Digest – News: More midnight rollbacks, valuing fast food, and Irish pork CSI
Heavy metal blowout: The FDA has recommended that the Bush Administration revise its consumer guidance on fish, changes that would encourage women and children to eat more fish despite growing concerns about mercury contamination (not to mention, um, the absolute unsustainability of our current seafood-consumption practices). The FDA argues that the nutrient content of fish outweighs the mercury concerns. Scientists say the FDA is oxygen-deprived. (Chicago Tribune)
Second shoe drops for neighbors of factory farms: As predicted, the EPA on Friday exempted livestock operations from publicly reporting emissions of methane, ammonia, and other toxic gases that are released in high concentrations when thousands of animals live together in a confined space. In a shockingly candid admission of its own incapacity, an EPA spokesman stated that the exemption was necessary because "there's no way our responders can deal with that." Looks like CAFO neighbors are on their own. (Washington Post; for background, see our posts here and here)
Cheap coronaries: The Cancer Project, a cancer prevention group affiliated with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, reports that dollar "value meals" at fast food restaurants may not be such a bargain when you look at the potential health costs. Jack in the Box's Junior Bacon Cheeseburger will give you the highest heart attack potential for your money, packing 23 grams of fat (8 grams saturated) for just a buck. (New York Times)
Maybe we should all eat closer to home?: Japan halt beef imports from a Wisconsin plant after a package couldn't be shown to be from an animal under 20 months of age. (Brownfield) Meanwhile, the U.S. stops imports of pork from Ireland that might be related to the dioxin contamination there. (Brownfield)
The pork-PCB saga continues: Scientists determine that dioxin levels in Irish pig feed were more than 5,000 times the legal EU limit. (The dioxins have been traced to fuel used by the feed manufacturer, theaptly named Robert Hogg; rumors are that the fuel was smuggled in from Northern Ireland.) (The Sunday Times) Up to 100,000 Irish pigs may be destroyed (Guardian), but there's a compensation deal coming for the pork industry, however (Irish Times).
Much worse than PCBs: Manila reports Ebola virus in pigs. (PhilStar.com)
O, probably not: Andy Martin argues that the FTC should re-evaluate whether squelching the Whole Foods/Wild Oats merger is worth its while. (New York Times)
Sucrose Anonymous: New research suggests that sugar could be addictive. Previous studies on rats have shown that eating sugar causes a behavioral pattern of increased intake and signs of withdrawal when it's taken away: both clinical signs of addiction. (Science Blog)
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