Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Melamine Hits the US, what a suprise.

FDA Updates Health Information Advisory on Melamine Contamination

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting consumers that seven Mr. Brown instant coffee and milk tea products are being recalled by the Taiwanese company, King Car Food Industrial Co. Ltd., due to possible contamination with melamine. King Car Food Industrial Co. used a non-dairy creamer manufactured by Shandong Duqing Inc., China, which was found to be contaminated with melamine. The recalled products are:

  • Mr. Brown Mandheling Blend Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
  • Mr. Brown Arabica Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
  • Mr. Brown Blue Mountain Blend Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
  • Mr. Brown Caramel Macchiato Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
  • Mr. Brown French Vanilla Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
  • Mr. Brown Mandhling Blend instant Coffee (2-in-1)
  • Mr. Brown Milk Tea (3-in-1)

The FDA recommends that consumers not consume any of the above Mr. Brown instant coffee and milk tea products. The FDA also recommends that retailers and foodservice operators remove the products from sale or service.

As of September 25, 2008, the FDA testing of milk based products imported into the United States from China has not found melamine contamination.

The FDA is working with regulatory agencies in other countries. The New Zealand Food Safety Authority reports that its testing of White Rabbit Creamy Candies has shown melamine contamination at high levels. In light of the widespread contamination of milk and milk-based products in China and the New Zealand Food Safety Authority’s finding, the FDA recommends that consumers not eat White Rabbit Creamy Candy and that retailers and foodservice operations remove the product from sale or service.

To date, the FDA is not aware of any illnesses in the United States stemming from consumption of either White Rabbit Creamy Candy or the Mr. Brown instant coffee and milk tea products.

Individuals who have experienced any health problems after consuming either White Rabbit Creamy Candy or any of the identified Mr. Brown coffee and tea products are advised to contact their health care professional.


On September 12, 2008, in light of reports from China of melamine contaminated infant formula, the FDA issued a Health Information Advisory to assure the American public that there is no known threat of contamination in infant formula manufactured by companies that have met the requirements to sell such products in the United States. That advisory also warned members of Chinese communities in the United States that infant formula manufactured in China, possibly available for purchase at Asian markets, could pose a risk to infants.

The FDA had contacted the companies who manufacture infant formula for distribution in the United States and received, from the companies, information that they are not importing formula or sourcing milk-based materials from China.

At the same time, the FDA—in conjunction with state and local officials—began a nation-wide investigation to check Asian markets for Chinese manufactured infant formula that may have been brought into the United States. In particular, this effort focused on areas of the country with large Chinese communities, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and New York. To date, investigators have visited more than 1,400 retail markets and have not found Chinese infant formula present on shelves in these markets.

The FDA also advises consumers not to purchase infant formula manufactured in China from Internet sites or from other sources.

The FDA has taken, and will continue to take, proactive measures to help ensure the safety of the American food supply. In conjunction with state and local officials, the FDA will continue to check Asian markets for food items that are imported from China and that could contain a significant amount of milk or milk proteins. In addition, the FDA has broadened its domestic and import sampling and testing of milk-derived ingredients and finished food products containing milk, such as candies, desserts, and beverages that could contain these ingredients from Chinese sources. Milk-derived ingredients include whole milk powder, non-fat milk powder, whey powder, lactose powder, and casein.

In addition to state and local governments, the FDA is working in close cooperation with Customs and Border Protection within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, other federal agencies, and foreign governments.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

EPA—Cleaning up Rocket Fuel not Meaningful

The Environmental Protection Agency, whose job it is to ensure safe drinking water has reached a draft conclusion that mandating a cleaning up toxic rocket fuel would not result in a "meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction for persons served by public water-systems."

The decision, which has been reviewed by the Associated Press has not yet been made public, but has made its way into the media.

The "rocket fuel" ingredient the EPA is referring to is called perchlorate.

According to Wikipedia:

Perchlorate greatly impacts human health by interfering with iodide uptake into the thyroid gland. In adults, the thyroid gland helps regulate the metabolism by releasing hormones, while in children, the thyroid helps in proper development.

From the EPA website:

EPA has established an official reference dose for perchlorate which is consistent with the recommended reference dose included in the National Academy of Science's January 2005 report. A reference dose is a scientific estimate of a daily exposure level that is not expected to cause adverse health effects in humans. The reference dose will be used in EPA's ongoing efforts to address perchlorate in drinking water. It is important to note that the reference dose in EPA's draft assessment represents a preliminary estimate of a protective health level and is not a drinking water standard.

From the Associated Press

The ingredient, perchlorate, has been found in at least 395 sites in 35 states at levels high enough to interfere with thyroid function and pose developmental health risks, particularly for babies and fetuses, according to some scientists.

The EPA document says that mandating a clean-up level for perchlorate would not result in a "meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction for persons served by public-water systems."

The conclusion, which caps years of dispute over the issue, was denounced by Democrats and environmentalists who accused the EPA of caving to pressure from the Pentagon.

Monsanto, Pollan Panel---How to Feed the World

Larry Brilliant, Executive Director, Google.org interviews Hugh Grant, Chairman, President and CEO, Monsanto, Michael Pollan, Knight Professor of Journalism, UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and Sonal Shah, Director, Global Development Initiatives, Google.org

Monday, September 8, 2008

Orthorexia or Anorexia?

A new term: orthorexia has hit the main stream.

According to Wikipedia:

"Orthorexia, or orthorexia nervosa is a term coined by Steven Bratman, a Colorado MD, to denote an eating disorder characterized by a fixation on eating what the sufferer considers to be healthful food, which can ultimately lead to early death.

Bratman describes orthorexia as an unhealthy obsession (as in obsessive-compulsive disorder) with what the sufferer considers to be healthy eating. The subject may avoid certain foods, such as those containing fats, preservatives, animal products, or other ingredients considered by the subject to be unhealthy; if the dietary restrictions are too severe or improperly managed, malnutrition can result. Bratman asserts that "emaciation is common among followers of health food diets."

I think the emaciation that Bratman speaks of is actually called anorexia.
I also think if we had a safe, clean and whole foods based system, these types of coined terms wouldn't be unnecessary. People are suffering from this because they are unhealthy from eating processed foods, refined sugars and red meat. If this is a true eating disorder, I have to say that I am a sufferer.

Instead of addressing the concerns of why these afflicted individuals are so concerned, lets just prescribe a pharmaceutical drug to mask the symptoms. I'm sure Merck could come up with something. In the mean time make sure you pick up Dr. Bratman's new book: Health Food Junkies. I'm sure he would appreciate it. I'm not buying it. The book, or the disorder.

An article on ABC news tells you more.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

UN says less meat an approach for global warming

I knew it was only a matter of time when the meat industry would hear the knock from the global warming man. This has been something I have pointed out for awhile.

From Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:

"In terms of immediacy of action and the feasibility of bringing about reductions in a short period of time, it clearly is the most attractive opportunity,' said Pachauri. 'Give up meat for one day [a week] initially, and decrease it from there,' said the Indian economist, who is a vegetarian

Animal welfare groups are calling for governments to lead campaigns to reduce meat consumption by 60 per cent by 2020.

Americans have shifted from the SUV gas guzzling addictions, I wonder if they have it in them to change more of their comforts. It will be interesting to see the meat industry's defense.

Full Guardian article here