Food harmful.


General information related to chemical risks in food

Chemicals are the building blocks of life and affect many, if not all, aspect of human metabolism. However, human exposure to toxic chemicals and nutritional imbalances are currently known or suspected to be responsible for promoting or causing cancer, kidney and liver dysfunction, hormonal imbalance, immune system suppression, musculoskeletal disease, birth defects, premature births, impeded nervous and sensory system development, reproductive disorders, mental health problems, cardiovascular diseases, genitor-urinary disease, old-age dementia, and learning disabilities. These conditions are prevalent in all countries, and all of them, to some extent, can be attributed to past and current exposure to chemicals in the foods we eat. Consequently, the protection of our diets from these hazards must be considered one of the essential public health functions of any country.

Under the World Trade Organization's Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement, food traded internationally must comply with Codex Standards that are established to protect health of consumers on basis of a sound risk assessment. Such assessments are based on global toxicological evaluations performed by Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives ( JECFA ) and Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues ( JMPR ) and estimates of exposure to chemicals in the diet and in specific foods. Such exposure assessments often are based on data on levels of chemicals in food from the WHO Global Environment Monitoring System - Food Contamination Monitoring and Assessment Programme (GEMS/Food) database as well as national data, matched with consumption data for food from the five GEMS/Food Regional Diets.

When exposure to a chemical in food approach or exceed the acceptable level of intake, maximum levels for chemicals in food may be set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, often based on at the lowest level achievable as shown by data submitted by countries. Developing countries rarely have data to contribute to the development of Codex Standards and therefore may be disadvantaged by these standards in terms of trade. Without this data, developing countries also cannot identify their priority food safety issues for risk management interventions that can ensure safer food, protect public health, and facilitate exports.

4 Most Harmful Ingredients in Packaged Foods.

Ninety percent of Americans' household food budget is spent on processed foods, the majority of which are filled with additives and stripped of nutrients. Discover which common ingredients in the foods you eat pose the greatest risk to your health.

Grab the broccoli with cheese sauce from the freezer, the box of instant rice pilaf from the pantry, or the hot dogs from your fridge and squint at the ingredient list's fine print. You'll likely find food additives in every one.

Is this healthy? Compared to the foods our bodies were built to eat, definitely not.

Processed, packaged foods have almost completely taken over the diet of Americans. In fact, nearly 90 percent of our household food budget is spent on processed foods, according to industry estimates.

Unfortunately, most processed foods are laden with sweeteners, salts, artificial flavors, factory-created fats, colorings, chemicals that alter texture, and preservatives. But the trouble is not just what's been added, but what's been taken away. Processed foods are often stripped of nutrients designed by nature to protect your heart, such as soluble fiber, antioxidants, and "good" fats. Combine that with additives, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Here are the big four ingredients in processed foods you should look out for:


Trans fats are in moist bakery muffins and crispy crackers, microwave popcorn and fast-food French fries, even the stick margarine you may rely on as a "heart-healthy" alternative to saturated-fat-laden butter.

Once hailed as a cheap, heart-friendly replacement for butter, lard, and coconut oil, trans fats have, in recent times, been denounced by one Harvard nutrition expert as "the biggest food-processing disaster in U.S. history." Why? Research now reveals trans fats are twice as dangerous for your heart as saturated fat, and cause an estimated 30,000 to 100,000 premature heart disease deaths each year.

Trans fats are worse for your heart than saturated fats because they boost your levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol and decrease "good" HDL cholesterol. That's double trouble for your arteries. And unlike saturated fats, trans fats also raise your levels of artery-clogging lipoprotein and triglycerides.

Trans fats will be listed on the "Nutrition Facts" panel on food beginning in 2006. Until then, check the ingredient list for any of these words: "partially hydrogenated," "fractionated," or "hydrogenated" (fully hydrogenated fats are not a heart threat, but some trans fats are mislabeled as "hydrogenated"). The higher up the phrase "partially hydrogenated oil" is on the list of ingredients, the more trans fat the product contains.

Replacing trans fats with good fats could cut your heart attack risk by a whopping 53 percent.


Choosing refined grains such as white bread, rolls, sugary low-fiber cereal, white rice, or white pasta over whole grains can boost your heart attack risk by up to 30 percent. You've got to be a savvy shopper. Don't be fooled by deceptive label claims such as "made with wheat flour" or "seven grain." Or by white-flour breads topped with a sprinkling of oats, or colored brown with molasses. Often, they're just the same old refined stuff that raises risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attacks, insulin resistance, diabetes, and belly fat.

