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Old 05-29-2012, 06:03 AM
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Default Health, Consumer, and Food news. (Non-supplement related)

Random current news and blog about health, diet, food from around the world.

Opinions and content of news articles do not reflect the opinions of Thermolife.com.

This is just a random news blog that I will post what I find interesting, and may or may not agree with.

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Battle Brewing Over Labeling of Genetically Modified Food

Ilana Panich-Linsman for The New York Times
Using her own stickers, Cynthia LaPier surreptitiously labels foods that she knows contain genetically modified organisms.


By AMY HARMON and ANDREW POLLACK

Published: May 24, 2012

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — On a recent sunny morning at the Big Y grocery here, Cynthia LaPier parked her cart in the cereal aisle. With a glance over her shoulder and a quick check of the ingredients, she plastered several boxes with hand-designed stickers from a roll in her purse. “Warning,” they read. “May Contain GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms).”

For more than a decade, almost all processed foods in the United States — cereals, snack foods, salad dressings — have contained ingredients from plants whose DNA was manipulated in a laboratory. Regulators and many scientists say these pose no danger. But as Americans ask more pointed questions about what they are eating, popular suspicions about the health and environmental effects of biotechnology are fueling a movement to require that food from genetically modified crops be labeled, if not eliminated.

Labeling bills have been proposed in more than a dozen states over the last year, and an appeal to the Food and Drug Administration last fall to mandate labels nationally drew more than a million signatures. There is an iPhone app: ShopNoGMO.

The most closely watched labeling effort is a proposed ballot initiative in California that cleared a crucial hurdle this month, setting the stage for a probable November vote that could influence not just food packaging but the future of American agriculture.

Tens of millions of dollars are expected to be spent on the election showdown. It pits consumer groups and the organic food industry, both of which support mandatory labeling, against more conventional farmers, agricultural biotechnology companies like Monsanto and many of the nation’s best-known food brands like Kellogg’s and Kraft.
The heightened stakes have added fuel to a long-simmering debate over the merits of genetically engineered crops, which many scientists and farmers believe could be useful in meeting the world’s rapidly expanding food needs.

Supporters of labeling argue that consumers have a right to know when food has been modified with genes from another species, which they say is fundamentally different from the selective breeding process used in nearly all crops.

Almost all the corn and soybeans grown in the United States now contain DNA derived from bacteria. The foreign gene makes the soybeans resistant to an herbicide used in weed control, and causes the corn to produce its own insecticide.

“It just makes me nervous when you take genetic matter from something else that wouldn’t have been done in nature and put it into food,” said Ms. LaPier, 44, a mental health counselor whose guerrilla labeling was inspired by the group Label It Yourself. She worries that her daughter, 5, could one day suffer ill effects like allergies.

The F.D.A. has said that labeling is generally not necessary because the genetic modification does not materially change the food.

Farmers, food and biotech companies and scientists say that labels might lead consumers to reject genetically modified food — and the technology that created it — without understanding its environmental and economic benefits. A national science advisory organization in 2010 termed those benefits “substantial,” noting that existing biotech crops have for years let farmers spray fewer or less harmful chemicals, though the emergence of resistant weeds and insects threatens to blunt that effect.

In a letter circulating on social networks, one Iowa farmer, Tim Burrack, criticized this month’s O, the Oprah Magazine, which cited research linking genetic engineering to health concerns that many scientists have discredited and proposed “5 Ways to Lessen Your Exposure to GMO’s.” Mr. Burrack urged Ms. Winfrey not to “demonize GM crops.”

But some food experts argue that food manufacturers have an obligation to label. Consumers “have a right to take genetic modification into consideration,” said Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University. “And if the companies think consumer objections are stupid and irrational, they should explain the benefits of their products.”

Until now, Americans have made little fuss about genetically modified crops on the market compared with Europeans, who require that such foods be labeled. Demonstrators in Britain are threatening to destroy some genetically modified wheat being grown in a research trial near London.

The current push for labeling in this country stems in part from a broadening of the genetically modified menu to include herbicide-resistant alfalfa and the possible approval this year of a fast-growing salmon, which would be the first genetically engineered animal in the food supply.

Gary Hirshberg, chairman of Stonyfield Farms, the organic yogurt company, has raised more than $1 million for the Just Label It campaign to influence the F.D.A. after fighting approval of engineered alfalfa, arguing that cross-pollination would contaminate organic crops fed to cows.

“This is an issue of transparency, truth and trust in the food system,” Mr. Hirshberg said.
Biotechnology companies say that the California labeling initiative, while portrayed as promoting consumer choice, is really an effort by some consumer and environmental groups and organic food growers to drive genetically modified foods off the market.

“These folks are trying to use politics to do what they can’t accomplish at the supermarket, which is increase market share,” said Cathleen Enright, an executive vice president at the Biotechnology Industry Organization, which represents Monsanto and DuPont.
Rather than label food with what consumers might regard as a skull and crossbones, the companies say food producers may ultimately switch to ingredients that are not genetically modified, as they did in Europe.

If the California initiative passes, “we will be on our way to getting GE-tainted foods out of our nation’s food supply for good,” Ronnie Cummins, director of the Organic Consumers Association, wrote in an letter in March seeking donations for the California ballot initiative. “If a company like Kellogg’s has to print a label stating that their famous Corn Flakes have been genetically engineered, it will be the kiss of death for their iconic brand in California — the eighth-largest economy in the world — and everywhere else.”

The Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents major food brands, declined to comment on what members would do if the California measure passed. But Rick Tolman, chief executive of the National Corn Growers Association, said after meeting with food executives this month that he had the “strong impression” that they would rather reformulate their ingredients than label their products genetically engineered. “They think a label will undermine their brand,” he said.

When asked if they wanted genetically engineered foods to be labeled, about 9 in 10 Americans said that they did, according to a 2010 Thomson Reuters-NPR poll.

The current call for transparency has resonated among some Americans upset by reports of BPA (a chemical used in plastics) in food packaging and pink slime (an ammonia-treated additive) in meat. Ms. LaPier has made an effort to label Kashi cereals, which advertise themselves as natural, since learning they contain genetically modified soy. Since discovering the Label It Yourself Facebook page in March, she has added several of her own pictures to its gallery of handmade labels on grocery store shelves across the nation.

Depending on the jurisdiction, such labeling could constitute a trademark violation against the manufacturer or a trespass against the store. No one has been prosecuted, but also, no one has been caught, according to a spokesman for the group.

So far, the F.D.A. has said only that it is studying the labeling petition; none of the state-level labeling bills proposed over the last year have passed.

For labeling proponents, California, where the Legislature would be bypassed by a direct popular vote, is the big prize.

A decade ago in Oregon, a similar measure that appeared to have the support of two-thirds of voters was rejected after a last-minute spending blitz by labeling opponents. With the financial backing of the organic industry, labeling supporters in California say they will be better prepared.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/25/sc...r=1&ref=health
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:42 AM
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New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg Proposes Ban on Large Sodas

By BEN FORER (@BenForer)
May 31, 2012

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on large sugary drinks in an effort to curb obesity. The plan would make it illegal for food service establishments such as restaurants, street vendors, sports venues and movie theaters to serve sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces.

The ban would apply to both bottled soda and fountain drinks containing more than 25 calories per eight ounces. It would not include alcohol, fruit juices, diet soda or any beverage that is at least half milk. Grocery stores and convenience stores would be exempt.
According to Bloomberg, New York City spends $4 billion a year on health care for overweight residents, and sugary drinks are the most significant factor in the increasing number of obese or overweight New Yorkers.

"In New York City, smoking deaths are down to 7,000 a year from something in the 20s. Obesity deaths are at 5,000 and skyrocketing," Bloomberg said in an interview with ABC's "World News" anchor Diane Sawyer. "Obesity will kill more people than smoking in the next couple of years."

The New York City Beverage Association says banning soda will not much change the city's obesity rate.

