FDA’s plan to cut excess salt draws sharp criticism, unlikely supporters

On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration released a draft voluntary guidance for the food industry aimed at phasing out excess salt in processed and commercially prepared food over a span of 10 years. The move, which health experts say could save thousands of lives, has drawn mixed reactions from the food industry.

Source: FDA’s plan to cut excess salt draws sharp criticism, unlikely supporters

I think the Salt Institute’s opinion should be taken …with a grain of salt. 😉

Here’s Your First Look at America’s New Food Label

The FDA just released its first major change to its nutritional labels in over twenty years. Here’s the new label you can expect to see on the back of your food…

Source: Here’s Your First Look at America’s New Food Label

It’s nice that the new label will be listing potassium, as there’s less of a deficiency issue with vitamins A and C.  As for vitamin D?

If you’re vitamin D deficient, drink milk. It’s fortified with Vitamin D mainly because kids in the frigid northern portions of the country weren’t getting enough sunlight during the winter. If you don’t like plain you can get chocolate milk mix with no added sugar. If you’re lactose intolerant, then take it as a sign that God hates you (and the rest of the 50-60% of the population that’s also lactose intolerant).

FDA Moves to Ban Shock Devices Used to Treat Behavioral Problems

The Food and Drug Administration wants to ban electrical stimulation devices used to treat behavioral problems, saying they pose an “unreasonable and substantial” risk to public health. Uh, you think?

Source: FDA Moves to Ban Shock Devices Used to Treat Behavioral Problems

As a person that works with this population (developmentally disabled combined with a mental disorder) and also works in the facility that generally inherits JRC clients once they age out at 21, I can tell you that it’s quite a dilemma. One the one hand hurting someone to control behavior is wrong and also is prone to abuse as this population can be very frustrating. On the other hand these individuals haven’t responded well to medication and are generally highly self abusive. Would you rather see someone smash their head off the wall or rip their own teeth out or apply a small shock instead? After seeing the paper work on several individuals it appears highly effective. Honestly I don’t know the answer. I’m just glad my facility doesn’t use it. Currently there are several lawsuit against JRC by individuals who used to live there as well as counter suits to keep it open.

Don’t Feed Babies a Ton of Rice Cereal, Says FDA

It’s a cereal killer. 🙂

Rice cereal is a popular first food for babies. It’s also kind of high in arsenic, says the Food and Drug Administration, so if your kid gets a steady rice cereal diet, it’s time to diversify.

Source: Don’t Feed Babies a Ton of Rice Cereal, Says FDA

Boiling it and discarding the water (like how you make pasta) reduces the arsenic content, so that might help. The FDA’s fact sheet has some more info.  I’ve covered arsenic in rice in the past.

The FDA Just Found Widespread Salmonella Contamination in Spices

What’s in your spice cabinet right now? Some paprika, turmeric, and a little bit of cardamom, perhaps? How about salmonella?

Source: The FDA Just Found Widespread Salmonella Contamination in Spices

Before someone suggests growing your own, that accounts for only spices that are easy to grow while replacing your entire spice cabinet with said homegrown spices.  I’m not growing/harvesting/drying a year’s worth of black pepper just because FDA found traces of salmonella in just 6.6% of imported spices.

You Think You’re Putting Parm on Your Pasta, But It Might Actually Just Be Wood Pulp

Coming shortly after the news that the mafia is running a fake olive oil racket in Italy, the FDA is now warning cheese lovers that their Parmesan might be not just fake but made of—wait for it—wood bits.

Source: You Think You’re Putting Parm on Your Pasta, But It Might Actually Just Be Wood Pulp

The only way you get that additive is if you buy it in the aisle where the pasta and sauce usually are. Cheese spoils easily, so when in doubt go to the refrigerated section and buy a chunk there. If you grate it yourself (and sing while you grate it, something my Mom used to make me do so I wouldn’t eat the cheese) in a microplane, a little bit goes a long way.

Don’t Donate Blood for a Month if You’ve Been Exposed to Zika

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is urging people who’ve returned from places where the Zika virus is active to refrain from donating blood for at least a month, while also recommending against the collection of blood from any region with active transmission.

Source: Don’t Donate Blood for a Month if You’ve Been Exposed to Zika

Delay for at least 4 weeks, but if in doubt – take more time rather than less.

Why the Calorie is Broken

I’m kind of pissed at the scientific community for not coming up with something better.

Source: Why the calorie is broken

The problem with many weight loss attempts is that people ‘go on diets’ instead of ‘changing their diet’.  You have to change your diet for weight loss to be effective and stick.

Meat Industry Ignores FDA & Health Experts, Buys More Antibiotics

Despite recent efforts by health experts, doctors, and the Food and Drug Administration to pull the meat industry away from its heavy use of antimicrobials, livestock producers seem to have dug in their heels.

Source: Meat industry ignores FDA, health experts, buys more antibiotics

The American public has grown accustomed to low prices on beef, pork, and poultry.  Banning the use of antimicrobials and antibiotics for widespread use in these large factory farms, there will be a rise in costs to offset the animals lost to illness and disease.

The questions remain:

  • Will the public accept the higher prices on meat for a healthier, and more sustainable farming industry?
  • Will these industries give up their profits for a healthier, and more sustainable farming process?

The Man Who Wants to Beat Back Aging

On a blazingly hot morning this past June, a half-dozen scientists convened in a hotel conference room in suburban Maryland for the dress rehearsal of what they saw as a landmark event in the history of aging research. In a few hours, the group would meet with officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a few kilometers away, to pitch an unprecedented clinical trial—nothing less than the first test of a drug to specifically target the process of human aging.

Source: The man who wants to beat back aging

Metformin is a standard medication for diabetics, taken by millions since 1957.  One would think its anti-ageing powers would have been revealed by now…  They give no logic behind how they arrived at the 120 year lifespan.  I can only assume they extrapolated from worm and certain mice strain models – this methodology has been shown to be extremely flawed.