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President Obama’s visit to Canada has several bloggers thinking about tar sands:

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Bloggers help us stay up to date on the stimulus package’s latest permutation:

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Bloggers discuss food:

  • Andrew Schneider at Secret Ingredients points out that FDA can’t just shut down the facility responsible for salmonella-tainted peanut paste.
  • Maryn McKenna has more bad news about the drug-resistant bacteria MRSA: now it’s been found in Belgian chickens.
  • Tom Philpott at Gristmill attends the Seafood Summit and makes analogies (between land- and sea-based food production, between marine and terrestrial monocultures, etc.).
  • Andrew Revkin at Dot Earth reports on actions being taken to protect Arctic fish from overexploitation once more sea ice melts.

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We often link to Ken Ward Jr.’s excellent coverage of mining issues in the Charleston Gazette. He does a fantastic job exploring the many ways that decisions by mining companies and government bureaucrats affect the lives of mineworkers, their families, and mining communities. Celeste summed up our admiration for him a couple of months ago, writing:

Ken Ward amazes me with his tenacious attention to worker safety, his watchdog instincts, and his exceptional commitment to follow-up.

And now, we get even more of this great coal-mining coverage from Ken Ward’s new blog, Coal Tattoo. The blog’s purpose, as he explains in his introductory post, isn’t just to offer more of his reporting (though that’s certainly welcome), but to help foster a discussion about the future of coal: Read the rest of this entry »

There’s a new voice in the public health blogosphere: Target Population, a blog by students from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. The students are enrolled in Blogging Skills for Public Health, a class Celeste and I are teaching this semester.

Although the blog is new, it already boasts several thought-provoking posts on a wide range of topics, including Zimbabwe’s cholera epidemic, a new anti-smoking campaignthe U.S. vaccine plan, restaurant inspections, and hospital preparedness.

We encourage you to check out Target Population, and add it to your bookmarks or RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on what the next generation of public health professionals is thinking.

Bloggers have a lot of thoughts about the stimulus package:

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First, some welcome breaking news from Amie Newman at RH Reality Check: President Obama has rescinded the Global Gag Rule, which banned giving federal funds to internal groups that provide abortions or informations about the procedure.

Jacob Goldstein at WSJ’s Health Blog is also on top of the latest health news, reporting that Obama has named Richard Besser, who’s headed emergency response efforts at CDC, as acting head of that agency.

And bloggers have a few more thoughts on Obama’s appointments and plans:

  • Maggie Mahar at Health Beat suggests that Obama’s inaugural address might have been preparing us for the difficult choices that we’ll face with healthcare reform.
  • Kate Sheppard at Gristmill reports on Transportation pick Ray LaHood’s views on the connection between transportation and sustainability.
  • Robert McClure at Dateline Earth points out that Ken Salazar, Obama’s choice for Interior Secretary, has opposed proposals that would have tightened fuel efficiency standards, repealed tax breaks for ExxonMobil, and used the Farm Bill to better protect the environment.
  • Sarah Rubenstein at WSJ’s Health Blog passes along some FDA advice from prominent Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Steve Nissen.

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There were lots of good posts this week about health challenges around the world:

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There’s a lot of news about food that might spoil your appetite:

  • Tom Philpott at Gristmill is “having a hard time accepting that Obama has picked an ethanol-loving GMO enthusiast as his USDA chief.” 
  • Revere at Effect Measure reports that the country is experiencing a salmonella outbreak that’s sickened 400 people, but the CDC and FDA haven’t publicly identified the source.
  • Andrew Schneider at Secret Ingredients draws our attention to a study that found vegetables grown in soil fertilized with livestock manure absorbed antibiotics from the animal waste.
  • Ezra Klein points out that high health insurance costs make farming an unattractive career choice.

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Bloggers are anticipating some new activities from the Obama administration´s Health and Human Services team, while still keeping a close eye on what the Bush administration HHS is up to:

Jeff Goldsmith at the Health Affairs Blog considers what we can expect from Tom Daschle, who Obama has picked as his “health czar.”

Maggie Mahar at Health Beat urges readers to heed Daschle´s call and host Health Care Community Discussions.

Merril Goozner at GoozNews explores the drug-industry issues that will face the person Obama picks to head FDA.

Emily Douglas at RH Reality Check reports on HHS´s publication of its rule broadening protections for health care providers who refuse to provide health care services based on religious or moral grounds.

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