Posts Tagged ‘Food and Drug Administration’

Chick Fil-A To (Eventually) Stop Using Antibiotic-Filled Chicken – Consumerist

The FDA recently introduced voluntary guidelines that asked drug companies to stop selling antibiotics to farmers for non-medical uses.

Critics, including Consumerist, have pointed out that all this toothless guidance does is make farmers change the reason they buy the drugs; it has no effect on whether they are used or not.

Farm animal-related purchases account for half of the antibiotics purchased in the U.S. each year, but reps for the largest drug companies have stated that the FDA guidelines will have no significant impact on their bottom lines.

For its part, Chick-fil-A says it is asking its chicken suppliers to work with the USDA to verify that no antibiotics are administered at any point.

via Chick Fil-A To (Eventually) Stop Using Antibiotic-Filled Chicken – Consumerist.

More things to actually be concerned about — if you can, please do go for non antibiotic treated chicken.  You get way enough antibiotics already.  This isn’t a problem just for CFA; a *lot* of the chicken in the food supply is like this.

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Colonoscopy Fun: FDA Approves Tiny Camera That Travels Your Digestive Tract Taking Selfies —

via Colonoscopy Fun: FDA Approves Tiny Camera That Travels Your Digestive Tract Taking Selfies —

You won’t be able to just get this instead of the big hose scope cam, unless you have a reason the regular exam wouldn’t go well.  Other than your own fear of course.

Take my word for it, the prep for the regular exam is not as difficult as you might imagine, and if you’re wanting a ‘colon cleanse’, the prep is that.  The whole experience of the full exam is not that bad  .  This handy cam will be great for people who can’t do the regular exam safely.  But for the rest of us, if you’re going to do the prep, that’s the big difficulty, so go ahead and get the full exam while you’re cleaned out.

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FDA wants to ban trans fats from food, citing health concerns – NBC

The Food and Drug Administration has declared war on trans fats. The government agency said Thursday it would require food makers to gradually phase out artificial trans fats — the artery-clogging ingredient found in crackers, cookies, pizza and many other baked goods.The change could potentially prevent 20,000 heart attacks a year and 7,000 deaths, said FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg.While the amount of trans fats consumed by Americans has dropped dramatically over the last decade, they still “remain an area of significant public health concern,” Hamburg said during a press conference Thursday. The FDA hasn’t yet set a time table for sweeping trans fats from the market. “We want to do it in a way that doesn’t unduly disrupt markets,” said Michael Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods. Still, the “industry has demonstrated that it is by and large feasible to do.”Trans fats are considered harmful because they increase risks for heart disease by both raising bad cholesterol levels LDL and lowering good cholesterol HDL.

via FDA wants to ban trans fats from food, citing health concerns – NBC

Good news.  Of course you’ll note that this is just a statement of intent and there is no actual proposed end date.  So it’s not going to actually DO anything.

Dannon Under Fire For Use Of Carmine, Insect-Based Color Additive

Danone brand logo.

Dannon produces the bright red hue of some of its yogurts not only with fruit, but with carmine — a color additive made with the crushed bodies of cochineal beetles. The fact isn’t sitting well with the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), which believes many consumers are unaware they have consumed an insect-based ingredient.

via Dannon Under Fire For Use Of Carmine, Insect-Based Color Additive.

Protesters Hit Streets in 250+ Cities Across Globe

English: Brown Flax Seeds. Français : Graines ...

English: Brown Flax Seeds. Français : Graines de Lin cultivé (Linum usitatissimum). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“March Against Monsanto” protesters say they want to call attention to the dangers posed by genetically modified food and the food giants that produce it. Marches are planned for more than 250 cities around the globe, according to organizers.

via Protesters Hit Streets in 250+ Cities Across Globe Over Genetically Modified Food | Video |

Are GMO foods harmful to your body?  It’s really too soon to tell.

We’ll break down the good and bad that we do know, and you can judge for yourself.

The GOOD:  some GMO varieties so outperform traditional seeds that they can feed many more people per acre, which is especially important in developing countries without an adequate agricultural base.

The BAD:  once you start into GMO seed, you have to get them from the supplier.  For example, Monsanto.  You can’t save your own seed and replant again. Well you could, but there is in the case of Monsanto a very diligent enforcement of their rights to the seed.  So you lose your ability to plant the exact varieties you want, and to hybridize your own varieties based off your greatest successes, and you give up a lot of your freedom to choose.

Plus side:  more revenue for you.  Down side:  less freedom for you.  Unknown down side: what will happen to our food supply.

Natural Flavors

"The New Fred Meyer on Interstate on Lomb...

Natural Flavors…

The name sounds innocent enough, but these mild-sounding words are used by the food industry as an umbrella term for some pretty horrible stuff, including certain ingredients that come from extreme animal abuse.

via Natural Flavors & Castoreum.

Castoreum:  what’s in  the scent gland of beavers.  Usually used in colognes, often in those with the “leather” theme, but also  used in foods to help them retain their aroma of vanilla or raspberry, since smell is important to taste.

Here’s one more reason to try to eat mostly food that does not have bar codes.  Beaver butt juice.

Major blow to the idea of using Niacin to improve your HDL good cholesterol for reduction in risk of heart events


“Whitehouse Station, NJ – The Heart Protection Study 2-Treatment of HDL to Reduce the Incidence of Vascular Events (HPS-2 THRIVE) study has missed its primary end point and shown no clinical benefit for extended-release niacin [1].

After nearly four years of follow-up, the combination of niacin with the antiflushing agent laropiprant did not significantly reduce the risk of the combination of coronary deaths, nonfatal MI, strokes, or coronary revascularizations compared with statin therapy, according to Merck, the sponsor of the HPS-2 THRIVE trial. In a press release announcing the results, Merck said the combination significantly increased the risk of nonfatal but serious side effects.

Merck announced it will no longer be taking the drug before the US Food and Drug Administration to gain approval. The combination of extended-release niacin and laropiprant, known as Tredaptive or Cordaptive, was approved by European regulators in 2008, but Merck is advising doctors from starting any new patients on the drug.

This is the second major setback for physicians hoping that niacin, a drug that raises HDL-cholesterol levels, might be used clinically to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events. In May 2011, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)-sponsored Atherothrombosis Intervention in Metabolic Syndrome with Low HDL Cholesterol/High Triglyceride and Impact on Global Health Outcomes (AIM-HIGH) study, was halted early after showing no benefit of niacin when given in addition to statin therapy.”


What’s going on here — there’s a lot of effort in the supplement and natural foods corners for taking niacin in large doses, enough so it would make you have, trust me on this, I tried it, major red flushing and major itchy drive-you-nuts complications unless it’s timed-release — to raise your HDL and cut your risk of heart events.

What’s been found, twice now, is that while it’s possible to increase your HDL this way there’s no proof that it will help you reduce your risk of cardiovascular issues.

Pretty shocking, really.   There was a lot of hope that surely this was one can’t miss evidence that taking a nutritional supplement was good for you.    And again, as always, nope.  If you do not have a deficiency of a nutrient, taking more of it has never been shown to be of benefit.

We’re back to where we were a hundred years ago.  Eat.  Eat good food.  Eat in moderation and with an eye toward your health.