FDA: Safe (or) Not?




Tell FDA: NO Frankenfish!

Organic Consumers Association
Tell the FDA: NO Frankenfish!
Please sign the petition to the FDA at the bottom of this page.

The first genetically engineered salmon – dubbed “frankenfish” – could be in grocery stores and restaurants as early as 2014. The FDA is expected to approve AquaBounty Technologies’ GE salmon after a 60-day public comment period. If approved, it will be the first approved food from a transgenic animal application to enter the U.S. food supply.
Consumer and environmental activists oppose genetically engineered “frankenfish” for many reasons, including the potential danger it poses to human health, to the environment and to the U.S. fishing economy. Michael Hansen, PhD, senior scientist with the Consumers Union, the advocacy and policy arm of Consumer Reports, called the FDA’s Environmental Assessment (EA) of GE salmon “flawed and inadequate.”

Please sign the petition (at the bottom of the page) if you agree that the FDA should reject should AquaBounty’s genetically engineered salmon, at least until it completes further, more reliable safety testing.

What is frankenfish?

AquaBounty Technologies, a Massachusetts-based biotech company, created the “AquAdvantage” salmon by injecting a fragment of DNA from an ocean pout fish, which is a type of eel, along with a growth hormone gene from the Chinook Pacific salmon, into a fertilised Atlantic salmon egg. The result? A salmon that produces growth hormone year round, instead of only during warm weather. This allows the fish to reach market weight in just 18 months, instead of the usual three years. (Read more)

FYI: Food Democracy’s Petition

Stop Monsanto Protection Act!




Fracking Our Food Supply

Fracking Our Food Supply | NationofChange
December 2, 2012


In a Brooklyn winery on a sultry July evening, an elegant crowd sips rosé and nibbles trout plucked from the gin-clear streams of upstate New York. The diners are here, with their checkbooks, to support a group called Chefs for the Marcellus, which works to protect the food shed upon which hundreds of regional farm-to-fork restaurants depend. The food shed is coincident with the Marcellus Shale, a geologic formation that arcs northeast from West Virginia through Pennsylvania and into New York State. As everyone invited here knows, the region is both agriculturally and energy rich, with vast quantities of natural gas sequestered deep below its fertile fields and forests.

In Pennsylvania, the oil and gas industry is already on a tear—drilling thousands of feet into ancient seabeds, then repeatedly fracturing (or “fracking”) these wells with millions of gallons of highly pressurized, chemically laced water, which shatters the surrounding shale and releases fossil fuels. New York, meanwhile, is on its own natural-resource tear, with hundreds of newly opened breweries, wineries, organic dairies and pastured livestock operations—all of them capitalizing on the metropolitan area’s hunger to localize its diet.

But there’s growing evidence that these two impulses, toward energy and food independence, may be at odds with each other.

Tonight’s guests have heard about residential drinking wells tainted by fracking fluids in Pennsylvania, Wyoming and Colorado. They’ve read about lingering rashes, nosebleeds and respiratory trauma in oil-patch communities, which are mostly rural, undeveloped, and lacking in political influence and economic prospects. The trout nibblers in the winery sympathize with the suffering of those communities. But their main concern tonight is a more insidious matter: the potential for drilling and fracking operations to contaminate our food. The early evidence from heavily fracked regions, especially from ranchers, is not reassuring.

Jacki Schilke and her sixty cattle live in the top left corner of North Dakota, a windswept, golden-hued landscape in the heart of the Bakken Shale. Schilke’s neighbors love her black Angus beef, but she’s no longer sharing or eating it—not since fracking began on thirty-two oil and gas wells within three miles of her 160-acre ranch and five of her cows dropped dead. Schilke herself is in poor health. A handsome 53-year-old with a faded blond ponytail and direct blue eyes, she often feels lightheaded when she ventures outside. She limps and has chronic pain in her lungs, as well as rashes that have lingered for a year. Once, a visit to the barn ended with respiratory distress and a trip to the emergency room. Schilke also has back pain linked with overworked kidneys, and on some mornings she urinates a stream of blood.

