Tag Archive: FDA


This Is Your Brain On Aspartame

This Is Your Brain On Aspartame

Controversy continues to rage over the artificial sweetener aspartame.  Since it was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1981, aspartame has made its way into more than 6,000 food items.

 

The FDA claims aspartame is safe but has set an acceptable daily intake of no more than 50 mg per kilogram of body weight.  In other words, an adult weighing 165 pounds should consume no more than 3,750 mg of aspartame a day.  A can of diet soda typically contains about 180 mg of the chemical.  That means the FDA’s “safe” limit equates to about 21 cans of diet soda per day.

But is any level of aspartame really safe?

For decades researchers have claimed aspartame is responsible for headache, memory loss, mood changes, and depression.  Consumer complaints back them up.  Over 75% of adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA concern aspartame. Reported problems include headaches, migraines, vision problems, tinnitus, depression, joint pain, insomnia, heart palpitations, and muscle spasms.

Recently researchers from the University of North Dakota wanted to test the safe limits of aspartame over a short period of time.  They found that at just one half of the FDA’s “safe” acceptable daily intake, aspartame caused serious neurobehavioral changes including cognitive impairment, irritable moods, and depression.[i]

 

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Shellfish Irradiation To Reduce Food Poisoning Gets FDA Nod

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of ionizing radiation to kill foodborne pathogens on crustacean shellfish and extend their shelf life. The April 11 decision is in response to a food additive petition submitted by the National Fisheries Institute 13 years ago.

irradiated-symbolThe decision will allow processors of crustaceans including crab, shrimp, lobster, crayfish, and prawns use small amounts of ionizing radiation to reduce, but not eliminate, dangerous foodborne bacteria such as E.coli, Vibrio and Listeria.  The maximum permitted dose is 6.0 kiloGray.

The rule covers shellfish sold raw, frozen, shelled, dried, cooked and partially cooked. It also covers crustaceans processed with spices or a small number of other ingredients.

 

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Forbes

Will Irradiated Burgers Turn You Radioactive? The Truth About Food Irradiation

As prolific and commonplace as they are in our lives, “foodstuffs” and “food processes” still confound us. I recently received a query in my inbox; the sender was anxious over some irradiated burgers he had bought. Would they harm him? Would they turn him radioactive? Upon reflection, it seemed ripe fodder for a Forbes post.

I noticed a symbol on a package of burgers that I bought, and saw that it meant the beef had been irradiated. I didn’t eat them. What does this mean to have food irradiated, what does involve, is it bad for me, and were the burgers radioactive?

Radiation at the best of times doesn’t elicit warm, fuzzy feelings. When it gets anywhere near our food supply, we’re prone to panic, hysteria even. But, with irradiated food, where the results are comparable to pasteurization, there’s absolutely no need for frenzy, or to let perfectly fine fare go to waste.

While conventional pasteurization depends on heat, irradiation relies on energy generated by ionizing radiation. This can come from either gamma rays from a radioactive element like cobalt-60, electron beam technology or x-rays. Higher doses of irradiation can kill disease-causing microorganisms like E.coli and Salmonella – this would have been the case with your burgers. Lower doses can replace other forms of fumigation to eradicate insects such as fruit flies and weevils from produce, and extend shelf life by retarding spoilage and natural processes such as ripening and sprouting.

All irradiated food is required by law to carry an internationally recognized symbol, known as a radura — usually green and resembling a circular flower flanked by two leaves within a broken circle. The packaging must also bear a statement indicating the food has been irradiated.

The radura should embolden you to tuck in rather than to throw out your burgers. Irradiation is by no means intended as a substitute for scrupulous hygiene standards, but it does provide that extra measure of safety. The off-putting reality is that burgers and other ground meat products are prone to contamination being frequently made from off-cuts and trimmings that may have been in contact with fecal matter. If a single cut of meat, say a steak or a chicken breast, is contaminated with E.coli or Salmonella, the pathogens harbor only on the surface of the meat being unable to permeate to the interior. Searing the outside over high heat will kill off any nasties. With a burger however, surface bacteria can become mixed into the ground meat. The risk of food poisoning then is inordinately higher despite a well-browned crust  - especially if you like your burgers pink and well below 160F in the middle.

 

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US News & World Report

The Basics on the Foodfight Over Irradiation

Should you look for the “radura” symbol?

