Would you like some phthalates with those fries?

According to a new analysis of data from US federal nutrition surveys, people who have eaten fast food in the last 24 hours are shown to have elevated levels of industrial chemicals in their body, Bloomberg reports. Levels of phthalates, a chemical used to make plastic more durable, were found to increase, which can pose a serious risk to health. Phthalates can interfere with the endocrine system and be very difficult for the body to excrete.

The new Frankenfungi

A new genetically modified mushroom has bypassed the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) vetting. Part of the Frankenfungi’s DNA has been removed to reduce browning, improving appearance and increasing shelf life. However, as no DNA had been added the GMO does not qualify for vetting by the USDA, instead leaving the decisions solely to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has been known to approve genetically modified crops with inadequate safety testing, resulting in a number of adverse effects including the recent deformation of butterflies.

Sat fat thinking proven wrong

Researchers have reopened archived data sets investigating the relationship between vegetable oils, lower cholesterol levels and heart risk”. The theory was that unsaturated fats lead to lower cholesterol and as a result lower the risk of heart disease. However, nothing in nature is rarely as straightforward and unfortunately this hypothesis has tarred many beneficial fats with a tainted brush. The study, conducted 45 years ago, compares data gathered from two groups of people. One group included only unsaturated fats in their diet and the other only saturated fats. It was found that members of the unsaturated fats group did have the greatest reduction in blood cholesterol, but were actually at the highest risk of death.

GM cotton of inferior quality

International Cotton in Burkina Faso, Africa, has terminated its contract with Monsanto after noticing that genetically modified cotton was of inferior quality. The group is currently evaluating the amount of compensation it will claim, due to the losses incurred by the disappointing yields and poor quality cotton fibre.

Multi drug-resistant bacteria the norm

A new study carried out by Michigan State University has found that antibiotic resistance is increasing, intensified by animal feeding operations using continuous amounts of antibiotics for growth promotion and disease prevention. The research shows that in some cases, such as large swine farms, “multi drug-resistant bacteria are likely the norm rather than the exception”.

Is the world saturated with GMO’s?

A recent study has shown that for the first time since genetically modified (GM) crops became broadly commercialised in 1994, the acreage of GM crops planted has not increased. The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications however believes this may simply be because the market has reached a point of saturation with more than 90% of corn, soybeans, cotton and canola grown in the United States, Brazil and Argentina already being GM.