Pepsi in the US amid consumer concerns about its safety. http://www.bbc.com/news/health-32478203 Aspartame-free cans of the drink will go on sale from August in America, but not in Britain. Regulators in the UK and the US insist aspartame is still safe to use in soft drinks. PepsiCo […]

Anti-globalization activism becomes formidable

In the early 2000s, after Michael Froman decamped from the Clinton Treasury Department for Wall Street, he called his old law school colleague Lori Wallach, now an anti-globalization activist, with an unusual proposal. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/28/business/trans-pacific-partnership-puts-harvard-law-school-rivals-on-opposite-sides-again.html?ref=us Would she fly to Citigroup’s training center in Westchester County, N.Y., to explain to company executives from around the world that […]

Chipotle restaurant to eliminate GMO ingredients

In a first for a major restaurant chain, Chipotle Mexican Grill on Monday will begin preparing only food that is free of genetically engineered ingredients. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/27/business/chipotle-to-stop-serving-genetically-altered-food.html?smid=tw-nytimes&_r=0 “This is another step toward the visions we have of changing the way people think about and eat fast food,” said Steve Ells, founder and co-chief executive of Chipotle. […]

Scientists anticipate genetically modified humans

The experiment with human embryos was dreaded, yet widely anticipated. Scientists somewhere, researchers said, were trying to edit genes with a technique that would permanently alter the DNA of every cell so any changes would be passed on from generation to generation.  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/health/chinese-scientists-edit-genes-of-human-embryos-raising-concerns.html Those concerns drove leading researchers to issue urgent calls in major scientific […]

Robots replacing more than just low-wage jobs

A machine hums along, quietly scanning the slides, generating Pap smear diagnostics, just the way a college-educated, well-compensated lab technician might. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/19/opinion/sunday/the-machines-are-coming.html?action=click&contentCollection=Technology&module=RelatedCoverage&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article A robot with emotion-detection software interviews visitors to the United States at the border. In field tests, this eerily named “embodied avatar kiosk” does much better than humans in catching those with invalid […]

FBI using dodgy forensics to secure convictions

The FBI has admitted “errors” in evidence provided by its forensics laboratory to US courts to help secure convictions, including in death penalty cases, over more than 20 years. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-32380051 A report by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) noted “irregularities” in the hair analysis unit. More detail on the cases affected is expected […]

Postal Service gets called out on spying program

A Postal Service surveillance program that records the information on the outside of letters and packages delivered to people suspected of criminal activity should be overhauled because of a lack of oversight, according to a report by a national defense lawyers’ group. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/22/us/report-seeks-overhaul-of-postal-service-surveillance-program.html?ref=us An audit by the service’s inspector general last year found that about […]