October 22, 2014

Albuquerque and Santa Fe Resolutions Against Farm Antibiotic Use

Antibiotics

The City Councils of Albuquerque and Santa Fe have passed resolutions calling on Congress to pass national legislation against the unnecessary use of antibiotics on factory farms. Council Members said that they want to make a statement to their federal delegations and to start discussions about this issue at the local level. Eighty percent of antibiotics used in the U.S. are used on factory farms to animals that are not sick. They are used for growth promotion and to prevent disease in poor conditions. FDA recently asked the makers of animal antibiotics to stop use of the drugs in growth promotion, but this was only a "guidance document" and not a law. And farmers can still use the drugs to prevent disease. This overuse creates bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Eleanor … [Read more...]

EPA Approves Dow’s Enlist Duo 2,4-D Herbicide

CropSprayinglg

Against many objections from consumer advocates, food safety advocates, and environmentalists, the EPA approved Dow Chemical's Enlist Duo herbicide, a new blend of 2,4-D and glyphosate that will be used on Dow's GMO corn and soybeans. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, has been implicated in many diseases, including cancer. And 2,4-D is part of the chemical Agent Orange, used in the Vietnam War, that has sickened and killed many veterans. Dow developed Roundup Ready crops that were resistant to the herbicide. Those plants could be sprayed with Roundup and not be harmed. That use caused an explosion in Roundup resistant weeds. So Dow decided to develop more GMO crops that are resistant to this new herbicide. 2,4-D is linked to reproductive problems, Parkinson's disease, and … [Read more...]

CFIA Releases Microbiological Monitoring Program 2011-2012

Canada

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has released its National Microbiological Monitoring Program 2011-2012 Annual Report. The report shows that more than 98% of foods sampled met Health Canada safety guidelines and standards. The government tests a wide range of food for microbial hazards and extraneous material such as glass and metal objects. The testing covers red meat, poultry products, shell eggs, egg products, dairy products, and fresh and processed fruit and vegetable 3products. The Canadian government requires that all foods must comply with the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations, which determine criteria for safe food and place restrictions on the production, importation, sale, composition, and content of food. The National Microbiological Monitoring Program samples … [Read more...]

Perdue and HSUS Reach Settlement over Chicken Labeling

FPBChickenfarm

The Humane Society of the United States and Perdue Farms have reached a settlement of two federal cases over Perdue's "humanely raised" claim on its Harvestland chicken labels. HSUS will dismiss their claims with prejudice, in exchange for Perdue removing the label claim. Peter Petersan, Director of Animal Protection Litigation for HSUS said in a statement, "we are pleased to see the claim removed from Harvestland's packaging, which we view to be misleading. We will continue to work to protect both animals and consumers." HSUS sued Perdue twice. The first was in New Jersey. Perdue tried to have a similar case dismissed, which paved the way for that action to proceed. The second lawsuit, a class action matter, was filed on behalf of Florida consumers and alleged that Perdue raised … [Read more...]

Animal Abuse Recorded in Canada at Western Hog Exchange

Pigs

Mercy for Animals Canada has recorded inhumane treatment of pigs at a Canadian processing facility. Workers at Western Hog Exchange in Red Deer, Alberta were forcing animals to walk with electric prods and using bats to force pigs to move through crowded pens. That facility is federally monitored, and inspectors from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are on the footage. In fact, some inspectors gave the workers electric prods to use on the animals. One inspector said "if anybody has a camera, this'll be on the internet." The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has released a statement about "allegations" of inhumane treatment of the animal at that facility. They say, "Animal abuse is unacceptable, and we do not tolerate it under any circumstances." An internal review has begun at the … [Read more...]

FDA Issues Sit and Slim II Warning for Unapproved Drugs

sit-and-slim

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers not to purchase or use Sit and Slim II which contains the unapproved drugs sibutramine and phenolphthalein. The product is marketed as a weight loss aid. Sibutramine was removed from the market in October 2010 for safety reasons. The product poses a health threat to consumers because it can substantially increase blood pressure and pulse rate. This poses serious problems for patients with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, or stroke. The drug can also interact with other medications and cause a  life-threatening situation. Phenolphthalein is an unapproved drug in the United States. Studies have shown that it presents a cancer-causing risk. Health care professionals and … [Read more...]

Researchers Put E. coli to a Litmus Test

E. coli Bacteria

Canadian researchers have adapted a litmus paper to detect E. coli. Researchers Yingfu Li and Kha Tram said they wanted to make testing kits that used a simple technology everyone could operate. The litmus paper test allows results to be seen with the naked eye. The yellow paper turns dark blue in the presence of E.coli. The researchers say they are excited to expand the technology to include the detection of other pathogens and to adapt it for use in other fields such as genetics and cancer testing. Their work was published in the chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie. Every year, about 265,000 Americans are diagnosed with E.coli infections. These infections happen when people ingest microscopic amounts of human or animal feces.  This can happen from eating food that is … [Read more...]

Is Drinking Raw Milk a Right?

raw-milk

Is drinking raw milk a right? Raw milk advocates in Wisconsin say that's a question they want the state Supreme Court to decide and they say they plan to file petitions this week to make that happen. Because it is considered a public health risk, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) bans the interstate sale or distribution of raw milk. Any milk sold across state lines must be pasteurized. Although the FDA advises that states also allow the sale of pasteurized milk only, each state is free to determine its own raw milk regulations. Seventeen states have a complete ban. They include: Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan,Montana, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia.  Eleven states allow … [Read more...]

(Not-So) Fun Facts About Norovirus, The Leading Source of Food Poisoning Outbreaks in America

norovirus-outbreaks

Two outbreaks this week are a good example of why norovirus is the leading cause of food poisoning outbreaks in the U.S. One was at a Ground Round restaurant in Minnesota, the other was at an elementary school in Indiana. Norovirus is highly contagious virus that affects about 2o million Americans each year. The amount of virus that fits on the head of pin, as few as 18 particles, is enough to make 1,000 people sick, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which has compiled a norovirus fact sheet with the following information. Although it is sometimes called "the cruise ship virus," only about 1 percent of norovirus outbreaks take place on cruise ships. Most, about 65 percent, happen at restaurants and originate from an infected food worker. Symptoms … [Read more...]

California Issues Warning for Recreational Shellfish Harvesting in Ventura County

clams

The California Department of Public Health  has issued a warning about recreationally harvested shellfish from the Ventura county coastline due to dangerous levels of domoic acid, a naturally occurring toxin that can cause illness or death.  Consumers are advised not to eat recreationally harvested bivalve shellfish (such as mussels, clams or whole scallops or the internal organs of lobster or rock crab. This warning does not apply to commercially harvested shellfish. >Domoic acid is a toxin that can cause  Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP) a potentially fatal illness. Symptoms of poisoning from domoic acid develop between 30 minutes and 24 hours of ingestion and can last several days. They include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, dizziness, and in severe cases, … [Read more...]

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