Thursday, May 18, 2006

Another stupid food scare: Coca-Cola sued over lead content

Mr "Look at me" Bill Lockyer again, also known as an enemy of potatoes etc.

The state of California and the city of Los Angeles sued drinks giant Coca-Cola Co today seeking to stop distribution of Coca-Cola made in Mexico amid concerns over its alleged lead content. The lawsuit claims that elevated levels of lead have been detected in the paint used to decorate the outside of glass Coca-Cola bottles, as well as in the fizzy drink itself. "Millions of bottles of this product have been handled and consumed by Californians over the past four years without any warning of the danger they pose," the lawsuit claimed. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by California attorney-general Bill Lockyer and Los Angeles city lawyer Rocky Delgadillo.

Coca-Cola said in a statement that it would "vigorously defend itself" against the "outlandish allegations". "All Coca-Cola beverages, including those made in Mexico, are safe and comply with all laws," said Ray Steed, a Coca-Cola vice president of quality and technical services.

The suit also alleges that Mexican-bottled Coca-Cola is sold in large volumes in California and that company officials knew that consumers were being exposed to unsafe levels of lead from it. The Mexican-bottled version of the leading soft drink is sweeter than its US counterpart, and is imported to feed demand from the huge Mexican population in California, the suit said.

Mr Lockyer and Mr Delgadillo reached an accord with PepsiCo in April under which the main Coca-Cola competitor agreed to take steps to prevent lead-contaminated bottles from being distributed in the western state, according to the lawsuit.


P.M. Howard flags N-power

Now that Australia's Leftist opposition is divided over nukes, Howard is upping the ante

Australia may consider building nuclear power plants as an alternative source of clean energy and to combat the spiralling price of oil. Signalling a new phase in the uranium debate, John Howard has suggested the Government could issue a white paper outlining the nuclear options for Australia. But the Prime Minister cautioned that the economic case for large-scale nuclear power plants had to be made. "It may be desirable that Australia in the future builds nuclear power plants," Mr Howard told reporters in Washington, after meetings with US Energy Secretary Sam Bodman and the chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke.

Mr Howard's enthusiasm for a possible nuclear future came after he told Mr Bodman that Australia wanted to be fully consulted over plans for the big six nuclear-power countries - the US, France, China, Britain, Russia and Japan - to forge a new informal trading bloc. But Mr Howard poured cold water on suggestions Australia could become a waste dump for nuclear material from other countries, arguing that this was never contemplated. "What I indicated to (Mr Bodman) is that we would want to be kept fully informed of how this proposal developed. At this stage, Australia is a willing seller of uranium subject to the provisions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and our own separate safeguards," he said. "We would continue to want to be in that position, but we would want to be kept informed of any progress towards formation of what could be regarded as a fuel reprocessing group."

US President George W. Bush wants a global nuclear energy partnership as part of his push to generate a viable nuclear industry, to reduce Washington's reliance on Middle East oil, and coal.

Part of the GNEP plan is for nuclear leasing, under which nuclear countries would provide enriched uranium to other countries for energy purposes, then take back the nuclear waste. With nearly 40 per cent of the world's uranium reserves, Australia will be a key player in the world nuclear talks, along with Canada, the No2 global supplier of yellowcake.

Mr Howard is clearly seeking a public debate on the future of nuclear energy in Australia, arguing that even "radical greenies" had changed their attitude on the use of enriched uranium as an energy source. "I'm attracted to Australia selling uranium to people who want to buy it, not lease it, buy it, in other parts of the world, subject to our obligations under the (nuclear non-proliferation) treaty and subject to our own safeguard arrangements - I'm in favour of that," Mr Howard said. "And I'm in favour at all times of examining whether it is in our national interest to progress the use of nuclear power in Australia. "Now obviously that would include a consideration of whether we should process the uranium here." Whether Australia goes down the nuclear road will depend on whether the process is economically viable.

China and India - and more recently Indonesia - want nuclear energy, and Mr Howard does not want Australia to fall behind in the race to satisfy the increasing demand for uranium. But it will be hard for the Government to win public support for nuclear energy, although sections of the Labor Party also back a more open debate. The Democrats said yesterday the Northern Territory could end up with "radioactive waste the rest of the world does not want". Mr Howard refused to rule out the release of a white paper on the nuclear leasing issue, with people increasingly worried about greenhouse gases.



Prime Minister Tony Blair has angered the environmental movement by pushing for new nuclear power plants in Britain as part of a drive to ensure reliable energy supplies and combat global warming. In a speech to business leaders, Blair said nuclear energy and renewables are "back on the agenda with a vengeance" after he received the first draft of an energy review by the government, which is due to be published in July. Renewables are constant sources of energy like wind, water and solar power.

"Essentially, the twin pressures of climate change and energy security are raising energy policy to the top of the agenda in the UK and around the world," Blair told the annual dinner of the Confederation of British Industry. "The facts are stark," warned the prime minister, dressed in a tuxedo. "By 2025, if current policy is unchanged there will be a dramatic gap on our targets to reduce CO2 emissions." Carbon dioxide emissions are blamed for fuelling global warming by trapping heat-retaining gases in the Earth's atmosphere.

Britain, Blair added, will become heavily dependent on gas and at the same time move from being 80-to-90 per cent self-reliant in gas to 80-to-90 per cent dependent on foreign imports, mostly from the Middle East, Africa and Russia. "These facts put the replacement of nuclear power stations, a big push on renewables and a step change on energy efficiency, engaging both business and consumers, back on the agenda with a vengeance," the prime minister said. "If we don't take these long-term decisions now we will be committing a serious dereliction of our duty to the future of this country."

Britain currently has about a dozen nuclear power stations, most of them built in the 1960s and 1970s, providing around 25 per cent of the country's electricity. Natural gas provides about 40 per cent.

Environmental groups reacted angrily to Blair's comments, released hours ahead of his speech, as they argued that Britain can meet its future energy needs and cut polluting emissions without building new nuclear power plants. Stephen Tindale, director of Greenpeace, said: "The prime minister obviously made up his mind about nuclear power some time ago, and certainly well before the government launched its energy review." Keith Allott, head of climate change for environmental group WWF-UK, echoed Tindale's remarks.....

More here


They all want other countries to bear the pain

Europe's system for trading pollution permits - hailed as a global model for cutting greenhouse gas emissions - was thrown into turmoil on Monday night after at least two member states proposed substantial and conflicting changes to the way it operates. Figures released on Monday by the European Commission showed that most member states had given their industries far too many pollution-permitting carbon credits, and risked undermining Europe's drive to cut emissions.

Germany responded by announcing that it would recall about 12m excess permits, driving carbon emission prices to a three-week high in heavy trading. But France said firms should be allowed to hold over unused permits.

Under the scheme, companies in energy-intensive industries are issued with permits for each tonne of carbon dioxide they are allowed to produce. If they want to emit more they must buy them in the market from companies with too many. The aim of the market is to ensure companies have an incentive to invest in new technology or other efficiency measures to reduce their carbon dioxide output.

But with an excess 44m tonnes in carbon allowances last year, Brussels is now under severe pressure to ensure the scheme works more effectively in its next phase from 2008 to 2012. Brussels is calling on governments to reduce their allocation of permits by an average of 6 per cent for the second phase. Governments are due to submit their plans for the second phase by June 30....

France, where industries received about 12 per cent more permits than they needed, added to yesterday's confusion by proposing that companies should be allowed to roll over permits unused in the first phase (2005-07) of the scheme.

Financial Times, 15 May 2006.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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