Discovered: A solar lining for the U.S. economy; USDA not keeping pace with imported meat; horses get a Hendra vaccine; maybe don't dry your clothes indoors.
The solar industry added 13,872 jobs last year. The jobs numbers came in a bit higher than expected today. There's a good chance the solar power industry can account for a sizable slice of those new jobs, according to figures just released by The Solar Foundation. In fact, they say that 1 out of every 230 jobs created last year happened in solar. In the last 12 months, they estimate that the industry created about 13,872 new jobs, bringing the number of Americans employed in the solar power sector up to 119,016. The new figures peg the growth of the solar industry at 13.2 percent, much higher than growth in the economy at large, which hovered around 2.3 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. [The Solar Foundation]
Let's hope imported meat isn't tainted! Because the USDA USDA appears to be taking a more hands-off approach to imported meat safety, according to an investigation from Food Safety News. Reporter Helena Bottemiller found a 60 percent reduction in USDA audits on foreign countries' meat inspection operations since 2008. The Food Safety and Inspection Service has also become much less transparent, Bottemiller argues, considering their failure to publicly disclose audit reports. Former Under Secretary for Food Safety Richard Raymond has also taken issue with the USDA's verification of food safety in imported meat in recent memory. The report is worrying, considering that 17 percent of America's food supply is imported, and that last month's E. coli outbreak—which seized 2.5 million pounds of beef shipped to America—originated in Canada. [Food Safety News]