Saturday, June 18, 2005


Rush toking up

We all know junk food is bad for one's health. In California, consumers have passed a law, Proposition 65, that lists all the carcinogenic chemicals in fast foods. One of them is Acrylamide.
Public health attorneys in California have potato chip makers in their sights for not listing a cancer-causing chemical present in many brands.

That chemical is acrylamide. It is an industrial chemical used in plastics, pesticides and sewage treatment that also can occur when starchy foods, such as chips, are processed at high temperatures. The World Health Organization has said acrylamide may be responsible for up to one-third of all cancers caused by diet, as demonstrated by laboratory animal studies. Acrylamide is already on California's list of chemicals known to cause cancer, but some chipmakers haven't listed it on their product packaging as required by Proposition 65 statute.

The attorneys have filed Proposition 65 notices with the manufacturers of Lays, Pringles, Kettle Chips and Cape Cod chips. Research has shown those brands have unsafe levels of acrylamide in some of their chip varieties. The study looked at one ounce servings, which ranged from 11 to 20 chips depending on the brand, and determined the acrylamide content was substantially more than the 0.2 micrograms per day amount which prompts the Proposition 65 warning.

I can see it now, "Pringles will make you sick and ugly! Eat them every day!" Actually, that should be the warning label. Make it truthful as well as informative. Add this to the cigarette warnings:
A new study isn’t intended to be alarming. It has limitations, having only looked at genetic markers in white blood cells of about 1,100 healthy white women.

Still, the researchers don’t pull any punches. “Our findings suggest that obesity and cigarette smoking accelerate human aging,” write professor Tim Spector, MD, and colleagues. Spector directs the Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology Unit at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London. The study appears in The Lancet’s online edition.

Obesity and smoking have both repeatedly been shown to be serious health hazards. However, they can also be overcome. If Spector’s study is right, the finding may be one more reason to go for a smoke-free life at a healthy weight, even if it takes hard work and time to get there.
Or to put it in clear English: Smoking will make you old and ugly. So just for vanity's sake, I would expect smoking and eating Pringles at the same time to be the equivalent of popping oxytoxin and talking on right wing radio: both will make you fat and ugly and will make you sick.

Heh. Pull no punches.

Meanwhile, the mega corporate entities fight local food laws like this one in California:
Legislation aiming to prevent counties, towns and cities from making local decisions about our food supply is being introduced in states across the nation. Fifteen states recently have introduced legislation removing local control of plants and seeds. Eleven of these states have already passed the provisions into law.

These highly orchestrated industry actions are in response to recent local decisions to safeguard sustainable food systems. To date, initiatives in three California counties have restricted the cultivation of genetically modified crops, livestock, and other organisms and nearly 100 New England towns have passed various resolutions in support of limits on genetically engineered crops.

These laws are industry’s stealth response to a growing effort by people to protect their communities at the local level. Given the impacts of known ecological contamination from genetic modification, local governments absolutely should be given the power to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens. Local restrictions against genetically modified crops have provided a positive and hopeful solution and allowed citizens to take meaningful action in their hometown or county.

“Over the past several years in Iowa, we’ve seen local control taken away for the benefit of the corporate hog industry,” said George Naylor, an Iowa farmer and President of the National Family Farm Coalition. “With these pre-emption laws signed into law, we are now losing our ability to protect ourselves from irresponsible corporations aiming to control the agricultural seeds and plants planted throughout the state.”
Yes, they are desperate to have us all under federal controls only so they have to bribe only a few politicians and one party, not two.

Lastly, once again, the Feds try to undo local laws and have no enforcement of Federal laws, all to suit the corporate giants:
The junk food industry won a major victory yesterday, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture rejected a petition that it enforce its own competitive foods rule, which prohibits public schools from selling “foods of minimal nutritional value” during mealtimes in school cafeterias. The rule was designed to promote the health of school children, but enforcement today is lax to non-existent. In the petition, Commercial Alert requested simply that the USDA enforce the rule as written. But the USDA has said “No.”

Stanley C. Garnett, director of USDA’s Child Nutrition Division, wrote to Commercial Alert that “At this time, we do not intend to undertake the activities or measures you recommended in your petition.”

“It is outrageous that the USDA is refusing to enforce its own rules against selling junk food in public schools,” said Gary Ruskin, executive director of Commercial Alert. “They have turned their back on American children, who are suffering from an epidemic of obesity.”

The USDA’s decision comes just days after the Justice Department slashed the penalty it seeks in a lawsuit against the tobacco industry from $130 billion to $10 billion.
Looks like the huge investment in Bush's inauguration bore fruit! Kraft Food alone gave a quarter million for that little sheebang.