lethal teflon: The US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has charged the DuPont company with hiding the adverse health and environmental effects of Teflon, used in its non-stick cookware and carpet protection product. In doing so, the company violated the federal Toxic Substances Control Act from June 1981 to March 2001, it says. Traces of perfluorooctanoic acid, the main chemical in Teflon, were found in water supplies near DuPont's West Virginia plant and also in the blood of a pregnant employee. The chemical has been linked with birth defects in the offspring of the company's former employees.
on nuclear path: After more than five years, the Chinese government has approved the construction of two new nuclear power plants. The step is aimed at tackling electricity shortages, the state media said. The new plants would install two 100-megawatt nuclear reactors each. China is aiming at a four-fold increase in its nuclear power generating capacity by 2020.
agri tussle: Agribusiness giant Monsanto Company has filed two new lawsuits against its Swiss rival Syngenta AG. According to one suit, Syngenta infringed patents held by Monsanto's DeKalb Genetics Corp. Monsanto has urged the court to prevent Syngenta from developing, using and selling Roundup Ready corn seed, including its GA21 Roundup Ready variety. In the other case, Monsanto has called for the withdrawal of a license that allows Syngenta to sell soybeans made resistant to Monsanto's Roundup herbicide.
melting beauty: Experts have warned that climate change could melt the Pastoruri, one of the most beautiful peaks of the Andes in Peru, and many glaciers of the country in the coming years. The glacier that covers the Pastoruri has shrunk at the rate of 19 metres per year since 1980. Peru's national environment council, CONAM, has said this is just one of the 18 glacier-capped mountains of the country facing the wrath of global warming.
seedless attempt: The Maharashtra government suffered a blow in its attempt at drought relief in Vidarbha and Marthwada regions. Its much hyped Rs 5-crore cloud seeding project, 'Prakalp Varsha', generated only around 20 millilitre rainfall in these areas. The government had last year allocated Rs 18 crore for such operations.
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