Tag Archive: Food & Water Watch


Food Poisoning Bulletin

Petco and Petsmart have announced plans to stop carrying pet treats imported from China after last week’s FDA announcement that they can’t find the cause of 4,800 dog and cat illnesses. The government has been researching this issue for seven years and cannot figure out what is going wrong.

dog-salmonellaVeterinarians and the government are reminding pet owners that these treats are not necessary to a pet’s nutrition or health. Safety advocates have been asking the government to ban these imported treats for years, but nothing has been done.

Food & Water Watch commends Petco and Petsmart for taking this step, but say that they should remove those products from their shelves immediately rather than simply phasing them out. More than 1,000 dogs have died after consuming these treats.

 

 

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Would you eat biotech fish? FDA approves genetically engineered salmon

 

by: Raw Michelle

 

(NaturalNews)The FDA added that it would take public comments for 60 days before finally deciding on whether or not to approve the salmon.

Criticism of the recent FDA assessment points to the lack of sufficient evidence that the fish is safe for consumption, and the difficulty in measuring its real impact on the environment once mass production begins.

Where does biotech salmon come from?

The controversial fish is developed by AquaBounty Technologies, a small American biotechnology company whose main goal is to find solutions that could increase the productivity of aquaculture. Its most important research consists of developing salmon, trout, and tilapia eggs that produce fast growing specimens. To achieve this, researchers have to modify the very genetic fabric of fish. Their salmon variety has been patented and bears the trade name AquAdvantage Salmon.

The FDA report so far states that “with respect to food safety, FDA has concluded that food from AquAdvantage salmon is as safe as food from conventional Atlantic salmon, and that there is a reasonable certainty of no harm from consumption.”

What the critics say

Michael Hansen, a researcher at the Consumers Union, explained that GE fish could cause allergic reactions that the FDA is unable to anticipate. GE fish will also likely not be labeled accordingly, leaving consumers in the dark about where the fish is coming from.

If the FDA does not heed the public outcry, Congress could still prevent the commercialization of GE fish. Wenonah Hauter, director at the Food & Water Watch, urges consumers to contact their congressmen to overturn what has been called “a dangerous experiment” at the expense of consumer health.

Other concerns about GE fish pertain to its ability to outcompete natural Atlantic salmon. If it is released into the wild, the AquAdvantage salmon could adapt to new pray, survive in tough habitats, and reproduce much faster than its natural counterpart.

Andrew Kimbrell of the Center for Food Safety concluded that “the GE salmon has no socially redeeming value. It’s bad for the consumer, bad for the salmon industry and bad for the environment.”

Healthy, vegan alternatives to GE salmon

Chickpeas have been hailed by vegans everywhere for their ability to mimic fish, making them an excellent addition to faux fish salads. Chickpeas provide considerable amounts of protein, slow release carbohydrates, folate and zinc.

A delicious vegan “salmon” dish can be prepared by mixing grated carrots, mashed chickpeas, white vinegar, tomatoes, finely grated lemon peel, lemon juice, dill, vegetable oil and a pinch of salt. The mixture can either be consumed raw, or divided into patties and baked for about 25 minutes. For added flavor, vegan “salmon” can be topped with vegan mayonnaise or grated horseradish.

When choosing salmon as a means to obtain healthy fats, many may want to consider chia instead. With 724 mg of Omega-3’s in 28 grams of salmon, and 4915 mg in 28 grams of chia, chia is a clear winner.

Sources for this article include:
http://www.reuters.com
http://www.fda.gov
http://www.guardian.co.uk
http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/recipe-vegan-salmon-patties/
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About the author:
Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. In 2010, Michelle created RawFoodHealthWatch.com, to share with people her approach to the raw food diet and detoxification.

Yesterday, the city of Cincinnati became the first in Ohio to pass a resolution to require the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods, citing that consumers should have the right to know what is in their food. The consumer advocacy organization Food & Water Watch brought the resolution to city council as a part of their “Let Me Decide” campaign to make GE labeling the law. GE foods have not been fully tested for their impacts on human health and the environment.

Alison Auciello, Ohio-based organizer for Food & Water Watch said, “genetically engineered foods are potentially unsafe, and consumers should have the right to decide for themselves if they want to eat GE foods. It took regulation to get food processors to label ingredients and nutrition facts on labels, and now we’re calling for federal lawmakers to require the labeling of GE food.”

