UK lobbyists leak documents as EU vitamin and mineral levels debate continues

The battle over permitted vitamin and mineral levels in European food and food supplements continues.  Now, UK-based Consumers for Health Choice (CHC) has leaked documents from Food Supplements Europe (FSE) that support the resolution of the maximum permitted levels (MPLs) issue as soon as possible.  ANH-Intl’s Robert Verkerk PhD observed there was “nothing new” in this push for harmonisation.  He is also optimistic that Dutch independent research organisation, TNO, will provide a more scientifically rational way of determining maximum levels that cater more for the benefit of the consumer.

Dementia cases 'set to treble worldwide' by 2050, but could be preventable

Prior to the G8 dementia summit in London, figures were released estimating that dementia worldwide is set to treble by 2050.  Patrick Holford, from UK charity Food For The Brain, maintains that 50% of the population could be prevented from developing Alzheimer’s disease.  Using their online Cognitive Function Test offers a rational basis for introducing specific preventative measures, such as diet, exercise, increasing the level of B vitamins to support healthy homocysteine levels, blood pressure, prioritising social connections and maintaining an active brain.  UK prime minister David Cameron has announced plans to double the annual funding for dementia research going forward.  

Frozen chicken can be up to 18% water

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is currently investigating whether the practice of pumping water into chicken to ‘improve the succulence’ breaches food regulations.  Supermarkets such as Aldi, Asda, Sainsbury's and Iceland are making shoppers pay up to £1.54/kg for frozen chicken — chock full of what is basically water.  The meat is shipped from Brazil and saves the firms millions of pounds each month, because the EU import tariff is lower than for untreated chicken.  Since we don’t expect that this is unique to the UK, we advise asking some searching questions of the supermarkets in your country — or better still, cut out the middleman and buy organic from the farm gate!

Link between abortion and breast cancer

A new meta-analysis published in Cancer Causes & Control has found that induced abortion is “significantly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer among Chinese females.”  This possible causal relationship is something that medical experts and researchers have denied for decades, as have leading cancer groups, but there appears to be a definite connection.  Dr. Joel Brind, a biology professor at New York City’s Baruch College, has been involved in the abortion-cancer debate since 1996 and has published his own review of the issue in the British Medical Association’s epidemiology journal that supports the meta-analysis.

Hawaii says no to GMOs

On December 5th 2013, Hawaii Mayor Billy Kenoi made a GMO ban official by signing it onto law.  The law makes it illegal for any biotech companies to operate on the Big Island and prohibits farmers from growing any new genetically modified crops.  Interestingly, the bill doesn’t include the island’s GMO papaya industry.  So no to GMO, unless they’re GMO papayas!  Score 1 for the GM papaya lobby.

Role of Vitamin D questioned

French scientists have recently cast doubt on the powers of vitamin D supplements.  They say that low vitamin D levels may be the result, rather than the cause, of ill-health, and that D doesn’t protect against diseases such as cancers, diabetes and dementia.  However, the scientists, writing in the Lancet, didn’t look at bone diseases and recommend that more clinical trials on non-skeletal diseases are needed.  Peter Selby, consultant physician and honorary professor of metabolic bone disease at Manchester Royal Infirmary, believes the French review is limited but agrees that more interventional research is required.

Eating a healthy diet costs just £1 extra a day

There really is no excuse for an unhealthy diet now!  Researchers have compared diets rich in vegetables and fruits with diets rich in processed foods, and discovered that it only costs £1 (€1.19/$1.64) more, per day per person, to eat healthily.  The research looked at 27 studies from 10 countries, including the USA, Canada, Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and Brazil.  The study evaluated the differences in prices per serving and per 200 calories for individual items of foods, and prices per day and per 2,000 calories for overall diet patterns.  So, for a mere £1, €1.19 or $1.64 a day, everyone has access to one of the most powerful preventative health systems that nature has to offer.

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concludes that aspartame is safe

EFSA has announced that the widely used artificial sweetener, aspartame, is safe following “…one of the most comprehensive risk assessments of aspartame ever undertaken”.  EFSA’s Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Foods (ANS Panel) reports there is no risk to the developing foetus, brain, nervous system or cognitive function.  While EFSA has tried to lay waste to the extensive studies carried out by the Ramazzini Institute, we remain unconvinced.  The millions who have reported adverse side effects or intolerance to aspartame are likely to feel similarly.


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