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Tag Archive: Coca-Cola


Prevent Disease

 

May 6, 2014 by JOHN SUMMERLY

Pepsi and Coca-Cola Used As Pesticide In India Because They’re Cheap and Get The Job Done

Besides being an effective poison to the human metabolism, it seems Pepsi and Coca-Cola have another popular function in other parts of the world. One of India’s leading voluntary agencies, the Center for Science and Environment (CSE) said that soft drinks manufactured in India, including those carrying the Pepsi and Coca-Cola brand names, contain unacceptably high levels of pesticide residues and consequently many farmers have used the beverages to combat pests because of low costs compared to conventional pesticide brands.

It’s cheaper and easier to buy Coke in some third world countries than it is to access clean water. Coke uses “public relations propaganda” to convince consumers and entire nations that it is an “environmental company” when really it is linked to pollution, water shortages, and disease.

Coke has been tested in many cleaning scenarios and can even compare to high strength brands to clean everything from oil stains, tile grout and even strip paint off furniture.

In 2003, the CSE analyzed samples from 12 major soft drink manufacturers that are sold in and around the capital at its laboratories and found that all of them contained residues of four extremely toxic pesticides and insecticides–lindane, DDT, malathion and chlorpyrifos.

“In all the samples tested, the levels of pesticide residue far exceeded the maximum permissible total pesticide limit of 0.0005 mg per liter in water used as food, set down by the European Economic Commission (EEC),” said Sunita Narain, director of the CSE at a press conference convened to announce the findings.

The level of chlorpyrifos was 42 times higher than EEC norms, their study showed. Malathion residues were 87 times higher and lindane- banned in the United States-21 times higher, CSE scientists said.

They added that each sample was toxic enough to cause long-term cancer, damage to the nervous and reproductive systems, birth defects, and severe disruption of the immune system. Samples from brand leaders Coca-Cola and Pepsi had almost similar concentrations of pesticide residues in the CSE findings. Contaminants in Pepsi samples were 37 times higher than the EEC limit while its rival Coca-Cola exceeded the norms by 45 times, the same findings showed.

The chiefs of the Indian subsidiaries of Coca-Cola and Pepsi were quick to refute the charges. Sanjeev Gupta, president of Coca-Cola India, called the revelations made by CSE “unfair” and said his company was being subjected to a “trial by media”.

Cheaper

Farmers in the Durg, Rajnandgaon and Dhamtari districts of Chhattisgarh say they have successfully used Pepsi and Coke to protect their rice plantations against pests.

It is a trend that has been seen in other parts of India, with farmers also using Indian brands of colas.

The practice of using soft drinks in lieu of pesticides, which are 10 times more expensive, gained so much popularity that sales of the drinks increased drastically in remote villages.

Farmers say the use of pesticides costs them 70 rupees ($1.50) an acre.

By comparison, if they mix a bottle of Pepsi or Coke with water and spray it on the crop it costs 55-60 rupees less per acre.

Old Practice

Agricultural specialist Devendra Sharma says farmers are mistaken in thinking that the drinks are the same as pesticides.

He says the drinks are effectively sugar syrups and when they are poured on crops they attract ants which in turn feed on the larva of insects.

Mr Sharma says using sugar syrup for pest control is not a new practice.

“Jaggery made from sugar cane has been used commonly for pest control on many occasions. Pepsi and Coca-Cola are being used to achieve the same result,” he says.

Fellow scientist, Sanket Thakur, has a different explanation: “All that is happening is that plants get a direct supply of carbohydrates and sugar which in turn boosts the plants’ immunity and the plantation on the whole ends up yielding a better crop.”

Coke in the United States contains high fructose corn syrup which may even prove to be a more effective pesticide since it is a concentrated cocktail of the simple sugars fructose and glucose.

Anupam Verma, Pepsi sales manager at the time in Chhattisgarh, said sales figures in rural areas of the state increased by 20%.

Not Only Cola, But Water Is The Problem

CSE scientists H. B. Mathur and Sapna Johnson said their basic inference was that, as with the bottled mineral water, the soft drink manufacturers were drawing their water supplies from groundwater that is heavily contaminated by years of indiscriminate pesticide use.

High pesticide residues were reported in groundwater around Delhi at the time when the government’s Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) carried out a study which also reported excessive salinity, nitrate and fluoride content besides traces of lead, cadmium and chromium.

Significantly, the CSE laboratories tested samples of soft drink brands popularly sold in the United States as control–and found that they did not contain any pesticide residue. Although more than 95% of all soft drink brands in the United States are made with municipal water supplies containing all of the same toxins and pharmaceuticals in our drinking water including fluoride, arsenic, chlorine, atenolol, atrazine, carbamazepine, estrone, gemfibrozil, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim.

CSE found that the regulations for the powerful and massive soft drinks industry are much weaker, indeed non-existent, as compared to those for the bottled water industry. The norms that exist to regulate the quality of cold drinks are inadequate, leaving this “food” sector virtually unregulated.

So pampered is the lucrative soft drink sector that it is exempted from the provisions of industrial licensing under the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951.

Sources:
bbc.co.uk
ipsnews.net

John Summerly
is nutritionist, herbologist, and homeopathic practitioner. He is a leader in the natural health community and consults athletes, executives and most of all parents of children on the benefits of complementary therapies for health and prevention.

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Still here: A Double Gulp is pictured, the largest of 20 to 50 ounce beverages sold at 7-Eleven stores with the Double Gulp when filled with Coca-Cola supplying 600 caloriesStill here: A Double Gulp is pictured, the largest of 20 to 50 ounce beverages sold at 7-Eleven stores with the Double Gulp when filled with Coca-Cola supplying 600 calories

New York Soda Size Limit Statute Barred by State Judge

By Chris Dolmetsch – Mar 11, 2013 2:30 PM CT
Bloomberg

The city’s Board of Health in September approved Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to limit the size of sugary soft drinks sold in restaurants, movie theaters, stadiums and arenas to no more than 16 ounces (473 milliliters) a cup.

Groups representing beverage makers, restaurants and theaters filed a petition in New York State Supreme Court in October, the state’s trial level court, seeking to block enforcement of the measure, calling the ban “unprecedented interference” with consumer choice.

New York Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling in Manhattan approved the group’s request, issuing a permanent injunction preventing the city from implementing the plan, which had been scheduled to begin March 12. The city may appeal the ruling.

Read Full Article Here

 

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NBC News staff and wire reports   –   34 min.

Judge tosses out NYC’s planned ban on sugary drinks

How sweet it is — for sugar-lovers anyway.

A judge on Monday invalidated New York City’s plan to ban large sugary drinks from restaurants and other eateries, one day before the new law was to take effect.

State Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling in Manhattan ruled the new regulations are “fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences. The simple reading of the rule leads to the earlier acknowledged uneven enforcement even within a particular city block, much less the city as a whole….the loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the state purpose of the rule.”

New York City is “enjoined and permanently restrained from implementing or enforcing the new regulations,” Tingling ruled.

The American Beverage Association and other business groups had sued the city challenging the ban.

 

Read Full Article and  Watch Video Here

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Big Gulps beware! New York City approves large sugary soda ban to take effect six months from now (complete with $200 fines)

  • Vote by city’s Board of Health will prohibit the sale of sodas and other sugary drinks over 16-ounces at restaurants and concession stands
  • Large beverages sold at grocery stores and select convenience stores are an exception
  • Thursday’s vote is unlikely to be the final word on the proposal

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 12:12 EST, 13 September 2012 | UPDATED: 16:48 EST, 13 September 2012

New York City’s Board of Health opened up a new, experimental front in the war on obesity Thursday, passing a rule banning sales of big sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, concession stands, and other eateries.