The majority of processed foods are genetically engineered, but unlike fat, sodium and sugar content, labels do not disclose which foods contain genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. Biotechnology companies submit their own safety-testing data, and independent research is limited on GE foods because licensing agreements that control the use of patented seeds prohibit cultivation for research purposes.

Genetically engineered foods are made by inserting the genetic material from one organism into another to achieve a desired characteristic such as resistance to herbicides or pesticides. Roundup Ready varieties of corn, for example, are engineered to withstand treatment with the Roundup herbicide. But, the unintended consequence of increased use of herbicides has been a rise in “superweeds,” aggressive weed species like ragweed and pigweed that have become immune to Roundup.

Cincinnati Council Member and resolution co-sponsor Wendell Young said, “this is about transparency, about ensuring that people can make informed choices about what they feed themselves and their families. Consumers have a right to know what is in their food, especially until we know for certain whether genetically engineered foods are truly safe.”

Some of the independent research that has been conducted on biotech crops has revealed troubling health implications, including deteriorating liver and kidney function and impaired embryonic development. However, the Food and Drug Administration has no way to track adverse health effects in people consuming GE foods, and because there is no requirement for labeling GE ingredients, consumers don’t know when they are eating them.

“As consumers, we have a fundamental right to know about the safety of the food we’re eating,” said Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, who co-sponsored the resolution. “With so much still unknown about the long-term risks of genetically-engineered products to our health and the environment, labeling of these foods is just common sense.”

Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from; keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes; protect the environmental quality of oceans; force government to do its job protecting citizens; and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.

Corporate Assault on Our Lives And Our Health

Activism – Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) – Poisons in Our Foods

Victory in Brooklyn Over Wal-mart

Good news from the fight against the aggressive corporate consolidation of our nation’s food system: in America’s largest city, Walmart has been beaten back! Last week, the oppressive retail giant and the country’s second-largest company (trailing only the fossil fuel mega-giant Exxon Mobil) announced that it was giving up on its multi-year effort to build its first New York City store, in Brooklyn. Along with the many labor, community, social justice and environmental organizations aligned in the fight against Walmart, consumer and food safety groups like ours are declaring victory in this battle for New York City. But the struggle continues.

For years now, Food & Water Watch has been examining the anti-competitive, anti-sustainability and anti-health impact Walmart exerts on communities across the nation. Despite its drumbeat of claims to the contrary, our analysis has repeatedly shown that Walmart isn’t a good neighbor to anyone.

In 2010 we exposed large holes in various depictions of Walmart as a bastion of environmental sustainability, pointing to its alliances with decidedly sub-par environmental certification and ratings systems. Also, we challenged its claims of moving toward local-sourcing sustainability.

More recently, we have taken on Walmart’s inability to assure customers that they wouldn’t be selling genetically engineered (GE) sweet corn. We even shut down their corporate phone lines with our national call-in day to urge them not to stock this untested, unlabeled and potentially unsafe product in their stores, which they refused to do—so consumers who buy sweet corn at Walmart may be eating a genetically engineered product without even knowing it. A recent study released today in France showed that rats fed on Monsanto’s GE corn or exposed to Roundup weedkiller developed tumors and multiple organ damage.

All of this analysis culminated with our recent report detailing Walmart’s damaging effect on local and national food systems and its negative impact on communities large and small. This report is coupled with a summary of Walmart’s failure to deliver on its claims of sustainability.

As for Walmart’s aggressive pursuit of an entre into New York City, the fight continues. Despite its defeat in Brooklyn and overwhelming resistance to its similar proposal for Queens, the bottomless pockets of the world’s most profitable retailer will remain a potent foe. But with this recent victory for the movement to contain Walmart, our determination will only grow.

Food and Water Watch / By Seth Gladstone, Eric Weltman| Sourced from

Food Safety

FSIS Set to Implement Non-O157 E. coli Policy Next Week

New document responds to concerns and outlines expectations

Just days before the agency is set to begin testing raw beef trimmings for more strains of disease-causing E. coli, the Food Safety and Inspection Service issued a detailed response to comments it has received about the new policy.

The new document, published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, confirms that despite industry calls for delay, FSIS will begin testing trimmings for six additional Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) next week on June 4. As of that date, any raw, non-intact beef products or components contaminated with STECs O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145, will be legally considered adulterated — just as the agency has long treated E. coli O157:H7.

ecolipetri_iphone.jpgThe agency also said that it will issue a Federal Register notice to implement routine verification testing for the six STECs in additional raw beef products, including ground beef.

