Things worth reading today

Here are some links:

newspaperCN_1194Hormones in packaging: Toronto Globe and Mail reporter Martin Mittelstaedt writes that at least 50 chemicals capable of interfering with hormones are permitted in packaging in the United States and the European Union.

Stop the killer eggs: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a regulation expected to prevent each year 79,000 cases of foodborne illness and 30 deaths caused by consumption of eggs contaminated with the bacterium Salmonella enteritidis.

Not so secret: Washington Post writer Brian Krebs tells us that researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have found that it is possible to guess many — if not all — of the nine digits in an individual’s Social Security number by simply knowing a person’s birth data.

Track the hazards: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a web-based Environmental Public Health Tracking Network, a surveillance tool that scientists, health professionals, and – for the first time – members of the public can use to track environmental exposures and chronic health conditions.

Making it safe to eat: Cheese pizzas are inspected by the FDA, while pepperoni pies go to the USDA. Washington Post reporters Jane Black and Ed O’Keefe do a good job of explaining the Obama administration’s efforts to overhaul food safety regulations that have been blamed for a steady stream of food recalls and related illnesses.


Things worth reading today — 1 Comment

  1. This is good news if they can reduce the burden of agrichemical residues in certain kinds of produce. As an example, a couple of days ago I ate half a cantaloupe that gave me a slight headache and made my tongue feel “hot” for hours. Whatever substances cause this, they are the same sensations that also sometimes happen after eating too many slices of watermelon or too many peaches or nectarines. This is absent in the organic versions of the same fruit. It happens often enough when I eat two or three bananas that I’m getting more careful about buying organic bananas.

    So if I can notice this occasionally with my unadorned senses when I eat too much of some types of fruit (imported or not), without the need of any scientific instrumentation at all, why can’t the FDA officially notice it? Somehow I can’t believe that a level of residues that can cause these observable effects is benign enough for the FDA to approve.

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