The regulation, which was proposed in the spring by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and approved by a panel of health experts after several months of review, puts a 16-ounce size limit on cups and bottles of non-diet soda, sweetened teas, and other calorie-packed beverages.

The ban will apply in fast-food joints, movie houses and Broadway theatres, workplace cafeterias, and most other places selling prepared food.

Banned: A McDonald's worker is seen preparing an order with a large beverage, possibly the last of its kind if in New York City with a new rule banning sales of big sodas and other sugary drinksBanned: A McDonald’s worker is seen preparing an order with a large beverage, possibly the last of its kind if in New York City with a new rule banning sales of big sodas and other sugary drinks

It doesn’t cover beverages sold in supermarkets or most convenience stores.

The restaurant and beverage industries have assailed that the plan is misguided. They say the city’s health experts are exaggerating the role sugary beverages have played in making Americans fat.

One board member, Dr Sixto R. Caro, abstained from voting. The other 8 board members voted yes.

‘I am still sceptical. This is not comprehensive enough,’ Caro said.

Some New Yorkers have also ridiculed the rule as a gross government intrusion and tens of thousands signed a petition, circulated by the industry, voicing their opposition.

Too sweet: In war on obesity, the city's attack on sugary beverages, started last spring, concluded on Thursday with a unanimous vote to ban those over 16 ouncesToo sweet: In war on obesity, the city’s attack on sugary beverages, started last spring, concluded on Thursday with a unanimous vote to ban those over 16 ounces
Growing: Recently called Nanny Bloomberg over the mayor's efforts to closer monitor its residents' health and wellbeing, his officer released graphs like this one, showing how the size of Coca-Cola has grownGrowing: Recently called Nanny Bloomberg over the mayor’s efforts to closer monitor its residents’ health and wellbeing, his office released graphs like this one, showing how the size of Coca-Cola has grown

The unprecedented regulation would follow other ambitious health moves on Bloomberg’s watch.

Some have proven to be national pacesetters, such as making chain restaurants post calorie counts prominently on their menus; McDonald’s announced on Wednesday that it would start displaying the information nationwide next week, before a federal requirement that could force all major chains to do so next year.

New York City also has barred artificial trans fats from restaurant food and taken aggressive steps to discourage smoking. Starting this month, dozens of city hospitals are asking mothers of newborns to listen to talks about why they should breast-feed instead of using formula.

Upset: Andrea Hebert of New York, protests the soda-ban while holding a 7-Eleven Big Gulp, one of the few exceptions to the ban due to the store considered a grocery storeUpset: Andrea Hebert of New York, protests the soda-ban while holding a 7-Eleven Big Gulp, one of the few exceptions to the ban due to the store considered a grocery and convenience store

Corporate Assault on Our Lives And Our Health

How plastic bottled water is harming you and the environment

water
by: Anita Khalek
(NaturalNews) As soda sales leveled off in the U.S., multinational corporations like PepsiCo, Coca Cola and Nestle found a cash cow in marketing bottled water as the healthy alternative. Though blessed with an abundance of clean water, the U.S. now consumes more bottled water than any other country, piling up enough empty bottles to run the circumference of the equator every 27 hours, and we do so at an unacceptable price to both human health and the environment.

A feigned image of health

The World Bank estimates the bottled water market at $800 billion, making the prospect of a fraction of this fortune enough for companies to salivate over. Marketing words like pristine, pure, and fresh, have been used to describe bottled water, while undermining the perceived quality of tap water. Yet, contamination issues have led to over 100 recalls on bottled water in recent years. Unlike tap water, which is tested hundreds of times a day and is under constant monitoring, bottled water producers are not required to provide water quality reports. Bottled water is not regulated, as the FDA has no jurisdiction on bottled water sourced and sold in the same state, which is often mined from local streams and lakes before being sold back to the public at a cost thousands of times more than what they can readily get from their own faucet.

Hazards on the environment

The hazards of bottled water far outweigh its convenience. Small towns across the U.S. and around the world are being exploited for water resources to feed the manufactured demand of giant corporations selling public water and commodifying a necessity of life. Furthermore, poor neighborhoods, often in minority communities, are being poisoned by the toxic manufacturing of plastic bottles.

According to the Environmental Working Group, the annual manufacturing of plastic bottles for water alone in the U.S. market takes as much oil as required to fuel a million cars. At the consumer end, it is estimated that only one out of five bottles actually gets recycled, with much of the rest polluting our fragile environment. The throw-away bottled water economy has a significant burden on its resource as well, where it is estimated that two liters of water are needed to bottle every liter on the store shelf, resulting in approximately 72 billion gallons wasted annually worldwide.

Harzards on health

Producers of bottled water are not required to offer water quality reports, leaving a consumer to wonder what kind of filtering is actually occurring. In third-party testing, bottled water showed traces of bacteria, chemicals, fluoride, endocrine disruptors such as BPA and PETE (or PET). In fact, whether the filtering process is pure or not does not exclude some of these chemicals since the process of storing the water in the PET plastic water bottles (especially after being exposed to heat during transportation and storage) infuses the water with leaching from the plastic. The fact is plain and simple: in the majority of counties across the U.S., local tap water is safer than the plastic-laced water bought for insanely inflated prices.

A clearer path ahead

Given its ease and convenience, it takes commitment and planning to relinquish the costly addiction to bottled water. Nonetheless, it must be done for the sake of our own health, the health of others, and for the sake of our fragile, over-polluted environment. A healthier alternative would be to install a good quality filter in the home and use non-plastic, reusable water bottles. If a need arises, glass-bottled spring water is a better choice as it is bottled at the source and is naturally filtered underground.

Sources for this article include

http://www.ewg.org/bottled-water-2011-home
http://recipes.howstuffworks.com
http://thewaterproject.org/bottled_water.asp
http://earth911.com
http://www.rd.com/health/rethink-what-you-drink/3/
http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com

About the author:
Anita is a researcher, a writer and a passionate believer in the healing power of food. Using her culinary skills and amateur photography, she regularly creates new recipes and shares her techniques on her food blog at www.myfreshlevant.com.
Questions and suggestions can be directed to anita@myfreshlevant.com

Health And Wellness Report

Do highly-caffeinated drinks like Monster Energy pose a death risk to people who drink them?

energy

by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

 

(NaturalNews) They continue to be all the rage today, particularly among the masses of chronically-fatigued individuals and young people seeking a rapid energy boost. But highly-caffeinated beverages like Monster Energy and Red Bull are increasingly finding themselves implicated in wrongful death accusations, as the drinks typically contain caffeine levels up to 14 times higher than a normal cup of coffee, which some allege can lead to potentially-fatal health problems.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reportedly been receiving more and more reports about energy drinks causing serious injuries and death, including the now-circulating report of a 14-year-old Maryland girl who died not long after drinking two cans of Monster Energy in a 24-hour period. The girl’s parents claim the drinks were responsible for triggering cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity, which the Monster Energy company vehemently denies.

But the FDA says it has also received at least five other reports of death associated with energy drinks, as well as one heart attack, since 2009. Though this number is relatively low compared to the number of people that die every year from FDA-approved pharmaceutical drugs, it is still a point of concern for some who are fearful that energy drinks are dangerous. At this time; however, no causal link between the drinks and serious health problems has been unequivocally identified.

Critics of energy drinks point to extremely high levels of caffeine as the primary culprit in their potential toxicity, noting that the Maryland girl drank a total of 480 milligrams of caffeine between the two cans of Monster Energy. To put this amount of caffeine into perspective, this would be the same as drinking about 14 12-ounce cans’ worth of Coca-Cola during the same time period.

