The Story of How Fake Sugar Got Approved is Scary As Hell 

Many of those Searle studies that Gross questioned are now lumped into the data that says aspartame is safe. And though the question of aspartame causing brain tumors has largely been dismissed over the years, there hasn’t been much new data on the subject. In fact, a 1987 General Accounting Office report states that 28 out of 69 scientists said more research was needed in the areas of “neurological functions, brain tumors, seizures, headaches, and adverse effects on children and pregnant women.” Nonetheless, the report added, research was ongoing in all areas except brain tumors. What’s more, the FDA dissuaded the National Toxicology Program (NTP) from doing further cancer research on aspartame. As the founder of the NTP, David Rall, put it, “It’s a wonderful way to ensure that it isn’t tested—discourage the testing group from testing it and then say it’s safe.”

…It’s well established that there is a correlation between being overweight and diet soda consumption, but the question is which way the association works. Do people who are overweight tend to drink diet soda, or is something about the diet soda contributing to weight gain? A 2015 study found that long-term consumption was associated with increased waist circumference. And a 2016 study found that mothers who consumed diet soda while pregnant had babies with a two-fold higher risk of being overweight at age one.

While the question of whether the sweetener causes weight gain, diabetes, or other metabolic disease is unsettled, there are some remarkable correlations.

The Story of How Fake Sugar Got Approved is Scary As Hell – Tonic

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Last stand: Nebraska farmers could derail Keystone XL pipeline 

But Trump and the firm will have to get through Nebraska farmer Art Tanderup first, along with about 90 other landowners in the path of the pipeline.

They are mostly farmers and ranchers, making a last stand against the pipeline – the fate of which now rests with an obscure state regulatory board, the Nebraska Public Service Commission.

…Backed by conservation groups, the Nebraska opponents plan to cast the project as a threat to prime farming and grazing lands – vital to Nebraska’s economy – and a foreign company’s attempt to seize American private property.

They contend the pipeline will provide mainly temporary jobs that will vanish once construction ends, and limited tax revenues that will decline over time.

Last stand: Nebraska farmers could derail Keystone XL pipeline | Reuters

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Secretary Zinke Announces $34.9 Billion Added to U.S. Economy in 2016 due to National Park Visitation |

Today, during National Park Week, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced that 2016’s record visitation of 331 million visitors at America’s 417 National Park Service sites contributed $34.9 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016 – a $2.9 billion increase from 2015. Zinke made his announcement while visiting the historic Presidio of San Francisco at Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Zinke marked Park Week by also visiting Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, and Channel Islands national parks.

According to the annual peer-reviewed economics report, 2016 National Park Visitor Spending Effects, the strong economic output is attributed to record visitation and $18.4 billion that visitors spent in “gateway” communities near national park entrances. The report also found that visitor spending supported 318,000 jobs in 2016, with the vast majority of them defined as local jobs, including those in the hospitality, retail, transportation and recreation industries.

Secretary Zinke Announces $34.9 Billion Added to U.S. Economy in 2016 due to National Park Visitation | U.S. Department of the Interior

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Scientists discover massive sulfur-eating hell-clams in the Philippines 

Known as the giant shipworm (Kuphus polythalamia), even though they aren’t worms, they’ve never before been described in the scientific literature. But scientists knew that they had to exist, because of the massive, elephant tusk-like shells that stick around even when their horrifying denizens are gone. The shells were first described in the 1700s, and continue to be sold to collectors, but scientists were previously unable to find ones that still contained living shipworms to study, “Popular Science” reports.

Scientists discover massive sulfur-eating hell-clams in the Philippines – The Verge

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