The policy rollout has not come without challenges. When FSIS first announced its intent to consider more non-O157 STEC adulterants, it said the verification and testing program would begin on March 5, 2012. But the agency eventually pushed back the implementation date to June 4, 2012 to “allow establishments time to implement appropriate changes in their food safety systems, including changes in process control procedures.”

In its response to comments, FSIS said that it disagreed with several of the reasons cited by those seeking a delay, including requests to conduct a baseline study before moving forward with the policy.

“FSIS has concluded that a baseline is neither necessary nor warranted before implementation of the FSIS verification sampling and testing program,” said the agency in the document. “These organisms are present in beef products in the United States; the evidence for this is presented in the risk profile. FSIS considers the data on non-O157 STECs obtained by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) at a limited number of slaughter establishments to be evidence that the pathogens should be considered adulterants and are capable of causing illness.”

Read Full Article here

Food Safety Incidents Rise For Second Year in United Kingdom

For a second consecutive year, the number of incidents involving food safety in the United Kingdom increased in 2011, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) reports.
Tim J. Smith, the agency’s executive director, says there is no single reason for the increasing number of incidents.  “Instead, we believe a combination of factors, including better reporting and monitoring, are behind the upward trend,” Smith says.
Most food safety incidents are reported to FSA by border inspection posts, local health authorities and fire services.
In FSA’s annual incidents report for 2011, published this week, the agency says the total number of incidents increased to 1,714, up from 1, 508 in 2010, and 1,208 in 2009.  Incidents include reports of contaminated or illegal food entering the food chain with some potential harm to the public.

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Smith says case studies in the report point to increases in incidents involving allergens and pesticides, and to more foodborne illness outbreaks originating abroad, including sources in India, China, and Bangladesh.  The report says these “high level” instances required international responses.
The UK continued to experience an increase in the number of reports of microbiological contamination–a trend that began in 2006.  In 2011, there were 281 such incidents, up from 271 in 2010, and 147 going back to 2006.

FDA Says Just Don’t Call It “Corn Sugar”

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) cannot be called “corn sugar,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has determined.
A citizen’s petition filed with FDA by the Washington D.C. Corn Refiners Association (CRA) on Sept. 14, 2010 and supplemented on July 29, 2011 requested the name change.
But in a letter Wednesday, FDA’s Michael M. Landa, director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, turned down the name change request and rejected all three arguments made by the corn processors in their petition.
Specifically, Landa said calling HFCS “sugar” when the product is syrup would not be an accurate way to identify or describe the basic nature of the food or its characterizing properties.
The denial letter went to Ms. Audrae Erickson, CRA president, who was told that the petition “does not provide sufficient grounds for the agency to authorize ‘corn sugar’ as an alternate common or usual name for HFCS.”
Since filing the petition for the name change, CRA embarked on a national campaign to introduce the “corn sugar” name. That quickly brought on litigation by the Sugar Association, representing traditional sugar growers. That lawsuit is pending in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

FDA Warning Letters For 5/30/12

These FDA warning letters for the week of May 30, 2012 list food facilities with food safety violations that are of interest to consumers. These letters are sent after a facility is inspected, to give the owners guidance and time to fix violations.

1. Seco Spice Ltd. of Berino, New Mexico

2. Sushi Boy, Inc. of Gardena, California

3. The Nut Factory, Inc. of Greenacres, Washington

4. Smith Family Frosted Foods, LLC of Tiffin, Ohio.

Read Full Article Here

Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Infections Linked to Chicks and Ducks

The CDC is reporting an outbreak of human Salmonella infections linked to live poultry. Outbreak strains of Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Newport, and Salmonella Lille have sickened 93 people in 23 states. Eighteen people have been hospitalized, and there has been one death that may be related to the outbreak and is under investigation. The outbreak began in February 2012.