Video: Healthful Eating Recipes

Video: Healthful Eating Recipes

By Sept. 5, 2008 SHARE

The Food and Drug Administration’s approval late last month of pathogen-zapping irradiation technology for fresh spinach and iceberg lettuce has reignited a long simmering debate about how to improve the safety of food. The news comes as the latest food safety scare—the salmonella outbreak probably caused by hot peppers—winds down after infecting 1,442 people across 43 states and killing two of them. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that foodborne diseases cause approximately 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths each year in the United States.

Given the less than spotless state of the nation’s food supply, is bombarding a product with radiation to kill microorganisms such as E. coli and salmonella a good thing? Or should you avoid irradiated food, as some groups urge? U.S. News asked food safety experts some key questions to help you decide.

What is irradiation?
The process involves treating a food with a short burst of high energy radiation that damages the DNA of bacteria. Though the FDA has only just approved the technique for use with fresh spinach and iceberg lettuce, the technology is not new. In fact, the agency has conducted safety tests on the technology for more than 40 years, and its use on meat has been approved since 1997. Spinach and iceberg lettuce are the first types of produce approved for irradiation at levels intense enough to kill pathogens. (Lower doses have been approved for other purposes, such as controlling insect infestations and slowing ripening produce’s maturation.) Why do some food processors want to irradiate food?
Groups that represent food processors, such as the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the American Meat Institute, want to irradiate certain products to kill problematic pathogens and to extend shelf life. Research shows that irradiation destroys 99.9 percent of common foodborne pathogens. However, advocacy groups such as Food & Water Watch and the Organic Consumers Association oppose the irradiation of food on the grounds that it doesn’t address the root causes of outbreaks, such as unsanitary conditions at farms and food processing plants, and reduces the nutritional quality, taste, and texture of food. Why has the Food and Drug Administration decided to approve the technology for use with spinach and lettuce now?

 

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FDA Expands Irradiation of Food Supply; Harmonizing with Codex Alimentarius

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

Demonstrating the lack of concern held by regulatory agencies for public safety or public opinion as well as the increasing attempts to become compliant with Codex Alimentarius regulations, the FDA has recently expanded the amount of ionized radiation that can be used to treat unrefrigerated raw meat.

As reported by Food Safety News, the two new policies decided upon by the FDA were issued in response to two petitions filed in 1999 by the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

While the previous policy was that only refrigerated or frozen meats could be irradiated, the new rule allows for the irradiation of unrefrigerated raw meat. The second rule change allows for increasing the dose of ionizing radiation in poultry from 3.0 kGY to 4.5 kGy.

Although a period for public comment is always set aside for regulatory agency decisions regarding potential changes to policy, the FDA promptly ignored the many comments it received from individuals all over the country as well as consumer advocacy groups which requested the denial of the two FSIS petitions.

The response from the FDA was that all of these comments, made by individuals and by groups such as Public Citizen and the Center for Food Safety, “were of a general nature” and “did not contain any substantive information that could be used in a safety evaluation of irradiated poultry.” This statement was made regarding both the poultry irradiation rule and the passage of a new meat temperature rule.

Predictably, the FDA has defended its decision by circular logic that flies in the face of science and common sense. The agency is claiming that “irradiating unrefrigerated meat was not found to increase meat’s toxicity, change the food’s nutritional properties or increase the likelihood of certain bacteria thriving on meat; therefore FDA has determined that this is a safe application for the process.”

Of course, while the FDA claims that irradiation is not found to increase toxicity or change nutritional properties, the very reason that the FDA has jurisdiction over food irradiation to begin with is because the process of irradiation can do just these very things. Even the FDA admits[1] that, because irradiation “can affect the characteristics of the food,” it is considered a “food additive.” Thus, because food additives fall under the purview of the FDA, irradiation is regulated (or not) by the agency.

By allowing for higher doses of irradiation in food, the FDA is knowingly complicit in covering up unsanitary food production practices by major corporations as well as accepting the inclusion of clearly harmful material (i.e. radiation) into the food supply. Keep in mind, irradiation is mostly used by corporations in order to cover up deplorable manufacturing conditions and dangerous food contamination.