"The New York City Health Department's unhealthy obsession with attacking soft drinks is again pushing them over the top," said Stefan Friedman, a spokesman for the association. "The city is not going to address the obesity issue by attacking soda because soda is not driving the obesity rates. In fact, as obesity continues to rise, CDC data shows that calories from sugar-sweetened beverages are a small and declining part of the American diet."

ABC News' Dr. Richard Besser said legislation cannot take the place of personal responsibility in choosing how to control calories.

"You have to want to do it, and I don't think this ban is going to make people want to change their behavior." said Besser on "Good Morning America."

Bloomberg argues that the proposal is not a government proscription, but rather a public awarness campaign.

"It's purely education. It forces you to see the difference, in the case of the two different sized cups," Bloomberg said. "The public does act when they get the information. And all we're doing here is saying, 'If you want to order 32 ounces of soda, in a restaurant that we supervise, this restaurant must give you two 16-ounce glasses.'"

Some New Yorkers supported Bloomberg's decision and called it a step in the right direction.
"I think it's a good way to send a message that he's supporting healthier lifestyles," said one woman.

Others said the proposed ban is another example of government overstepping its bounds and infringing on consumer choice.

"I don't think it's the mayor's job to decide what sort of soft drinks that people in Manhattan or anywhere in the world want to buy," said one man.

In statements, both Coca-Cola and McDonald's came out against the proposal. Coke called the plan an "arbitrary mandate" and encouraged New Yorkers to "loudly voice their disapproval." McDonald's labled it "misguided" and said that solving the obesity epidemic "requires a more collaborative and comprehenisve approach."

The mayor told Sawyer that banning large sodas is no different than other government actions.

"Would you suggest that if there's asbestos in the building we stay away and just let people walk in and out ofthe building and die from cancer? I don't think so," he said.

Bloomberg has a history of enacting legislation to try to make New Yorkers healthier. Since becoming mayor, he has banned smoking in many public places, outlawed trans fats in the city's restaurants and required chain restaurants to post calorie counts.

The ban on sugary drinks requires approval from the city's Board of Health. If passed -- which is considered likely because Bloomberg appointed all the board's members -- it could take effect as soon as March.

ABC News' Dr. Richard Besser, Joanna Stern and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg Proposes Ban on Large Sodas - ABC News
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:50 PM
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Is GM corn making Americans fat?

6/6/2012 Ergolog

Genetic modification of corn, or maize, is partly responsible for the expanding proportions of earthlings. Statisticians at the University of Toledo come up with this hypothesis in Nutrition Research and Practice.

Among the powers that be, resistance to genetically modified crops such as GM soya and corn is still synonymous with stupidity and irrationalism. Anyone who refuses to have GM food on their plate is simply too stupid to understand that genetic technology is harmless and useful.

In the eyes of the powers that be, the ignorant masses need educating so that they understand that GM corn is just 'ordinary' corn that has a gene from Bacillus thuringiensis built into it by genetic engineers. This Bt gene makes GM corn capable of making its own insecticide, thus protecting itself against insects that eat the plant. The insecticide is harmless to humans and increases farmers' yields.

So nothing to worry about.

But according to researchers at the University of Toledo, this is not the case. They compared American figures on the increase in obesity with data on the consumption and production of food, and observed that although the average American has increased considerably in girth since 1995, since 2000 he or she has actually been eating less.

The researchers also found a correlation between the consumption of corn and obesity. The relationship between the two is almost 1 to 1.















When the researchers looked for data on the percentage of corn grown in the US that has been genetically tampered with, they produced the figure above. The increase in the number of obese people in the US is almost exactly the same as the disappearance of unmodified corn in the American farmlands.

The researchers suggest it's time to examine GM corn more closely. "These observations prompted us to hypothesize that consumption of GM corn products may contribute to rising obesity trends", they write. "We speculate that the bacterial antigen derived from the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) entomocidal crystalline protein protoxin, which is genetically engineered into corn to confer resistance to insect pests, may be the underlying culprit that causes anomalous adipose tissue dysregulation and obesity development."

"The implications of our results and the new hypothesis raised here are provocative but testable, as the effects of GM corn products can be assessed in molecular and animal models of obesity."

Source:
Nutr Res Pract. 2011 Jun;5(3):253-9.


http://www.ergo-log.com/is-gm-corn-making-americans-fat.html
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:28 PM
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Novel fiber paves way for next generation of heart healthy baked goods


The firm behind a novel fiber claimed to reduce oxidized LDL cholesterol - an emerging risk factor for heart disease - is in talks with bakers about using it in everything from muffins to cookies after tests revealed it can also extend shelf-life.

Full Story:
http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Consumer-Trends/Novel-fiber-paves-way-for-next-generation-of-heart-healthy-baked-goods
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:13 AM
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At Starbucks, Uncertainty Over Impact of Bloomberg’s Drink Plan

By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM

Published: June 12, 2012

Big Gulps are safe. But the fate of the Frappuccino remains unclear.

As the Bloomberg administration moved ahead on Tuesday with its plan to restrict sales of big sugary drinks in New York, securing a preliminary nod from the city’s Board of Health, it said it is still trying to determine the impact on one popular beverage brand: Starbucks.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s plan, which would limit the size of sweet drinks sold at many establishments to 16 ounces or less, exempts any beverage that contains more than 50 percent milk by volume. Officials in City Hall and in Seattle said they were unsure how those rules might affect the Starbucks family of syrupy, milkshake-style coffee drinks, catnip to thousands of caffeine-addicted New Yorkers who frequent the company’s 190 outlets in Manhattan.

“It’s hard for us to give a definitive word on which of our beverages would be impacted by the proposal,” said Linda Mills, a Starbucks spokeswoman, although she said the company was confident that many of its drinks would fall outside the proposed ban.

The Starbucks question — complicated by the varying amounts of ice, sugar and milk in each customized drink — is just one of the ambiguities facing the city as it begins a three-month public comment period on the proposed rules. On Tuesday, the Board of Health, which has final say over the rules, agreed to consider the proposal formally at its next meeting, in September.

The rules would ban large sodas sold at fast-food restaurants, movie theaters and street carts. But the Big Gulp, the supersized soda cup at 7-Eleven, would still be allowed under the proposal, because the proposal would exempt the sale of drinks in groceries or convenience stores.

Officials at the city’s health department said that they expected the plan could be tweaked ahead of the final vote, as they received feedback from companies and establishments that might be affected. In the case of Starbucks, the city plans to pore over barista training manuals to determine specific quantities of ingredients.

“This is only one of many very specific questions about very specific, unusual drinks that are likely to arise,” said Samantha Levine, a city spokeswoman.

Members of the Board of Health, all of whom were appointed by the mayor, received their first official briefing on the plan on Tuesday, but the public was not allowed to ask questions or make comments. A public hearing on the topic has been planned for the afternoon of July 24.
Pundits and policy experts around the world have already been weighing in on the proposal.

This week’s New Yorker features a film-noir-style cover that parodies the plan as a form of fizzy prohibition. And on Monday, Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, suggested on “The Daily Show” that his city might offer sanctuary to “refugees from the soda tyranny in New York,” earning loud cheers from the studio audience. (Another remark from Mr. Johnson, that Mr. Bloomberg might make a good president, was met by silence.)

While the Board of Health is widely expected to approve the plan, several of its members on Tuesday raised concerns about certain elements. Some wanted the proposal to be more rigorous — banning free refills, for instance, or doing away with the exemptions for fruit juices and milk-based drinks. One member, Bruce C. Vladeck, asked whether popcorn could be included, as well. (The city said no.)

Sixto R. Caro, another board member, said he was concerned that poorer residents and small businesses would be disproportionately affected.

In a sign of the city’s sensitivity to public reception to the plan, members of the health panel were asked by the Bloomberg administration to avoid speaking with the public and the news media after the meeting. Howard Wolfson, a deputy mayor who guards Mr. Bloomberg’s reputation, traveled to the health department’s headquarters in Queens to speak at a news conference with the health commissioner.

A spokesman for the New York City Restaurant Association said Tuesday that the industry was considering several possible avenues of opposition.