Case counts are as follows:

  • Alabama (3)
  • Georgia (3)
  • Illinois (1)
  • Indiana (2)
  • Kentucky (4)
  • Louisiana (1)
  • Massachusetts (1)
  • Maryland (1)
  • Maine (2)
  • Michigan (1)
  • Nebraska (1)
  • New Jersey (1)
  • North Carolina (9)
  • New York (13)
  •  Ohio (26)
  • Pennsylvania (9)
  • Rhode Island (1)
  • South Carolina (1)
  • Tennessee (4)
  • Texas (1)
  • Virginia (6)
  • Vermont (1)
  • West Virginia (1)

Read Full Article Here

Consumer Groups Criticize Poultry Inspection Proposal

Three more leading consumer groups weighed in this week on the debate over a controversial plan to revamp poultry inspection by shifting greater responsibility to companies.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumer Federation of America, and Consumers Union each sharply criticized the proposal in their comments filed before the Tuesday deadline, which had been pushed back a month in response to sharp criticism raised by the Government Accountability Project, Food & Water Watch, and poultry inspectors.

While each group acknowledged that modernizing the system is a commendable goal, all three expressed significant concerns about the plan to expand the HACCP Based Inspection Models Project (HIMP). The model reduces the number of inspectors from USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on duty and largely turns over physical inspections to company employees, while allowing plants to significantly speed up their production lines.

FSIS says expanding HIMP would focus inspectors on food safety tasks rather than cosmetic surveillance, save taxpayers around $90 million over three years, and each year prevent 5,200 foodborne illnesses, mostly from Salmonella. The chicken and turkey industries strongly support the measure and USDA estimates it will save the industry $250 million annually. But consumer groups question whether HIMP would actually improve food safety.   RawChickenBody.jpg

“For years the poultry industry has operated under a system that allows for far greater levels of contamination than are acceptable to consumers,” read CSPI’s comments, submitted by staff attorney Sarah Klein. “FSIS should have reducing Salmonella and Campylobacter in poultry as the central tenet behind its changes, and should apply systems that monitor and measure contamination rates.”

Read Full Article Here

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Recalls

Peach Granola Recalled for Undeclared Cashews

OSKRI Corp. of Wisconsin is recalling “Peach Granola” because it may contain undeclared cashews, a tree nut that is one of the major food allergens.

Product details:

  • Peach Granola
  • 3.53 ounce flexible plastic bag
  • UPC number 666016111743
  • Marked with this stamp:
    • P 3/3/12
    • EXP 9/9/13
    • LOT 75

    Read Full Article here

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Articles of Interest

Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Most Common Cause of Pediatric Kidney Failure

According to a study published in the May issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is the most common cause of acute kidney failure in children in the United States. FoodNet, the Foodborne Disease Active Surveillance network, was the source of the statistics. Surveillance is difficult because there is no single diagnostic test to diagnose HUS.

Get E. coli-HUS help here.

The study examined pediatric HUS cases from 2000 to 2007 and found that in 627 cases, more than 90% occurred after a diarrheal illness and most were caused by infections of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli 0157:H7 (STEC). An average of 78 cases were reported every year; most (66%) occurred in children less than than five years old; of those cases, 64% were in children less than two years old.

Read Full Article Here

Paper Chronicles 8-Year Salmonella Outbreak Tied to Chicks

Boots-on-the-ground epidemiology — including interviews, disease surveillance, and traceback — was key in helping health officials solve and control an 8-year salmonella outbreak, the longest in U.S. history, which was ultimately tied to mail order chicks.

Between 2004 and 2011, 316 reported illnesses from 43 states were linked to the same outbreak strain. A new paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine chronicles just how investigators were able to crack the case. Researchers say it is likely that thousands of additional infections occurred in association with the outbreak, but were not reported.

In April 2005, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment identified three Salmonella serotype Montevideo isolates with the same genetic patterns. After interviewing the patients, local health officials learned that all three had been exposed to chicks or ducklings bought at feed stores the week before they got sick.

Officials then checked PulseNet, the national network for foodborne disease surveillance, and found that the same rare outbreak strain had been isolated from five other people in four states: Kansas, New York, Oklahoma, and Texas.

By March 2006, health officials had zeroed in on New Mexico agricultural feed stores that sold young poultry during 2005.

“New Mexico was chosen because it had a large number of cases as well as resources available to support investigation activities,” reported researchers in the NEJM paper. “Stores identified in an Internet search were randomly selected for an in-person or a telephone interview. The standardized questionnaire focused on the source of the live poultry, volume of live poultry sales, handling and hygienic conditions of poultry in the store, knowledge about the risk of transmission of Salmonella from poultry to humans, and education of customers about this risk.”

