Food Safety


An extract from Bob Burton's Inside Spin: The Dark Underbelly of the PR Industry.

Brian Page, a 42-year-old railway worker, had been busy before Easter 1992 buying furniture for a house he had just moved into at Mt Pritchard, a south-western Sydney suburb. On their way home, his daughter Melissa wanted to stop at McDonald's in Fairfield for lunch. Shortly after returning home, Brian Page began vomiting and had diarrhoea. As Page's symptoms were initially indistinguishable from a bout of the flu, his doctor gave him a medical certificate and sent him home. Page took to bed for the next three days but on the fourth day went back to work, even though he wasn't feeling well. His boss noticed that Page was unable to write properly and seemed disoriented and confused by his work. He was so concerned about Page that he called a taxi and sent him home, but by then Page recognised something was seriously wrong and went straight to Liverpool Hospital. What was unknown to Page and his doctor was that he had been exposed to Legionella bacteria. If detected early, Legionnaires disease can be treated with antibiotics. Untreated, it can be a killer. Two days after being admitted to the intensive care unit of Liverpool Hospital, Page died. On what would have been his 43rd birthday, more than 100 family and friends attended his funeral.14

The Formula for Deceiving Mothers Online

Peggy O'Mara, the editor of Mothering Magazine, reports that "in addition to the inaccurate information on breastfeeding" by the media, the "marketing practices of the formula companies continue to undermine breastfeeding." She notes the existence of several "stealth" websites "that appear to be grassroots advocacy sites, but are actually mouthpieces for the formula industry." One of the websites,, is campaigning against proposed restrictions on the free bags of infant form

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! Diacetyl-Flavored Popcorn Makes Headlines

52 year old furniture salesman and nonsmoker Wayne Watkins suddenly found himself getting short of breath while golfing and singing in the choir. From his symptoms, doctors at Denver's National Jewish Medical & Research Center deduced that Watson had indulged excessively in an entirely different behavior that over time had reduced his lung capacity by 50%: eating microwave popcorn. Mr.

Monsanto: Time to Cry Over Spilled rBGH Milk?

Monsanto is discovering a troubling new side effect from use of Posilac, its controversial recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) injected into cows to increase milk production: use of rBGH is shriveling up the market for milk from Posilac-treated cows. In response to growing consumer demand for hormone-free dairy products, retailers are increasingly rejecting milk products derived from rBGH-injected cows.

Mad Cow USA - The Coverup Continues in Washington

The Associated Press notes that the Bush administration "will fight to keep meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease. The Agriculture Department tests fewer than 1 percent of slaughtered cows for the disease, which can be fatal to humans who eat tainted beef. A beef producer in the western state of Kansas, Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, wants to test all of its cows," but the US government has said such private testing is illegal. "U.S.

Food and Water Watch Covers Offshore Fish Farming Legislation on Congresspedia

As part of our ongoing series of partnerships with research and advocacy organizations, Food and Water Watch has established an informative page on offshore fish farming legislation on Congresspedia.

Out with the Old Front Groups & In with the New

Two former food industry websites -- Best Food Nation and the Grow America Project -- are being merged and re-birthed as a new front group, the Center for Food Integrity (CFI).

U.S. Agency Gives Vinyl Industry a Pass on Lunch Box Lead Content

Kids' vinyl lunch boxes often contain dangerous levels of lead, but government regulators have released to the public only the test results most favorable to industry, according to documents the Associated Press obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request. The Consumer Product Safety Commission found that 20 percent of boxes tested in 2005 contained unsafe amounts of lead--and several contained more than 10 times the safety level.

Coming to the Table in 2007: Cloned Beef?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has tentatively determined that milk and meat from cloned cows are safe to eat and indistinguishable from non-cloned cows. The agency may complete approval procedures for consumption of the animals and milk before the end of 2007.

Growers, Distributors Want Industry-Driven Regulation Despite E. Coli Outbreaks

U.S. safety regulations for produce have been relegated to the far reaches of government bureaucracies, tucked into an under-funded combination of U.S. Food and Drug Administration oversight and state agriculture bureaucracies.

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