Mike Mozart / Flickr


Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, manufactured by Monsanto-Bayer, is widely used in Iowa. It's sprayed on thousands of acres of farmland each year and is commonly used in lawns and gardens.

Earlier this month, a California jury awarded a couple more than $2 million in a dispute against Monsanto, ruling that the plaintiffs contracted non-Hodgkin lymphoma because of their use of Roundup. This is the third such case to end this way in California in the last two years.


  This conversation originally aired on 6-4-18. 

The Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa has been approved to use a new therapy that harnesses the immune system to treat specific forms of leukemia and lymphoma. Dr. George Weiner is director of the center and says the therapy shows great promise.

Silvester Franz / Flickr

For centuries, yoga has served as a healing and therapeutic practice that has helped many who have encountered trauma in their life.

"When trauma happens, there is this lack of power, this lack of choice over what is happening," says Julie Jack, founder and editor of The Exhale Project, a grant funded program that offers free yoga classes to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking and other related traumas.


Iowa averages around seven bicycle crash fatalities per year. Tragically, three cyclists have lost their lives in the past two weeks alone. What can we do as drivers and cyclists to prevent these tragedies, and what can Iowa lawmakers do to protect the Iowans we share our roads with?

Courtesy of The National Institute on Drug Abuse

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is one of 44 attorneys general who is taking part in a lawsuit alleging that 20 of the country's largest generic drug makers have conspired to inflate and manipulate drug prices.

Miller said the suit argues that executives at drug manufactures Teva, Sandoz, Mylan, Pfizer and others had an "informal working relationship" to allocate markets and rig bids for more than 100 drugs.

Courtesy of Fremont County Iowa Emergency Management

Iowa has scored on par with the nation when it comes to preparation for health emergencies such as disease outbreaks and natural disasters, according to the sixth annual National Health Security Preparedness Index.

Torrey Wiley / Flickr


In 2012, former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky was sent to prison, convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse. Matthew Sandusky was victimized by his adopted father and has dedicated his adult life to preventing childhood sexual abuse and helping other survivors heal.

Kirsty Wigglesworth

The World Health Organization just released an alarming report predicting that by 2050, antibiotic resistance “could cause 10 million deaths each year.”

In this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer checks in with Iowa researchers and medical professionals about the worldwide threat of the increasing resistance to antibiotics, as well as the role livestock production plays in that increase.

Phee/Wikimedia Commons

A new traveling exhibit at the Science Center of Iowa is getting attention for the unique way it allows visitors to experience what its like to live with mental illness. 

F_A seelensturm / Flickr

This segment originally aired on May 3, 2017.

Spraying herbicide to achieve what many consider to be the ideal lawn became a common practice in the mid-20th century. Many people stopped that practice after studies showing the health impact of human contact with common pesticides and weed killers.

At my baby's six-month appointment a few months back, I got a one-pager from the pediatrician titled "Starting Solid Foods."

"It is critical that the baby develop a taste for rice cereal at the beginning, to offset the loss of iron from formula or breast milk," it reads.

Sounds serious. Then come the all caps: "THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF FEEDING GIVE RICE CEREAL ONLY." That is followed by advice to introduce pureed vegetables before fruits so the baby doesn't develop a sweet tooth.

I obediently went out and bought some sand-textured baby cereal. (Organic, of course.)

Katie Peikes / IPR

A new sober living home will soon open in Sioux City to help men struggling with addiction who may be homeless.


The U.S. Surgeon General says electronic cigarette use among young people is increasing at “epidemic proportions.” In Iowa, 2018 data shows that nine percent of high school students in the state used e-cigarettes. Nationally, there was a 78 percent rise in vaping among high school students from 2017 to 2018.

John Pemble / IPR file

As negotiations with an Iowa Medicaid insurer break down, the state’s senior U.S. Senator says he’s supporting the governor. Sen. Chuck Grassley says the privatization of the Iowa’s Medicaid system is "an entirely state decision". 

After being released from treatment at Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines for chronic migranes, Grace McCunn of Ames says she couldn't stop thinking about the other children still stuck in the hospital for treatment.

"I wanted to do something to try and make their stay just a little bit better," McCunn says.

She decided to fundraise for the hospital with a lemonade stand, raising about $100 on her first day. Since then, she's organized two 5ks for the hospital, raising more than $50,000, and she is now the subject of a new documentary, "Amazing Grace Lemonade Race". 

Max Pixel

Mary Neubauer and her husband tried to find their way through Iowa's mental health system for years, seeking help and support for their son Sergei, who died by suicide at the age of 18 in 2017. 