 

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Food Irradiation Supports Agribusiness, Harms Health

Irradiation Lab Mouse Food Irradiation Supports Agribusiness, Harms Health

 

by Heidi Stevenson
Gaia-Health.com

Agribusiness is polluting and destroying the food on which we depend . Irradiation destroys nutrients and creates poisons. Despite claims, it’s largely hidden from us. It exists for the benefit of Agribiz, not for our health.

Food irradiation exists only because Agribusiness exists. It isn’t to support your health. As we’ve seen recently with outbreaks of food-borne disease, modern food production is innately unhealthy. It utilizes monoculture, long term storage, and chemicals. None of these are good for us, but all create enormous profits for a money-hungry industry. The need to sterilize foods on a mass scale simply did not exist until Agribusiness changed the nature of what we eat.

Modern food processing and distribution is highly mechanized, with tremendous pressure placed on employees to simply push things through and money carefully spent to grease the palms of those who might have called a stop to the madness. Agribusiness considers it cost-effective to irradiate foods, which sterilizes them and significantly increases their shelf life.

The efforts to utilize irradiation cover the spectrum from propaganda to hiding it from the public. We’re told that food irradiation is safe, effective, and doesn’t affect food quality. Let’s call these claims the myths that they are and examine them.

Myth: Irradiation is effective.

Fact: This is a very slippery claim. Yes, it does kill many infectious organisms, in particular, bacteria. However, it does not protect against toxic elements, such as the neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum, the bacterium that causes botulism. Killing the bacteria can create a sense of security, though the actual disease cause is still present.

Irradiation’s effectiveness against viruses is limited, so anthrax and hepatitis may still survive after irradiation. Prions, the cause of mad cow disease, are untouched by it.

Reinfestation of food is not prevented by irradiation. In fact, it holds the potential of allowing worse contamination. By eliminating most infectious organisms, beneficial ones are also destroyed. This results in there being nothing to prevent reinfection, allowing opportunistic bacteria and viruses free rein in irradiated foods.

Factory farms are not healthy places. Pigs are kept for their entire lives in horrifically unsanitary conditions, with their droppings and urine left uncleared where they fall through the cages, so they rot and release constant toxic fumes. Irradiation is a means to avoid dealing with this inhumane and unhealthy situation.

Urine, feces, pus, tumors, and vomit are not removed by irradiation.

Myth: Irradiation is safe.

Fact: This is simply false. As documented in Food Irradiation, Cats, and Doublespeak: Researchers Reinvent Reality, it’s well known to cause neurological damage in cats.

Irradiation generates furans in food. Carbofuran is a member of this class. It’s the poison, which is banned in Europe and severely curtailed in the US, that FMC sells under the name of Furadan, as reported in PsychoCorp #1—FMC Product Banned in U.S. Kills Lions in Africa. All furans are considered carcinogenic. Fruits, in particular, are affected by the generation of furans.

Public Citizen reports laboratory animals fed irradiated foods suffered “a myriad of serious health problems in laboratory animals that ate irradiated foods, including premature death, fatal internal bleeding, a rare form of cancer, stillbirths and other reproductive problems, mutations and other genetic damage, organ malfunctions, stunted growth and vitamin deficiencies.”

The growth of aflatoxin, implicated in liver cancer in southern states, is stimulated by irradiation. The World Health Organization considers aflatoxin to be a significant health risk. Unique Radiolytic Products (URPs) are produced by irradiation. These chemical compounds have not been well studied, but one group of them, cyclobutanones, have been found to promote cancer and genetic damage in rats, and to cause genetic and cellular damage in both rats and humans. Cyclobutanones are radiation by-products of palmitic acid, which is present in nearly all foods.

Other chemicals known to cause cancer and birth defects are formed by irradiation, including benzene, toluene, and methyl ethyl ketone.

Free radicals are formed by irradiation. These are the targets of antioxidants, supplements that are very popular now. Consider that some antioxidants, such as vitamin A, are destroyed by irradiation. So irradiation holds a double whammy against health—destroying the antioxidants that might help resolve the chemicals it creates.

The journal, Nutrition and Cancer reported in 2002 that colon cancer can be caused by a chemical compound found only in irradiated food.

Myth: Irradiation doesn’t affect food quality.