Ambient air testing by a certified environmental consultant detected elevated levels of benzene, methane, chloroform, butane, propane, toluene and xylene—compounds associated with drilling and fracking, and also with cancers, birth defects and organ damage. Her well tested high for sulfates, chromium, chloride and strontium; her blood tested positive for acetone, plus the heavy metals arsenic (linked with skin lesions, cancers and cardiovascular disease) and germanium (linked with muscle weakness and skin rashes). Both she and her husband, who works in oilfield services, have recently lost crowns and fillings from their teeth; tooth loss is associated with radiation poisoning and high selenium levels, also found in the Schilkes’ water. (Read more)

Nuclear Threat Within Non-Organic Food

The Invisible Nuclear Threat Within Non-Organic Food

Posted on: Saturday, November 10th 2012 at 4:15 am
Written by:

Sayer Ji, Founder

Beyond GMO-Free: Why We Can't Afford Not To Eat Organic

Whether you know it or or not, nuclear waste (cobalt-60) has been used for decades to make your food “safer.”

There is a profound misunderstanding in the mass market today about the value of certified organic food.  The question is not whether the 50% higher or more you pay at the register for an organic product is really worth the added vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient content you receive.  Even though organic food does usually have considerably higher nutrient density, it is not always the positive quality of what it contains that makes it so special. Rather, it is what you know the organic food does not contain, or what has not happened to it on its journey to your table, that makes buying organic a no-brainer to the educated consumer.  Let me explain.

The FDA presently supports and actively promotes the use of cobalt-60 culled from nuclear reactors as a form of “electronic pasteurization” on all domestically produced conventional food. They claim it makes the food “safer.”1 The use of euphemisms like “food additive” and “pasteurization” to describe the process of blasting food with inordinately high levels of gamma radiation can not obviate the fact that the very same death rays generated by thermonuclear warfare to destroy life are now being applied to food to “make it safer.”  This sort of Orwellian logic, e.g. WAR is PEACE, is the bread and butter of State-sponsored industry propaganda, and also informs other ostensibly “humanitarian” applications of weapons of mass instruction such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Inconceivably High Amounts of Radiation Used To “Pasteurize” Your Food

This is not a hypochondriac’s ranting, as we aren’t talking here about small amounts of radiation.  The level of gamma radiation used starts at 1 kiloGray (equivalent to 16,700,000 chest x-rays or 333 times a human lethal dose) and goes all the way up to 30 kiloGray (500,000,000 chest x-rays or 10,000 times a human lethal dose).  The following table is a list of foods that are increasingly being “nuked” for your protection.

(Read Full Article)


New Government Proposal Threatens Food Safety

New Government Proposal Threatens Food Safety

Posted By Nourishing the Planet On April 11, 2012

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans to fully implement a high-speed poultry production model that allows industry and private companies to take over inspection at poultry production plants. The model includes cutting 1,000 USDA poultry inspection employees and replacing them with plant inspectors who have to examine 165–200 birds per minute (bpm), from the original 140 bpm. That’s the inspection of more than three chickens per second.

Poultry inspectors protest inspection proposal at USDA (Photo credit: Food Safety News)

The proposal, formally known as the HACCP Based Inspection Models Project, or BIMP, will improve food safety and save taxpayer dollars, according to the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). But under the proposed rule, the USDA would shift federal inspectors away from quality inspection tasks, allowing slaughter lines to speed up production.

The FSIS is responsible for ensuring public health and food safety by examining all poultry for feces, blemishes, or visible defects before they are further processed.

About 1.2 million cases of food poisoning are caused by salmonella each year from contaminated chicken, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The program could pose a serious health risk by allowing a greater chance for contaminated meat to reach consumers. In affidavits given to the Government Accountability Project, current inspectors say the proposal speeds up assembly lines so much so that it hampers any effort to fully examine birds for defects.

“It’s tough enough when you are trying to examine 140 birds per minute with professional inspectors,” said Stan Painter, a federal inspector in Crossville, Alabama. “This proposal makes it impossible.”

“Cutting the budget does not justify putting the health and safety of consumers and workers in the balance,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food and Water Watch.

This week, food inspection workers (members of the American Federation of Government Employees) rallied outside the USDA to oppose the proposal. At the protest rally, inspectors held signs that read: “Chicken Inspection Isn’t a Speed Sport,” “Don’t Play Chicken with Safety,” and “Speed Kills.”

We count on USDA inspectors to help us keep our families safe and healthy.

Tell the USDA you won’t settle for unclean chicken. Sign the petition today!

To purchase State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet please click HERE. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE.


Article printed from Nourishing the Planet: http://blogs.worldwatch.org/nourishingtheplanet

URL to article: http://blogs.worldwatch.org/nourishingtheplanet/new-government-proposal-threatens-food-safety/

How Safe is Our Food? | The Alliance for Natural Health USA

How Safe is Our Food? | The Alliance for Natural Health USA.

