Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "food" ...

  • Food Safety

    Recently the food industry has been searching for cheaper ingredients, but this increases the risk to consumers' safety. In this series, they look at foods from peanuts to hamburgers. Furthermore, the federal agencies who examine the food industry have flaws, which weaken their attempts to improve food safety.
  • Bad Bargain

    This article identifies several people who suffered consequences after switching from brand name drugs to generic ones. Furthermore, this article identifies loopholes that allow these generic drugs to reach the market. These generics, many of us believe are the same as the brand name ones, are actual substandard and un-equivalent.
  • What's on the Menu?

    Eight stations in the E.W. Scripps Television station Group worked together to investigate claims by national restaurant chains about low-fat and low-calorie menu items. The group specifically gathered menus from restaurants who listed the fat and/or calorie content directly on their menus, and decided to have the food tested at Analytical Laboratories, Inc. in Boise, Idaho. They created an excel spreadsheet and assigned each station three foods listed on various low-fat/low-calorie menus on the same way. The stations each packed their food the exact same way and videotaped this procedure to verify protocol. The packages were then sent overnight to Analytical Laboratories, Inc. for testing. The test results showed that out of the 23 items tested, 78% were over the fat limit and almost 69% were over the calorie limit listed on the package. A producer from KNXV-TV then contacted all the restaurants involved in the test and asked for a response. No company would go on camera for the story, though the company that owns Chili's and Macaroni Grill apologized and said they would work to reinforce the menu standards.
  • Genetic Modified Food

    In a two-part series, senior investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian examined the business of genetic engineering and the growing impact it is having on the way we grow food, and what we eat. Part one take a look at the business practices of Mondsanto, a major bio-tech seed maker, which patents its genetically modified seeds. Monsanto sells the seed to farmers but prohibits them from replanting their seeds after harvest, a practice known to farmers for 11,000 years. In the story, the team found that Monsanto has been coming after small farmers for seed piracy, suing them when Monsanto suspects farmers of planting its patented seeds "illegally" even when those farmers have never purchased or planted and Monsanto products. Part two examines the secret changes to our foods and asks, why don't we, in the U.S., label genetically modified ingredients when it is done with regular practice in Europe, Japan, Australia and our trading partners? Whether we realize it or not, we probably ate something for dinner last night that had a DNA-altered ingredient in it, but the FDA says that these ingredients do not have to be labeled and therefore no one knows when they are eating genetically modified foods.
  • Disposable Heroes

    The original story focused on Iraqi war veteran James Elliott, who suffered a psychotic breakdown and was stun gunned by police while taking the drug Chantix in a smoking cessation study by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The series examined the use of military veterans as guinea pigs in drug experiments conducted by the federal government and exposed numerous ethical lapses, including a system-wide failure to notify participants when the Food and Drug Administration issues new drug warnings.
  • The Evidence Gap

    The nations' medical bill last year exceeded $2.7 trillin -- nearly as much as the projected total cost of the Iraq war. If it were medical money well spend, there might be few cries to "reform" the American health care system. But by some estimates, one-third or more of the medical care received by patients in this country may be virtually worthless. The nation is wasting hundreds of billions of dollars each year on superfluous treatments -- money that otherwise could by spent, for example , on providing health insurance for every child, woman and man int his country who currently have no coverage. A team of science and business reporters from The New York Times set out to explain how and why the United States is spending so much on health care with so relatively little to show for the money, They discovered a gaping chasm between scientific evidence and the practice of medicine. In an in-depth series of articles, told through real doctors and patients, and based on information they dug up that was frequently unflattering to medical providers, companies and regulators, the Times team documented many disturbing instances of "The Evidence Gap."
  • Chemical Fallout

    "The reporters exposed inept government programs that favor chemical makers over the needs of the public. They detailed conflicts of interest among regulators and uncovered new hidden threats for consumers. The newspaper tested common household plastics billed as "microwave safe" and found toxic levels of chemicals leaching from every item tested."
  • A Girl's Life

    The single 7,500-word story chronicled the life and death of Acia Johnson, a South Boston girl who seemed to be doing everything right: getting good grades in school, becoming a standout basketball player with a chance at a scholarship to go to a good high school and taking care of her younger sister. That was until her house was set ablaze last April in what authorities said was a jealous rage by her mother's lover. Acia burned to death along with her three-year-old sister in her third-floor bedroom closet. Her mother stood, safe, on the ground with the family dog. Her father was in jail. It was the last in a long list of instances of neglect recounted in the story. Anyone could have saved her life--her parents, drug addicts and sometimes violent petty criminals who never managed to get straight' neighbors who knew about the violent family fights and often didn't call police; friends who did nothing though thought it unusual that Acia was left to care for her sister while their parents were out running thr streets; social workers who had declared Acia's parents unfit in 2003 and placed her in the custody of her grandmother but who never figured out that she was still living with her mother. They didn't figure it out even though they frequently visited Acia at her mother's house, including two days before the fire. They didn't figure it out even though her mother reported Acia was living with her when she applied for housing subsidies, food stamps and cash assistance. And they didn't figure it out even though her mother's house was listed as Acia's primary residence at her middle school.
  • Unapproved Drugs

    The government is paying millions for risky medications that have never been reviewed for safety and effectiveness but are still covered under Medicaid, an Associated Press analysis of federal data has found. Tax payers have shelled out at least $200 million since 2004 for such drugs. Yet the Food and Drug Administration says unapproved prescription drugs are a public health problem, and some unapproved medications have been dozens of deaths. Millions of private patients are taking them as well, and their availability may create a false sense of security. The AP analysis found that Medicaid, which serves low-income people, paid nearly $198 million from 2004 to 2007 for more than 100 unapproved drugs. Data for 2008 were not available but unapproved drugs still are being sold. The AP checked the medications against FDA databases, using agency guidelines to determine if they were unapproved. The FDA says there may be thousands of such drugs on the market. The medications are mainly for common conditions like colds ad pain. They date back decades, before the FDA tightened its review of its review of drugs in the early 1960s. The FDA says it is trying to squeeze them from the market, but conflicting federal laws allow the Medicaid health program for low-income people to pay for them.
  • Honey Laundering

    "The story documented how the government has failed to stem the flow of banned honey imports into this country, despite tightened border security and growing concerns about food safety."