Fact: There is extensive documentation for the loss of key nutrients from irradiation of food. The Center for Food Safety reports that anywhere from 2-95% of the vitamins can be lost. They cite losses of as much as 80% of vitamin A in eggs, 95% of vitamin A and lutein in green beans, 50% of vitamin A and lutein in broccoli, and 40% of beta carotene in orange juice. Irradiation is also reported to destroy the B, C, E, and K vitamins.

 

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Additional Sources on Irradiation of food and it’s byproducts

Pubmed Data : Nutr Cancer. 2002;44(2):189-91. PMID: 12734067
Study Type : Animal Study

Pubmed Data : J Food Prot. 2008 Jun;71(6):1270-2. PMID: 18592759
Study Type : Animal Study

Pubmed Data : Poult Sci. 2001 Jan ;80(1):105-8. PMID: 11214329
Study Type : Animal Study

Pubmed Data : Food Chem Toxicol. 2012 Sep 19 ;51C:46-52. Epub 2012 Sep 19. PMID: 23000443
Study Type : Animal Study

Pubmed Data : Neurosci Lett. 2006 Sep 25;405(3):172-4. Epub 2006 Jul 26. PMID: 12380747
Study Type : Animal Study
Additional Links

Additional Keywords : Gamma Irradiation : CK(9) : AC(6)

Pubmed Data : Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2012 ;76(5):900-5. Epub 2012 May 7. PMID: 22738956
Study Type : Plant Study

Pubmed Data : PDA J Pharm Sci Technol. 2010 Sep-Oct;64(5):432-5. PMID: 21502047
Study Type : Review

Pubmed Data : J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Oct 5;53(20):7826-31. PMID: 16190637
Study Type : In Vitro Study
Additional Links

Additional Keywords : Gamma Irradiation : CK(9) : AC(6)
Problem Substances : Furan : CK(11) : AC(2)
Adverse Pharmacological Actions : Carcinogenic : CK(936) : AC(130)

Pubmed Data : J Sci Food Agric. 2011 Mar 15;91(4):634-49. Epub 2010 Dec 23. PMID: 21302317
Study Type : In Vitro Study
Additional Links


Pubmed Data : J Food Sci. 2011 Sep ;76(7):C1056-61. PMID: 22417543
Study Type : Plant Study
Additional Links

Pharmacological Actions : Antioxidants : CK(3723) : AC(1318)
Adverse Pharmacological Actions : Oxidant : CK(104) : AC(37)

Pubmed Data : Poult Sci. 2011 Nov ;90(11):2578-83. PMID: 22010244
Study Type : Review

Pubmed Data : Food Chem Toxicol. 2007 Dec;45(12):2581-91. Epub 2007 Jun 28. PMID: 17766022
Study Type : In Vitro Study
Additional Links

Additional Keywords : Gamma Irradiation : CK(9) : AC(6)

Pubmed Data : Mutat Res. 2006 Feb 22;594(1-2):10-9. Epub 2005 Sep 8. PMID: 16153665
Study Type : In Vitro Study

 

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Seafood Dish
Source

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Author

  Original uploader was Elapied at fr.wikipedia

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(Reusing this file)CC-BY-SA FR; CC-BY-SA-2.0-FR.

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Food Poisoning Bulletin

Consumer Groups Sue FDA Over Mercury in Seafood

Earthjustice, along with Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Mercury Policy Project, are suing the FDA for “failing to respond to a July 2011 petition in which the groups asked the FDA to give consumers clear, accurate, and accessible information about toxic mercury in the seafood they eat.” At this time, the latest recommendations for pregnant women eating shellfish are to avoid certain species, and eat up to 12 ounces a week of other fish. Those recommendations were set in 2004.

seafoodThe lawsuit asks for a court-ordered deadline for the FDA to respond to its request that signs be required at seafood counters and on seafood labels to let consumers know how much mercury is in the fish they buy. The FDA had 180 days, three years ago, to respond to the petition, but did not.

Mercury content in seafood is a concern and has been for years. Airborne mercury comes from coal-fired power plants and gold mining. It falls into the ocean, where it is converted into methyl mercury, which is a neurotoxin. That concentrates in fish and shellfish. Methylmercury exposure is linked to lowered IQ, learning disabilities, and impaired cognitive functioning.

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Activists sue FDA over mercury disclosures in seafood

Consumer protection and environmental advocacy groups filed al lawsuit Monday, accusing the Food and Drug Administration of failing to act in response to calls for more public information about mercury levels in seafood.

