January 31st, 2008 cate
Will a TV show be canceled because it features an attorney who successfully argues that a mercury-containing flu vaccine caused autism in one kid?
On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics will release the contents of a foreboding letter sent last week to ABC/Disney executives, demanding they cancel the January 31 premiere of a new legal drama series, Eli Stone, because it features a family attorney who successfully argues in court that a mercury-containing flu vaccine caused autism in one child.
The letter, signed by AAP President Renee Jenkins, borders on near-hysteria over a fictional television entertainment. It ominously warns that ABC “will bear responsibility for the needless suffering and potential deaths of children from parents’ decisions not to immunize based on the content of the episode.”
Dr. Jenkins calls on ABC to cancel the episode but, anticipating a refusal, urges executives to run a disclaimer that “no scientific link exists between vaccines and autism,” if the offending network “persists” in airing the show.
I share the AAP’s concern that parents should not be driven away from protecting their children from dangerous, even deadly diseases. But parents are far too smart to base such an important decision as immunization on the “content of the episode” of a single drama on broadcast television.
In fact, if I were Dr. Jenkins, I would be far more concerned about real news happening in the real world — events that not only suggest the possibility of some sort of link between mercury, vaccines and autism, but might alarm parents more than any fictional account written for ratings-grabbing mass entertainment.
If I were Dr. Jenkins, instead of fretting over a fake family engaged in a mock trial held in a make-believe court on some LA soundstage, I would be up at night wondering why the Federal Government recently conceded a real vaccine-autism lawsuit in a real court and will soon pay a real (taxpayer-funded) settlement to a real American family and a very real child with autism….
January 30th, 2008 cate
Cheap cheap fish! The above is an ad (from one of the large supermarket chains in France) for the fish known as Pangas (also called, Pangasius, Vietnamese River Cobbler, Basa Fish and White Catfish, Tra, Gray Sole). It was a reminder to tell you about the dangers of this strange but increasingly popular fish. I learned about them and how they’re raised a while ago on an informative documentary online here: Documentary about Pangas. (which is in French. If you don’t speak French, read below.)
Would the French call it Poisson ou poison?
Industrially farmed in Vietnam along the Mekong River, Pangas or whatever they’re calling it, has only been recently introduced to the French market. However, in a very short amount of time, it has grown in popularity in France. The French are slurping up Pangas like it’s their last meal of soup noodles. They are very, very affordable (cheap), are sold in filets with no bones and they have a neutral (bland) flavor and texture; many would compare it to cod and sole, only much cheaper. But as tasty as some people may find it, there’s, in fact, something hugely unsavory about it. I hope the information provided here will serve as very important information for you and your future choices. Here’s why I think it is better left in the shops (and not on your dinner plates):
1. Pangas are teeming with high levels of poisons and bacteria. (industrial effluents, arsenic, and toxic and hazardous by-products of the growing industrial sector, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT and its metabolites (DDTs), metal contaminants, chlordane-related compounds (CHLs), hexachlorocyclohexane isomers (HCHs), and hexachlorobenzene (HCB)). The reasons are that the Mekong River is one of the most polluted rivers on the planet and this is where pangas are farmed and industries along the river dump chemicals and industrial waste directly into it. To Note: a friend lab tests these fish and tells us to avoid eating them due to high amounts of contamination. Regardless of the reports and recommendations against selling them, the supermarkets still sell them to the general public knowing they are contaminated.
2. They freeze Pangas in contaminated river water. Ew.
3. Pangas are not environmentally sustainable, a most unsustainable food you could possibly eat – “Buy local” means creating the least amount of environmental harm as possible. This is the very opposite end of the spectrum of sustainable consumerism. Pangas are raised in Vietnam. Pangas are fed food that comes from Peru (more on that below), their hormones (which are injected into the female Pangas) come from China. (More about that below) and finally, they are transported from Vietnam to France. That’s not just a giant carbon foot print, that’s a carbon continent of a foot print.
4. There’s nothing natural about Pangas – They’re fed dead fish remnants and bones, dried and ground into a flour, from South America, manioc (cassava) and residue from soy and grains. This kind of nourishment doesn’t even remotely resemble what they eat in nature. But what it does resemble is the method of feeding mad cows (cows were fed cows, remember?) What they feed pangas is completely unregulated so there are most likely other dangerous substances and hormones thrown into the mix. The pangas grow at a speed light (practically!): 4 times faster than in nature…so it makes you wonder what exactly is in their food? Your guess is as good as mine.
5. Pangas are Injected with Hormones Derived from Urine – I don’t know how someone came up with this one out but they’ve discovered that if they inject female Pangas with hormones made from the dehydrated urine of pregnant women, the female Pangas grow much quicker and produce eggs faster (one Panga can lay approximately 500,000 eggs at one time). Essentially, they’re injecting fish with hormones (they come all of the way from a pharmaceutical company in China) to speed up the process of growth and reproduction. That isn’t good. Some of you might not mind eating fish injected with dehydrated pee so if you don’t good for you, but just consider the rest of the reasons to NOT eat it.
6. You get what you pay for – and then some. Don’t be lured in by insanely cheap price of Pangas. Is it worth risking your health and the health of your family?
