- About one in every 100 persons with asthma (some 100,000 Americans) are sensitive to sulfites. These food preservatives are found in dried fruits, dehydrated potatoes, and some grape juices and carbonated drinks and may cause anaphylactic shock in sensitive persons.
- About 15 years ago the FDA banned the use of sulfites on raw fruits and vegetables in restaurants and supermarkets. Anyone sensitive to sulfites should avoid all foods that contain sulfur dioxide, sodium sulfite, sodium or potassium bisulfite, or sodium or potassium metabisulfite.
- In the U.S. each year, about 25 million pounds of antibiotics are routinely given to farm animals (poultry, hogs and cattle) that are not really sick. Why? To help fatten the animals more quickly and to prevent infection. The result? People who come down with foodborne illnesses, may not be effectively treated with antibiotics, since the bacteria causing the illness may have developed resistance to the antibiotics. These illnesses can be life-threatening to the elderly and very young children. Some European countries have recently banned the use of antibiotics, except for treating sick animals.
- McDonalds is now requiring its egg suppliers to ban the process known as "forced molting", which deprives hens of food and water for long periods of time to increase egg production. There are concerns that forced molting may increase the Salmonella levels in eggs.
- Food-borne illnesses continue to be a menacing health threat. The deadly food-borne pathogen, E. coli 0157: H7, which causes fever, lethargy, bloody diarrhea, and dehydration, is much more prevalent in the American meat supply than was previously thought. The E coli may be present in 50 percent of all cattle carcasses. This winter, egg cartons will carry a label warning consumers to thoroughly cook their eggs to avoid Salmonella poisoning, a leading cause of food-borne illness in the United States. For the second time in less than a year the FDA has issued an advisory warning against the consumption of raw sprouts (alfalfa, clover and radish sprouts). Three outbreaks of Salmonella have been associated with eating raw sprouts this year, affecting over 150 people. Contaminated water at the sprout facilities is to blame for these food-borne illnesses.
- The USDA announced in mid-April that all products provided by Thorn Apple Valley (TAV) in Arkansas were unfit for human consumption. TAV had recalled 30 million pounds of hot dogs and luncheon meat about 3 months earlier due to Listeria contamination. The company was asked to cease its production of meat products due to non-compliance with sanitation requirements.
Printer Friendly Page