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Avinash Kar, Staff Attorney, San Francisco

Avinash Kar

An English major with social science interests, I detoured through the business world, before going to law school and focusing on environmental law. I grew up in diverse places, and they have all been part of the inspiration for the work I do. Growing up in India, I lived for a while in a neighborhood with open sewers (where I got quite sick) and in coal-mining towns. I also lived in Botswana, next to Zimbabwe, both rich in wildlife and natural beauty. Since then, I have lived in Cambridge and San Francisco, both eco-conscious places. In San Francisco, I worked for a year as Program Assistant in NRDC's San Francisco office before going to law school. Each of these experiences played a part in my decision pursue a career in the environmental field. After law school, I worked at an environmental justice organization in San Francisco, the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, which focused on issues that largely centered on health. Not surprisingly, I work with the Health Program at NRDC.

My wife and I have a young daughter, and it’s great to work on issues that help make her world a healthier one—right around the time of her birth, I got to work on a case that helped eliminate hormone-disrupting chemicals called phthalates from toys sold in the US. That brings the work home in the best possible way.

In my spare time, I like to read, watch movies, listen to music, hike, and enjoy the culinary delights of the Bay Area.

Recent Posts

Court ruling sets stage for California Department of Public Health to get it right on drinking water standard for cancer-causing chemical

Posted January 8, 2014 by Avinash Kar in Health and the Environment

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Last month, the Superior Court of Alameda set a deadline for the California Department of Public Health to issue a final drinking water standard for hexavalent chromium, the carcinogen made famous by the film Erin Brockovich. The court imposed two...continued

FDA announces finalization of voluntary guidance on antibiotic misuse in livestock industry

Posted December 11, 2013 by Avinash Kar in Health and the Environment

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So, FDA has finally come out with its much talked-up voluntary guidance (read, recommendations) for the pharmaceutical and livestock industries on appropriate antibiotic use and avoiding antibiotic resistance. It has been pending in draft form for over a year and...continued

Prepare to say goodbye to toxic couches

Posted November 21, 2013 by Avinash Kar in Health and the Environment

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California just finalized new furniture fire safety standards that will provide greater fire safety without the need for toxic flame retardant chemicals. It represents a big step forward in the effort to protect the health of our families by getting...continued

"Toxic Hot Seat" Coming to a Television Near You

Posted November 19, 2013 by Avinash Kar in Health and the Environment

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Next week, right around the time you might be sitting down on your couch to start relaxing into your Thanksgiving weekend, HBO will air a new documentary called Toxic Hot Seat. It’s essential viewing. You might never look at your...continued

Antibiotic resistance: racing toward a cliff, and it's time to put the brakes on

Posted October 29, 2013 by Avinash Kar in Health and the Environment

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The recent headlines about hospitalizations of people around the country from drug-resistant salmonella linked to Foster Farms chicken is just the latest example of the dangers of growing antibiotic resistance. If we need any further warnings about the antibiotic-resistance crisis...continued

Playing chicken with the effectiveness of antibiotics

Posted October 9, 2013 by Avinash Kar in Health and the Environment

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The news about the recent outbreak of Salmonella in Foster Farms chicken is alarming (several of the Salmonella strains involved have been linked to Foster Farms chicken). 278 people (and counting) have been sickened, and 42% of them have been hospitalized,...continued

California Department of Public Health? Not really.

Posted October 8, 2013 by Avinash Kar in Health and the Environment

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This Friday marks the end of the comment period for the public to weigh in on a proposed drinking water standard for hexavalent chromium – a dangerous chemical known to cause cancer that was made infamous in the film Erin...continued

New study shows that people living near swine factory farms and crop fields fertilized with pig manure are more likely to pick up antibiotic-resistant staph infections

Posted September 19, 2013 by Avinash Kar in Health and the Environment

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Hot on the heels of the CDC’s new report about the “potentially catastrophic” antibiotic resistance crisis we face—which confirmed that both human and livestock uses of antibiotics are contributing to the public health crisis—comes a new study that documents increased...continued

FDA green washing antibiotic reductions

Posted August 26, 2013 by Avinash Kar in Health and the Environment

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This guest post is by Steve Roach, Senior Analyst at Keep Antibiotics Working. Keep Antibiotic Working is a coalition of groups, including NRDC, that is dedicated to eliminating the inappropriate use of antibiotics in food animals. FDA announced last week...continued

Nature's Take on Antibiotic Resistance and Some Troubling Responses

Posted July 29, 2013 by Avinash Kar in Health and the Environment

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Last week, the prominent scientific journal, Nature, published a series of editorials and articles about antibiotic resistance. There were several statements of note for us here at NRDC. Of particular interest was the editorial’s support for restrictions on the use...continued

Bipartisan Senate leadership on antibiotic use in livestock

Posted June 26, 2013 by Avinash Kar in Health and the Environment

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Senator Feinstein (D-CA) today introduced the Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act (PAR Act), a bill that would take significant steps to protect public health by helping prevent antibiotic resistance, just as its name suggests. The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Susan...continued

NRDC sues FDA for failing (again) to disclose information about antibiotic resistance

Posted June 6, 2013 by Avinash Kar in Health and the Environment, Living Sustainably

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NRDC filed a lawsuit late last week against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for once again failing to respond in a timely manner to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for information, this time about antibiotic-resistant bacteria...continued

Bipartisan bill would improve reporting of information about antibiotic use in animal feed

Posted May 8, 2013 by Avinash Kar in Health and the Environment

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Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Susan Collins (R-ME) today took the lead on a critical public health issue by introducing the Antimicrobial Data Collection Act. The Act would require the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to...continued

FDA's wasting time while continuing to put antibiotics at risk

Posted April 23, 2013 by Avinash Kar in Health and the Environment

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Instead of actually dealing with the problem of routine and widespread misuse and overuse of antibiotics in livestock, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday came out with an attack on a recent piece from the Environmental Working Group (EWG),...continued

New interactive antibiotics timeline!

Posted April 11, 2013 by Avinash Kar in Health and the Environment

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In January, I posted a timeline infographic that NRDC put together to illustrate the history of the regulation of antibiotic use in livestock and FDA’s ineffective response to this public health crisis. Today we are unveiling an interactive way to...continued

About

Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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