“We believe the board is appointed by the mayor but ultimately should be accountable to the public, many of whom don’t believe in this proposal,” the spokesman, Andrew Moesel, said.

And in a television interview, Howard Schultz, the chief executive of Starbucks, said he supported Mr. Bloomberg’s objective but wondered if the plan would be effective in combating obesity.

“I’m not sure it’s the right approach,” Mr. Schultz said on “CBS This Morning.” “But we’re obviously going to follow suit and respond to him because he’s trying to do something that’s quite important.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/13/ny...tml?ref=health
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:45 AM
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Artificial Sweeteners: The Challenges of Tricking the Taste Buds

Food | By KENNETH CHANG | June 11, 2012, 3:44 pm

The basic idea of what would make a good sugar substitute is simple.

On the surface of the tongue, certain proteins act as detectors for specific tastes. The sweetness receptor is made of two proteins in what is believed to be a structure like a Venus’ flytrap. When a sugar molecule attaches to the receptor, the receptor jogs neurons that send a signal to the brain that says something sweet has just been tasted.

An artificial sweetener is simply a calorie-free substance that excites the same sweetness receptors.

Even so, most people can instantly tell an impostor. One reason is that the sweetener molecules also sideswipe receptors for bitterness, leaving an aftertaste.

Different people also have slightly different bitterness receptors, and some react more strongly than others to the artificial sweeteners. Terry Acree, a professor of food science at Cornell University, says he cannot stand diet soda made with aspartame, because “I have a bitter receptor that is highly active.”

Some other sweeteners, like stevia, which is derived from a plant, can be barely perceptible at first, but their taste lingers far longer.

“People don’t like it,” said Paul Breslin, a taste researcher at Rutgers and the Monell Center, which focuses on taste and smell, in Philadelphia. “If you give them something that’s sweet but different, they innately know they’re different.”

In regular sugar, the sweet taste hits quickly and dissipates quickly. To more closely mimic that taste sensation, food companies have combined various artificial sweeteners, using one to mask the shortfalls of another.

Even though artificial sweeteners are estimated to be a $1.5-billion-a-year business, not many companies are searching for new ones. The path to the supermarket can be long, winding and littered with regulatory and commercial obstacles.

The scientist and engineer Gilbert V. Levin, who developed the experiment that reported life on Mars, also discovered a substitute that tastes like sugar, is almost as sweet and is mostly devoid of calories. The sweetener, tagatose, is in fact a sugar that occurs naturally, in minute quantities, in milk and beets. Clinical studies indicate that it even works as a drug to treat adult diabetes. But Dr. Levin was never able to get it manufactured in quantity at a viable cost, and efforts to have it approved as a diabetes drug have also foundered.

Dr. Levin has spent much of his life trying to convince someone to manufacture and sell tagatose, which was briefly in Diet Pepsi Slurpees, but is not currently used in any foods or drinks. Then again, he has not convinced most scientists that he discovered Martians, either, even though his experiment on NASA’s Viking landers in 1976 indeed produced results indicative of microbes. (The barren landscape and lack of carbon building blocks in the soil argued for some other explanation.)

Another approach is not to replace sugar but to look for other molecules that magnify its sweetness. It takes a lot of sugar to activate a sweetness receptor, and Senomyx, a company in San Diego, believes it can find compounds that would reduce the amount needed. PepsiCo is one of the companies Senomyx is working with.

Ordinary table sugar is sucrose, which consists of two smaller sugars, fructose and glucose. (High-fructose corn syrup is also a combination of fructose and glucose, in almost the same proportions.)

Sweetness enhancers could prove important if it turns out that the fructose portion of sugar is the core cause of ills like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Because fructose has to be broken down in the liver, the surge of sugar may be overworking the liver. With soda, “you’re just pouring fructose into your liver,” Dr. Breslin said.

Glucose is broken down by many cells in the body and by itself would not put as much strain on the liver. But glucose alone is not nearly as sweet.

Artificial Sweeteners: The Challenges of Tricking the Taste Buds - NYTimes.com
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JUSTICE IS COMING....

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Old 07-06-2012, 06:01 AM
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Organic tomatoes have higher antioxidant value, suggests study

Tomatoes grown by organic methods contain more phenolic compounds than those grown using commercial standards, say researchers.

http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Organic-tomatoes-have-higher-antioxidant-value-suggests-study
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Old 08-12-2012, 05:36 PM
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GAO: Time to reassess limits on cell-phone radiation

Aug 9, 2012 3:35 PM



Spend a lot of time in close contact with your cellphone? Many of us do, and it's been 15 years since the Federal Communications Commission set a limit on how much low-level radiation cell phone users are exposed to. It's time for a new look at both that limit and the technique used to test for it, according to a report issued this week by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Current limits may be based on out-of-date research, and its test requirements may underestimate the maximum exposure users experience when holding phones against the body, according to the GAO review, done at the request of members of Congress.

"With mobile phones in the pockets and purses of millions of Americans, we need a full understanding of the long-term impact of mobile phone use on the human body, particularly in children whose brains and nervous systems are still developing," said Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), who was one of the lawmakers who requested the GAO report. "With the health of American consumers at stake, it is time we send these standards in for a check-up."

In commenting on the GAO report, the FCC said that its staff had "independently arrived at the same conclusions" and is considering a thorough review of its safety rules.

The report did not suggest that cell phone radiation can cause adverse human health effects other than from heating of human tissue. But it did say that ongoing research may increase the understanding of possible effects, including potential risks of cancer. There is also research suggesting that cell phones might alter brain function.

The FCC has set its exposure limits for low-level radiation absorbed from cell phones operating at their highest possible power level--known as the

Specific Absorption Rate (SAR)--in 1996, based on recommendations from federal health and safety agencies and international organizations.

Those organizations changed their recommended exposure limits in recent years, based on new research. But the FCC hasn't formally asked for guidance from federal health and safety agencies about adopting the new limit.

The agency has also not reassessed its testing procedures used to certify cell phones' compliance with SAR limits to ensure that they measure the maximum exposure a user could experience. For example, current tests allow for a space between phones and the user's body. But consumers use mobile phones with only a slight distance, or no distance between the phone and their body when they place the phone in a pocket while using an earpiece. That could result in radiation exposure above the maximum SAR determined during testing.

Bottom line. "We agree with the recommendations and concerns raised by the GAO report," says Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., director of Consumer Safety and Sustainability at Consumer Reports. "Consumers who want to take precautions should be aware of the ways to reduce their radiation exposure while using their mobile phones." Here's how:

• Limit cell-phone use, particularly by kids.
• Hold the phone away from your head and body, especially when a call is connecting.
• Text or use a speakerphone or headset to reduce absorption in your head.

Source
Exposure and Testing Requirements for Mobile Phones Should Be Reassessed

—Doug Podolsky

GAO: Time to reassess limits on cell-phone radiation
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:44 PM
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Which 'Natural' Food Companies Are Fighting the Effort to Label GMOs?

John Robbins
Posted: 08/22/2012 1:30 pm


On Nov. 6, California voters will have the opportunity to vote on historic Proposition 37, which would mandate the labeling of genetically-engineered foods. At a time when it's hard to get a large percentage of Americans to agree on almost anything, polls show that as many as 90 percent of us want genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) labeled. More than 40 other nations, including the entire European Union, already require disclosure. But Monsanto and its allies are dedicated to keeping consumers in the dark and are pouring tens of millions of dollars into a disinformation campaign intended to defeat Prop 37.


You might expect the biotech industry to try to block a measure that would require foods that contain GMOs to say so on their packages. After all, a growing body of scientific research is indicating that GMOs might be far more dangerous than was previously imagined. But Monsanto's allies in the effort to defeat Prop 37 include some unexpected culprits. It can be shocking to realize that some of the most trusted names in the natural food world are in bed with Monsanto.


