How tobacco growing ends in America

In FERN’s latest story, published with The New Republic, reporter Duncan Murrell makes the case for ending the growing of tobacco in the United States.

CDC chief, entangled in ‘complex financial interests,’ resigns

Two days after he was sworn into office, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar accepted the resignation of CDC director Brenda Fitzgerald, whose six-month tenure at the agency ended in a warren of “complex financial interests” that prevented her from doing her job, said the HHS.

CDC director bought tobacco shares after taking office

Brenda Fitzgerald, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “bought shares in a tobacco company one month into her leadership of the agency charged with reducing tobacco use,” reported Politico.

Food industry tries to shape food policy, says nonprofit group

A series of emails obtained under a state freedom of information law suggest major food companies have a "roadmap for dealing with scientific challenges," says the leader of the nonprofit group U.S. Right to Know in a Bloomberg story. The emails by current and former Coca-Cola executives suggest actions such as enlisting outside organizations to question dietary advice that was contrary to their business interests.

Obama selects FDA newcomer Califf as next commissioner

President Obama selected Robert Califf, a new arrival in FDA's senior ranks, to become the next commissioner of the agency that regulates products that account for 20 percent of consumer spending.

What can Cuba sell U.S.? Tobacco, seafood, produce

The U.S. farm sector usually discusses Cuba in terms of possible growth in sales to a nearby market, although trade is limited by the trade embargo enacted during the Cold War.

Green tobacco sickness and teenage farmhands

"(P)ublic health experts say hundreds of children under 16...continue to work in America’s tobacco fields" through an exclusion in labor law that allows youth as young as 12 years old to work unlimited hours as farm workers, says the New York Times in a story about youth labor on tobacco farms. The story says field workers risk green tobacco sickness - nicotine poisoning - from dew or rain water dripping from the leaves of tobacco plants. Vomiting, dizziness and irregular heartbeats are among the symptoms.