Perfluoroalkyl substances in stain-resistant, waterproof, and nonstick products should be restricted globally, and less persistent alternatives should be developed, says a coalition of scientists and environmentalists. The FluoroCouncil, an industry group, says the coalition “unjustifiably targets a large class of fluorine-containing materials, despite the fact that all [perfluoroalkyl] chemistry is not the same.”
China has eliminated its 15–25% export tariffs on rare-earth minerals, according to the Chinese government. The move follows a 2014 World Trade Organization decision that China violated its trade obligations by imposing quotas, duties, and other measures on its exports of rare earths.
Willie E. May was confirmed by the Senate last week as director of the National Institute of Standards & Technology and undersecretary of the Department of Commerce for standards and technology. The chemist has been acting director of NIST since June 2014 and has worked at the agency since 1971.
A potato genetically modified by J. R. Simplot Co. to resist late blight and black spot bruise, contain less reducing sugars, and produce less acrylamide when heated is close to being approved after receiving a favorable assessment by the Department of Agriculture.