Full Story Here: John Robbins: Which 'Natural' Food Companies Are Fighting the Effort to Label GMOs?
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:15 AM
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What Syntrax Tetrabol really contained

Ergolog
23.08.2012



Around 2003 Tetrabol, the designer supplement produced by the American company Syntrax, was doing pretty well. Bodybuilders who took the steroid – which was disguised as a supplement – reported a weight gain of several kilograms and a slight decrease in fat mass. Almost a decade later Anne Bauer and Felicitas Rataj of the German Institute of Doping Analysis and Sports Biochemistry looked into exactly what Tetrabol contained. They discovered that the ingredients were different from the manufacturer's claims…

According to the manufacturer, the active ingredient in Tetrabol was the THP-ether of androst-4-ene-3,17-diol, a testosterone analogue which can be up to 60 percent as effective as testosterone. Androst-4-Ene-3,17-Diol was sold in the US as a pro-hormone until George Bush banned most pro-hormones in 2004.

Like testosterone, androst-4-ene-3,17-diol is not very suitable for oral use. Syntrax solved this problem by attaching a THP-ether to androst-4-ene-3, 17-diol. Animal studies done in the sixties showed that this improves the oral availability of steroid hormones. We don't actually believe this trick works in humans. The human stomach is so acid that THP-ether groups are soon separated from the steroid.

The formula of the substance that Syntrax said was in Tetrabol is shown below.




The big problem with labels in the land of supplements is that they are not always correct – and this was the case for Tetrabol too. Tetrabol actually contained a mixture of two compounds (1:1) shown above.

Chemists refer to both these compounds as 17-hydroxyandrosta-3,5-diene-17-THP. The difference between the two compounds is the way in which the ether is attached to the steroid.



Both compounds can attach themselves to the androgen receptor and may have a muscle strengthening effect, the researchers discovered from an in-vitro study they did. For this they used genetically modified yeast cells with an androgen receptor.

When the researchers studied what happens when humans take 17-hydroxyandrosta-3,5-diene-17-TH, they discovered five metabolites in their test subjects' urine. One of these you may be familiar with: 4-hydroxy-androstenedione, which is marketed as the anti-oestrogen Formestane, the structural formula of which is shown ab0ve.

Three of the metabolites had an androgenic effect, the researchers discovered. The strongest effect came from 4-OH-androst-4-ene-3,17-dione.




An analogue of 17-hydroxyandrosta-3,5-diene is still on the market. Physique Enhancing Supplements' Erase and Erase Pro contain androsta-3,5-diene-7,17-dione.

Source:
Arch Toxicol. 2012 Jul 19. [Epub ahead of print].

What Synthrax Tetrabol really contained
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:24 AM
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Organic Food vs. Conventional Food

By KENNETH CHANG
New York Times
Food September 4, 2012

Kathy Kmonicek/The New York Times, Seth Perlman/Associated Press, Tony Cenicola/The New York Times


Why do consumers buy organic foods?

A new study by Stanford researchers has added fuel to a debate about the differences between organic and conventionally grown foods. The Stanford report, an analysis of 237 studies of organic produce, meats and dairy foods, concluded that organic foods are no more nutritious than their conventional counterparts. Advocates of organic foods, meanwhile, say that the study takes a narrow view of organic food choices, and that most people choose organic because they want to avoid pesticides, hormones and other chemicals used in conventional farming.

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about the Stanford study and organic foods.

Q.
Why would the Stanford team focus on whether there are nutritional differences between organic food and conventionally produced food?
A.
Hundreds of scientific studies have looked at just that question for various fruits and vegetables, based on the idea that fewer pesticides and organic growing methods allow for more nutrients in soil, and therefore could raise the nutritional content of organically grown foods.

And in some cases, researchers have measured significant differences. A 2010 study by Washington State University scientists found organic strawberries have more vitamin C and antioxidants than conventional strawberries. Organic tomatoes also have more of a type of antioxidant called polyphenols than commercially grown tomatoes, according to a study published in July by scientists at the University of Barcelona.

However, other variables, like ripeness, may influence nutritional content even more. A peach or berry that reaches peak ripeness with the use of pesticides could contain considerably more vitamins than a less-ripe organically grown fruit.

The Stanford study reviewed decades of research to determine whether choosing organic produce, meats and milk would lead to better nutrition generally. They concluded the answer was no. That is, just following “organic” for everything does not bring obvious, immediate health benefits.

Q.
I’ve heard organic milk is a better option than commercial milk products. Is that true?
A.
Organic milk has risen in popularity in large part because of concerns over bovine growth hormone, used to stimulate milk production on conventional dairy farms. The hormone occurs naturally in cows, and the Food and Drug Administration has argued that use of the hormone does not change the milk.
But producers of organic milk are required to allow their cows to spend a certain amount of time grazing, and that does produce a noticeable effect on the fatty acids in the milk. Compared with conventional milk, organic milk has lower levels of omega-6 fatty acids, which are believed to be unhealthy for the heart in high concentrations, and higher levels of healthful omega-3 fatty acids. The Stanford researchers noted that organic milk does have modestly higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, based on a few small studies included in the analysis.
Organic Valley, a cooperative of organic farmers, says its organic milk shows omega-3 levels that are 79 percent higher than those in conventional milk, as well as much lower levels of omega-6.

Q.
What about pesticides? Is there a health benefit to eating foods grown without them?
A.
Organic produce has lower levels of pesticide residue than conventional fruits and vegetables. That said, almost all produce, whether it’s organic or conventional, already contains less pesticide residue than the maximum allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency. It then becomes of a question of whether you are comfortable with the E.P.A. standards. Charles Benbrook, who worked as the chief scientist for the Organic Center before moving to Washington State University last month, said the benefits of organic food, in terms of pesticide exposure, would be greatest for pregnant women, for young children and for older people with chronic health problems. He cites research that looked at blood pesticide levels of pregnant women and then followed their children for several years. The studies found that women with the highest pesticide levels during pregnancy gave birth to children who later tested 4 to 7 percent lower on I.Q. tests compared with their elementary school peers.

Q.
Aren’t there benefits to organic eating beyond individual gains? What about the health of farm workers and the health of the planet?
A.
The answer to this question is not as clear-cut as one would like it to be.
For farm workers, some pesticides appear to cause some cancers.

Over the past few decades the E.P.A. has banned many of the most toxic pesticides, so presumably the risk to workers is lower now than it was. Many people who buy organic foods say they do so because they are concerned about the health of farm workers.

In terms of the environmental effects of organic farming versus conventional farming, it depends on how you view it. One meta-analysis found that organic farming had fewer environmental impacts per acre. However, because of lower yields from organic crops, the environmental effect of organic produce was actually greater per product shipped.

In addition, there are growing concerns about the role of agricultural antibiotics leading to new antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

What are your reasons for buying organic or conventional food? Do you have more you want to know about the Stanford study or organic eating in general? Join the conversation below, and I’ll be jumping in to answer questions as needed.

Organic Food vs. Conventional Food - NYTimes.com
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:09 AM
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Weight loss firms back New York soda ban

Ingredients Network
05 September 2012

Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig have entered the New York soda ban debate after lending their support for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s controversial plans.

The plans, which have been slammed by the American Beverage Association, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, would prohibit the sale of “supersized” sugary drinks in public spaces such as restaurants, cinemas and stadiums.

“It is only with this kind of commitment and community-based support that major strides can be made against obesity,” said David Burwick, Weight Watchers North America’s president.

“We hope that more mayors, health departments and businesses will follow New York City’s example to make the healthy choice the easy choice.”

“Along with Mayor Bloomberg, we support all efforts that will help get America healthy,” added Dana Fiser, Jenny Craig’s chief executive.

“We also teach our clients that the majority of sugary drinks are filled with empty calories and lack nutritional value.”

The support from the US’ largest weight loss groups comes just days before the Bloomberg’s administration attempts to have the plans approved by the city’s board of health.

Rivals Coca-Cola and PepsiCo were united earlier this year when the plans were first announced and launched advertising campaigns against the ban centred on freedom of choice.

“These diet companies often emphasise choice and options in their own plans, allowing their customers a wide variety of food and drink. We want the same thing,” said Eliot Hoff, the New Yorkers for Beverage Choices’ spokesman.

