Published: Tuesday 31 August 2004

What's in a name? Everything, or so claim Mexican chili farmers. Facing competition from cheap foreign peppers, they want to give their products the same international brand protection as French champagne or Parma ham from Italy. The farmers demanded that Mexican varieties be origin-controlled, meaning Jalapeno-type chili peppers grown in countries like China and the United States would have to be called something else.

The Gujarat pollution control board (GPCB) plans to have more than 10 pollution monitoring stations in Ahmedabad. This would help it get a clear picture of the increasing pollution level in the city. The Supreme Court ordered an increase in the number of monitoring stations. Presently, the GPCB presently has only 3 stations in the city.

An US energy department plant under construction in Hanford, Washington, meant to facilitate removal and treatment of highly radioactive waste from leaking tanks, has a 50 per cent chance of a major accident in its 28-year lifetime. An independent government audit issued three years ago brought the issue to the fore. It, however, owes its recent prominence to the efforts of Robert Alvarez, an adviser to the energy secretary in the Clinton administration.

A group of white Zimbabwean farmers are to start farming in Nigeria soon. They are among those whose land was taken by the Zimbabwe government for redistribution to black Zimbabweans. The western state of Kwara, Nigeria, has promised to extend financial aid in return for the development of the state's agricultural sector. Nigeria's farms have been neglected since oil was discovered 40 years ago.

Wield the needle, but judiciously. So urged the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to doctors across the country in its recently released policy document. According to it, injections are to be used only when there is no alternative oral medication. The document has also urged practice of safe injections and waste disposal procedures. The IMA will hold five meetings across the country to educate doctors.

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