In Brief

Published: Friday 15 November 2002

Philippines joins CNG bandwagon: Yet another country attempting to switch its public transport to compressed natural gas (CNG) mode is Philippines. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has announced that a bus company, will undertake a pilot project by 2003, which will include 100 buses to be fully fuelled by CNG.

Devious strategy revealed: A recent report by us environmental pressure group, Greenpeace has revealed that the Bush administration has used the famine in Africa as a marketing tool to promote their genetically modified (GM) food in the continent. This revelation come close on the heels of recent reports of African countries rejecting gm corn.

Conserving traditional knowledge: A Global Environment Facility (gef)-funded project for the conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants is on the anvil in India. Besides conservation of medicinal plants in seven Indian states, the project will also emphasise on revitalising local health traditions.

Ban lifted: Residents of Saudi Arabia can now avail of Belgian food products, which had been banned in the country for the past three-years. The ban has now been lifted on the products that were considered to be at risk of containing cancer-causing dioxins.

Under the scanner: The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) can soon face a lawsuit for failing to clean up the air pollution in California's San Joaquin Valley. US environmental pressure groups allege that the agency has failed to take action to clean up dust, smoke and other soot in the valley, which contributes to respiratory problems.

toxic problem: As many as 10 per cent of high school students in Hong Kong may be at risk of mercury poisoning because of their high consumption of mercury-contaminated fish, a government survey has found. It was found that 10 per cent of 903 students surveyed had mercury exposure of 6.41 micrograms per kilogramme of body weight a week -- much higher than the five microgramme safety limit of the World Health Organisation.

ray of hope: To detect leakage of compressed natural gas (CNG) from vehicles, Delhi government has decided to add odour to it. Most of the CNG bus blast have been partially blamed on gas being odourless.

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