“Restrictions and bans will do nothing to address the very complex issue of obesity.This is not passing with the support of New Yorkers and businesses are extremely concerned.”

The plans are expected to be approved by the New York board of health on 13 September. If passed, the new legislation would come into force next year.


Weight loss firms back New York soda ban - News-content | Ingredients Network | Food Ingredients news powered by Fi & Hi Europe
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:30 AM
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In Soda Fight, Industry Focuses on the Long Run

By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM

Published: September 12, 2012

Fearful that stricter limits on soda sales in New York City could incite a national trend — and a long-term erosion of profits — the nation’s sweetened-beverage companies plan to continue campaigning against Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s restrictions on large sodas, even after the plan’s expected approval on Thursday by the Board of Health.

Officials in the soft-drink industry, while conceding they cannot win the vote by the mayor-appointed board, say they will do whatever is necessary to stop the plan before it can be put in effect in March, including a possible legal challenge and continuing discussions with lawmakers.

“Mayor Bloomberg will not be mayor forever,” said Eliot Hoff, a spokesman for New Yorkers for Beverage Choices, the industry-sponsored group that has spent more than $1 million on a public-relations campaign against the mayor’s plan, which would limit the size of sugary drinks to 16 ounces in the city’s restaurants, movie theaters and other venues. “It’s important for us to have our voices heard for the next administration.”

To the soda industry’s chagrin, Mr. Bloomberg’s plan has generated widespread interest in the debate about soft drinks and obesity, an issue that had lurked mostly in academic journals and Washington policy circles. A defeat of the mayor’s measure could be a deterrent for other cities considering similar steps.

New York City, with its much-copied bans on trans fats and smoking in bars, is often a leader in public health policy around the country. On Wednesday, McDonald’s announced that it would include calorie counts on its fast-food menus nationwide, expanding a practice pioneered by the Bloomberg administration at chain restaurants within the five boroughs.

“We know the country is watching,” said Mr. Hoff, whose group has tried to frame the mayor’s plan as an infringement on freedom, not fatness. (A poll taken last month by The New York Times found that 6 in 10 city residents said the ban was a bad idea.) During a planned six-month gap between the Board of Health’s vote and the enactment of the restriction, the industry could seek an injunction from a judge or an outright rejection of the restrictions by the courts.

Soft-drink officials would not comment on a potential lawsuit, but Robert Bookman, a lawyer who often represents New York City restaurants and who has been contacted by soft-drink industry officials to discuss legal options, said that industry lawyers might argue that regulating container sizes was an improper or overreaching use of the Board of Health’s powers. Another line of attack could focus on whether New York City, as a municipality, has the authority to place restrictions on sales of soft drinks, which could be interpreted as a form of interstate commerce, Mr. Bookman said.

The city’s health commissioner, Dr. Thomas A. Farley, rejected those arguments in an interview on Wednesday, noting that the Board of Health has historically had a broad purview to protect public health. But he said he would not be surprised to face a lawsuit on the measure.

“We were the first city to ban trans fats; we were one of the early cities to prohibit lead in paint,” Dr. Farley said. “You can understand why the industry feels the stakes are high here in New York City.”

“The Board of Health has been doing this sort of thing for 150 years,” he added. Of the soft-drink companies, he said, “If they are serious about trying to reduce the obesity epidemic, they should cooperate with us.”

Mr. Bloomberg’s plan has been the focus of much attention, and some skewering: the mayor of London suggested that his city would offer sanctuary to “refugees from the soda tyranny in New York.”

It has also cast a spotlight on similar measures in other cities.

A Los Angeles city councilman, Mitchell Englander, said his plan to bar soda from some city parks and libraries had attracted little attention before Mr. Bloomberg’s proposal. After that, he said, the soda industry began pushing back hard.

“When the press started picking up on it, it rattled the wolves’ cage,” he said in an interview, saying his office had been contacted by industry lobbyists and received hundreds of messages about the plan. But while Mr. Englander said he stood by his proposal, he was less impressed by Mr. Bloomberg’s measure.

“It’s government overreaching, and telling people what they can and can’t do,” Mr. Englander said. “That’s really been the conversation around his.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/ny...tml?ref=health
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:13 AM
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NYC Board of Health approves ban on sale of sugary drinks over 16 ounces

Ban will apply in fast-food joints, movie houses, Broadway theaters, workplace cafeterias and most other places selling prepared food

By Tina Moore / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Thursday, September 13, 2012, 11:34 AM



JUSTIN LANE/EPA

NYC Board of Health approved Mayor Bloomberg-backed ban on large, sugary drinks.

Guzzle as many gigantic sodas as you can now, for they will soon be much harder to find in the city — except at 7-11 stores.

Mayor Bloomberg’s appointees on the city Board of Health approved his big-soda ban Thursday by a vote of 8-0, with one member abstaining.

WHY SODA IS A THREAT TO PUBLIC HEALTH

As a result, starting March 12, sugared beverages — except for those that are 50% or more milk — will be limited to 16 ounces at most restaurants, concession stands, movie theaters and other eateries.

HEY MIKE, WHY NOT BAN BEER?

"This is the single biggest step, I think, any city has ever taken to curb obesity,” Bloomberg crowed at a press conference, predicting the measure will “help save lives.”

The restriction would apply to eateries that get restaurant letter grades from the city Health Department and businesses that are regulated by the city. Places that don’t fall in line will be fined.

Establishments that derive less than 50% of their revenue from prepared foods — making them by law regulated by the state — are exempt, a group that includes 7-Elevens, famous for the Big Gulp.

The controversial anti-obesity regulation came under withering criticism from the beverage industry and some civil liberties groups after it was proposed in May, drawing divided reactions in public polls. But Mayor Bloomberg launched a major public relations push in support of his pet idea.

One board member, Dr. Sixto Caro, a private practitioner in Brooklyn and Manhattan, was not sold, and opted to pocket his vote.

“I am still skeptical. This is not comprehensive enough,” Caro said. He noted that the restriction would cost consumers, who would have to shell out more money for a second soda if 16 ounces aren’t a craving killer.

Yet the rest of the board, full of medical pros, believed it was good policy. “Clearly, the problems we deal with every day are obesity, obesity, asthma, obesity, asthma,” said member Dr. Joel Forman, a pediatrician in West Harlem and the South Bronx. “The environment that these kids live in — their food environment — is really difficult.”

Eliot Hoff, spokesman for opposition group New Yorkers for Beverage Choices, said members are frustrated the matter was not put before the City Council, and that a possible legal challenge is being weighed. With Jonathan Lemire
tmoore@nydailynews.com.

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Old 09-23-2012, 07:13 AM
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US bakers call for reform on sugar policy

ingredientsnetwork.com
22 September 2012


US bakers are on a collision course with sugar producers after the American Bakers Association (ABA) said that egislative change to ease artificially high sugar prices is imminent.

The ABA claims that sugar prices are artificially inflated to 50-75% higher than in Europe.

ABA members Bimbo Bakeries USA, Flowers Foods and Krispy Kreme recently met with Congress members to make the case for reform of the US sugar programme. According to the ABA, the programme inflates the price of sugar by setting quotas, enforces a minimum price, limiting how much US sugar processors can sell and forcing the US Department of Agriculture to buy surpluses for sale to ethanol refineries.

However, sugar producers hit back against the lobby, arguing that the US should be wary of lessons learned from similar action in Europe and not attempt to reform a system that generally works.

Proposed action on sugar prices failed to become legislation in the summer after being rejected in the Senate and House of Representatives’ revisions to the US Farm Bill. However, ABA said that political will for reform is gathering.

“There are many supporters of reforming the sugar program in both the House and the Senate. This is the most pressure Congress has ever faced to reform the programme,” Cory Martin, the ABA’s government relations director told FoodNavigator-USA.

“We always knew getting an amendment (to sugar policy) passed in the Agriculture Committee hearings would be an uphill climb, so losing these votes was not unexpected.

