Consumer Reports Analyzes Current Regulations And Research On The Safety Of Controversial Food Additives
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According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), more than 3,000 additives are used in foods to enhance flavor, texture, and shelf life, among other functions. Some are simple ingredients like salt and sugar, while others are complex chemical compounds such as acesulfame potassium. In a new review, Consumer Reports weighs the pros and cons of FDA approved additives such as carrageenan, nitrites, phosphorus, and various artificial sweeteners. subscription model
Berkeley Bans Junk Food, Requires Healthy Options At Grocery Checkout
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The City Council of Berkeley, California, passed an ordinance preventing grocery stores from stocking candy and soda in checkout lines, and encouraging them to stock fresh fruits and vegetables instead. Under the ordinance, the first of its kind, grocery stores larger than 2,500 square feet cannot sell products with more than five grams of added sugars or 250 milligrams of sodium per serving at checkout aisles, where junk food is often at the eye level of children. The new ordinance goes into effect March 1, 2021.
Coffee Drinking Linked To Longer Life For Colon Cancer Patients, Study Says
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A recent peer-reviewed study published in JAMA Oncology followed 1,171 colon cancer patients at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Researchers found that those who drank 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day were more likely to live longer than those who did not drink coffee. Patients who drank more than three cups a day had an even greater likelihood of longer survival, and results held true for both caffeinated and de-caffeinated coffee drinkers.
China Found The Coronavirus On Chicken Wings, But Don’t Worry
According to Chinese authorities, samples of frozen chicken wings imported from Brazil to Shenzhen as well as the outer packaging of frozen Ecuadorian shrimp sold in Xi’an have both tested positive for the novel coronavirus. In response to the finding, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a statement with the reminder that “People should not fear food, food packaging or delivery of food.” The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also stated “there is no evidence that people can contract COVID-19 from food or from food packaging.” Brazil’s Aurora meat company that sold the chicken said they were never formally notified of the contamination by Chinese authorities. For the past several months, China has screened all meat and seafood entering major ports, and since June it has suspended meat imports from places like Brazil. Countering the WHO and FDA statements, Li Fengqin, head of the microbiology lab at the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment, said that the chance of new infections from contaminated frozen food should not be ignored. Fengquin linked an outbreak in June to the popular Beijing food market, Xinfadi, where the virus was traced to imported salmon. In its latest update to that outbreak’s investigation, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said it still has not determined how the virus made its way to the Xinfadi market.
USDA Issues Public Health Alert About Listeria Tainted Sausage
The Bluegrass Provisions Co. of Crescent Springs, Kentucky has produced and distributed sausage products with a potential contamination of Listeria monocytogenes, according to the Department of Agriculture. Listeria is a disease-causing bacteria, and if consumed it can have harmful effects such as listeriosis, an infection that primarily affects older adults, and severe illness in those who are pregnant or have weakened immune systems. The following 14 ounce, 6-piece packages are included in the USDA health alert: “BLUE GRASS METTWURST”, “WALNUT CREEK FOODS Smoked Sausage”, Lidl “SMOKED BRATWURST”, and Lidl “SMOKED BRATWURST WITH CHEESE, all with a freeze-by date of July 23rd, 2020.
New Study Shows Organic Diet Reduces Pesticide Levels In Body By 70%
A recent peer-reviewed study analyzed pesticide levels in four American families for six days while they were on a non-organic diet and then six days on an entirely organic diet. The switch to an organic diet reduced levels of a common weedkiller, glyphosate, by 70% in those six days. In 1983, the Environmental Protection Agency listed glyphosate as a potential carcinogen, but aggressive marketing of Roundup (the most popular brand of glyphosate) to farmers and homeowners has only increased its use since. Since the 1970s, the percentage of the U.S. population with detectable amounts of glyphosate in its blood has skyrocketed from 12% to 70% in 2014. In the new study, researchers detected glyphosate in every participant, including four-year-old children.
