June 19, 2018

Researchers at North Carolina State University Find Compounds That may Fight Listeria Bacteria

Researchers at North Carolina State University have found new compounds that "may be effective in containing the virulence - or ability to produce disease - of Listeria, a well-known bacterium that can cause severe food poisoning and even death." The research is a proof-of-concept study, which is an "early stage of clinical drug development when a compound has shown potential in animal models and early safety testing," according to the NCBI. One strain of Listeria bacteria, called monocytogenes, can cause serious illness in humans. The studies are used to estimate whether the compound may have significant efficacy in other diseases. The researchers know that inhibiting a certain enzyme that Listeria bacteria produces dramatically modify the bacterial cell surface. And this reduced … [Read more...]

Clean Label Project Finds Lead in Many Brands of Protein Powder

The Clean Label Project has studied 134 protein powder products made by 52 different brands. They screened the products for contaminants and toxins, including heavy metals such as lead, pesticides, and others that are linked to cancer. The study, conducted this year, found alarming compounds in many brands of protein powder. The products were tested by a third party analytical chemistry laboratory. The products were animal-based, whey, and plant-based. Then then rated the products with ratings of one, three, or five stars. You can see the ratings of the protein powders at their site.  They found that 70% of the powders contained lead, 74% contained cadmium, and 55% contained BPA, a hormone disruptor. Others contained arsenic, another heavy metal. Cadmium is a heavy metal. It … [Read more...]

FDA Recalls and Destroys Kratom Products; Kratom is Associated with a Multistate Salmonella Outbreak

The FDA has said it has recalled and destroyed products made with kratom, and warns consumers that the substance can be hazardous. The supplements it has collected and destroyed were distributed nationwide under the brand names Botany Bay, Enhance Your Life, and Divinity by Divinity Products Distribution of Grain Valley, Missouri. The company has agreed to stop selling all products containing kratom.   The FDA is also encouraging all companies that sell products containing kratom to take steps to remove their products from the market and submit evidence to the FDA to evaluate them according to the regulatory pathway. Government officials are concerned about this product since the FDA has stated that 36 deaths are related to the use of the product. In addition, kratom products … [Read more...]

Reishi D. Supplement Facility Warned by FDA

The FDA has sent a warning letter to the Reishi D. International dietary supplement facility in South San Francisco, California. Inspectors found serious violations of the current Good Manufacturing Practice, which means the product is considered adulterated. Inspectors also collected labels and brochures for the supplement that contain violations of the Act and regulations. The supplement is considered a drug because it is "ntended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease." Claims on the product, such as "has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years.." and "Propolis … contains more than 30 different flavonoids and antioxidants to help control free radicals. Free radicals are caused by waste from our body cells that increase with … … [Read more...]

FDA Publishes Risk Profile of Pathogens and Filth in Spices

Did you know that spices can contain pathogenic bacteria and filth? The FDA has published the 2017 Risk Profile of Pathogens and Filth in Spices to "describe the nature and extend of the pubic health risk posed by consumption of spices in the U.S." The report identifies the most commonly occurring microbial hazards in spices, and evaluates the current mitigation and control options. There have been recalls of these types of products for possible bacterial contamination in the past few years. In October 2017, for example, Spicely Organics recalled tarragon for possible Salmonella contamination. And in 2014, some Costco pepper was recalled, also for Salmonella. The draft risk profile did identify Salmonella as the pathogen most commonly associated with human illness that was … [Read more...]

Should You Feed Raw Pet Food? Consumer Reports Weighs In

A Salmonella outbreak in Minnesota that is linked to recalled raw pet food is highlighting a question that pet owners face. Should you feed your pet raw food? Consumer Reports weighs in. In that outbreak, two children were sickened after pets in their home were fed Raws for Paws ground turkey pet food. One of the children was hospitalized with osteomyelitis, a serious and painful bone infection that can cause fractures later in life. Sales of raw frozen and refrigerated pet foods has grown by 263% from 2011 to 2017, but those diets are controversial. Some vets say that those products are not nutritionally balanced. The products can contain raw organ meats, whole or crushed animal or fish bones, unpasteurized milk, uncooked eggs, and raw produce. Any raw meat can be contaminated … [Read more...]

Raw Chicken Necks are Linked to APN Paralysis in Dogs

According to a study conducted at the University of Melbourne, raw chicken necks have been linked to a potentially fatal form of paralysis. The illness is called acute polyradiculoneuritis (APN), which shares similarities with Guillain-Barre syndrome in humans. The bacteria in question is Campylobacter. Scientists studied 27 client-owned dogs suffering from suspected APN and 47 healthy dogs. The researchers collected fecal samples from each dog and performed direct culture, DNA extraction, and polymerase chain retain to look for Campylobacter. The research revealed that dogs with APN were 9.4 times more likely to be positive for Campylobacter species compared to dogs in the control group. And a significant association was found between dogs affected by APN and the consumption of … [Read more...]

FDA Releases Information About Opioid Compounds in Kratom

The FDA released information about adverse events and scientific analysis providing evidence of opioid properties in kratom, an ingredient used in some dietary supplements. Food Poisoning Bulletin told you about a warning the FDA issued last November about this ingredient, stating that the substance is addictive and has been linked to deaths in this country. The FDA conducted a scientific analysis using a computational model developed by scientists in the agency, which provides "even stronger evidence of kratom compounds' opioid properties." More adverse events involving this product have been reported. Government officials are concerned about the use of this substance to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms. The press release states that "there is no reliable evidence to support the … [Read more...]

Studies Find Sea Salt is Contaminated with Plastic

According to The Guardian, sea salt around the world is contaminated with tiny bits of plastic. Research was conducted at the State University of New York at Fredonia. Sherri Mason, a professor at that facility told the Guardian, "Not only are plastics pervasive in our society in terms of daily use, but they are pervasive in the environment. Plastics are ubiquitous, in the air, water, the seafood we eat, the beer we drink, the salt we use - plastics are just everywhere." Researchers think the plastic in sea salt comes from microfibers and single-use plastics such as water bottles. Scientists studied 12 kinds of salt purchased in U.S. grocery stores. They found that Americans could be eating more than 600 particles of plastic every year in sea salt, and that's if they follow the … [Read more...]

Food & Water Watch Finds Privatized Inspection System Produces More Contaminated Chicken

Food & Watch Watch has analyzed the USDA's regulatory sampling for Salmonella bacteria in the country's poultry slaughter plants, and has found that more contaminated chicken is being produced. Thirty percent of plants operating under the new privatized system have failed the performance standard for that pathogenic bacteria. The New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS) removes USDA inspectors from slaughter lines. Company employees are now responsible for inspections, under this system. Just one USDA inspector is on each line, and that person must inspect three birds per second. The final rule, proposed in 2012, was published in 2014. USDA argued that this inspection system would reduce the incidence of Salmonella contamination. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & … [Read more...]

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