On the flip side, energy drinks with similar ingredient profiles, though perhaps with less caffeine, have been safely consumed in many other countries for many decades, long before they became a novelty here in the U.S. And in each of the cases brought forth for media display thus far, the individuals that consumed the drinks had preexisting or other unrelated health conditions that may have been coincidentally associated with consuming energy drinks.

So is there any validity to the claims that energy drinks are dangerous, or is all the media fanfare just an overblown attempt to increase FDA control over this particular segment of the food sector? FDA-approved pharmaceutical drugs, after all, kill at least 100,000 people every year, and have collectively killed at least 30 million people since 1998, with not so much as a peep from the mainstream media about this societal holocaust. Why, then, are they all of a sudden so focused on energy drinks?

Sources for this article include:

http://www.nytimes.com

http://www.reuters.com

http://www.forbes.com

 

Crossroads News : Changes In The World Around Us And Our Place In It

Corporate Assault on Our Lives And Our Health  :  Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) – Research

Is The End of Monsanto Near? Prop 37 Succeeding as Nations Ban GMO Crops

Anthony Gucciardi
NaturalSociety

endofmonsanto 235x147 Is The End of Monsanto Near? Prop 37 Succeeding as Nations Ban GMO CropsIs the end of Monsanto within reach? It has certainly been a rough couple of weeks for the mega corporation as the real dangers surrounding GMOs are being brought to the attention of consumers on a global scale like never before. It all started with the monumental French study finding a serious link between the consumption of Monsanto’s Roundup-drenched GMOs and massive tumors. Being called the ‘most thorough’ research ever published on the real health effects of GMOs, the study led to even larger victories.

After the study not only did France call for a potential worldwide ban on GMOs pending the results of their in-depth analysis, but Russia’s major consumer rights organization announced a ban on both the importation and use of Monsanto’s GMO corn.

Prop 37 Can Label Monsanto Out of Existence

And now, the Proposition to label all GMOs in the state of California is showing massive success. If Prop 37 passes, it won’t just affect California. It is very likely that other states will not just take note, but adopt similar legislation. Through this legal mechanism, we can essential label Monsanto out of existence.  This is possible when considering that the average consumer is actually opposed to GMOs and heavily in favor of proper labeling.

In a major Los Angeles Times poll, registered California voters in favor of labeling outnumber pro-GMO voters by more than a 2-to-1 margin. Altogether, a whopping 61% of those polled reported supporting the Prop 37 labeling initiative. Only 25% reported opposing it.

If GMO-containing products are properly labeled, the simple fact of the matter is that less people will buy them. As of right now, very few people are even aware of what they are putting in their mouth. In fact, if the public knew that they were consuming GMOs which were linked to massive tumors and organ failure, the overwhelming majority would abandon such products. Without labeling, however, they have no idea. The same can also be said for other ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup and aspartame.

As Yes on 37 campaign manager Gary Ruskin explains:

“Monsanto, DuPont, and Coca-Cola do not want Californians to know what’s really in their food and drinks, because they fear consumers will turn away from their genetically engineered ingredients and pesticides that go with them.”

If they knew they were eating mercury in the HFCS and consuming an artificial sweetener with over 42 associated diseases, then major change would occur – change that includes forcing manufacturers to abandon these ingredients in order to stay profitable. And after all, Monsanto’s number one goal is profit. This is a company that has been caught running ‘slave-like’ working conditions in which ‘employees’ were forced to buy only from the company store and were not allowed to leave the area or their pay would be withheld.

If Monsanto’s profits were to plummet, their political reign would likely follow as well. Without an endless amount of cash to throw at crushing Prop 37, already contributing $4 million to fuel anti-labeling propaganda in California, the corporation’s massive grasp on the world of science (continually censoring studies and funding pro-GM research) and politics would virtually cease to exist.

It is essential that we ensure the passing of Prop 37 in a bid to generate the literal end of Monsanto. Once consumers actually know that they’re putting genetically modified creations into their body, real change will occur within the food supply.

Explore More:

  1. Leaked: US to Start ‘Trade Wars’ with Nations Opposed to Monsanto, GMO Crops
  2. France Maintains Key Ban on Monsanto’s GMO Maize Crops
  3. Report: Nature May Soon Overcome Monsanto as ‘Super Rootworms’ Destroy Crops
  4. Monsanto’s Top 7 Lies About GMO Labeling and Proposition 37
  5. Outrageous: Agent Orange Maker Monsanto Seeks Return to Vietnam for GMO Crops
  6. Fake Eco-Friendly Corporations Shell out Millions of $ to Stop GMO Labeling (Infographic)

Crossroads News : Changes In The World Around Us And Our Place In It

Corporate Assault on Our Lives And Our Health

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)

Why Are Some of the Most Popular Organic Brands Trying to Take Down Consumer Labeling Efforts?

You may be surprised by the companies siding with the likes of Monsanto, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Dow and other behemoths over the right to know what foods are genetically modified.
September 12, 2012  |

Photo Credit: Lightspring/Shuttersock.com

 Inside the battle over California’s ballot initiative for labeling of genetically engineered foods, Prop 37, is another battle for money . It’s no surprise that more than $14 million of the over $26 million raised to defeat the “Right to Know” labeling initiative is from the biotech industry. And it’s not shocking that the nation’s largest food corporations – PepsiCo, Nestle, Coca-Cola, ConAgra, General Mills, Del Monte, Kellogg, Hershey, etc. – have kicked in most of the rest.

But then there are some surprises. Companies with no obvious stake in the GE foods labeling battle like Morton Salt, Ocean Spray Cranberries, and Godiva have contributed thousands of dollars. And conscientious shoppers may not be aware that they are buying organic products from brands owned by the companies fighting to defeat Prop 37.

The Cornucopia Institute, an organic watchdog organization, recently published an infographic telling which organic brands are owned by major corporations that oppose GE food labeling – as well as which organic companies and brands are supporting the pro-labeling “Right to Know” campaign (full disclosure: I’m on the policy advisory board of the Organic Consumers Association, which supports the Right to Know campaign).

Coca-Cola might not want to label the genetically engineered corn used to make the high fructose corn syrup in its sodas, but it also owns organic and “natural” brands like Honest Tea and Odwalla. Likewise, PepsiCo, owner of Izze and Naked Juice, donated $1.7 million to oppose Prop 37 – more than every other donor except Monsanto and DuPont, and even more than the other four major biotech corporations (Bayer, BASF, Dow, and Syngenta).

Other brands owned by Prop 37-opposing corporations include Lightlife and Alexia (owned by Conagra); Kashi, Gardenburger, Bear Naked, and Morningstar Farms (Kellogg); Cascadian Farm Organic, Muir Glen and Larabar (General Mills); R.W. Knudsen Farms and Santa Cruz Organic (Smucker); and Silk and Horizon Organic (Dean Foods).

By publishing this information, the Cornucopia Institute made quite a wave. “It’s amazing how many emails we’ve gotten from people saying, ‘I never knew that Kellogg owned Kashi!’ They feel betrayed,” said co-founder Mark Kastel. He adds that consumers might have been in the dark because, “You’ll never see General Mills on the label of Glen Muir or Cascadian Farms, you’ll see Small Planet Foods,” a practice he finds deceptive.

“People aren’t just buying the organic cereal, the organic frozen vegetables,” he continues. “They are buying the story behind the food, and organics has always had this romantic story about stewarding the environment and humane animal husbandry, and one of the reasons consumers assume organic food is more expensive is because economic justice for the farmer is built into the price.” He accuses large corporations with disingenuous organic brands of “farming by press release,” adding that, “It’s a lot easier to build a fancy press release and tell how much of your power comes from wind power than it is to deal with many small, family farmers.”