– The Alliance for Natural Health USA – http://www.anh-usa.org

How Safe is Our Food?

Posted By ANH-USA On May 8, 2012 @ 2:17 pm In

American beef [1]More and more countries are banning imports of American food products for safety reasons.

Last week, Indonesia became the first country to halt imports of US beef [2] following the discovery of an American dairy cow infected with mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The disease is fatal to cows and can cause a deadly brain disease in people who eat tainted beef.

“We will lift the ban as soon as the US can assure us its dairy cows are free of mad cow disease,” said Rusman Heriawan, Indonesia’s vice agriculture minister. “It could be one month or one year. It depends on how long it takes to resolve this case.”

One would think the US government would immediately test beef to make sure it’s safe. But the USDA, which regulates the test, administers it to less than 1% of slaughtered cows. Worse, until 2007 it was illegal for private beef producers to test their own cows for the disease [3]! Larger meat companies feared that if smaller producers tested their meat and advertised it as safe from mad cow disease, they too might be forced to test all their cows—so they persuaded USDA to block individual producers from doing the test. In 2007 a federal judge said this practice could no longer stand [4].

The highest risk occurs if animals or humans eat infected brain or nerve tissue [5]. Meat unconnected to bone, milk, and hooves are supposed to be safe, but who knows for sure? The ultimate source of mad cow, of course, is the filthy and disease-ridden (not to mention inhumane) conditions in CAFOs, or concentrated animal feedlot operations [6].

In February, Taiwan began refusing meat products from the US because they contain ractopamine [7], a leanness- and growth-promoting drug used widely in pork and beef production in the United States. Taiwan has a zero-tolerance policy for the drug.

Ractopamine is banned in 160 nations [8] including Europe because it is responsible for hyperactivity and muscle breakdown in pigs, and a 10% increase in their mortality rate. It was banned in China after more than 1700 people were “poisoned” from eating American pigs that had been given ractopamine. The drug bears the warning label [9], “Not for use in humans. Individuals with cardiovascular disease should exercise special caution to avoid exposure. Use protective clothing, impervious gloves, protective eye wear, and a NIOSH-approved dust mask’’—yet somehow it is considered safe in human food. How is this possible?

Most of the world’s developed countries [10] ban, or have at least placed limits on, genetically modified organisms. The European Union and its member states, as well as Switzerland, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, Brazil, and Paraguay all have restrictions or outright bans on the use or importation of genetically engineered seeds, plants, or foods. A detailed map with the specific products banned in Europe is available here [11].

This is one reason the California Right to Know 2012 Ballot Initiative is so important [12]. If California requires labeling products containing GMOs, it will be difficult for most manufacturers to create separate labels for their products sold in other states, so the labeling will become national. This is why we are trying to help the Right to Know Campaign raise one million dollars to drop a “money bomb” on Monsanto—to combat the anti-GMO propaganda and get this proposition passed in November. If you haven’t done so already, please make a donation to the Right to Know Campaign—and please give generously [13]!

Article printed from The Alliance for Natural Health USA: http://www.anh-usa.org

URL to article: http://www.anh-usa.org/how-safe-is-our-food/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.anh-usa.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/2203_wpm_lowres.jpg

[2] Indonesia became the first country to halt imports of US beef: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/26/indonesia-beef-imports-mad-cow_n_1455309.html

[3] it was illegal for private beef producers to test their own cows for the disease: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_440.cfm

[4] a federal judge said this practice could no longer stand: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/05/01/329744/-Mad-Cow-Disease-USDA-Says-Illegal-to-test-for-it

[5] if animals or humans eat infected brain or nerve tissue: http://www.anh-usa.org/you-are-what-your-food-ate/

[6] CAFOs, or concentrated animal feedlot operations: http://www.anh-usa.org/expose-cafo-conditions-stop-the-ag-gag-bills/

[7] because they contain ractopamine: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/02/us-presses-taiwan-on-ractopamine-ban/

[8] Ractopamine is banned in 160 nations: http://www.thebetterhealthstore.com/Newsletter/030510_Ractopamine_07.html

[9] The drug bears the warning label: http://www.alternet.org/story/145503/why_has_the_fda_allowed_a_drug_marked_

[10] Most of the world’s developed countries: http://www.organicconsumers.org/gefood/countrieswithbans.cfm

[11] available here: http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/gmo-free-regions/bans.html

[12] This is one reason the California Right to Know 2012 Ballot Initiative is so important: http://www.anh-usa.org/gmo-labeling-initiative-will-be-on-the-ballot-in-california/

[13] please make a donation to the Right to Know Campaign—and please give generously: https://secure3.convio.net/aahf/site/Donation2?2480.donation=form1&df_id=2480&JServSessionIdr004=63aa89g9d3.app304b

Big Ag’s Big Secrets: 9 Things About the Food You Eat

Big Agricultures Big Secrets: 9 Things You Need to Know About the Food You Eat

May 10, 2012

This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post. 

