News in Brief April 1999

Emissions of carbon dioxide from road traffic have increased within the EU by 11% since 1990 according to figures from the EU’s statistical office. It estimates that Finland is the only country where emissions have dropped (by 3%) and Denmark, Ireland, Spain, Greece and Portugal have seen large increases. (Source: Acid News)

Long term exposure to air pollution from road traffic is killing over 80,000 people a year in Europe according to the World Health Organisation. The evidence is more alarming because it  only applies to adults. It is young children and the elderly that are the most vulnerable. According to WHO, air pollution from all sources kills 200,000 – 300,000 people in Europe each year. (Source: Acid News)

The Wrought Iron Bed Company, London, which owns a major West End furniture store, has been using “greenwash”, including false use of Friends of the Earth's name, to persuade the public to buy cut price mahogany beds. The company has been repeatedly told by FOE that there is no environmentally sustainable source of mahogany.

The Santa Monica, California., City Council voted unanimously to exclusively use renewable electricity in all city-run facilities, making it the first city in the nation to do so. The decision to use green power -- solar, wind and geothermal -- is the first step in the development and implementation of a comprehensive energy management plan for the city and the community. (ENN)

New research by British botanists shows that pollen blown from large fields of genetically modified (GM) oilseed rape remains fertile over greater distances than expected. Even at sites 400 metres away from transgenic (GM) plots, as many as 7 per cent of the seeds (from non-GM oilseed rape plants) were herbicide resistant.