7. Buying Pangas supports unscrupulous, greedy evil corporations and food conglomerates that don’t care about the health and well-being of human beings. They only are concerned about selling as many pangas as possible to unsuspecting consumers. These corporations only care about selling and making more money at whatever cost to the public.8. Pangas will make you sick – If (for reasons in #1 above) you don’t get immediately ill with vomiting, diarrhea and effects from severe food poisoning, congratulations, you have an iron stomach! But you’re still ingesting POISON not poisson.Final important note: Because of the prodigious amount of availability of Pangas, be warned that they will certainly find their way into other foods: surimi (those pressed fish things, imitation crab sticks), fish sticks, fish terrines, and probably in some pet foods. (Warn your dogs and cats and hamsters and gerbils and even your pet fish!)
Watch this Report on Pangas (in French) (Video excerpt from Capitale on M6, which aired about 3 months ago)
Links: Buying fish in France, Le Panga, nouvelle abération de la mondialisation ?
January 29th, 2008 cate
From the telegraph:
“Parents who feed their children ready-made puddings are unwittingly giving them excessive amounts of salt, according to health campaigners.
Nearly half the recommended daily salt intake for a young child is hidden in one serving of supermarket-bought jam roly poly, treacle sponge or sticky toffee pudding, a report reveals.
The research, carried out by Consensus Action on Salt and Health, also found that savoury food aimed at children, such as baked beans and sausages, contain levels of salt that are “dangerous” to their health.
Children aged four to six should eat no more than 3g (0.1oz) of salt a day, according to Government guidelines.
Those aged between one and three should have no more than 2g a day.
But CASH found that a can of Morrisons baked beans has 2.8g of salt, nearly the daily limit for a six year old, while a Waitrose Cornish pasty contains more than their maximum recommended intake at 3.2g.
Other foods have a surprisingly large amount of salt. A bowl of Rice Krispies contains more salt than a bag of crisps, around 0.65g compared to 0.5g.
A serving of butter-flavoured microwave popcorn has 2.2g of salt, two-thirds the recommended daily amount of salt for a six-year-old…”
January 28th, 2008 cate
You might not want to hear about this but if you read it here, maybe it’ll make you think about your soda consumption. For one and the most important reason: soda can cause a myriad of health problems. Is it worth it? I don’t think so. I gave up soda when I was a kid and it wasn’t that hard at all. Of course, I never really liked it that much in the first place, but some of you out there….sadly…are addicts.
First things first. What’s in soda?
High fructose corn syrup (which is soooooo sooo bad for your health), caffeine, carbonic or phosphoric acid and dyes. Nothing in soda is good for you. Even the water.
Why should you stop your beloved drink:
1. It destroys your bones – Soda pop leaches calcium from the bones. What does that mean? It means that you can develop a calcium deficiency and your bone density will be lower than normal, and that means you risk higher incidents of fractures. And we all know: Broken bones are no fun.
2. It’ll rot your teeth. Do you want rotten teeth? I didn’t think so. Imagine what your smile will look like. The sugar, and there’s lots of it in soda, contributes to a degradation on your tooth enamel, which leads to decay. The other substances in soda: carbonic or phosphoric acid will dissolve the calcium right out of the enamel, leaving a softened surface that lets bacteria enter the teeth and cause it to ROT. A NOTE: diet soda will rot your teeth too so don’t think you can play the “get out of jail” card with that one.
3. It will make you gain weight. Let’s call it the “soda diet” in which you participate to get FAT or OBESE! Consuming a lot of sugar and calories in soda causes weight gain. We’ve all seen that Americans are the fattest people on the planet. That’s nothing to be proud of. It’s really sad. But why are they? They eat too much. Duh!! but they also consume the most SODA than any other country. Do we see a correlation here? Answer: Yes. Guess what? A 20 ounce bottle of soda has 17 teaspoons of sugar! Haven’t you seen people coming from 711 and drinking a BUCKET size soda? Geez. That’s embarrassing.
4. Risk of Diabetes Increases – Weight gain will increase your risk for type 2 diabetes. What does it mean to have type 2 Diabetes? Your body does not make enough insulin to move the sugar into your cells and/or has trouble using insulin. If left untreated, over time serious health problems can develop. Diabetes is the leading cause of heart disease, kidney failure (read colas cause kidney problems), blindness, and amputation of feet or legs. Complications can be prevented or delayed by carefully monitoring and controlling blood glucose levels.
January 27th, 2008 cate
With the world economy on shaky grounds, one the best and most environmentally friendly ways to be a consumer is to swap items or buy used objects. It’s less wasteful to do this and it can be a really fun activity.
Even without the economy going downhill, doing this type of consuming seems to be the trend and you should be proud of yourself to be partaking in these earth-friendly green actions.
People tend to swap books, music and movies but you shouldn’t stop there. How about swapping some furniture?
IKEA is organizing a furniture swap at its Amsterdam store: a husselmarkt. No more than 250 people will be able to bring in furniture (not necessary from IKEA) and then swap it for furniture brought in by other people. IKEA will throw in 12,000 euros (about $17,700) worth of furniture for this Amsterdam Furniture Swap Meet. So, if you’re nearby, check it out. Should be kind of fun. Otherwise, no word yet as to whether IKEA will be doing these swaps at other world-wide locations. Stay tuned. This one is probably is a testing ground for possible future activities.
IKEA Furniture Swap
1101 BL Amsterdam Zuid Oost
Amsterdam The Netherlands
A NOTE: Please be careful with your furniture choices. Oftentime furniture is made out of very toxic and non-environmentally friendly materials (pressed board, wood that is preserved in formaldehyde, etc.). Choose your items accordingly.