The legal action follows a petition filed by the group Earthjustice three years ago, urging the FDA to require signs at supermarket seafood counters to telling shoppers about the amounts of mercury in fish.

The petition, filed on behalf of the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Mercury Policy Project, also calls for labels on packaged seafood.

The groups say FDA officials had, under the agency’s own rules, 180 days to respond to the petition but ignored the deadline in violation of federal law.

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Breaking News: FDA’s Sneak Attempt to Ban Another B Vitamin

March 11, 2014

Vitamins Close-upYou can’t live without this vitamin. But the FDA wants to reserve the natural form for monopoly drug companies, leaving only the synthetic form for supplements. Urgent Action Alert!

 

The FDA has just released a new 109-page guidance on the revision of nutrition and supplement labels. (You can read more about the implications of the new labeling rules in our other article this week.)

 

On page 69, the agency slipped in two little paragraphs that could risk the health of millions of people who desperately need folate. It’s a sneak attack so quiet and unobtrusive that few people will even realize it’s there.

 

According to the guidance, the word “folate” will be banned from the Supplement Fact labels—only the term “folic acid” will be allowed.

 

Folate is the naturally occurring form of the water-soluble vitamin B9. It is found in foods such as black-eyed peas, chickpeas and other beans, lentils, spinach, turnip greens, asparagus, avocado, and broccoli, but is also available as a supplement.

 

The human body needs folate to synthesize and repair its DNA. It’s especially important during the kind of rapid cell division and growth seen in infancy and pregnancy. Children and adults both require folate to produce healthy red blood cells and prevent anemia among many other vital functions.

 

Folic acid, on the other hand, is synthetically produced, and refers to just one member of the folate group: pteroylmonoglutamic acid. While folic acid occurs only rarely in whole foods, it’s extremely stable, which is why it’s widely used in dietary supplements and to fortify processed foods.

 

The important thing to remember is that folic acid is not itself biologically active, though for most people the liver can convert it to the folate we need. Most, however, does not mean all. It’s estimated that 30% to 40% of the population can’t efficiently convert synthetic folic acid into folate.

 

In other words, about a third of the human population has two potential problems: a deficiency in folate (because it is hard to get enough from a diet full of processed foods), and possibly even an excess of folic acid (because their body can’t metabolize what could become an overabundance of folic acid present in “fortified” foods):

 

  • According to Dr. Jonathan V. Wright, folate deficiency is one of the most dangerous medical conditions, leading to Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases. If pregnant women are deficient in it, it can also lead to spina bifida and other neural tube birth defects in their children.

 

 

Note that the FDA is not exactly banning the inclusion of folate and requiring the inclusion of folic acid in supplements. As usual, it is playing a much more subtle insider’s game. It is simply banning supplement producers from using the word folate on their labels and conversely only allowing the word folic acid on their labels. But it would of course be fraudulent to put folic acid on your label and then use something else. The FDA understands that perfectly.

 

So on what grounds is the agency banning the use of the word folate on the label? Believe it or not, it is arguing that folate can only be found in “conventional” (whole or minimally processed) foods.

 

Before we examine this absurd claim, we must first explain that limiting a folate claim to food would not prevent drug companies from becoming the only source of folate outside of food. Drug companies don’t care what a chemical is called so long as they can create a high priced monopoly in it. Ironically, the FDA’s position that folate can only be used to describe what is in food would still turn folate over to the drug companies—so long as supplement labels can only use the term folic acid.

 

So what about the agency’s assertion that “folate” can only be found in food? “Folate” is actually a term for a whole B vitamin group. The term “folate” we see on dietary supplement labels refers to “dietary folates,” members of the folate group that can be naturally found in foods. Folinic acid (5-FTHF), calcium methylfolate, and various other tetrahydrofolates can be found in dietary supplements. Many brands feature dietary folate.[1] It would be completely inaccurate and misleading to refer to these dietary folates as “folic acid.” Legally, it would be fraudulent.

 

Why did the FDA do this? One can only guess. But it would not be surprising if it eventually turns out to be a blatant attempt to reserve for drug companies the use of dietary folates. After all, B vitamins are not only essential for life. They are also proven therapeutic agents. Drug company research programs have been coming up short for years; new drug therapeutic agents are in very short supply.