But Cornucopia doesn’t identify itself as “anti-corporate.” Kastel says, “These issues aren’t about corporate scale, they are about corporate ethics.” The infographic supports this by identifying a number of organic companies and brands that have donated to the Right to Know campaign, supporting Prop 37 and the labeling of GE foods. These include: Nature’s Path, Amy’s, Annie’s, Dr. Bronners, Nutiva, and more. In fact, since the infographic was initially released, he says some companies have donated to support Prop 37 and then asked Cornucopia to add them to the infographic.

Honest Tea, which was acquired by Coca Cola in 2011, assures customers that it retains 100 percent autonomy, even though its owner is one of the biggest funders of No on Prop 37. Honest Tea points to its own organic certification, its voluntary labeling of its products as free of genetically engineered ingredients, and even its funding of the federal labeling effort, the Just Label It campaign, as evidence of its commitment to the labeling of genetically engineered foods and its independence from its parent company.

You may be surprised by the companies siding with the likes of Monsanto, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Dow and other behemoths over the right to know what foods are genetically modified.

The Just Label It campaign, funded by Honest Tea, Horizon Organic, Annie’s, Amy’s, Organic Valley, Stonyfield, and others, focuses its efforts on convincing the FDA to require labeling on all GE foods nationally. Honest Tea says it funds Just Label It but not the pro-Prop 37 Right to Know campaign because it feels the best use of its limited funds is focusing on the national campaign. According to the company, it does not have the funds to devote to smaller, more limited, statewide efforts around the country.

The Right to Know campaign’s co-chair, Dave Murphy, disagrees with this logic. “California is the eighth largest economy in the world,” he says, noting the impact that requiring labeling in this one state will have. Additionally, he lacks faith that the FDA, which has opposed requiring labels of GE foods to date, will be swayed in the near future. On the other hand, a majority of California voters (and a majority of Americans) support GE food labeling, and the ballot measure has a real chance of passing. That said, Murphy is adamant that he does not wish for anyone to boycott any organic products, no matter what their parent company is up to. “That will only hurt the farmers,” he says.

Kastel – a man not known for mincing his words – uses stronger language, calling Just Label It a “damage control scheme” that organic giants set up during a time when they were criticized for agreeing with the USDA’s call for “coexistence” between organics and GE crops. “Their kneejerk response was to thump their chest about how anti-GMO they are.” He adds, “Just Label It accomplished nothing and it never will. As long as we have the campaign finance system we have, it never will.”

The Cornucopia Institute hopes to add a “Missing in Action” section to its infographic, calling out the enormous corporations that have not donated to either side of Prop 37. That list will include Hain Celestial, Stonyfield and Whole Foods. “We’re hoping there will be some level of embarrassment,” he says.

Stonyfield’s director of organic and sustainable agriculture, Britt Lundgren, ensures customers that it has endorsed Prop 37 . “Although our financial donations have been solely to Just Label It, we support all efforts to require labeling of genetically engineered foods,” she said. “We believe that consumers have a right to know what’s in their food and that genetically engineered ingredients are fundamentally different from their non-genetically engineered counterparts and people have a right to make a decision about whether or not they want to consume those foods.”

So why the choice to fund one and not the other? “Stonyfield invested in supporting Just Label It long before the idea of having a California ballot initiative came to our attention so we made that decision and we invested our funds there,” Lundgren explains. “We only have so much money that we could put toward these things, unfortunately.”

Unfortunately, even though Prop 37 is now polling at 65 percent support, its passage is by no means a slam dunk. So far the campaign in support of labeling has raised $4.5 million, but needs $6 million to $10 million just to try and compete with other side’s deep pockets. And money counts, as illustrated by a failed California ballot initiative to tax cigarettes and use the proceeds to fund cancer research that the state voted on in June. It received 67 percent support in March 2012 – before tobacco companies spent nearly $50 million to fight it. By Election Day, June 5, the measure lost narrowly.

You may be surprised by the companies siding with the likes of Monsanto, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Dow and other behemoths over the right to know what foods are genetically modified.

It is certain that the food and biotech industries will bury the Prop 37 campaign in a flood of corporate cash. But what is not yet known is whether the Right to Know campaign will receive the resources to counter that cash in time for the election on November 6.

Jill Richardson is the founder of the blog La Vida Locavore and a member of the Organic Consumers Association policy advisory board. She is the author of Recipe for America: Why Our Food System Is Broken and What We Can Do to Fix It..

 

Crossroads News : Changes In The World Around Us And Our Place In It

Community  :  Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) / Corporate Assault on Our Lives And Our Health

Farmer Debunks Corporate Propaganda Against Proposed Law to Label Genetically Modified Food

Giant corporations like Monsanto, DuPont, Dow, Pepsi and Coke have poured $25 million into the No on 37 campaign.

I’ve been a farmer for more than 40 years. While I no longer live or farm in California, I do co-manage 120 acres of farmland in Vermont, and I know that a GMO labeling law passed in California will have widespread implications for consumers and farmers in every state in the country. As a farmer who has experience in both conventional and organic farming, I’m compelled to address the anti-labeling campaign’s so-called “concerns” for farmers and consumers.

But first, make no mistake: The folks who are  running and funding the campaign against California’s Proposition 37, the Nov. 6 citizens’ ballot initiative that would require mandatory labeling of GMOs, have never worked on behalf of small farmers or consumers. Why would we think they are suddenly on our side? Heading up the campaign are the same folks who, backed by Big Tobacco, fought anti-smoking initiatives in California. They are the same people who, with a little help from Big Oil, tried to repeal California’s clean energy and climate laws. The $25 million that has so far poured into the “No on 37” campaign comes from huge biotech, chemical and food processing corporations (Monsanto, DuPont, Dow AgriScience, Pepsi, Coca-Cola). These are all companies whose primary motivation is profit, not the protection of consumers or farmers.

Here’s my farmer’s-eye view of the propaganda coming out of the No on 37 campaign, which by the way is dubiously named: Stop the Deceptive Food Labeling Scheme.

Propaganda statement #1:

The initiative would close off opportunities for farmers and food producers who might want to take advantage of future advances in crops bred for disease and pest resistance, drought tolerance, improved growth, nutrition, taste or other benefits.

This is perhaps the most outrageous of the No on 37 campaign’s purported concerns, and it’s directed at us, the farmers. The GMO giants claim to be concerned that we will not get a chance to grow GMO crops. Really? After suing and harassing thousands of farmers and driving small seed dealers out of business and into court, it is beyond disingenuous for Monsanto and the GMO gang to feign concern for our interests. I can assure them that we farmers are more afraid of Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta than the biotech giants are at the prospect of losing their genetically altered seed.

Farmers in several states have tried to pass farmer protection laws against the spillage and drift of GMO seed and pollen. These laws were designed to respond to the fact that biotech companies can sue farmers for patent infringement if GMO crops inadvertently sprout up as “weeds” on their farms – the result of pollen drift or seed spillage from a neighboring or nearby farm that grows GMO crops. Most of us farmers see this differently. We believe that when GMO seeds spill onto our land, or pollen from GMO crops drifts into our non-GMO crops and contaminates them, this constitutes trespassing, not patent theft. In spite of this trespass, Monsanto alone has brought  136 cases  against more than 400 farmers. Thousands more U.S. farmers have been threatened with lawsuits by Monsanto.