After the World Health Organization also determined that glyphosate is a likely carcinogen, thousands of farmers, pesticide applicators, and home gardeners filed lawsuits linking their diagnosed cancers to Roundup use. The first three of those cases settled in favor of the plaintiffs, leaving Bayer (Roundup’s new owner after it purchased the previous owner, Monsanto, two years ago) with $2 billion in damages to pay. Despite Bayer agreeing to pay a total of $10 billion in settlements for another 95,000 cases, the company was granted permission in a recent court case to continue selling Roundup. Under the terms of the settlement, glyphosate will still be sold for use on yards, school grounds, public parks, and farms without a safety warning. The European Union announced this summer its plan to cut pesticide use in half by 2030 and a move to make at least 25% of its agriculture organic. However, glyphosate use in the U.S. is increasing, and the new study’s researchers emphasize the importance of organic food in reducing the body’s levels of the potential carcinogen, particularly among children.
Onions Linked to Salmonella Recalled From All 50 U.S. States And Canada
Red onions that were potentially contaminated with salmonella were shipped to all 50 states as well as Canada, according to health officials. Last Saturday, Thomson International in Bakersfield, California, recalled all red, white, yellow and sweet yellow onions shipped from May 1 to the present due to concerns of contamination according to the Food and Drug Administration. Onions were sold in cartons and mesh sacks with brand names including Thomson Premium, TLC Thomson International, Kroger, Food Lion, Hartley’s Best, Tender Loving Care, El Competitor, Imperial Fresh, Onions 52, Majestic and Utah Onions. Packaging photos of the onions can be found on the FDA’s website. The FDA teamed up with the CDC to investigate whether an outbreak of salmonella newport infections could have been connected to the onions. As of now, the FDA has not found a source of contamination. According to the CDC, officials have reported 640 illnesses and 85 hospitalizations in 43 states, and no reported deaths.
Walmart, Kroger, Publix, and Giant Eagle grocery stores across the U.S. have also recalled at least 50 ready-to-eat products that contain the onions, including salads, pizzas and hoagies.
JBS Foods Recalls More Than 38,000 Pounds Of Ground Beef
About 38,400 pounds of ground beef has been recalled due to its failure to be presented for U.S. import re-inspection. The Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced JBS Food Canada ULC is recalling the “raw, frozen, boneless beef head meat items” imported on July 13 and “further processed by another company into ground beef products.” The recalled meat came in 80-pound boxes with eight 10-pound chubs of “Balter Meat Company 73/27 ground beef” with “Use by/Freeze by” dates of Aug. 9 or Aug. 10. Pack dates read “072020, 072120 or 072220.” The recall has been classified as a “Class 1” recall by the USDA, defined as a “health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”
Eating Protein From Plants Linked To Lower Risk Of Death, Study Says
A long-term study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine found that death by heart disease decreased by 10% among people who consumed a protein-heavy, plant-based diet. Researchers studied data from 416,104 men and women in the U.S. National Institutes of Health–AARP study on diet and health that ran from 1995 to 2011. Study participants were asked questions about their demographic, lifestyle, and diet at the start of the study and were questioned again 16 years later. On average, participants consumed 15% of their daily energy intake in the form of protein with 40% coming from plants and 60% from animal proteins (including 19% from dairy products). Overall, eating plant protein was associated with a reduced risk of death, particularly from cardiovascular disease, and especially when dietary protein came from grain foods such as bread, cereal and pasta instead of from animal foods such as meat and eggs. Researchers found that swapping only 3% of total calories in the diet from animal to plant protein was linked to a 10% decrease in risk of death.
Study Finds High Herbicide Levels In Hummus And Chickpeas
In a recent study of chickpea products, including popular hummus brands such as Sabra and Whole Foods, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that more than 80% of non-organic hummus and chickpeas contained glyphosate, the active chemical in the weedkiller Roundup. One-third of all samples tested exceeded 160 parts per billion for glyphosate, EWG’s recommended upper limit, which equates to roughly 0.01 milligrams per day. That amount is significantly lower than tolerances established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In statement, a Whole Food spokesperson said, “All Whole Foods Market products tested by the Environmental Working Group are fully compliant with EPA tolerances for glyphosate. Whole Foods Market requires that suppliers meet all applicable limits for glyphosate through effective raw material control programs that include appropriate testing.”
In 2015, the World Health Organization concluded that glyphosate was “probably carcinogenic,” but in January 2020 the Environmental Protection Agency reapproved the use of the chemical. Read more here at The Hill. Or here at Good Housekeeping.