Toxic release inventory 2010 

The latest Toxic release inventory shows levels of toxins released into the US environment up for 2010 compared with the previous two years, but lower than for 2007. The report, published annually by the Environmental Protection Agency, shows that the increase is mainly due to the metal mining sector, including a change in the ore mined. Overall air release of toxins is down, but water and land releases have increased. 

Adulterated milk in India

Of 71 samples of milk taken in Delhi and tested by the Food Safety Standards Authority of India, 50 were found to be contaminated with glucose and skimmed milk powder. In other states, milk was found to contain detergent, fat and even urea. Nationally, 68.4% of samples tested were contaminated with some substance, the most common being fat. 

Spanish petition for tax tick box

Spanish scientists are collecting signatures to petition the tax authority to add a checkbox to income tax forms to allow taxpayers to direct 0.7% of their contribution to science. The petition is in response to the announcement in December 2011 that Spain’s research budget is to lose €600 million (£496 million). Currently, Spanish taxpayers can elect to direct 0.7% of their income tax to the Catholic church or various other organisations. If the idea was taken further, it would make Spain the only country to boost science spending in this way. 

Say What?

"Europe has exactly the state of innovation we deserve."

Andre Geim, bemoans politician’s perception of science and innovation as something magical and abstract, in his opinion piece entitled ’Oh for a eurocrat who understands science’ in the Financial Times.