Using information from patients, investigators were able to trace young poultry back to where it had been purchased at the retail level, and back to mail-order hatcheries.  chickies_iphone.jpg

According to the paper, over the duration of the outbreak, cases peaked annually during the spring, but the greatest number of reported cases came in 2006. Those sickened ranged from age 1 to 86 years old with a median age of 4. Of those with information available, 143 (54 percent) were 5 years of age or younger and 149 patients (53 percent) were female.

Read Full Article Here

Cruelty Charges Brought Against California Auction Barn

The 73-year-old owner of Ontario Livestock Sales and 7 employees must appear in a California court July 20 to face a total of 21 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty stemming from an undercover investigation by an animal protection group.
If convicted, Horacio Santorsola and his employees would each face up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines.

downer cow article pic.jpg

Mercy for Animals of Los Angeles produced hidden camera video footage that showed auction barn workers kicking and stomping animals, most often to get them to move.
Another Ontario Livestock employee working with Mercy for Animals was behind the camera.
Dr. Temple Grandin, a Colorado State University-based expert on animal welfare, viewed the undercover video and said the rough treatment and frequent kicking was not acceptable. She said if the auction were a federally inspected meat packing plant, its inspection would be suspended and the operation would be shut down.

Food Safety Attorney Bill Marler to Present Webinar

Food safety attorney and Food Safety News publisher Bill Marler will present a webinar on the legal consequences of poor food safety practices on June 14.
In the webinar hosted by Food Seminars International, Marler will elaborate on his work in foodborne illness litigation. The webinar will include discussion on the obstacles companies face in prioritizing food safety, the common methods used to prove a foodborne illness claim and the roles that epidemiology and public health play in food safety, among other topics.

NYC Poised to Limit Size of Sugary Drinks

A small soda at McDonalds is about to become the largest option available in New York City if a proposal to limit sugary drink portion sizes is passed by the city’s health board.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, which has made public health a central part of its agenda, announced Thursday that it is seeking a 16 oz. cap on sugar-sweetened drinks served at delis, fast food and sit-down restaurants, movie theaters and sports venues.
This latest rule would follow past city regulations that have mandated calorie labeling on all chain restaurant menus and banned artificial trans fats from food establishments.

Cola Body.jpg

According to the New York City Health Department, sugary drinks are a main contributor to the city’s obesity problem. Nearly 6 in 10 NYC residents are either overweight or obese. High sugary drink consumption is associated with weight gain, obesity and higher rates of diabetes in New York City, says a 2011 report by four district health offices.

FDA Appeals Mandate to Ban Three Animal Antibiotics

After a magistrate judge ruled that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration must act on its long-standing proposal to ban the use of three antibiotics in animal feed because they may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria, FDA is appealing the decision.

In a notice dated May 21, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, Director of the Center for Veterinary Medicine Bernadette Dunham and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius together filed an appeal with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the March decision.

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Food Safety

Follow the Money: BPA Makers to Gross $8 Billion Thanks to FDA Rejecting Ban

By Anthony Gucciardi

Producers of toxic BPA are now boasting $8 billion in sales for 2012 thanks to the FDA rejecting a potential ban on the cancer-linked chemical on March 30th. According to GlobalData, manufacturers will produce 4.7 million metric tons of BPA this year to be dispersed into the daily lives of millions worldwide. BPA now goes into everything: plastic bottles, canned foods, DVDs, plastic wrap, and much more. Despite being linked to about as many serious health conditionsas the amount of products it contaminates, the FDA has decided once again to side with mega corporations over protecting the health of the people.

Even Campbell’s Soup and the Heinz corporation are removing BPA from their products in an effort to reclaim consumers who are fully aware of the issues surrounding BPA. California is also banning the substance from baby bottles and sippy cups in attempts to protect newborn babies whose developing bodies are majorly affected by the estrogen-mimicking chemical. But the FDA?

Read Full Article Here

Slimegate: Should USDA Require Labeling for LFTB?

by Helena Bottemiller

Over the past several weeks, thousands of articles, blog posts, tweets and even Facebook statuses have weighed in on the debate over Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB), now commonly known as “pink slime.” One place you won’t find any mention of the product, however, is on a ground beef label — or any meat label, for that matter.

That may be about to change.

As the nation’s largest manufacturer of LFTB, Beef Products Inc., reels from the consumer revolt against its product and state and local politicians work to help the company recover, the national discussion has turned to labeling.

