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EWG News and Analysis

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EWG News Roundup (2/24): Cancer Defense Diet, Plate of the Union, and Pruitt’s Love Letters with Fossil Fuel Industry

Friday, February 24, 2017

It’s no surprise that what you eat is strongly linked to your health. But did you know your diet can actually help fight against the development of several common cancers? This week, EWG released a new Cancer Defense Diet with a handy nutrition calculator to show you whether you’re eating the right combination of foods.

Speaking of food, we joined the Food Policy Action Education Fund to launch the Plate of the Union campaign. It’s time for consumers to have a say in how to make our food safer, more affordable and better for the environment. Visit the website to learn how you can get involved in the fight for healthy food.

Also this week, Scott Pruitt’s close and friendly relationship with the fossil fuel industry was revealed through his emails. Last week an Oklahoma state judge ordered the release of 3,000 emails between his office and the industry. EWG will remain vigilant to make sure Pruitt’s Environmental Protection Agency continues to protect clean air, clean water, children’s health and other environmental interests.

Here’s some news you can use as you begin your weekend.

Cancer Defense Diet and Nutrition Calculator

The Cheat Sheet: You Can Prevent Cancer by Retooling Your Diet With These 10 Guidelines

A new project from Environmental Working Group, partnering with researchers from the Halifax Project, is packed with ideas. Specifically, the project looks at the way our diet can influence our cancer risk — be it today, or several years down the road.

Mind Body Green: An Eating Plan For Cancer Prevention, Straight From The EWG

In honor of Cancer Prevention Month, the Environmental Working Group just released a deep-dive into what exactly you should be eating to mitigate your risk. Perhaps unsurprisingly, their cancer defense diet is high in fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts and legumes, and low in red and processed meats, sugar and salt. The recommendations go a step further to describe how we should be pairing and preparing our food, and that's where things really get interesting. Reprinted by True Viral News.

Organic Authority: New Cancer Defense Diet Calculator Released by EWG

The Environmental Working Group has just released its new Cancer Defense Diet, developed based on existing research linking diet to cancer and designed to help people consume more cancer-fighting foods through a varied, plant-based diet.

Shape: This Quiz Helps Determine Your Cancer Risk

That's where the Environmental Working Group comes in. The organization, which is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives through scientifically-proven research, has come up with a nutrition calculator for cancer prevention. Here's how it works: You indicate how frequently you eat of certain types of food, and the calculator tells you how good of a job you're doing. The foods included in the calculator are ones that are proven to lessen your cancer risk because of their nutrient and phytochemical contents.

Plate of the Union

Politico – Morning Agriculture: Food Policy Action, EWG Look to Get Consumers Engaged on Farm Bill

Food Policy Action Education Fund and the Environmental Working Group on Tuesday announced a new “Plate of the Union” campaign focused on getting more consumers involved in farm bill politics.

The Fence Post: EWG, Food Policy Action launch Plate of the Union farm bill campaign

The Environmental Working Group and the Food Policy Action Fund today are launching their "Plate of the Union" campaign on the next farm bill.

New Hope Network: Campaign calls on consumers to take a stand on food policy

Today, to reclaim the debate, the Environmental Working Group and Food Policy Action Education Fund are launching the Plate of the Union campaign. It aims to awaken a new audience of American consumers to become activists for policies that make food safer, make healthy food more accessible and make food production better for our environment.

Wisconsin State Farmer: Plate of the Union: New campaign will activate consumers for healthy food and sustainable farm policy

Today, to reclaim the debate, the Environmental Working Group and Food Policy Action Education Fund are launching the Plate of the Union campaign. It aims to awaken a new audience of American consumers to become activists for policies that make food safer, make healthy food more accessible and make food production better for our environment.

Scott Pruitt and EPA

The New York Times: The Pruitt Emails: E.P.A. Chief Was Arm in Arm With Industry

“This extensive trail of emails reads like a yearslong chain of love letters between soul mates,” said Ken Cook, the president of the Environmental Working Group.

Bloomberg News: EPA Chief Battled Agency Armed With Industry Talking Points

Ken Cook, head of the Environmental Working Group, said Pruitt’s past interactions with energy companies show that equation will be weighted on the side of fossil fuel. “When, on his first day at the agency, Scott Pruitt told EPA staff that energy development needn’t conflict with environmental protection, you have to believe he means the minimal protection for air and water that Koch, Devon Energy and other fossil fuel interests always have in mind,” Cook said in a news release. Reprinted by NewsDog.

Gizmodo: Chickenshit Scott Pruitt Is Never Going to Stand Up to the Fossil Fuel Industry

As Scott Faber of the nonprofit research organization Environmental Working Group put it, "The EPA is the only guarantee that when you turn on your tap your water isn't full of shit." So it's alarming that Scott Pruitt, newly confirmed administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency once worked on behalf of donors in Oklahoma to stop his new employer from keeping literal chicken shit out of the water. Reprinted by NewsDog.