“We came very, very close in the Senate, losing one vote by just 4 votes and we are confident that some form of a reform amendment will pass in the House, if and when it ever comes up for a full floor vote. We’ve been able to garner bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate,” added Martin.

The American Sugar Association refuted the claims, arguing that the food industry pays less for sugar than in other developed nations.

“Big Candy has quietly gotten rich on the backs of farmers and American workers. Now they’re lobbying Congress to bankrupt farms and outsource sugar jobs so they can pocket a few extra pennies a pound,” said a statement.

US bakers call for reform on sugar policy - News-content | Ingredients Network | Food Ingredients news powered by Fi & Hi Europe
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:06 PM
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Stevia set to be a ‘mass volume, mainstream ingredient’, says PureCircle after striking deal with Coca-Cola

PureCircle says it is one step closer to establishing its high-purity stevia as a “mass volume, mainstream ingredient” after signing a joint development and supply agreement with soft drinks giant Coca-Cola.

http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Business/Stevia-set-to-be-a-mass-volume-mainstream-ingredient-says-PureCircle-after-striking-deal-with-Coca-Cola
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:08 AM
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When Doctors Stop Taking Insurance

New York Times
By RONI CARYN RABIN
The Consumer
October 1, 2012




Private health insurance used to be the ticket to a doctor’s appointment. But that’s no longer the case in some affluent metropolitan enclaves, where many physicians no longer accept insurance and require upfront payment from patients — cash, checks and credit cards accepted.

On Manhattan’s Upper East Side, it’s not unusual for a pregnant woman to pay $13,000 out of pocket in advance for childbirth and prenatal care to a physician who does not participate in any health plan. Some gynecologists are charging $650 for an annual checkup. And for pediatricians who shun insurance, parents on the Upper East Side are shelling out $150 to $250 whenever a child falls or runs a high fever.

Efforts by insurers to rein in health care costs by holding down physician fees — especially for primary care doctors, who play a critical role in health care though they are among the lowest paid doctors — appear to be accelerating the trend, and some patients say it’s getting harder to find an in-network physician.

Orlene Paxson, 33, a stay-at-home mom on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, was unable to find an obstetrician she liked who would accept her insurance. Many were not accepting new patients, and one highly recommended doctor did not return her call for five days and did not want to see her until 12 weeks into the pregnancy. It was Mrs. Paxson’s first pregnancy and she did not want to wait, so even though her policy does not cover any out-of-network services, she and her husband chose a doctor who doesn’t take insurance and paid the entire $13,000 fee themselves.

Once their daughter was born 20 months ago, Mrs. Paxson needed a pediatrician but could not find one who was in her plan, accepting new patients and within walking distance. So she again chose an out-of-network doctor.

“We stayed with her for a year and a half because we loved her,” Mrs. Paxson said. At her first scheduled visit after the baby was born, the doctor “talked to me for almost three hours. She knew it was our first baby.”

But three months ago, Mrs. Paxson switched to an in-network pediatrician, largely because of the cost of the vaccines. “They didn’t cover a dime of it,” Mrs. Paxson said of her insurance, adding that she was not complaining. “I made informed decisions.”

Though data on private physician practices is scanty, a new survey of 13,575 doctors from around the country found that over the next one to three years, more than 50 percent plan to take steps that reduce patient access to their services, and nearly 7 percent plan to switch to cash-only or concierge practices, in which patients pay an annual fee or retainer in addition to other fees.

When doctors stop taking regular insurance or drop a health plan, patients are free to take their business elsewhere. If they have health plans that cover out-of-network expenses, these patients may be reimbursed for fees they pay in cash, but probably not for the entire sum.

The cash-upfront trend raises an uncomfortable question. Can the Affordable Care Act, intended to widen access to health care, succeed by expanding insurance coverage if primary-care doctors are walking away from insurance?

“If all it means is that doctors who serve the wealthy are figuring out ways to avoid the hassles of insurance, I’m not sure it’s a public policy problem,” said Marsha Gold, a senior fellow at Mathematica Policy Research in Washington and an expert on health care financing. “The real problem comes in if it really restricts the choices people have and makes it worse than it is now. We don’t really have the data to know.”

The country is already facing a shortage of physicians, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. By 2025, the nation will have 100,000 fewer doctors than needed, according to the association. With fewer medical students choosing to go into primary care, shortages in this area are expected to become especially acute.

Physicians are increasingly feeling shortchanged by insurance companies, said Dr. Bob Hughes, an otolaryngologist in Saratoga Springs who is president of the Medical Society of the State of New York. “Insurance companies do not negotiate with physicians. It’s all take-it-or-leave-it contracts,” he said.

A June report by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which advises Congress and focuses primarily on the government plan for seniors, suggests adults ages 50 to 64 are having more trouble getting an appointment with a new physician. Some 30 percent of privately insured individuals who were looking for a new primary care doctor in 2011 reported problems finding one, compared with 26 percent in 2008. (Only 14 percent had a problem finding a specialist in 2011.)

Cash-only practices may exacerbate the access problem. Since her doctor stopped accepting her insurance, Kathryn Vanasek, 43, a mother of two in Manhattan, hasn’t been back for a checkup or preventive screenings, relying on a new walk-in clinic for urgent problems like an ear infection.

Her annual physical would cost at least $250 out of pocket, Ms. Vanasek said, but she would not get any money back from her insurer until she met the deductible.

“You are making a decision between preventive medicine and reactive medicine,” she said.

If you choose to see a physician who will not accept insurance, experts advise a few precautions:

¶Read the fine print on your health insurance policy. Though many plans provide out-of-network coverage, the reimbursement may cover only a fraction of your costs.

¶Try to estimate your out-of-pocket costs in advance so you can pay the physician with money saved in a flexible spending account, which is sheltered from taxes.

¶Ask yourself whether you really must see a doctor who does not take insurance. Is the care really better? Ask acquaintances outside your regular circle for references. If you are willing to travel, you may find a highly recommended physician who takes your insurance.

¶Keep track of your expenses and receipts, file out-of-network claims promptly and keep copies for yourself. Call your insurer to follow up; it is not unusual for an insurance company to lose paperwork.

¶Watch for expenses that will not be reimbursed. Children’s vaccines, for instance, may not be reimbursed even if you have out-of-network coverage. The global fee quoted by an obstetrician for childbirth should encompass all care required unless you have complications, need to see another specialist or require a last-minute Caesarean section.

¶Doctors who don’t take insurance are likely to refer to others who don’t. Make every effort to ensure that expensive services, such as hospitalizations and surgery, are with network providers and that you have the required approvals from your insurer.
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:37 AM
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Cosucra promotes Swelite as meat replacer

IngredientsNetwork
03 October 2012


In Europe, the processed ground meat market is mature, with slow growth, according to Guillaume Colmant, Product Manager, Pea Ingredients at Cosucra. Once the prime cuts have been re-moved, meat producers are looking to extract value from what remains – often through restructuring. However, notes Colmant, processed ground meat suffers from its association with high fat levels, its possible impact on cholesterol and other health issues.

Innovation is driven by convenience, clean labelling and pleasure enhancement, he continues, but on top of those trends, cost optimisation is the main challenge. Convenience is a key driver, and is about time saving and ready prepared.

Beyond this, says Colmant, clean labelling is a must when considering the launch of a new product or the reformulation of existing ones. It consists of removing additives/preservatives and avoiding the main allergens, gluten, and lactose. Meat quality and texture, and creativity around flavours, presentation and visual aspects also contribute to pleasure enhancement. And of course, on top of those trends, he notes, cost optimisation remaiuns the main challenge for meat developers and producers.

To produce attractive and cost-effective processed ground meat products, or to cope with the limited availability of meat, producers need specific ingredients. That, says Colmant, is the reason why fibres are increasingly used in processed ground meat products such as burgers, meatballs, sausages, as binder or meat filler.

