Beef Recall Raises New Concerns

Tenderized beef is at the center of recall.

Is it now necessary to label meat which has been through the tenderizing process?

Because of an increased risk of bacterial contamination, some say the meat should be labeled.

E. Coli contamination was at the center of the recall which included more than a ton of beef.

Connecticut Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro said that the Wednesday recall involving some 2,057 pounds of ground and texturized beef from Town & Country Foods Inc. of Greene, Maine, underscores why consumers should be told when meat has been mechanically pierced with needles or blades.

U.S Department Of Agriculture Serves Our Children

The “pink slime” as it’s being called has caused quite the furor on the internet.

Parents and activists are alarmed to find out that this combination of meat by-products and ammonia hydroxide is being served to children in school lunches because the U.S Department of Agriculture continues to purchase it.

This “high risk product” has not passed food inspection findings, however, the U.S.D.A. commissioned a separate study to assess the safety of BPI’s “Lean Beef Trimmings” to make it appear safe.

Custer said he first encountered the product — which gained fame recently as “pink slime” in part due to the efforts of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver — back in the late 1990s. Despite voicing his concerns to other officials at the food inspection service, however, the USDA ruled that Lean Beef Trimmings were safe. “The word in the office was that undersecretary JoAnn Smith pushed it through, and that was that,” Custer said.

Appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1989, Smith had deep ties with the beef industry, serving as president of both the Florida Cattlemen’s Association and the of the National Cattlemen’s Association.

“Scientists in D.C. were pressured to approve this stuff with minimal safety approval,” Zirnstein said.

Judge Mandates FDA Against Non-Therapeutic Use Of Antibiotics in Livestock

U.S. Magistrate Judge Theodore Katz ordered the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin proceedings to withdraw approval of non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock unless makers of the drugs can produce evidence that their use is safe.

The FDA had started such proceedings in 1977, prompted by its concerns the widespread use in livestock feed of certain antibiotics – particularly tetracyclines and penicillin, the most common. But the proceedings were never completed and the approval remained in place.
“In the intervening years, the scientific evidence of the risks to human health from the widespread use of antibiotics in livestock has grown, and there is no evidence that the FDA has changed its position that such uses are not shown to be safe,” Katz wrote.

The facts are hard to ignore.

Using common antibiotics in livestock feed has contributed to the rapid growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in both animals and humans and contributes to $20 billion in health care costs annually.

The Surprising Health Culprit in Raw Cookie Dough

Resist the urge to eat raw cookie dough.

While most concerns are over raw eggs in the mixture the real danger may lie in the flour.

Flour doesn’t go through the kind of special processing to kill off pathogens that ingredients like pasteurized eggs, molasses, sugar, baking soda, and margarine do.

When the researchers visited manufacturing plants where the cookie batter was being made their suspicions were confirmed: they found E coli in the samples they collected at the plants, according to the report which was published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The higher incidence of baking during the holiday season can increase the risk of contamination.

Use safe cooking, preparation and clean-up methods for healthy celebrations.

“Frankenfoods” in a World of GMO’s

Genetically modified food may look like the answer to food shortages but the dangers might just outweigh the benefits.

But now the concern that these genetically manipulated foodstuffs are harming human health is growing. Inserting a gene into a plant’s genome is a random and haphazard process that allows no control over where the gene actually ends up in the plant’s otherwise carefully constructed DNA. Insertions can show up inside other genes, can delete natural genes or permanently turn them on or off, and can cause significant mutations near the insertion site. For instance, one study found that a gene known to be a corn allergen was turned on in GM corn, though it was turned off in its conventional parent.

“It’s genetic roulette,” says Smith. “You can create carcinogens, anti-nutrients, toxins. We don’t understand the language of DNA enough to predict what might happen. It’s an infant technology, and we’re making changes that are permanent in the gene pool of species.”

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