 

Moreover, the drug company Merck already holds patents on Metafolin, which the body recognizes as a bioavailable dietary folate. Metafolin is licensed by dietary supplement companies for some of their products.

 

If, according to FDA “logic,” dietary supplements can’t contain folate like Metafolin, it would only be available from whole foods…or drugs, and only from drugs in higher doses. Since Merck would have exclusivity for a Metafolin “drug,” our guess is that they would make billions. And other forms of patentable folate could then follow.

 

Sound unlikely? It’s not—both forms of fish oil and vitamin D have already been turned into patented drugs. Imagine if competition from supplemental forms of fish oil or D could be wiped out at one stroke by saying no supplement label could use the term!

 

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Food Safety News

After settling a dispute about final rule deadlines for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) earlier this week, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) has filed another lawsuit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – this time over food additives.

The suit seeks to vacate FDA’s 1997 proposed rule on substances generally recognized as safe (GRAS). The rule replaces the traditional petitioning process for a manufacturer seeking GRAS status for an additive with a “procedure whereby any person may notify FDA of a determination that a particular use of a substance is GRAS.”

CFS wants the agency to return to the traditional process by which manufacturers formally petition FDA to approve a new food additive as GRAS based on published studies.

FDA’s website acknowledges that the agency began accepting GRAS notices in 1998 even though the procedure was not yet final (and has yet to be finalized) and states that “the agency is evaluating whether each submitted notice provides a sufficient basis for a GRAS determination and whether information in the notice or otherwise available to FDA raises issues that lead the agency to question whether use of the substance is GRAS.”

 

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A New Study Shows Real Costs of Toxins

 

  • February 15, 2014

 

 

A New Study Shows Real Costs of Toxins

In environmental health circles, 2014 is being heralded as the year America’s 40-year-old chemical regulations will at long last be reformed. One typical complaint heard in the struggle to pass the Chemical Safety Improvement Act is that new regulations will cost companies too much money and the country too many lost jobs. This familiar tune ignores the other side of the economic coin. As in: What are the costs of doing nothing?

 

According to new study on BPA exposures in the U.S., they’re quite high. The study, authored by Healthy Child Healthy World board member Leonardo Trasande, an associate professor of pediatrics, environmental medicine, and health policy at the New York University School of Medicine, finds that the social costs of BPA-related obesity and heart disease were nearly $3 billion in 2008. It contends that removing the chemical from the linings of food and beverage cans would yield $1.74 billion in annual economic benefits. The study’s calculations were conservative and didn’t account for the many other health issues to which BPA is suspected of contributing, like cancer, reproductive damage, and behavioral disorders, which means these figures could be many billions of dollars higher in reality.

 

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Food Poisoning Bulletin

 

According to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, fresh cheese curd has been recalled in the northern part of the state because it tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. No reported cases of illness have been discovered at this time.

RecallThe cheese is Cuajada en Terron (Fresh Cheese Curd), sold at the Mega Mart, a retail store at 8328 Shopper’s Square in Manassas. The product was sold in clear, unlabeled plastic bags in the retail cheese display cooler. No lot or date coding information is on the package.

 

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File:Wrapped American cheese slices.jpg

Individually wrapped slices of American cheese.

Author Steve Spring, aka Lazarus-long at en.wikipedia
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February 10, 2014 10:18 PM ET

By By CANDICE CHOI

NEW YORK (AP) – Kraft is removing artificial preservatives from its most popular Singles cheese product variety, in the latest sign that companies are tweaking recipes as food labels come under greater scrutiny.

The change affects the company’s Kraft Singles in the full-fat American and White American varieties, which Kraft says account for the majority of the brand’s sales. Sorbic acid is being replaced by natamycin, which Kraft says is a “natural mold inhibitor.”

Kraft’s decision comes as a growing number of Americans pay closer attention to what they eat and try to stick to foods they feel are natural. That has prompted a number of food makers to change their recipes.

Last week, for instance, Subway said it was removing a chemical from its bread after a popular food blogger named Vani Hari started a petition noting the ingredient is also used in yoga mats.

The ingredient, azodicarbonamide, is an approved food additive and can be found in a wide variety of products, including those sold by McDonald’s and Starbucks. But Hari said she targeted Subway because of its healthy food image.

