Short items

Alarmist view on climate change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been accused of focusing on worst-case scenarios in its summary report on the impact of global warming. An inquiry found that the report, which underpinned the Copenhagen summit in December 2009, wrongly suggested climate change was the main reason communities faced severe water shortages, and that it failed to report that there are some benefits to rising temperatures. 
The Times, 6 July 2010 

Toxic eco bags 

Reusable shopping bags could be a breeding ground for bacteria and threaten public health, according to scientists. Traces of Escherichia coli  and salmonella were found in the bags, bacteria that could cause serious health problems or even death. Shoppers are advised to wash their bags regularly at high temperature to kill bugs left by the packaging of raw meat. 
Daily Mail, 1 July 2010 

Concerns over BPA continue  

A group of scientists and health campaigners have raised concerns regarding the potential harmful effects of exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) in an open letter to the European Food Safety Authority. They say there is a strong case for limiting exposure to BPA, a chemical used to make plastic harder and found in baby bottles, plastic food containers, mobile phone cases and other everyday products. 
The Independent, 23 June 2010 

Bumblebee brain monitoring 

The brains of 2500 bumblebees are to be monitored with microchips over a 4-year period to see if pesticides disorientate them. Three hives will be treated with pesticides, while three others will be chemical free. Researchers want to see if the chemicals damage bees and whether they are affecting their decline. In Britain alone the total loss of insect pollinators could cost as much as ?440 million a year. 
The Times, 22 June 2010