Is cultured meat just another frankenfood?

With growing calls for a significant reduction to meat consumption comes increased interest in meat alternatives such as the Beyond Meat Burger and cultured meat. Investors are scrambling to be at the forefront of the development of lab-based ‘meat’ to satisfy the demand for ‘sustainable’ meat. A technology still in its infancy, there is still so much unknown about the safety of such products for human consumption given that they’re new-to-nature. We know that our bodies don’t respond well to processed and ultra-processed foods, so it could be a giant human experiment moving to cultured meats. The process requires live animals to provide stem cells, that are then engineered to provide all the nutrients that well-managed higher welfare meat gives us. ‘Frankenfood’ or healthy sustainable alternative to meat? Only time will tell.

WHO names ‘vaccine hesitancy’ as top-10 health threat

The World Health Organization (WHO) has named vaccine hesitancy among its ‘Ten threats to global health in 2019’. The report states that, “…vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease”. It also outlines its intention to ‘ramp-up’ efforts to eliminate cervical cancer and wild polio virus. The war on vaccine hesitancy is escalating around the world as more and more people begin to question the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. ANH-Intl has long campaigned for informed choice when it comes to vaccines so that any decision is based on sufficient evidence of both risk and benefit.

Philanthropic funding for natural health education in Australia

Despite the desire from certain quarters to see natural health extinguished, it’s refreshing to see philanthropic donations breathing life into ongoing education for natural health practitioners. Marcus Blackmore, a well known figure in Australian naturopathic medicine, has, together with his wife, donated $10 million AUD to Southern Cross University to further education in naturopathic medicine. University vice-chancellor, Adam Shoemaker, said the generous gift will be used to establish a National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine as a “World-class centre of excellence in innovative education and research in naturopathic medicine”. Ensuring the future of natural health practitioners is essential if we are to stem the tide of chronic disease and move from a model of managing to disease to promoting health as set out in our health sustainability blueprint.

Malaysian sugar reduction focuses on traditional drinks

Malaysia is soon to introduce a sugar tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB). The tax will not cover traditional drinks often consumed in mamak shops, such as sirap bandung, Milo, teh tarik (tea with condensed milk), kopi susu (coffee with condensed milk) and three layered tea, which are all extremely high in sugar. The Ministry of Health is now reaching out to local outlets offering such drinks to voluntarily reduce their sugar content as part of the fight against the obesity epidemic. Given the Malay's addiction to all things sweet, this could present more of an uphill battle than anticipated with local outlets disinclined to risk valuable business.