Farmers growing cotton, corn, soy, and canola are in a tight spot because biotech companies have bought a majority of the seed corporations in order to control what seed can be grown. In the last several years, more than 90% of the seed available to farmers for these four crops has been genetically modified. So if a farmer wants to grow any of these commodity crops, he’s forced to grow the GMO variety –or not grow them at all.

Giant corporations like Monsanto, DuPont, Dow, Pepsi and Coke have poured $25 million into the No on 37 campaign.

Propaganda statement #2:

To avoid labeling a product as non-GMO will require farmers, food processors, and food distributors to document that ingredients are not produced through biotechnology.

This massive new paperwork and record keeping requirement – on tens of thousands of crops and food products – will add significant cost and bureaucracy for farmers and food producers.

Exaggeration upon exaggeration. The regulation and record-keeping process is  not that difficult and there are  not tens of thousands of GE crops grown in California. When our farm first converted to organic production we were leery of the regulations and the requirements for record-keeping and documentation for organic certification, so we understand the trepidation farmers have over regulations and record-keeping. Now, however, it is a regular part of our routine. Our staff regularly documents our growing and sales practices on computers, which makes it easy to track and segregate inputs and products if necessary.

While the organic regulations are strict, their existence provides the consumer and the farmers with a guarantee that a third-party inspector is reviewing the farmer’s records and growing and sales practices, and are rooting out mistakes or any instances of deliberate cheating. Excellent and easy-to-use record-keeping  computer programs  are available for small, medium, and large farms.  Given our experience, we believe that creating an accurate paper trail for organic, GMO-free, or naturally grown products should not be seen as daunting by farmers or be used as a reason to not label GMO products. And let’s not forget – in almost 50 other countries, this process is required – and executed without undue burden on farmers.

As for the issue of “tens of thousands” of GMO crops in California, that’s simply not true. Currently, genetically engineered cotton, corn, sugar beets, soy, a bit of canola, and experimental alfalfa are grown commercially in California. These same crops are the only ones grown on large acreages in the U.S. So there are not thousands of GMO crops that are grown anyplace in the U.S. or the rest of the world. There are, however, tens of thousands of products that have genetically modified ingredients. About 75% of our processed food has GMO ingredients—and processed food accounts for 80% of the food U.S. consumers eat. That should give consumers pause.

Propaganda statement #3:

This provision (Proposition 37) would significantly impact farmers’ ability to market their foods as natural, even if there are no GE ingredients. So, for example, under the measure a raw almond could be marketed as “natural” but the same almond that has been salted and canned could not. Apples could be labeled “naturally grown,” but applesauce made from the same apples could not be advertised as “natural applesauce” simply because the apples were cooked.

If almonds are plunged into a salt bath, no matter how you look at it, it’s not natural. When do almonds ever do that naturally? When almonds have tamari or salt or garlic added they are not natural. When natural apples are made into applesauce, they are cooked, and almost all the non-organic applesauce producers add preservatives. Is this applesauce natural? This begs the question as to what is “natural.”

Since there are no government or industry guidelines or regulations governing what is or is not “natural,” food processors have stamped the word “natural” on everything from corn flakes to processed meats to shampoo. Biotech companies, cosmetic companies, and food processors all want to keep up the illusion that processed foods are “natural” and thus safer than non-natural products. Why? Because they can charge consumers more for anything with the word “natural” on it. Sales of “natural” foods have reached about $50 billion a year, compared with $32 billion in sales of certified organics.

Article Continues

Health And Wellness Report

Poisons In Our Foods  :  Medical Research

Soft drinks change body chemistry making it harder to lose weight

(ANI): Drinking sugared fizzy drinks could be even more harmful than previously thought, experts have warned.

The soft drinks don’t just pile on the pounds because of the calories in them – they alter the way your body burns fuel.

Your muscles grow to ‘prefer’ sugar to fat as a fuel, and thus losing weight becomes harder.

And worryingly this effect lasts long-term which can raise levels of blood glucose leading to diabetes.

This study proves our concerns over sugary drinks have been correct. Not only can regular sugar intake acutely change our body metabolism; in fact it seems that our muscles are able to sense the sugars and make our metabolism more inefficient, not only in the present but in the future as well, the Daily Mail quoted Dr Hans-Peter Kubis, of Bangor University, as saying.

This will lead a reduced ability to burn fat and to fat gain. Moreover, it will make it more difficult for our body to cope with rises in blood sugar, he noted.

The move to an inefficient metabolism was seen in male and female participants who were lightly active, and drinking soft drinks for just four weeks.

These factors show that regular use of sugar sweetened soft drinks drives alterations in muscles similar to those found in people with obesity problems and type 2 diabetes.

What is clear is our body adjusts to regular soft drink consumption and prepares itself for the future diet by changing muscle metabolism via altered gene activity – encouraging unhealthy adaptations similar to those seen in people with obesity problems and type 2 diabetes,Dr Kubis said.

This would relate to all kinds of soft drinks with a high sugar content, including fruit juices, he added. (ANI)

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For those who want  more information  about Stevia which is a natural sweetener and how to choose the  safest form I  have collected this information along  with some recipe sources on  how to use  Stevia, to  replace  processed sugars in your daily  life..

Truvia And PureVia Are Not Stevia – Truvia “Natural” Ingredients

Uploaded by on Feb 6, 2012

Truvia and PureVia are marketed as healthy no calorie sweeteners that are made from stevia. But are the ingredients as wholesome and healthy as Truvia makes them out to be? Not really. Truvia is owned by Coca-Cola are distributed by Cargill. Truvia claims that it is stevia. Truvia is not stevia, it is rebiana A, a molecule of stevia. But even rebiana A is not the primary ingredient in Truvia. The majority of Stevia is erythritrol, a sweetener that is found in fruit, but in extremely small quantities. Truvia’s erythritol isn’t made from fruit as the box implies, it is made from GMO corn. The rebiana in TRuvia also isn’t made from a natural process “similar to making tea” as the box implies either. The Truvia patent (see the article on my website for the link to the patent) is a 42 step process that involves the use of acetone, ethanol and isopropyl alcohol. Hardly natural. The Truvia box also states that stevia is “native to South America”. Stevia is native to South America, but that isn’t where Truvia’s stevia rebiana A comes from. The rebiana in Truvia is grown in China from GMO stevia plants. Also, natural flavors are not natural. They are made in a laboratory.
Truvia and PureVia’s ingredients have never undergone long term testing. You are the lab rat on this one if you buy it. Check out my full article, “Truvia and PureVia are not stevia on BryanMarcel.com. Copy and paste the link below. http://www.bryanmarcel.com/truvia-and-purevia-are-not-stevia

How to Make Your Own Pure Stevia and Liquid Stevia

Uploaded by on Oct 10, 2011

Here you will learn how to make your own pure stevia and liquid stevia. For information on how to grow stevia visit my website at http://wholelifestylenutrition.com

How to Make a Stevia Liquid Extract (Tincture- Alcohol based)

Uploaded by on May 1, 2010

Stevia rebaudiana, commonly known as sweetleaf, sweet leaf, sugarleaf, or simply stevia, is widely grown for its sweet leaves. As a sweetener and sugar substitute, stevia’s taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar. ` wikipedia

Stevia is a natural sweetener with 0 calories that is unfermentable and does not provoke an insulin response for diabetics. It can be boiled or steeped in leaf form to sweeten teas, beverages and in cooking. Commercial liquid extracts are available (highly potent) through stores like GNC. Powdered single-serving packets can usually be found in supermarkets next to the Splenda or in the tea/powdered drink isle.