Cosucra’s Swelite pea fibre is described as a natural and fat-free functional ingredient composed of dietary fibres and starch. It is extracted from yellow pea by a physical process and partial separation of starch and cellular walls. It is said to provide excellent water binding - 10 parts of water by capillary uptake in cold conditions. Gelatinisation of the linked starch granules increases the water binding capacity.

Swelite stabilises fat and water in typical ratios by capillary uptake. In cold emulsions, Swelite can stabilise 1/5/5 emulsions based on pork fat, poultry fat (or skin) or vegetable oil. The obtained paste is said to be stable, non-sticky and easy to incorporate. During heat treatment the paste be-comes firmer (no gel texture).

Thanks to its high water retention, Swelite is also claimed to increase product stability, forming a matrix with water within the meat. This paste is freeze-thaw stable, stable to strong heat treatment and not influenced by pH. As it binds water like a sponge and releases water only under strong mechanical action, it is said to provide a tender and juicy texture. Acting as a shape retention agent, Swelite also keeps the product in its original form.

Naturally sourced from locally grown yellow peas, Swelite offers the security of being GMO-free. Furthermore, pea is not included in the list of the allergenic ingredients that have to be clearly noted on the packaging of foodstuffs. It is gluten- and lactose-free, and is Kosher and Halal certified. Swelite can be labelled as “pea fibre, pea starch” or “vegetable fibre, starch”.
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JUSTICE IS COMING....
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  #19  
Old 10-15-2012, 07:58 AM
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Soda Industry Sues to Stop a Sales Ban on Big Drinks

By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM

Published: October 12, 2012


New York’s battle over big sodas is heading to the courtroom.

The American soft-drink industry, joined by several New York restaurant and business groups, filed a lawsuit on Friday that aims to overturn restrictions, proposed by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and approved by the Board of Health, on sales of large sugary drinks at many dining locations in the city.

The suit, filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, contends that the Board of Health did not have the authority to ratify the new rules unilaterally. The rules — approved last month and scheduled to take effect in March — limit the size of sugary drinks to 16 ounces or less at restaurants, street carts, and entertainment and sports venues.

Legal action was widely anticipated from the soft-drink industry, which led an aggressive campaign this summer portraying Mr. Bloomberg’s plan as an affront to consumer freedom and has frequently opposed local regulations of its products.

The 61-page filing offers a detailed rebuttal to Mr. Bloomberg, arguing the soda restrictions are a form of de facto legislation, enacted by “executive fiat,” which should have been considered by the City Council. The plaintiffs say the rules represent “a dramatic departure” from the traditional role of the health department, and they are asking a judge to reject the size limits before they are put into effect.

The mayor’s chief spokesman, Marc La Vorgna, rejected those arguments on Friday, calling the lawsuit “baseless.” City health officials have argued that the plan can help curb runaway obesity rates in the city, where more than half of adults are overweight or obese.

“The Board of Health absolutely has the authority to regulate matters affecting health, and the obesity crisis killing nearly 6,000 New Yorkers a year — and impacting the lives of thousands more — unquestionably falls under its purview,” Mr. La Vorgna wrote in a statement.

The city noted that industry groups have tried to stop Mr. Bloomberg’s previous public health initiatives, including a smoking ban and a requirement for disclosure of calorie counts on restaurant menus. “Not only did those efforts fail, but our policies have been adopted in cities and states across the country,” Mr. La Vorgna wrote.

The lead counsel on the suit is Latham & Watkins, a law firm that frequently represents the American Beverage Association, the leading soft-drink trade group and a plaintiff. Other plaintiffs included a Teamsters local representing beverage workers, state Hispanic and Korean-American business groups, and the restaurant and movie theater industries.

There are indications the soft-drink industry might fare better with legislators than with a board of mayoral appointees. The industry once persuaded lawmakers in Albany to reject a proposed soda tax, and in New York City it has several allies on the Council, where some members had circulated a petition urging the Board of Health to reject the mayor’s plan. The Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, has also expressed hesitation about the size limits.

“This case is not about obesity in New York City,” the plaintiffs wrote in the opening sentence of the suit. “This case is about the Board of Health, appointed by the mayor, bypassing the proper legislative process for governing the city.”
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JUSTICE IS COMING....
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:54 AM
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Medvedev Calls for Public Smoking Ban in Russia by 2015

By ANDREW ROTH

Published: October 16, 2012



MOSCOW — Prime Minister Dmitri A. Medvedev voiced support on Tuesday for a proposed ban on public smoking by 2015 in Russia, where close to a third of the population smokes.

Standing in a sunlit glade in a video blog post, Mr. Medvedev also proposed banning advertising for cigarettes and increasing the sales tax on them to a “substantial level.” In Russia a pack of cigarettes typically costs less than $2.

He cast Russia’s toll from smoking at 400,000 lives annually.

“It works out that each year an entire large city disappears from the earth due to tobacco,” he said.

He added, “Our children should not breathe in cigarette smoke and see smoking on their playgrounds, in schools, universities, clinics and in cafes as something normal, routine.”

Mr. Medvedev’s bid appeared to be aimed at reclaiming some political relevance and popular support, at a time when many of the initiatives he championed during his tenure as president have been rolled back under Vladimir V. Putin, his predecessor and successor as president.

“Medvedev is severely limited in what he can do under Putin,” said Yevgeny S. Gontmakher, a prominent social scientist. “After all he is no longer the president. So to maintain his political prospects for the future as someone who has the sympathies of a large part of society, he campaigns on these kinds of popular topics.”

Mr. Medvedev has latched onto other popular causes in recent weeks. When a drunken man slammed his car into a bus stop last month, killing seven people and producing a wave of public outrage, Mr. Medvedev called for tough new fines and stiffer punishments against intoxicated drivers.

Yet efforts to raise taxes on goods like cigarettes and alcohol have angered Russians in the past, and Mr. Medvedev seemed to anticipate a blowback to tougher regulations on smokers.

“The government is not at war with smokers,” he said. “But we are making a stand against smoking.”

Under Mr. Putin, Russia’s paramount leader for the past 12 years, there has been a conscious effort to represent a picture of healthy, sober leaders. Mr. Putin and Mr. Medvedev are regularly shown on television exercising.

In his address, Mr. Medvedev singled out international cigarette companies for aggressively targeting women and children in Russia since the 1990s.

“Unfortunately, the government didn’t calculate the risks of foreign tobacco investment into the Russian economy then,” Mr. Medvedev said.

Muscovites questioned about the initiative expressed measured support.

“People don’t limit themselves anymore, and I do think that something needs to be done,” said Alexander Ignatienko, 58, who has smoked for 19 years but said he did not light up in restaurants, particularly when in mixed company. “But there has to be some intelligent limit. If they call the street a public place, then can I not smoke out here?”

Others said that any ban on smoking in public places would simply be ignored, much like Russia’s current laws against drinking alcohol on the street.

“People have been smoking forever, and now they think that they can just make a law and ban it?” Alexander Ivanov, a shopkeeper at a small tobacco kiosk in central Moscow, said Tuesday evening.

“I’m saying this as a smoker, but it will never happen.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/17/wo...ef=health&_r=0
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:55 AM
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Cranberry juice to fend off bladder infections? Latest study says skip it

While it isn't exactly clear why cranberry juice has been thought to be beneficial, some scientists suggest that certain sugars and flavanol compounds in cranberries prevent bacteria from sticking to cells lining the walls of the urinary tract.

AFP RELAXNEWS
Thursday, October 18, 2012, 11:02 AM


New research debunks the notion that drinking cranberry juice can stave off a bladder or kidney infection.


While it has long been believed that cranberry juice can help prevent all-too-common bladder and kidney infections, a new study says its unlikely to do any good.

A new review published Wednesday in The Cochrane Library analyzed recent evidence and came to the conclusion that any benefit of drinking the juice is likely to be extremely small and only for women with recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI).

While it isn't exactly clear why cranberry juice has been thought to be beneficial, some scientists suggest that certain sugars and flavanol compounds in cranberries prevent bacteria from sticking to cells lining the walls of the urinary tract.