At least seven major studies show that women and men who eat more whole grains (including dark bread, whole-grain breakfast cereals, popcorn, cooked oatmeal, brown rice, bran, and other grains like bulgur or kasha) have 20 to 30 percent less heart disease. In contrast, those who opt for refined grains have more heart attacks, insulin resistance, and high blood pressure.

Read the ingredient list on packaged grain products. If the product is one of those that are best for you, the first ingredients should be whole wheat or another whole grain, such as oats. The fiber content should be at least 3 grams per serving.

Two More to Check Labels For

Three-quarters of the sodium in our diets isn't from the saltshaker. It's hidden in processed foods, such as canned vegetables and soups, condiments like soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce, fast-food burgers (and fries, of course), and cured or preserved meats like bacon, ham, and deli turkey.

Some sodium occurs naturally in unprocessed edibles, including milk, beets, celery, even some drinking water. And that's a good thing: Sodium is necessary for life. It helps regulate blood pressure, maintains the body's fluid balance, transmits nerve impulses, makes muscles -- including your heart -- contract, and keeps your senses of taste, smell, and touch working properly. You need a little every day to replace what's lost to sweat, tears, and other excretions.

But what happens when you eat more salt than your body needs? Your body retains fluid simply to dilute the extra sodium in your bloodstream. This raises blood volume, forcing your heart to work harder; at the same time, it makes veins and arteries constrict. The combination raises blood pressure.

Your limit should be 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day, about the amount in three-fourths of a teaspoon of salt. (Table salt, by the way, is 40 percent sodium, 60 percent chloride.) Older people should eat even less, to counteract the natural rise in blood pressure that comes with age. People over 50 should strive for 1,300 mg; those over 70 should aim for 1,200 mg.

Only the "Nutrition Facts" panel on a food package will give you the real sodium count. Don't believe claims on the package front such as "sodium-free" (foods can still have 5 mg per serving); "reduced sodium" (it only means 25 percent less than usual); or "light in sodium" (half the amount you'd normally find).


Compared to traditional sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup costs less to make, is sweeter to the taste, and mixes more easily with other ingredients. Today, we consume nearly 63 pounds of it per person per year in drinks and sweets, as well as in other products. High-fructose corn syrup is in many frozen foods. It gives bread an inviting, brown color and soft texture, so it's also in whole-wheat bread, hamburger buns, and English muffins. It is in beer, bacon, spaghetti sauce, soft drinks, and even ketchup.

Research is beginning to suggest that this liquid sweetener may upset the human metabolism, raising the risk for heart disease and diabetes. Researchers say that high-fructose corn syrup's chemical structure encourages overeating. It also seems to force the liver to pump more heart-threatening triglycerides into the bloodstream. In addition, fructose may zap your body's reserves of chromium, a mineral important for healthy levels of cholesterol, insulin, and blood sugar.

To spot fructose on a food label, look for the words "corn sweetener," "corn syrup," or "corn syrup solids" as well as "high-fructose corn syrup."








The terms genetically-modified (GM) or genetically-engineered (GE) foods and genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) refer to crop plants created for human or animal consumption using the latest molecular biology techniques. These techniques of modern genetics have made possible the direct manipulation of the geneticmakeup of organisms. Combining genes from different organisms is known as recombinant DNA technology and the resulting organism is said to be "genetically modified," "genetically engineered," or "transgenic." . Like most human planetary management issues today, such as global climate change, the GM foods issue is hugely complex. GM foods have great promise and great dangers. AAEA leans in the direction of aggressive market production with needed oversight regulations in a global management context. If all goes well, one thing is certain, we will have to feed about 12 billion people everyday in the next 50 years.

Good and evil are moral choices humans are free to make. As applied to technology, these moral choices present great opportunities and great dangers. We manipulate atoms to light our buildings and to make weapons of mass destruction. Companies produce chemicals to make our lives easier, but sometimes cut corners in the management, storage and disposal to maximize profits. We utilize coal, oil and gas for our cars, businesses and utility needs, but these same natural resources pollute our air and water without adequate protections. Twenty first century choices face us in stem cell research, cloning and genetically modified foods. Proponents and opponents present their cases and policy-makers are faced with protecting the public interest. Unfortunately, human history is littered with cases of indiscretions by people with evil intentions. It is within this context that we look at the case for genetically modified and engineered organisims and foods.