Even though such ingredients are approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration, being able to tout a product as being free of them can be a selling point. Kraft, for example, plans to begin airing TV ads near the end of February touting that its Kraft Singles cheese product “begins with milk” and are now “made with no artificial preservatives.”

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Washington’s Blog

Federal, State and Local Governments Refuse to Test for Radiation on the West Coast of North America

Numerous models show that – while the ocean dilutes radiation – pockets and streams of concentrated radiation may still hit the West Coast of North America.

West Coast residents are very concerned.  Indeed, many local and state government officials have said that residents are inundating them with questions about Fukushima radiation.

And yet the government isn’t measuring seawater or fish on the West Coast for radiation.

Ken Buessler is the head scientist at Woods Hole in Massachusetts,  one of the world’s top ocean science institutions.  Much of Buessler’s career has focused on measuring radioactive particles in the ocean, and he’s been studying groundwater and ocean samples in and around Fukushima since the accident in March of 2011.

Buessler has consistently tried to downplay the risks from Fukushima, and yet even he admits that we won’t know unless we test.  Buessler noted this week:

The predictions are rather low and are not of direct concern, but no one makes measurements of these isotopes along the [West] coast .

***

No one is measuring so therefore we should be alarmed. I really try to take the approach that we shouldn’t trivialize the risks of radiation and shouldn’t be overly alarmed.

Buessler said last week:

What we don’t really know is how fast and how much is being transported across the Pacific. Yes, models tell us it will be safe, yes the levels we expect off the US West Coast and Canada we expect to be low, but we need measurements — especially now, as the plume begins to arrive along the West Coast and will actually increase in concentration over the next 1 to 2 years. Despite public concern about the levels, no public agency in the US is monitoring the activities in the Pacific.

***

Without careful, extensive, consistent monitoring, we’ll have no way of knowing how much radiation from Fukushima is reaching our shores, and how it could affect life in the ocean.

And:

Buesseler says no US government agency currently tests radiation levels in the Pacific Ocean.“I don’t expect the radiation levels to be high but we can’t dismiss the concerns that the public has.”

“The effects of Fukushima will be increasing as the front edge of a large water plume coming from the nuclear plant will reach California soon and increase over the years,” said Buesseler.

Buesseler recently took his concerns to Washington where he met with US government officials at the various agencies responsible for monitoring radiation levels in air, food, and water.

He said he visited officials at the Department of Energy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

They all said that it’s not their responsibility to test the Pacific Ocean for radiation. This issue is falling between the cracks of government responsibility. It’s a health and safety issue here,” Buesseler said.

And Buesseler points out the circular reasoning which the government is using (at 10:00):

I completely agree that no radiation has been seen in the regards that we’re not really testing for it [laughter] in any organized way … We have very few data; it’s not really being organized. The government says we don’t really need to do that because we’re predicting very low levels.

This type of circular reasoning is – unfortunately – common these days. For example, when bad policy led to the 2008 financial crisis, the Gulf Oil spill, factory-farming caused disease, runaway pesticide use, and other problems, the government simply stopped testing or changed allowable levels.

U.C. Berkeley professor of nuclear engineering Eric Norman raises a similar point:

There is no systematic testing in the US of air, food, and water for radiation, continuous testing is needed

***

“I’m not terribly confident in the information Japan is sharing about the plant’s activities and clean up. That’s why it’s even more important now to advocate for continuous testing of air, food, and ocean water for radiation.”

University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher Doug Dasher notes:

There’s a lot of unknowns, a lot of uncertainties. There are others that also have the same message that they want to get out, we really need to sample to understand this and we really need to look at what’s happening out there in the ecosystem at the same time. There’s an opportunity to do this. It’s a huge amount of initial release, and the models do not address the continuing release [the models all assume that Fukushima was totally contained by about June 2011 ... in fact, it has leaked continuously hundreds of tons of radioactive water every day for more than 2/12 years]. Fukushima has continued to leak ….

***

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PreventDisease.com

Dec 15, 2013 by DAVE MIHALOVIC

Citing low demand, high costs – and questioning the benefits, Utah’s Public Department of Health does not stock or recommend Gardasil HPV vaccine. The decision to exclude the vaccine from its public health clinics was made by the agency’s director, contrary to the area’s Board of Health.