This video shows you how to make a tincture (liquid extract) out of stevia leaves (dried or fresh can be used) to preserve the sweeness of the stevia over time and for the convenience of having it in liquid form for cooking, baking and brewing. A follow-up video will show how to strain and reduce the tincture for greater potency.

Relevance to brewing: Stevia is a highly potent sweetener that is COMPLETELY UNFERMENTABLE, meaning you can safely add it to your finished brewing projects without risking fermentation kicking off again (causes bottle explosions and alcohol abuse/waste).

If you cannot grow your own stevia or buy a locally farmed source of the leaves then I highly suggest you use the Organic leaf or powder stevia from Mountain Rose Herbs as your supplier. They are organic and certified pesticide free and my preferred supplier. Purchases made using the link below will also go to contribute to projects for these videos.

Mountain Rose Herbs: http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/index.php?AID=084930

My website: http://Simplehomebrewing.com

Using the links above ensures a commission is paid to this project to help with future videos.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor a medical professional of any kind. My views and practices should not be taken as medical advice, nor is it intended to be. You are responsible for your own health and your own actions, not me. Consult your medical professional before starting any treatment. If your medical professional is adverse to natural healing then that is easily resolved. Find another one.

Food.com  434  Stevia  recipes

Stevia recipes and other assorted sugar free recipes

Search Every Recipe In The World | Yummly    101 stevia dessert recipes, sorted by Yummliness

Food Safety

 

 

Shigella Outbreak in Onondaga County, New York

Dr. Cynthia Morrow, Commissioner of Health for Onondaga County in New York state, announced on June 22, 2012 that there are 15 lab confirmed and 10 probable cases of shigellosis in that county. More cases are expected as the investigation continues.

“Shigellosis is an infectious disease called by a group of bacteria called Shigella,” she explained. “It is associated with consuming water or products contaminated with fecal matter. The incubation period is 1 – 3 days. Many people who are infected with Shigella develop fever, painful bloody or mucous diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Shigellosis usually resolves in 5 – 7 days. The disease is often worse in children and medical treatment is sometimes necessary in severe cases.”

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Shigella Outbreak in Onondaga County, New York Grows

Kathy Mogel, Program Coordinator of the Onondaga County Health Department told Food Poisoning Bulletin that there are 20 confirmed cases of Shigella in that county. There are news reports that there are as many as 34 cases, but we’re reporting what the Health Department tells us.

Ms. Mogel said that the age range of patients is from 2 to 84, with about 50% of the cases occurring in children under the age of 10. The Department believes that person to person transmission, also called secondary transmission, is a “significant factor” in the outbreak.

The Health Department is investigating the original source but has not pinpointed one as of June 27, 2012.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

CA Writes Food Safety Standards for Cantaloupes

Cantaloupe-Tractor-Body4.jpg
California cantaloupes will soon come with the assurance that they meet strict food safety standards, thanks to a mandatory statewide program that includes both announced and unannounced inspections and certification under government oversight.
The plan is for the program to begin this season, which lasts into the fall, but approval of an audit checklist by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is still forthcoming. The goal is to get that done as quickly as possible.
A historic move, this is the state’s first mandatory food safety program implemented by a commodity board. In designing this program – which covers each step of the melon production process from the field to the produce department – the California Cantaloupe Advisory Board collaborated with Western Growers; Trevor Suslow, food safety research specialist at the University of California-Davis Extension; and food safety scientists at Intertox, a risk management firm. The goal was to come up with a program tailored to FDA-approved food safety guidelines for growing, shipping and packing conditions in California.
The board approved the guidelines earlier this month.
A heavy hitter, California provides 70 percent of the cantaloupes sold in this country. During the state’s 5-month season, the industry typically packs and ships around 30 million cartons of cantaloupes. A carton contains 12 to 18 cantaloupes.
These guideline may appear to be a bold, new move on the part of the industry, but Stephen Patricio, chairman and CEO of Westside Produce – a grower, packer and shipper of cantaloupe and honeydew melons – told Food Safety News that this heavy push for food safety is actually a continuation of “business as usual.”
“California’s shippers and handlers have been following food safety standards guidance for the past 20 years,” he said. “It’s part of our culture. We’re proud of our record.”
Patricio says he likes the new program because it has the benefit of setting California cantaloupes apart from cantaloupes from other states and countries.
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“We’ve been meeting these standards with no means to distinguish ourselves,” he said. “Now we have the authority to mandate. This will give us government validation for what we’re doing.”
Auditors from the California Department of Food and Agriculture will be working under USDA authority.
Patricio describes the new program as “the right thing to do.”
“We want to be here long-term and to continue providing safe and healthy food for customers, as well as for our families and workers.”
Pointing to the 100 percent thumbs-up of the program by those voting, Patricio described that as “absolutely unprecedented.
The vote also included a thumbs-up to raising assessments from 1.2 cents per carton to 2 cents per carton to help pay for the program.
UC food safety researcher Suslow told Food Safety News that it’s always “a step forward to demonstrate through independent, objective, and standardized audits that an industry sector has the highest level of compliance with a continually evolving framework for food safety — in this case 100 percent.”
He also said that the review process is still ongoing, which means that the specifics of the final marketing order standards are not yet established.
A marketing order is a concerned group of of agricultural professionals or growers who band together to support their commodity and partner with their state’s agriculture department to make sure everything is done correctly. As such, it is a quasi state authority.
Like Patricio, John Gilstrap of Monfort Management, who manages the California Cantaloupe Advisory Board, told Food Safety News that the new program is great news for consumers.
“It will give them peace of mind about California cantaloupes,” he said. “They’ll know that they’ve been grown and handled under the safest conditions possible. It allows us to establish consumer confidence in a product. We hope it will set us apart, if and when a foodborne illness outbreak connected to cantaloupes grown somewhere else happens.”
Another plus, he said, is that “inspectors can shut a place down if they see health problems.”
He also described the program as the “gold standard” for other states, some of which are crafting similar programs.

CSPI Finds Varying Levels of Chemical 4-MI in Coke

Months after Coca-Cola reformulated its soda sold in California to reduce the level of chemical 4-methylimidazole (4-MI or 4-MEI) so that it would not need a carcinogen warning label, the company has not yet tweaked its formulation for other states and countries, new test results show.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest found that Coca-Cola sold abroad contains varying levels of the chemical, which is found in the caramel coloring used to make cola dark brown. The compound has shown to be carcinogenic in some animal studies and CSPI has petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban 4-MI from food products.

Coca-Cola from Brazil was found to contain 267 micrograms (mcg) of the carcinogen in a 12 ounce can. The same product from Kenya had 177 mcg per 12 ounces. Samples taken from Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and the United Kingdom ranged from 144 mcg to 160 mcg per 12 ounces.

Thumbnail image for Coke_Main.jpg
Since the state of California recently added 4-MI to its list of carcinogens that must be labeled if found at a certain level, Coca-Cola modified its process to circumvent adding a warning label. The company said at the time that it would eventually expand the use of low 4-MI caramel coloring across the United States and worldwide.

CSPI found just 4 mcg per 12 ounces in soda from the redwood state, but found 144 mcg per 12 ounces in the same product purchased in the District of Columbia. The California law requires food companies to label their product if it would lead to consumers consuming 30 mcg or more each day.

Tempeh Salmonella Case Highlights Illnesses that Fall through the Cracks

tempeh-406.jpgStopping at a café during a trip to Asheville, North Carolina with family this past March, Mary Ann Hurtado decided to order a veggie sandwich while everyone else chose something with meat. It was a choice she regularly made — she’s not a vegetarian by any means, but she does love vegetables.