"Truly a labyrinth." That's how Neubauer, now an advocate, describes mental health services in Iowa.

Iowa teens are drinking less alcohol, their electronic cigarette use is increasing and more youth are having thoughts about suicide, according to the latest Iowa youth health survey which samples middle school and high school students’ behavior every couple of years.

Kate Payne / IPR

A Muscatine County official says he’s open to banning the use of steel slag on local roads, after hearing concerns raised at a public meeting this week. Area residents are worried about the risks of heavy metals found in the steel manufacturing byproduct.


There is a stereotype that comes to mind when we talk about eating disorders -- the too thin anorexic or bulimic teenage girl. In reality anyone can have an eating disorder and many who struggle with eating disorders don’t fit this description, and as a result, those people do not get the help they need.

During this Talk of Iowa interview Charity Nebbe talks with Sarah Thompson.

Andreanna Moya Photography / Flickr

This program originally aired on April 24, 2018.

Teresa Hafner would not be alive today if she had not received a new heart through the Iowa Donor Network. She lives because of a motorcycle accident that killed a 26-year old woman. During this hour of River to River, she talks with host Ben Kieffer about being the recipient of a heart transplant. 

"Back in 2006, I flat-lined while I was at work and had to have a pace maker and a defibrillator placed at that point. I was fine for a while, and then I went into heart failure," she says. 

Draft Final Site Inspection Report for PFOS and PFOA at Sioux City ANGB

Preliminary results from a U.S. military analysis show high levels of groundwater contamination at the Air National Guard Base in Sioux City. Authors of the report suspect toxic chemicals known as PFAS could be migrating off site. The substances are thought to be from the use of certain firefighting foams that have been used at the base.

dion gillard / flickr

Very few people actually like going to the dentist, but oral health is an essential part of our overall health. We also live in a culture that values good teeth and beautiful smiles, and new technologies are making some of the things dentists and orthodontists have always done a lot easier and faster.

PIVISO / flickr

Scott Searle of Davenport is better known as the "yo-yo man" to many in the Quad Cities-area who see him log hundreds of miles while yo-yo-ing. The hobby sprang from a dark place for Searle, and he's used it to help battle his alcoholism and drug addiction.

"I discovered that the sidewalk was your infinite treadmill," he says. 

Searle says his family made many attempts to intervene to help him stop drinking, but his focus didn't shift until he started exercising at his local YMCA. 

Michael Leland/IPR file

A team of Iowa researchers has concluded that there's no actionable evidence that the sound of wind turbines is a danger to public. Instead, the report authors found that reported symptoms of hearing loss or poor sleep are more likely related to people’s attitudes and beliefs about wind development.

Courtesy of University of Iowa Dance Marathon

This weekend marks the 25th anniversary of the University of Iowa's Dance Marathon. For 24 hours, more than 2,000 students dance to raise funds for children with cancer. A founding member of the event Sheila Baldwin says through the years the event has not only helped children but also shaped the lives of some students who take part in staging the event. 

Sakuto via flickr creative commons /

People in need of warmth and shelter in eastern Iowa can find around the clock services during this week’s cold snap. Meterologists and public health officials are warning the blast of Arctic air can be life-threatening, and anyone exposed can develop hypothermia or frostbite within a matter of minutes. Here are some of the services and resources available in the eastern part of the state for those looking to get out of the cold:

Photo Courtesy of Courtney Crowder / Wes Craft Photography

After years spent struggling with and recovering from severe anorexia Courtney Crowder experienced a painful moment when she was preparing for her wedding, the kind of moment that could trigger a relapse. After she dried her tears, she opened up and shared that moment and her years of struggle with readers in the Des Moines Register. 

"Keeping myself thin and keeping the disease a secret became my life," she says. "There was a time when I was eating 400 calories a day."

Vaping360 via flickr creative commons /

Iowa public health officials are considering allowing medical marijuana access for some children with severe autism. But advocates are pushing to expand that access to all patients regardless of age.

Wikimedia Commons

For children or adults with intellectual disabilities who exhibit disruptive behaviors, medication is usually the first response. A psychologist in Des Moines is trying to change that.

Maria Valdovinos is a professor of psychology at Drake University. She is helping to train others in applied behavior analysis, an approach that can dramatically improve lives for those with behavioral challenges and the people who love them and work with them.

During this Talk of Iowa conversation, she talks with host Charity Nebbe.

Roey Ahram via flickr creative commons /

Starting this month more hepatitis C patients can qualify for care under Iowa Medicaid. But some doctors and advocates argue the remaining restrictions are immoral and illegal.