 
Utah Public Health Bans Gardasil Vaccine photo UtahPublicHealthBansGardasilVaccine_zps12f8df3f.jpg
 

“The backlash and sentiment against it was strong enough that there’s no reason to go there,” physician David Blodgett explained. “No one wants it and it’s too expensive when we’re not funded to provide it.”

The vaccine isn’t mandated in Utah. But the Utah Department of Health has been recommending it for preteen girls since 2006, and for boys since 2011.

At 42 percent, Utah ranks lowest in the nation for completion of the three-injection series among girls who start it.

Unproven Science and Increasing Reports of Side Effects

Official reasons for the slow uptake are varied, but informed parents who have increasingly become skeptical of vaccination, especially the HPV vaccine are likely making the difference.

Just a few months ago, hundreds of adverse reactions from the cervical cancer vaccine in Japan caused vaccine injuries and disability in many teenagers courtesy of Cervarix and Gardasil HPV injections. In July, 2013, the Japanese health ministry issued a nationwide notice that cervical cancer vaccinations should no longer be recommended in Japan. Japanese teens who received the vaccines are now in wheelchairs with damage to their brains and spinal cord.

The HPV vaccine is possibly the biggest vaccine hoax in the last century. HPV vaccines are nothing more than a worldwide exercise in profiteering at the expense of children’s health. Due to the overwhelming amount of side effects associated with the vaccine, health agencies are now encouraging health professionals not to report adverse reactions, a clear indication that something is very wrong.

Earlier this month, Mr. Jean-Christophe Coubris, defence lawyer for Marie-Oceane, a HPV vaccine injured teen, has filed charges with the French public prosecutor in Bobigny, in the outskirts of Paris, against both Laboratoire Sanofi Pasteur MSD and the French authority Agence Nationale du Medicament (ANSM), the French National Medicines Agency, for breach of their manifest duty to ensure safety and for disregard of the precautionary and prevention principles.

“To be dissuaded by cost issues, or to not stock the vaccine due to low public demand, is disingenuous, especially for someone with responsibilities to protect the public,” said said William Cosgrove, a pediatrician in Murray and a member of the Utah Scientific Immunization Advisory Committee. “I believe the real medical issues here are clouded by a moralistic belief system that precludes any frank discussion about sexuality in adolescents.”

Blodgett cites other problems with Gardasil, namely that it was fast-tracked through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a belief that its benefits were oversold by drug maker Merck.

Thanks to the wealth of information available on the HPV vaccine, the proportion of insured girls and young women completing the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine among those who initiated the series has dropped significantly — as much as 63 percent — since the vaccine was approved in 2006, according to new research from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston.

The study, published in Cancer, reveals the steepest decline in vaccine completion among girls and young women aged nine to 18 — the age group according to medical officials that should receive the vaccine in three doses over six months — a message that has been drilled into parents for just over five years.

“The science wasn’t good… We had physicians in our community arguing that we not make it available,” said Blodgett.

Just two years ago, a publication in the Annals of Medicine exposed the fraudulent nature of Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines. Key messages the researchers report include a lack of evidence for any HPV vaccines in preventing cervical cancer and lack of evaluation of health risks. The researchers stated that physicians should adopt a more rigorous evidence-based medicine approach, in order to provide a balanced and objective evaluation of vaccine risks and benefits to their patients.

The Public Isn’t Buying Medical Hype

It’s not the only risk and the vaccine is claimed to cut the risk by only 17 percent. Cancers caused by HPV are extremely rare and vaccination comes with no guarantee for long-term protection and high risk of side effects.

Weighed against the vaccine’s risks, “the public isn’t buying it,” said Blodgett. “It’s eroding public trust in immunization programs.”

“It’s a complicated vaccine that requires discussion about [sexual health] and a physical exam and follow-up visits with a doctor,” said the agency’s director, Joseph Shaffer. “My feeling is that’s better held in the physician’s office than here at the health department.”

Fear that Gardasil is dangerous hasn’t been eased by the FDA’s assurances. The agency approved and monitors the drug and says its safety profile matches those of other vaccines, but the evidence that continues to coming forward from the U.S. and around the world are proving different.

Earlier this month, national talk show host Katie Couric featured a woman on daytime TV who said the HPV vaccine killed her daughter. The show was roundly criticized by other media, including Slate and Forbes magazine.

Sources:
sltrib.com

Dave Mihalovic is a Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in vaccine research, cancer prevention and a natural approach to treatment.


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