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said it would approve requests from ground beef product makers who want to voluntarily label products containing LFTB.

Last Friday, U.S. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and 10 co-sponsors introduced a bill that would require beef products that included LFTB to be labeled, and Reps. Sam Farr (D-CA) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) urged USDA to update beef labels “to note whether or not the product contains processed meat filler, and, if so, which filler(s) are in the product.”

So, why isn’t “LFTB” or “ammoniated beef” or “centrifuge-separated ammonia-treated beef” already labeled when added to ground beef?

(Were it up to satirical news anchor Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, LFTB might be labeled “ammonia-soaked centrifuge separated byproduct paste.”)

In a USA Today Op-Ed, former USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service administrator Dr. H. Russel Cross declared that “There is no need for labeling LFTB — because nothing is being added that is not beef.”

Likewise, in a recent video to help combat “a frenzy of misinformation” about LFTB, American Meat Institute spokeswoman Janet Riley added a similar justification for not labeling LFTB: “Both citric acid and ammonium hydroxide are natural processing aids, not additives or ingredients because they don’t remain in the product.”

Read Full Article Here

CDC Offers Favorable Snapshot of Nation’s Nutrition Status

by Mary Rothschild

With its focus on disease outbreaks and other generally gloomy reports, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rarely seems to dispatch good news.

So it was heartening to see Monday’s CDC press release announcing that the U.S. population, for the most part, is getting enough essential vitamins and nutrients – specifically vitamins A and D and folate — even though some groups need to address dietary deficiencies.

“Research shows that good nutrition can help lower people’s risk for many chronic diseases. For most nutrients, the low deficiency rates, less than 1 to 10 percent, are encouraging, but higher deficiency rates in certain age and race/ethnic groups are a concern and need additional attention,” said Christine Pfeiffer, Ph.D., lead researcher, in the Division of Laboratory Sciences in CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health.

Less than optimal vitamin and nutrient levels have been associated with myriad health risks, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, impaired cognitive function, cancer, eye diseases and weakened bones.

The CDC’s favorable, although limited, review is the most comprehensive biochemical assessment ever of the nation’s nutritional status, drawn from analysis by the Division of Laboratory Sciences of blood and urine samples collected during the 1999 to 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The last such report was published in 2008. This Second Nutrition Report establishes blood and urine reference levels for 58 biochemical indicators; more than twice as many as before. And the new report includes first-time data for a new indicator of iron deficiency and for 24 healthy and unhealthy fatty acids.

Measurements of nutrient levels in blood and urine are critical, according to the CDC, because they show whether the total nutrients from foods and vitamin supplements are too low, too high or sufficient.

In very brief summary, the positive findings in the Second Nutrition Report include that:….

Read Full Article Here

Poultry Inspectors Protest Inspection Proposal at USDA

by Helena Bottemiller

Around 100 poultry inspectors gathered outside the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday, right under Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s window, to protest a proposal to expand an inspection system that shifts federal inspectors away from inspecting for quality defects and allows slaughter lines to speed up.

chicken-protest-350.jpgThe USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is responsible for examining all poultry carcasses for blemishes or visible defects before they are further processed. Under the proposed rule, the agency would transfer much of this quality-assurance task over to the poultry plants so that it can devote more of its employees to evaluating the companies’ pathogen-prevention plans and bacteria-testing programs.

It basically moves the federal inspector further down the line, to right before the chiller, to make sure there’s no fecal material on the birds before they take the plunge into the cooling tank.

FSIS argues that the system, formally known as the HACCP Based Inspection Models Project, or HIMP, will improve food safety and save taxpayer dollars. The consumer group Food & Water Watch, and the inspectors at the rally, take issue with the entire proposal, arguing that it privatizes inspection and puts consumers at risk. A handful of plants have been a part of the HIMP pilot program for 12 years.

Read Full Article Here

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Recalls

Quebec Sausage Recalled Due to Listeria Risk

by News Desk

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume certain La Vecchia Fattoria brand Cacciatore Dry Cured Sausages because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

There have been no reported illnesses.

The recalled La Vecchia Fattoria brand Cacciatore Dry Cured Sausages were sold in packages of 2 units each (approximately 300 g), with the UPC 8 81248 33336 1 and a best-before date of 12 23 JL.

The sausages were distributed in Quebec.

