GMO deception

Americans are Uninformed AND Misinformed on GMOs

In the US, not only was the Pusztai story barely mentioned by the media, but Project Censored (which compiles an annual list of news stories of social significance that have been overlooked by the country’s major national news media) described it as one of the ten most underreported events of the year. Indeed, the US mainstream media has been consistently close-lipped about the enormous health risks of GM foods. The US media failed to cover the preliminary study from the Russian National Academy of Sciences, for example, that showed that more than half the offspring of mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks (compared to 9% from mothers fed natural soy). They also neglected to report that the only human GM feeding study ever published showed that the foreign genes inserted into GM food crops can transfer into the DNA of our gut bacteria. This means that long after we stop eating GM corn chips, our intestinal flora might continue to manufacture the “Bt” pesticide that the GM corn plants are engineered to produce. Americans were also not told about the estimated 10,000 sheep that died within 5-7 days of grazing on GM cotton plants—also designed to produce this Bt-toxin.

http://www.responsibletechnology.org/utility/showArticle/?objectID=166

CA. wins potato chips vs acrylamide suit

Snack lovers, rejoice: Munching on potato chips just got a “little healthier”.

Under a settlement announced Friday by the state attorney general’s office, H.J. Heinz Co., Frito-Lay, Kettle Foods Inc., and Lance Inc. avoided trial by agreeing to pay a combined $3 million in fines and reduce the levels of acrylamide in their products over three years, officials said.

Acrylamide, forms naturally when starchy foods are baked or fried,… causes cancer in lab animals and nerve damage to workers who are exposed to high levels. The Food and Drug Administration is researching whether acrylamide in food poses a health risk.(You think it might? !!-editor)

“Everybody’s trying to figure out how to lower levels (of acrylamide) without significantly, adversely affecting taste,” said Michele Corish, an attorney for Lance, which produces Cape Cod chips

The attorney general’s office said the levels of acrylamide in most Cape Cod chips are already near the compliance level as defined by the settlement. However, Brown said Cape Cod Robust Russets contain 25 times the acceptable amount.

Corish said “Robust Russets” chips are no longer being sold.

The state also sued McDonald’s Corp.; Wendy’s International Inc.; Burger King Corp.; KFC, a subsidiary of Yum Brands Inc.; and Procter & Gamble Co. over acrylamide levels in 2005. Those lawsuits were settled after the companies agreed to either properly label their products or lower levels of the chemical.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080802/ap_on_bi_ge/potato_chip_lawsuit

Staph a. resistant strains of MRSA in pork-new crisis?

Is there antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria is in the 762 million pounds of Canadian pork that’s imported into the U.S. each year?

No one seems to know. However no one at the USDA is actually looking either. Sort of out of sight out of mind-no problem. Dr. Monina Klevens, of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, examined the cases of the disease reported in hospitals, schools and prisons in one year and extrapolated that “94,360 invasive MRSA infections occurred in the United States in 2005; these infections were associated with death in 18,650 cases.”

Earlier his year, Dr. Scott Weese, from the Department of Pathobiology at the Ontario Veterinary College told those attending the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases at the CDC that there was a problem. He and his colleagues had found MRSA in 10 percent of 212 samples of pork chops and ground pork bought in four Canadian provinces.

“I think it is very likely that the situation is the same in the U.S.,” he told me in a phone interview.

“Any pathogen or hazard that’s transmitted through the foods we regulate is a potential issue for us, and so you know, certainly we are aware of the study (Weese) did,” Goldman told me during an interview at a recent food-safety meeting in Seattle.

“There is no indication MRSA has been identified in swine going into the retail market. Not in this country. Not in swine or other livestock being sold for food in this country,” the doctor added.

But, none of the USDA labs that he runs are checking for MRSA in imported meat.

“We just don’t have a test for it,” Goldman said.

So, do we have MRSA in our American grown pigs?

The Food and Drug Administration says it doesn’t know.

Mike Herndon, an agency spokesman, said FDA scientists have been “following the emergence of MRSA from humans and animals in Central Europe and Canada and are monitoring the situation very closely.”

The FDA is aware of Weese’s study, but “we do not yet have similar data with regards to the MRSA situation among food animals and retail meats,” Herndon said.

There is no indication that FDA has tested meat for MRSA.

But the FDA and USDA eagerly pointed to a group called the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System as the protector of food and humans from foodborne bacteria. The coalition of scientists from several federal agencies primarily target salmonella, campylobacter and E. coli.

But the group does not currently screen for MRSA.

The National Pork Producers Council in Washington is sure there’s no problem. They told me “there is nothing to worry about; MRSA (in pigs) has not been found this side of the border” and “USDA and CDC has given our pigs a clean bill of health.”

A CDC spokeswoman told me that she could find “no indication we made that statement.”

Interestingly, the pork lobbyists have said their industry would oppose any attempt to test all livestock for MRSA, calling the testing “unnecessary to protect public health.”

Whereas our government apparently doesn’t see the need nor have the ability to see if pigs in the U.S. are carrying MRSA, Dr.Tara Smith, an assistant professor for the University of Iowa department of epidemiology, and her graduate researchers have done what is apparently is the first testing of swine for MRSA in the U.S.

They swabbed the noses of 209 pigs from 10 farms in Iowa and Illinois and found MRSA in 70 percent of the porkers.

Today, in Boston, at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, Abby Harper, one of Smith’s graduate assistants, presented the results of a study that she and Michael Male did on 20 workers at the Iowa swine farms.

Harper reported that 45 percent of the workers carried the same MRSA bacterium as the pigs.” http://feed@ucsusa.org