Chemical Watch: Senate confirms Pruitt to lead US EPA

But NGO the Environmental Working Group (EWG) said there has never been a nominee for EPA administrator opposed so strongly by environmental and public health advocates, scientists, and hundreds of current and former EPA officials. “As Scott Pruitt takes the reins at the EPA, we expect to see an unprecedented assault on public health protections,” said EWG President Ken Cook.

EHS Today: Emails from EPA’s Pruitt Reveal Close Ties to Fossil Fuel Industry

“There has never been a nominee for EPA administrator opposed so strongly by environmental and public health advocates, scientists and hundreds of current and former EPA officials,” commented Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group. “Considering the unprecedented opposition to this nominee and the potential bombshell looming in those emails, the public deserved much better from the Senate. Americans have a right to know: Will Scott Pruitt will be working for them, or will he, in effect, continue working for the fossil fuel industry?”

USDA Nominee Sonny Perdue

Village Voice: A Trump Cabinet Pick You Probably Haven’t Worried About Yet: Secretary of Agriculture

But Environmental Working Group, a non-profit advocacy group headquartered in Washington D.C., blasted the nomination. “It’s certainly hard to imagine that a former fertilizer salesman will tackle the unregulated farm pollution that poisons our drinking water, turns Lake Erie green, and fouls the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico,” EWG senior VP for government affairs, Scott Faber said shortly after Perdue’s nomination.

Cosmetics and FDA

Newsweek: The Lies About 'Lye' and Other Toxic Cosmetics Marketed to Black Women

While 13 percent of people in the country are black, this demographic is responsible for 22 percent of the $42 billion cosmetics industry, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a Washington, D.C.-based research organization that monitors the safety of consumer products and lobbies for stricter regulations. EWG recently released a report that finds roughly three-quarters of products marketed specifically to black women contain high quantities of hazardous and toxic chemicals such as parabens and formaldehyde. Reprinted by Yahoo! News.

FOX News: 13 surprising sperm killers

Visit Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database to judge the safety of your personal-care products; opt for these natural deodorants; eat organic, unprocessed foods as much as possible; and learn to make your own green cleaners.

Well + Good: Is chewing gum actually bad for you?

Just to be clear, though: The additive—which is in a lot of personal care products as well, everything from toothpaste to sunscreen—is considered safe by the Food and Drug Administration. (And the Environmental Working Group puts the ingredient in the “good” range.)

Chemical Policy

Organic Authority: How Safe are Common Chemicals? It’s Time to Shift the Burden of Proof to Manufacturers

“In this country, FDA and EPA are placed with the burden of trying to prove that something is unsafe,” explains Bill Walker, Vice President and Managing Editor at the Environmental Working Group, “rather than the companies having to prove that it is safe.”

Chromium-6

Mind Body Green: Turn Your Home Into A Zen Oasis With Tips From This High-Tech Wellness Condo

A recent study by the Environmental Working Group estimates that 218 million Americans are consuming water containing chromium-6—a potential carcinogen. Instead of taking this as your cue to freak out, see it as a sign that it's time to invest in a quality filter.

Flame Retardants

The Washington Post: With allergy season around the corner, educate yourself now

According to the Environmental Working Group, flame retardants are one big offender because they are in so many consumer products, such as telephones, televisions, sofas, toys and basketballs.

Fragrance: Unilever

Experience Life: A Whiff of Good News

Ken Cook, president and cofounder of the Environmental Working Group, which has performed independent lab testing on the health effects of fragrance chemicals, calls the news a “game-changer for transparency in the personal-care product market.”

Pesticides and EWG’s Shopper’s Guide

.Mic: GMOs aren't scary — pesticides are

“I think we need to brace for [the EPA] to attack every protection we've achieved to secure healthy food, clean air and uncontaminated water,” Sonya Lunder, Environmental Working Group senior analyst, said in an email. When it comes to pesticides, Lunder said that this year, the EPA will be evaluating how several pesticides impact human health and the environment. 

The List: What everyone gets wrong about eating healthy

“There are definitely the ‘dirty dozen’ to be aware of, (like strawberries, apples, nectarines, peaches, celery, grapes, cherries, spinach, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers, according to The Environmental Working Group, or EWG) but then there are the ‘Clean 15’ (like avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, eggplant, honeydew melon, grapefruit, cantaloupe, and cauliflower, according to the EWG),” she says.

.Mic: Not rich, but want a better diet? 5 ways to eat healthier food — while also saving money

Some of the cleanest produce includes avocados, sweet corn and pineapples, whereas strawberries, apples and nectarines tend to contain more pesticides — and thus might therefore make you want to choose organic over conventional, according to nonprofit Environmental Working Group.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: 'Humble cabbage' is a welcome late-winter vegetable

It’s also an extremely economical vegetable and makes regular appearances on Environmental Working Group’s “Clean 15” list of produce that has the lowest pesticide load, if you choose to not buy organic.

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