We support prudent use of genetically modified foods. We believe that labels should be placed on all GM products. We also understand the risks involved, but believe the benefits far outweigh the costs. Starvation is much more dangerous to more people than any threat presented by GM foods. Droughts and famine are increasing throughout the world, particularly on the continent of Africa. Although some traditional environmental groups insist that they are simply providing facts about potential health and environmental effects of GM foods, others oppose it as a Frankenstein product. Of course, none of these groups have programs to feed the world's hungry. Some USA based social justice groups, such as the Africa Faith & Justice Network are opposing USA policies that impose GM food aid on southern African countries facing severe drought and famine. In addition to concerns about health effects, they think it is a tactic to blatantly benefit agri-business, not poor and hungry people. We understand the health concerns, but see nothing wrong with agri-business profiting from such exchanges. Captialism feeds America. In fact, Americans are suffering more from overeating than lack of food. As planetary managers, we must understand that there are no benign systems that can provide for human needs and we are obligated to protect the planet to the maximum extent possible. One major advantage of GM food is that crops genetically engineered to resist weeds and bugs enable farmers to decrease pesticide and herbicide use. Of course, superweeds and bugs could also be inadvertently created. Planetary management is very complex and serious business.

The fight over the use of genetically modified corn provides a good example to illustrate the issues involved in the use of this product. Interestingly, one of the leading opponents to new GM produce, Europe, has preliminarily approved(January 2004) the sale of GM corn via the European Commission. The Council of Ministers will make a final decision this year. Opponents promise to sue to stop the use of GM corn in the EU. Environmental opponents believe GM products threaten biodiversity and will release potentially harmful contaminants into the environment. We support Friend of the Earth's proposed "GM Contamination and Liability Bill" being introduced in the British Parliament. The bill calls for a strict approach to any future planting of GM crops, including those planted for trial purposes. It stipulates minimum separation distances between GM and organic/conventional crops, clarifys liability issues if cross-contamination occurs, and ensures the regulation of GM is simple and that all overseeing bodies are self-funded. We do not support the Five Year Freeze associated with the bill.

Genetically modified technology will not eliminate hunger and malnutrition because dysfunctional governments and economies create problems with production, access and distribution of food. Flawed policies, greed and imcompetence will always keep some people in ignorance and poverty. However, GM foods can improve survivability and increase productivity of plants in inhospital conditions. GM foods can also reduce the need to use large quantities of herbicides andpesticides. Of course, this does not stop Mendocino County, California -- considered by some to be the center of America's anti-biotechnology movement-- from holding a vote to prohibit GM plants and animals from being raised or kept in the county. Such anti-GM entitites consider it to be the biggest uncontrolled biological experiment going on in the world today. Although proof of serious harm to humans, animals and plants has yet to be definitively proven, opponents fear that humans and the environment could be damaged through accidental cross-pollination of GM products with natural plants. This is a legitimate fear, but is not sufficient to ban the use of all GM products. Proponents point out that negative effects are nonexistent, pointing out that not a single stomach ache has been reported since the Food and Drug Administration first approved genetically engineered crops for human consumption in 1994. Great Britain's Food Standards Agency also favors the use of GM foods. Of course, most health effects of concern, including cancer and the results of long-term damage to the immune system take years to become evident. And then there would be the complex task of directly associating any damaging effects with GM products.

All types of foods and organisms have been genetically engineered: corn, cotton, tomatoes, soybeans, sugarbeets, oilseed rape, maize, salmon, pigs, cows, and the list goes on. With about 6 billion people eating everyday, we need every reasonable tool known to man to assure adequate nutrition for Earth's residents. GM foods, property utilized, can help meet these needs in a number of ways: pest resistance, herbicide tolerance, disease resistance, cold tolerance, drought tolerance and salinity toleranc, among others. Many countries are growing GM crops: U.S., Canada, China, Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Mexico, Romania, South Africa, Spain and Uruguay. Interestingly, according the USDA approximately 54% of all soybeans cultivated in the U.S. in 2000 were genetically-modified. In the U.S., three government agencies have jurisdiction over GM foods: EPA evaluates GM plants for environmental safety, the USDA evaluates whether the plant is safe to grow, and the FDA evaluates whether the plant is safe to eat. Mandatory food labeling is also a complex issue. The FDA's current position on food labeling is govered by the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which is only concerned with food additives, not whole foods or food products that are considered GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe). The FDA contends that GM foods are substantially equivalent to non-GM foods, and therefore not subject to more stringent labeling. If all GM foods and food products are to be labeled, Congress must enact sweeping changes in the existing food lableling policy. The Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act (HR 2916) is probably a good place to start for food labeling.



Copyright ©2008 Kotelov Valery.