Read Full Article Here

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Articles of Interest

Rocky Relief Pitcher Down With Food Poisoning, Club Says

by News Desk

Josh Outman, 28-year-old relief pitcher for the Colorado Rockies, is reported by the club to be suffering from food poisoning.

Rockies Manager Jim Tracy did not specify what type of food poisoning is involved, but said if the left-handed pitcher is still not well enough on opening day Friday in Houston, another relief pitcher will be called up.

Read Full Article Here

Sugar Is Not Poison, But We’re Getting Too Much of It

by Dan Flynn

Sugar is the toxin responsible for most of today’s health problems, a California endocrinologist who conducts research for the American Heart Association, told the television magazine program 60 Minutes Sunday.

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The University of California’s Dr. Robert Lustig said obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension and heart disease can all be blamed on Americans consuming too much sugar.

The 60 Minutes segment, with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta playing the part of the on-air reporter, said new research is “starting to find that sugar, the way many people are eating it today, is toxic and could be a driving force behind some of this country’s leading killers, including heart disease.”

An ongoing, five-year research project at the University of California – Davis, by nutritional biologist Kimber Stanhope, also got mention because it appears to be showing that high fructose corn syrup intake is linked to heart disease and stroke. Midway through, the research also suggests calories from added sugars differ from other calories.

Gupta said the belief that a calorie is a calorie is a “mantra” of nutritionists. He also said the scientists involved in the research are personally eliminating all added sugar from their diets. Added sugars are sweeteners added to processed and prepared foods and beverages.

Examples of added sugars include white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, high fructose corn syrup, malt syrup, maple syrup, pancake syrup, fructose sweetener, liquid fructose, honey, molasses, anhydrous dextrose, crystal dextrose and dextrin…..

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Is sugar toxic?

Sugar and kids: The toxic truth

Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on new research showing that beyond weight gain, sugar can take a serious toll on your health, worsening conditions ranging from heart disease to cancer.

(CBS News) If you are what you eat, then what does it mean that the average American consumes 130 pounds of sugar a year? Sanjay Gupta reports on new research showing that beyond weight gain, sugar can take a serious toll on your health, worsening conditions ranging from heart disease to cancer. Some physicians go so far as to call sugar a toxin.

The following script is from “Sugar” which aired on April 1, 2012. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is the correspondent. Denise Schrier Cetta and Sumi Aggarwal, producers.

The chances are good that sugar is a bigger part of your daily diet than you may realize which is why our story tonight is so important. New research coming out of some of America’s most respected institutions is starting to find that sugar, the way many people are eating it today, is a toxin and could be a driving force behind some of this country’s leading killers, including heart disease.

As a result of these findings, an anti-sugar campaign has sprung up, led by Dr. Robert Lustig, a California endocrinologist, who believes the consumption of added sugars has plunged America into a public health crisis.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Is sugar toxic?

Dr. Robert Lustig: I believe it is.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Do you ever worry that that’s– it just sounds a little bit over the top?

Dr. Robert Lustig: Sure. All the time. But it’s the truth.

Dr. Robert Lustig is a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco and a pioneer in what is becoming a war against sugar.

Motivated by his own patients — too many sick and obese children – Dr. Lustig has concluded that sugar, more than any other substance, is to blame.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: What are all these various diseases that you say are linked to sugar?

Dr. Robert Lustig: Obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease itself.

Lustig says the American lifestyle is killing us.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: And most of it you say is preventable?

Dr. Robert Lustig: Seventy-five percent of it is preventable.

While Dr. Lustig has published a dozen scientific articles on the evils of sugar, it was his lecture on YouTube, called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” that brought his message to the masses.

[YouTube Video: I’m standing here today to recruit you in the war against bad food.]

By “bad food” Dr. Lustig means the obvious things such as table sugar, honey, syrup, sugary drinks and desserts, but also just about every processed food you can imagine, where sugar is often hidden: yogurts and sauces, bread, and even peanut butter. And what about the man-made, often vilified sweetener, high fructose corn syrup?

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Is it worse than just table sugar?

Dr. Robert Lustig: No. ‘Cause it’s the exact same. They are basically equivalent. The problem is they’re both bad. They’re both equally toxic.

Since the 1970s, sugar consumption has gone down nearly 40 percent, but high fructose corn syrup has more than made up the difference. Dr. Lustig says they are both toxic because they both contain fructose — that’s what makes them sweet and irresistible.

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