Thanks to factory farming’s massive economies of scale, a lot of food today is disgusting or cruel or disgusting and cruel. Just when people stopped talking about cantaloupes with deadly listeria, “pink slime” hit the news. And just when people stopped talking about pink slime, ground beef treated with ammonia to kill germs, mad cow hit the news. Does anyone even remember the arsenic in the fruit juice?

Food scandals are so costly to Big Food, it has repeatedly tried to kill the messenger rather than clean up its act. In the 1990s it pushed through “food disparagement” laws under which Oprah Winfrey herself was sued by cattlemen in 1997 (Winfrey said she would never eat a hamburger again upon learning that cows were being fed to cows). Winfrey was acquitted and cow cannibalism was made illegal but the US still lost $3 billion in beef exports when a first mad cow was discovered in 2003. April’s new mad cow will not help foreign trade.

Last year, Big Food introduced Animal Facility Interference laws in several states which make it a crime to “produce, distribute or possess photos and video taken without permission at an agricultural facility.” The bills also criminalize lying on an application to work at an agriculture facility “with an intent to commit an act not authorized by the Owner”–in an effort to stop the flow of grisly undercover videos. The first facility interference offense would be an aggravated misdemeanor but subsequent offenses could be felonies.

Of course, the Ag-Gag bills, as they were quickly dubbed, are anti-free-speech and would chill both whistle-blowers and news media (who couldn’t legally even receive non-approved farm images). The bills were scorified by CNN, the New York Times, Time magazine and First Amendment and food safety activists and, luckily, were defeated in 2011. But they are creeping back.

Many farmers and agricultural professionals are miffed that the days of “it’s-none-of-your-business” farming are over. Once upon a time, consumers cared only about the price and wholesomeness of food and didn’t worry about–or videotape–its origins and “disassembly.” Now consumers increasingly want to know how an animal lived, died, and even what it ate in between. Some of the newly engaged consumers are motivated by health, wanting to avoid hormones in milk, antibiotics in beef, arsenic in chicken, and who knows what in seafood. But many are also motivated by humane concerns. (Read Full Article)

Tempeh Salmonella Cases Increase From 46 to 60

Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

Tempeh Salmonella Cases Increase From 46 to 60

by News Desk | May 08, 2012


North Carolina’s Buncombe County reported Monday that the number of Salmonella Paratyphi B cases in an outbreak linked to unpasteurized tempeh has risen from 46 to 60.


As Food Safety News reported last week, the rare type of Salmonella was traced to tempeh, a fermented soy bean product made by a small local producer, Smiling Hara in Asheville.


Test results from the North Carolina Department of Public Health laboratory confirmed that the bacteria found in the tempeh matched the outbreak strain of Salmonella Paratyphyi B.


The strain associated with the outbreak causes a non-typhoidal Salmonella, which can cause severe symptoms, but not as severe as the strain lab tests first indicated, according to the Buncombe County Department of Health. As of May 4, seven of the outbreak cases had been hospitalized.


Smiling Hara temporarily halted production and recalled all its tempeh made between January 11 and April 11 with best-by dates of July 11 through October 25. Owners of the firm believe the pre-packaged culture they used to make tempeh likely was contaminated with Salmonella.


Although many of those sickened either ate the implicated tempeh or possibly ate other foods cross-contaminated by the tempeh, the Buncombe County Department of Health has said the outbreak is continuing through person-to-person contact.


The health department has urged the public to prevent the spread of disease by washing hands and properly preparing food. In addition, the department suggests those with symptoms of Salmonella should seek medical care so that a health professional can evaluate the need for antibiotics or other treatment. People should report cases of Salmonella to the Buncombe County Department of Health Disease Control or their local health department if they do not reside in Buncombe County, to aid in continued monitoring of this outbreak.

© Food Safety News

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