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Why Not Irradiation & How Much Do We Want to Know about our Food?

Mark Bittman writes an insightful editorial about irradiation for food, labeling food, how much do we want to know, will knowledge change our purchasing habits and the Food Safety Modernization Act. A lot of info/ideas packed into a short article.

URL: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/26/irradiation-and-the-ick-factor/?hp

Sunscreens Getting a Screening from FDA

After 33 (!) years of consideration, the FDA is finally moving to reign in the sunscreen industry ($680 million dollars in US) and discredits industry claims of “waterproof.”

Via New York Times

Also, EWG.org has a great online tool to compare sunscreens and identify the best ones.

Which Cleaners Are Not Coming Clean?

The Not Coming Clean List and the back story about the New York State law requiring full disclosure and the Earthjustice lawsuit to enforce it.

What kind of cynical world are we living in that allows the chemical industry to continue to put toxic poisons in our baby bottles, our food cans, and our receipts?

This is a great question. Huffington Post’s Laurie David covers the recent discovery that the toxic chemical BPA coats store receipts. It is also found in Coke cans, other canned foods and plastic baby bottles. Why is the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) so grossly ineffective and what is congress going to do about it?

Hold that Receipt Via HuffPo and more here at EWG

Consumer Guides to Help You Shop for Safety

We are always looking for good lists to help us decipher labels and choose products without toxins. That is why we were happy to find Dr. Epstein and his site “Cancer Prevention Coalition” which — despite its name — gives the scoop on chemicals that cause cancer and other harmful effects, like hormone disruption. Dr. Epstein’s new book “Toxic Beauty” is also extremely clear and helpful for those who want to learn more about specific toxins, why the FDA is NOT a regulatory body and how big corporations can put just about anything in a tube and market it in any way that suits them.

Direct Link to the Lists

Are you Roundup Ready?

Apparently it might not matter.  According to today’s article on Grist by Tom Philpott, the USDA is moving towards allowing Monsanto to do its own testing on GMO’S.

The Toxicity of Sugar

The notion of eating too much sugar is not new.  However, in this recent NY Times article, Dr. Robert Lustig (a neuroendocrinologist)   explains very explicitly how the body processes the different kinds of sugar found in whole versus processed foods and how this impacts our health.  It’s set off a heated debate amongst sugar and food producers as well as those in the medical world.

Via New York Times Is Sugar Toxic?

Ban it Yourself: A BPA Cleanse

Thanks to the chemical industry’s lobbying efforts, the US government has not banned BPA, a hormone-disrupting chemical that has been linked to myriad health problems, including birth defects, autism and reproductive issues. BPA has been known to be estrogenic since the mid 1930s. BPA is banned in Canada and the EU. The Breast Cancer Fund recently released findings from a study that claims “after three days of eating…fresh meals and avoiding packaged foods, [the participants’] BPA levels dropped by 75 percent.”

Via Breast Cancer Fund: Meet One of our Participating Families

About those food dyes

“Many of the artificial colorings used today were approved by the F.D.A. in 1931, including Blue No. 1, Yellow No. 5 and Red No. 3. Artificial dyes were developed — just as aspirin was — from coal tar, but are now made from petroleum products.

In the 1970s, Dr. Benjamin Feingold, a pediatric allergist from California, had success treating the symptoms of hyperactivity in some children by prescribing a diet that, among other things, eliminated artificial colorings. And some studies, including one published in The Lancet medical journal in 2007, have found that artificial colorings might lead to behavioral changes even in typical children.”

Via NYT: FDA Panel to Consider Warnings for Food Colorings

Philly Food Fight

“The scourge the parents were combating was neither the drugs nor the violence that plagues this North Philadelphia neighborhood. It was bad eating habits” starts this article.

Later the articles describes: “Scientists have demonstrated the power of sugar since at least 1974, when a Brooklyn College professor, Anthony Sclafani, found that lab rats were so drawn to Froot Loops that they would suppress their natural fear to eat in the exposed areas of their cages.” If rats will die for sugar cereal then no wonder kids are keeping a tight fist.

Via NYT: Philadelphia School Battles Students’ Bad Eating Habits