Friday, August 21, 2009

Mercury Warning in Fish, Again!!

A sample of 291 freshwater streams by the US Government has revealed unexpectedly higher levels of contamination by the neurotoxin mercury. The study conducted by the US Geological Survey and based on EPA standards showed:
  • Over 1/4 fish had mercury concentration higher than EPA set levels.
  • Over 2/3 fish had levels that caused concern.
Atmospheric mercury from coal-fired plants and other industrial emissions is cited as the main source of the chemical which has contaminated water sources via precipitation. This study is significant as it is the first time it has included a comprehensive survey of mercury contamination in the water, sediments and fish of rivers and creeks throughout the United States. Previous studies focused largely on lakes, reservoirs and wetlands.

Highest levels of mercury were found in the coastal streams of North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Louisiana, areas that are considered relatively undeveloped and characterised by heavy pine forests and wooded wetlands. Significantly high concentrations were also seen in streams in the Western USA in areas traditionally associated with mining.
Mercury is a highly dangerous toxin that concentrates when it moves up the food chain. Eating fish and shellfish constitute the primary source of mercury poisoning in human beings.

It is expected that the EPA will issue new regulations under the Clean Air Act to control air emissions of mercury from coal-fired power plants late this year.

Also Read: Mercury in Fish

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pear Cider, Or Is it Perry?

Pear cider, otherwise known as Perry, is all the rage in Britain this year!! The market research firm AC Neilsen reports that as much as £47.6m of Perry was consumed in the year 2008. This year is also expected to have blockbuster sales in the product. The drink has become so popular that Tesco, one of the UK's largest food retailers is selling around 16 lines of Perry!! This is hardly surprise given that most pear ciders are light and refreshing and much lower in alcohol than other similar drinks!!

Read More: Britain's Gone All Pear Shaped

Image Source: Perry

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Popcorn Good For You?

Scientists are reporting that the popular snack food 'popcorn' may help prevent cancer. The discovery of high levels of health-boosting antioxidants called polyphenols in popcorn is what has lead to this conclusion. Polyphenols in food are believed to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Read more: Popcorn

Image Source: Popcorn

Monday, August 17, 2009

WCRFI Warning on Cancer Link to Processed Meats

Cold cuts and sandwich meats may make it easier for us to make a sandwich lunch for school and work. But is it healthy? This morning the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRFI) is warning against the frequent use of processed meats like ham, salami, hot dogs and bacon.

This comes in the light of research on adults that found that eating processed meat can increase the risk of bowel cancer. WCRFI argues that this evidence is so overwhelming that they issued the warning to cut down on meats early in life. Asking parents to see such meats as an occasional treat, the WCRFI is asking consumers to reduce their intake of the same alongwith any meat fillers that have high fat and calories.

Also Read: WCRFI

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Egypt Bans Trade in GM Foods

Despite last years approval on the cultivation of GM corn, Egypt is banning food imports and exports that are not certified as being GM free. Egypt's Agriculture Minister has instructed against the entry of any uncertified imports, especially wheat, corn and soya beans until samples of the cargo have been examined.

No further details are available at present. Egypt one of the world's largest wheat importers.