Researchers in the UK gathered together evidence from 24 studies that involved nearly 4,500 subjects, with the test groups given cranberry juice, tablets, or capsules. In the review, researchers focused on cranberry juice and products as a prevention method for subjects with urinary or kidney infections, not as a treatment for an acute infection.

Although in some studies there were small benefits for women suffering from recurring infections, women would have to consume two glasses of cranberry juice per day for long periods to prevent one infection.

Sticking to the daily routine is a major commitment, lead researcher Ruth Jepson of the University of Stirling in the UK told WebMD UK. "You do wonder in real life how many women would be prepared to drink that amount."

Yet past research has shown more positive results. Earlier this year a Taiwanese review of 13 studies concluded that UTIs were 38 percent rarer among people who consume cranberry products, notes WebMD UK. But Jepson adds that her study was more "robust."

She does suggest that more studies of other cranberry products such as tablets and capsules could be justified, "but only for women with recurrent UTIs, and only if these products contain the recommended amount of active ingredient," she says.

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JUSTICE IS COMING....
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:27 AM
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Tate & Lyle launches SODA-LO

Ingrediants Network
23 October 2012

Tate & Lyle has launched what it describes as a ground breaking, new salt reduction ingredient, SODA-LO Salt Microspheres, that is said to taste, label and function like salt - because it is salt. With SODA-LO, the company said that food manufacturers can reduce salt levels by 25-50% in various applications without sacrificing taste.

SODA-LO will make its European debut at Health Ingredients Europe between 13-15 November 2012 (Frankfurt, Germany).  

SODA-LO Salt Microspheres has been created using a patent-pending technology that turns standard salt crystals into free-flowing crystalline microspheres. These smaller, lower-density crystals are claimed to efficiently deliver salty taste by maximising surface area relative to volume. Because SODA-LO is made from real salt, Tate & Lyle claims that it has none of the bitter aftertaste or off-flavours associated with some other salt compounds or substitutes.

"As public health advocates continue to call for a reduction in salt intake worldwide, studies show that consumers associate products labelled as low-salt as having inferior taste," said Andy Hoffman, Director of Health and Wellness Innovation, Tate & Lyle. "Having a salt reduction alternative that’s made from real salt and delivers on that taste expectation could be the first step towards breaking that link in people’s minds that a low-salt product is a bland one."

Tate & Lyle said that its testing shows that consumers perceive parity tastes between products made with regular salt and foods containing SODA-LO Salt Microspheres. Furthermore, consumers reported no "off" tastes.

"Salt is a staple in food production – not just because of taste, but function, as well. It acts as a preservative and texturizing aid, for example. Through advanced technology, Tate & Lyle has produced salt microspheres to give manufacturers an ingredient that functions as well as, if not better, than salt," said David Lewis, Director, Health and Wellness Product Management, Tate & Lyle.

According to the company, SODA-LO Salt Microspheres has been tested and shown to work well in a wide variety of foods including baked goods, breading and coatings, salty snacks and work continues to assess its suitability in a number of other applications.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:03 AM
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Some on D.C. Council favor restricting sugary drinks


Mark Segraves, wtop.com
Tuesday - 10/23/2012, 7:22am ET


WASHINGTON - Several members of the D.C. Council have come out in favor of restricting the sizes of sugary sodas sold in the District - a ban similar to one in New York City.
At a recent debate between candidates for the at-large council seats, current Councilmembers Michael Brown and Vincent Orange said without hesitation they would vote to ban the sale of large drinks.

That news was music to Councilmember Mary Cheh's ears.

"I'm very excited by that," said Cheh (D-Ward 3), who fell one vote short of passing a tax on sodas and other sugary drinks.

Cheh authored the Healthy Schools Act and says she thinks the New York City ban is a good idea she'd like to bring to the nation's capital.

"If I could get the votes to do it I would certainly try to put that in place," Cheh tells WTOP.
"I would consider legislation to do that, I would like to see that done," she added.

While Cheh, Orange and Brown are the only three elected officials to come out in support of the ban, several others say they are open to a ban, including Mayor Vincent Gray.

"I think there probably are some good health reasons to support something like that," Gray said. "We'll be happy to look at it, we haven't taken a position on that one way or another."

Council Chairman Phil Mendelson agreed it's an idea worthy of consideration.

"The issue of nutrition is of critical importance to public health. We need to look at different strategies so people understand what the effect is of the large volume of soft drinks they're drinking," Mendelson said.

Councilmember Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) also was open to considering a ban.

"I am open to anything that will help young people be healthier," Wells said.

But some councilmembers are either opposed or leery of telling people what size drinks they can buy and sell.

"I think people can choose what to eat or drink," said Councilmember Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4).

Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) wasn't ready to say no, but he's a long way from voting yes for a ban.

"I think sometimes we go too far in these areas," he said.

Despite the criticism she knows she'll take from some colleagues and residents, Cheh isn't shying away from legislating some food choices.

"I know 'nanny state' and all that, but it's appropriate for government to intervene at times to make sure that the choices that are presented are healthy for us," she says.

Follow Mark and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
http://wtop.com/109/3088930/DC-counc...-sugary-drinks
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:42 AM
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GNC to Launch Worldwide Multi-Channel Brand Campaign in 2013


Phase two of the GNC "Live Well" brand campaign unveiled in 2011 will be launched in January 2013 including television, out-of-home, print and online



PITTSBURGH, Oct. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- GNC Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GNC), the nation's largest specialty retailer of health, wellness and sports nutrition products will be launching a multi-channel, national campaign in 2013 to continue to strengthen its brand and broaden its market appeal to a whole host of new consumers. This effort will unveil a fully integrated branding, marketing and communications program coast to coast, including a refresh of all in-store graphics, digital and social media and consumer messagin

GNC seeks to build upon its global leadership position and expertise in the health, nutrition and fitness category while engaging a broader base of consumers to live a healthier lifestyle, as our society faces rising health concerns and costs. It is GNC's mission to lead the way in providing information through in-store personnel and products that, combined with exercise and proper nutrition, improve the health of consumers.
GNC has tapped the original creative force behind the GNC Live Well campaign, Peter Arnell, to lead this image and brand refresh. Peter has assumed responsibilities in both creative and strategic marketing development, and will work to extend brand continuity across all media types.
"In our continuing mission to support society's health and wellness with a wide range of solutions and products, our marketing communication and branding efforts will focus on helping to provide great inspiration and support to all who seek a better, healthier lifestyle. Peter will partner with our internal marketing and communications team and lead all creative marketing and brand messaging, including all imagery and film for both print and broadcast," said Joe Fortunato, Chairman and CEO of GNC. Fortunato also stated: "This unique partnership will enable an efficient and powerful result for all of our marketing and creative needs. We are pleased to once again be working directly with Peter."

PR Newswire
(GNC to Launch Worldwide Multi-Channel Brand Campaign in 2013 -- PITTSBURGH, Oct. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --)

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Old 11-13-2012, 07:55 AM
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Pepsi launches 'fat-blocking' cola in Japan

Made with an indigestible form of dextrin or dietary fiber, Pepsi Special is supposed to reduce the absorption of fat in the body from food intake and help lower cholesterol levels.

AFP RELAXNEWS

Daily News

Saturday, November 10, 2012, 2:02 PM


Pepsi Special


Pepsi Special in Japan claims to reduce fat absorption.




Pepsi in Japan has launched a version of its cola drink it claims acts as a fat blocker -- the latest product on the Japanese market pitched as a healthy cola.
Made with an indigestible form of dextrin or dietary fiber, Pepsi Special is supposed to reduce the absorption of fat in the body from food intake and help lower cholesterol levels.
The latest product innovation out of Pepsi is modeled after the runaway hit of drink manufacturer Kirin Holdings, which launched what it marketed as the world’s first healthy cola drink this past spring. Kirin Mets Cola is also made with dextrin.

Kirin Mets Cola


Perhaps nowhere in the world is the functional food market more developed than in Japan, where consumers can find everything from fat-fighting chocolate bars to age-defying alcoholic cocktails.
Pepsi Special goes on sale across Japan November 13.


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