But less than a week after eating this particular dish, Hurtado found herself lying on a hospital bed back home in Jacksonville, Florida. She had been so sick she couldn’t walk across the room. Her physician decided to connect her to a potassium I.V. drip — the most painful I.V. she’d felt in her life.

A registered nurse, Hurtado spent two nights in the hospital — the same one where she works — before being released with 10 days’ worth of antibiotics. It wasn’t until a week after she was discharged that she finally learned why she got sick: She had contracted a Salmonella infection, but at the time it was impossible to say where it came from.

As it turned out, Hurtado’s sandwich contained unpasteurized tempeh — a soy-based food — from an Asheville-based producer called Smiling Hara. More than a month after she ate her sandwich, Smiling Hara tempeh was identified as the source of a Salmonella Paratyphi B outbreak that had sickened at least 89 people in 5 states. The company had already issued a voluntary recall days earlier, following suspicion its tempeh might have been the source.

“The chills were just so bad – just miserable,” Hurtado said, speaking of her illness a day prior to her emergency room visit. “I was shaking so hard in the bed that I had to move to the couch so I wouldn’t wake up my husband.”

But while Hurtado became so ill that she required hospitalization and I.V. treatment, she is not included among the 89 victim case count and likely never will be. That’s because of technicalities surrounding the identification of her infection.

The bacterial isolate that confirmed her Salmonella infection was never serotyped, meaning that the specific strain was never identified and Hurtado’s infection will never be genetically linked to the strain found in samples of Smiling Hara’s tempeh. In short, she’s in a sort of classification limbo, neither officially confirmed as part of the outbreak nor confirmed to be excluded from it — and she’s likely not alone.

29 out of 30

Considering the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 29 out of 30 Salmonella infections go unreported, Hurtado is potentially one of thousands of people sickened by the tempeh outbreak who will never be counted, either because of epidemiological technicalities or — more often — they just didn’t seek medical attention.

In Hurtado’s case, she fell through the cracks of the outbreak investigation because of where she was hospitalized. While many state health departments — including North Carolina’s — try to identify all cases of foodborne pathogen infections, some states’ do not.

Florida is one that does not typically serotype. Tests that identify bacterial strains cost additional money, which some states choose not to spend. A spokesman for the Florida Department of Health told Food Safety News that the state typically only serotypes isolates “on identified need for enhanced surveillance or suspected outbreak investigation.”

If Hurtado had been hospitalized in North Carolina, she’d likely have a confirmed serotype and been included in the official case count, according to Hurtado’s attorney Bill Marler. Marler’s law firm, Marler Clark, specializes in foodborne illness litigation and underwrites Food Safety News.

Hurtado recently filed the first lawsuit against Smiling Hara and Tempeh Online, the retailer that sold Smiling Hara the Salmonella-contaminated spore culture used to make their tempeh.

Currently, the only states considered to have cases in this outbreak are North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Michigan. New York was originally thought to have a case, but that individual was placed under the banner of North Carolina because they attend college in Asheville.

When Hurtado’s county health department learned of her Salmonella infection, they uploaded her information to a statewide infection database. From there, the Florida Department of Health likely included Hurtado’s basic information in a generalized weekly report to the CDC.

The CDC often coordinates information between states involved in multistate outbreaks, including the Smiling Hara outbreak. But without any serotype information, Hurtado’s infection would not stand out as having any connection to an outbreak. In effect, it looked exactly like the numerous other isolated infections the CDC sees on a weekly basis.

“At this point, it’s not likely [Hurtado] will be considered anything other than another Florida Salmonella case,” said Dr. William Keene, senior epidemiologist for Oregon Public Health. Keene was not involved in the Smiling Hara outbreak investigation, but is considered one of the eminent epidemiologists in public health.

“She’s got the exposure. She was in the right place when the outbreak happened, but without her isolate being compared to the outbreak strain, you can’t really know [she was infected in the outbreak] for sure,” Keene added.

Castle Farms Granted Temporary Permit To Sell Raw Milk

Castle Farms, the farm in Irving, New York that earlier this month was ordered to stop selling raw milk after random testing by the New York State Department of Agriculture  (NYDA) produced a positive result of  E.coli 0157:H7, has been granted a temporary permit to sell raw milk while it undergoes further testing, according to the NYDA.

The temporary permit was granted after a subsequent test for pathogens was negative according to and NYDA official. At least two more negative tests will be required before the permanent permit is reinstated, the official said. In New York, all farms that sell raw milk must be permitted and are inspected monthly.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Scotland Going Independent On Food Safety

It’s not really going down like the plot of “Braveheart,” but the coming 2014 on Scottish Independence is already having large ramifications on food safety regulation in the United Kingdom.
The Scottish Government is pulling out of the UK’s Food Standards Agency, opting instead to set up its own independent Scottish food standards body. The new Scottish agency will be responsible for food safety, food standards, nutrition, food labeling, and meat inspection.

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The independence move actually stems more from the 2010 decision by the UK Government to move food labeling and standards from FSA to UK’s Department of Health and Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and not necessarily in spirit of the planned 2014 Independence vote.
When that decision was announced, the Scottish Government asked Professor Jim Scudamore to conduct an independent review of its options including the stand-alone agency. The Scudamore panel took oral and written testimony from 40 stakeholders over several months, it published its report in April, calling for Scotland to go it alone.
“The changes in England removed significant capacity in the FSA’s nutrition and labeling functions for Scotland and needed to be addressed,” said Michael Matheson, Scotland’s health minister.
Matheson said the Scottish Government have accepted the Scudamore recommendations.” A new body will allow a Scottish approach to be taken to tackle poor diet and food-borne diseases and should support our food and drink industry in growing its strong, international reputation for safe, quality food.”

 

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Study: Salmonella’s pH Sensors Trigger Virulence

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Salmonella bacteria rely on internal pH sensors to initiate their virulent traits after sensing heightened acidity in their environment, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine and the Yale Microbial Diversity Institute.
The findings, published in the June 14 issue of Nature, could someday lead to drugs that disrupt the bacteria’s ability to cause typhoid fever and foodborne illness in humans.
Here’s how the sensors work: When the bacterium senses a change into an acidic environment, it begins producing Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the “energy currency” for all living cells. This boost of ATP production creates a protein that in turn activates a number of characteristics within the bacterium, including characteristics related to survival and virulence.

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Recalls

 

 

Salmonella Prompts Organic Sprouts Recall

After routine sampling turned up Salmonella, Mountain Sprouts is recalling organic sprouts under the following names: 4 ounce zesty greens, 5 ounce sprout salad, 4 ounce clover, 2 pound clover, 4 ounce alfalfa/broccoli, 4 ounce alfalfa sprouts, as well as 1 and 2 pound alfalfa sprouts.

According to a company press release, the sprouts were distributed through retail stores and wholesalers in California.

The products come in a 4 or 5 ounce clear, plastic, clamshell container and a 1 or 2 pound ziplock bag with a sell by date from 6/17/12 to 7/6/12.

 

Read Full Article Here

Banner Mountain Sprouts Voluntarily Recalls Organic Sprouts Because of Possible Health Risks
Photos

Recalled 1lb Alfalfa Sprouts

Recalled 1lb Clover Sprouts

Recalled 2lb Alfalfa Sprouts

Recalled 4oz Alfafla Sprouts

Recalled 4oz Alfalfa Broccoli Sprouts

Recalled 4oz Clover Sprouts

Recalled 4oz Zesty Greens

Recalled 5oz Sprout Salad

 

 

 

Possible Listeria-Contaminated Queso Fresco in New York City

quesowarning-featured.jpgNew Yorkers were warned Friday to avoid “Queso Fresco, Fresh Cheese” products made by Mexicali Cheese Corp. in Woodhaven, New York due to a possible Listeria contamination.

