Thursday, June 16


Here's something the promoters of fish oil as heart-healthy neglected to mention, with potentially fatal consequences: "Fish oil supplements could trigger potentially deadly heart rhythms in people whose hearts already beat dangerously out of sync, doctors report today." The finding, from a study of 200 patients with implanted defibrillators, "surprised researchers who expected to find that fish oil guards against rhythm abnormalities in patients who need protection most." There are those surprised researchers again - maybe they ought to stop assuming animal products are going to protect health, and they won't get so many nasty surprises. Let's be clear here: The surprise wasn't just that fish oil didn't help these people - it was that it can kill them.

Wednesday, June 15


"Big study links red meat diet to cancer," trumpets the Guardian. "International scientists yesterday delivered a long-awaited verdict on red meat, concluding in a definitive study of the eating habits of half a million people that beef, lamb, pork, veal and their processed varieties such as ham and bacon, increase the risk of bowel cancer." This is no surprise, but if this is a definitive study, can we stop acting surprised when the next cancer is "definitively" linked to red meat? And can we also stop pretending that diet gurus who push this deadly cancer risk on ill-informed consumers under the guise of "low-carb" are just harmless trendmongers?

Tuesday, June 14


Some interesting perspectives in the wake of Friday night's announcement of another possible Mad Cow: As you'd expect, John Stauber casts this as "The US government's elaborate cover-up of mad cow dangers in the United States has begun to unravel." And he's got good reason to say so, especially in making the point that as the USDA falls back on the "born before the feed ban" excuse, we have in fact still no actual feed ban working. Meanwhile, another group opines that "
The United States needs stricter safeguards against mad cow disease, but has not introduced them in part because of pressure from meatpackers to keep costs down." The president of this group went on to say: "The major meatpackers in the United States and Canada do not want to incur these costs. We think they are having far too much influence on the BSE policies of USDA." Wow - PCRM? GAP? Consumers Union? Nope - it's R-CALF USA, the biggest American organization of cattle ranchers. At least we can be sure the meatpackers are only having an adverse influence on USDA's BSE policies... (*cough*)

Monday, June 13


And its another one around here... "A frozen-food company has issued a voluntary recall of more than 60,000 pounds of ground-beef products following a case of E. coli contamination reported in New Jersey. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the contamination was linked to a box of Murry Inc.'s Jumbo Beef Patties recently purchased at the McGuire Air Force Base Commissary in New Jersey."