EWG news roundup (6/10): FDA seeks to limit BPA in food packaging, rooftop solar soars this year and more

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration indicated it would seek to limit the use of bisphenol A, or BPA, in food packaging, filling an urgent need, given alarming new data about the chemical’s harm. EWG applauded this move and broke down what it means to consumers.

A new report found that California’s enthusiasm for renewables led U.S. residential rooftop solar installations to a record high in the first quarter of 2022, even while utility-scale and commercial installations fell due to persistent supply chain issues driven largely by tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels.

In an effort to bolster the domestic solar industry, President Joe Biden this week announced a two-year pause on those tariffs for imported solar panels from China. Biden plans to use the Defense Production Act to boost investments in domestic renewable energy companies, including solar panel manufacturers. The move will provide financing through grants and loans to the industry.

“Solar is an affordable, viable clean energy tool that is consistently shown to lower energy bills, while also fighting the climate crisis,” said EWG President and California resident Ken Cook. “Confirmation by a leading industry analyst is helpful, but it’s also a stark warning about the dire future we face if the power companies succeed in stifling solar.”

The nation’s non-organic fruit and vegetable growers are throwing their weight behind efforts to undo the Environmental Protection Agency’s ban on spraying produce with a pesticide known to harm to children’s brains.

Here’s some news you can use going into the weekend.

Carbon sequestration webinar

Progressive Farmer: Carbon Markets, Ag and Oversight

Added to the skepticism, at least on carbon sequestration, the Environmental Working Group on Friday held its own webinar on carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. The three university soil scientists who spoke noted data largely does not support that carbon increases in soils under cropping systems. 

Successful Farming: Claim: Grazed Grasslands Trump Cover Crops on Long-term Carbon Sequestration

In the debate over how to use agricultural lands to sequester carbon and help mitigate climate change, no-till and cover cropping get most of the attention. But studies are starting to show that grazed perennial pastures, where the soil is rarely disturbed and continuously covered, may be the best strategy for locking carbon in the soil long-term, according to experts on a recent Environmental Working Group webinar.


Food Safety Tech: FDA To Reconsider Safety of BPA in Food Packaging

The January petition and an April supplement were submitted by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP), Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, Consumer Reports, Endocrine Society, Environmental Working Group (EWG), Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF), EDF consultant Dr. Maricel Maffini, and Dr. Linda Birnbaum, former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program.

Consumer guides 

Gimme the Good Stuff: Start Here: 5 Crucial Steps to Decrease Toxins in Your Home

At the end of each section below I will include a shortcut for you to simply “do what I do.” This is a sentence or two that tells you the exact products I have bought to eliminate my own anxiety about that category of toxins. This is for those of you who really don’t have time to be perusing those EWG rankings and just want to get straight to the solution.


CoinDesk: Inside the Environmentalist Campaign to Change Bitcoin’s Code

The block size wars and the SegWit update “serve as a case in point” to show that “changes can be made,” Scott Faber, senior vice president, Government Affairs at Environmental Working Group (EWG), one of the groups spearheading the campaign, told CoinDesk. Whether these changes come as “a hard fork or a soft fork,” they can indeed be made “when there's general consensus within the Bitcoin community,” he said.

EWG VERIFIED®: Cosmetics

CNN: 16 LGBTQ-owned beauty brands for inclusive skin care, makeup and more

Well People offers clean and sustainable makeup and skin care that is EWG-verified. The brand’s commitment to no-fuss beauty products that are good for you and the environment is led by its three Latinx co-founders, including Shirley Pinkson, who is also currently the head of education for drugstore-favorite brand E.l.f Beauty.

Cosmopolitan: 23 Best Clarifying Shampoos for Curly Hair (Sulfate *and* Sulfate-Free)

Made with all-natural ingredients like lemon oil, aloe, and vitamin E, this organic shampoo is EWG-certified and ideal for anyone looking to dissolve product build-up and green-ify their curl routine in the process.


Bloomberg: Chemours, DuPont Must Test One PFAS, EPA Says in First Order

But Melanie Benesh, legislative attorney for the Environmental Working Group, welcomed the agency’s test order as “a critical first step towards generating much-needed data on PFAS chemicals and to addressing groups of PFAS.”

The Guardian: At least 12 military bases contaminating water supply with toxic PFAS

The data released this week by the military shows levels for five kinds of PFAS compounds at what Scott Faber, vice-president of government affairs for Environmental Working Group, characterized as “extremely high” levels, and he said they present a health threat to residents living nearby.

2022 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ 

The Daily Beast: This Experimental Device Identifies Toxins on Produce In Minutes

Had some fruit this morning for breakfast? You might have unknowingly ingested some pesticide. More than 70 percent of non-organic fresh produce sold in the U.S. contains traces of pesticide residue even after washing, according to a 2022 report by the Environmental Working Group.

EWG Guide to Sunscreens

The New York Times: Save Your Face From the Sun

According to Carla Burns, the senior director for cosmetic science at the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, the actual difference in the amount of added protection typically provided by very high SPFs is minimal.

Disqus Comments