The product is packaged in a “rigid” 14 oz. plastic tub that displays a plant number of 36-0128 and a code of 071512.
The product was packaged in containers bearing the following names: ‘Mexicali Queso Fresco Medicano,’ ‘Mexican Style Fresh Cheese’ and ‘Acatlan Queso Fresco, Fresh Cheese.’

Salmonella Risk Prompts Dietary Supplement Recall

cataplex.jpgStandard Process Inc. of Palmyra, Wisconsin is voluntarily recalling three dietary supplements due to potential Salmonella Contamination:

  • Cataplex ACP (Product numbers 0700 and 0750) Lot 114
  • Cataplex C (Product numbers 1650 and 1655) Lot 114
  • Pancreatophin PMG (Product number 6650) Lot 114

 

Read Full Article Here

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Food Warnings

 

 

Alakanater Brand Tahina May Contain Salmonella

In Canada, the CFIA and Phoenicia Group Inc. are recalling Tahina (sesame seed paste) because it may be contaminated with Salmonella.

Product details:

  • Alkanater brand Tahina
  • 454 gram containers
  • UPC number 6 92551 00002 0
  • Lot code TT3N-280312
  • Codes PRO: 28/03/2012 AND EXP: 28/03/2014
  • Distributed in Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec and may have been distributed nationally

No illnesses have been reported in association with the consumption of this product. For questions, call the Phoenicia Group Inc. at 514-389-6363 or the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342.

 

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Lettuce Caused New Brunswick E. coli Outbreak

romainelettuce2-406.jpgAn E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in New Brunswick, Canada that sickened at least 18 people in April has been linked to romaine lettuce, health officials announced Friday. Food Safety News covered this outbreak in May when it was linked to Jungle Jim’s Eatery, but the specific food responsible remained a mystery.

Ill persons ate at Jungle Jim’s Eatery in Miramichi between April 23 and 26. The lettuce was served in salads, wraps and hamburgers.

 

Read Full Article Here

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Articles of Interest

 

 

Can Animals Make Us Sick? Yes.

Animal Health was the topic of a June 22 event on Capitol Hill called “From Fido to Food Safety: Roles, Responsibilities and Realities Veterinarians Face in Protecting Public Health,” that was hosted by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Animal Health Institute.

During his keynote address, USDA Chief Veterinary Officer John Clifford, stated that zoonotic diseases, which are diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans, have accounted for 75 percent of emerging infectious diseases among humans over the last three decades.

Zoonotic diseases include diseases that can be contracted from contact with live animals such as rabies or Lyme’s disease and from animals used as a food sources such as Salmonella and E.coli.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

107 Treated for Gastrointestinal Illness at Notre Dame Sports Camp

At least 107 people have been treated for gastrointestinal illness in an unidentified outbreak linked to a University of Notre Dame sports camp, the university reported Wednesday afternoon.

The number of those treated rose after the university first reported that youth sports camp participants had fallen ill just hours earlier.

“Some 80 youth sports camp participants at the University of Notre Dame were treated today on campus and at local hospitals for a gastrointestinal illness. All have been successfully treated for symptoms that are typical of the stomach flu and short-lived,” said the university in a statement issued around noon on Wednesday. “The cause of the illness is unknown, though it may be related to food or a virus and was not associated with any physical activity. The University is working with the St. Joseph County Health Department in an effort to determine the cause.”

 

Read Full Article here

 

 

FDA Clears Faster Blood Test for the Market

Listeria, MRSA, Streptococcus, and Enterococcus can all be identified much quicker by  the Verigene GP Blood  Culture Nuclear Acid Test (BC-GP), which got marketing approval from the U.S, Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The Verigene test is manufactured by Northbrook, IL-based Nanosphere.
FDA’s decision was based on the study of 1,642 patient blood samples obtained from incubated blood culture bottles that contained gram-positive bacteria.  The study included a comparison of BC-GP and traditional blood culture laboratory methods.

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The quicker Verigene test was consistent with traditional blood culture methods 93 percent of the time.

USDA Makes Progress on Alternatives To Antibiotics

USDA scientists at College Station, TX have discovered that providing sodium chlorate in the drinking water or feed of livestock will reduce the intestinal concentrations of bacteria harmful to humans.
The research is significant because it may lead to alternatives to antibiotics in animal agriculture now used to reduce or eliminate disease-causing pathogens.

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The findings by USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Food and Feed Research Unit at College Station are being published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Animal Science.
The organic compounds could be used to check pathogen growth in pork and beef.
The researchers say sodium chlorate has been used in agricultural applications for over 100 years.
“To date, the body of literature suggests that chlorate salts are active against human pathogens such as Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7; that chlorate salts are very well tolerated by most species of animals; and that chlorate is metabolized in food and laboratory animals to a single, non-toxic metabolite,” the researchers wrote.  “Collectively, these results suggest that chlorate salts could be developed into a useful and safe feed or water additive for use in livestock.

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Call to ban cola ingredient linked to cancer

A colouring which has been linked to cancer and is found in soft drinks including Coca-Cola must be banned in Britain, campaigners have said.

Coke, Coca Cola, Pepsi, soft drinks, fizzy drinks, health, unhealthy

Campaigners have called for a colouring used in cola to be banned Photo: ALAMY

The Telegraph

The chemical, which gives some cola-flavoured drinks their caramel colour, has been linked to causing cancer according to laboratory tests.

The levels of the additive, known as 4-methylimidazole (4-MI), have already been reduced in Coca-Cola and Pepsi in the United States, after the state of California stipulated any food or drink containing it must be labelled with a cancer warning.

No such change has yet been adopted in Britain or the rest of the world.

Campaigners have now called on manufacturers to “respect the health of consumers”, and intend to write to health ministers calling for a ban of the colouring,

Coca-Cola strenuously denies there is any human health risk from 4-MI, claiming no food safety watchdog in Britain and Europe has assessed it as a concern. The drink complies fully with European laws.

Laboratory tests have shown that 4-MI can lead to increased tumours in animals, but no reports have been detected in humans.

Malcolm Clark, campaign co-ordinator at the Children’s Food Campaign, told the Daily Mail: “Coca-Cola seems to be treating its UK consumers with disdain. The company should respect the health of all of its customers around the world, by using caramel colouring that is free of known cancer-causing chemicals.

“The UK Government must regulate to protect public health from companies that aggressively market sugar-laden drinks that lead to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.”

In March this year, Coca-Cola and Pepsi announced they would be changing their secret formulas in the United States to reduce the level of the chemical.

The state of California had stipulated any food or drink containing the additive 4-methylimidazole (4-MI) must be clearly labelled with a cancer warning.

The law was passed following a campaign by consumer rights groups.

A spokesman for the British Soft Drinks Association told the Daily Mail there was no need to ban caramel colours containing 4-MI and said: “The 4-MI levels found in food and drink products pose no health or safety risks.

“Outside the state of California, no regulatory agency in the world considers the exposure of the public to 4-MI as present in caramels as an issue.”

Coca-Cola said it already planned to alter the use of the caramel colouring in Britain, but could not disclose a timescale for the change.

It said: “We intend to expand the use of the reduced 4-MI caramel globally as this will allow us to streamline and simplify our supply chain, manufacturing, and distribution systems.”

A spokesman has said previously: “Caramel is a perfectly safe ingredient and this has been recognised by all European food safety authorities.

“The caramel colour in all of our ingredients has been, is and always will be safe. That is a fact.”