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Thursday, March 29, 2007

# 102 FrankenRice: Its on the way - Here it Comes

Thought I was kidding in my prior posts! Read my # 90, # 89,# 68, and the ones about soy beans.This insanity needs to stop immediately. Did send a protest on this, but I understand that March 30,2007, is the cut-off date to protest.

Dear Reader,
Here's a dish that's sure to appeal to consumers: Human Genes 'n' Rice!
Come on now - admit it - how many times have you sat down to a bowl of steaming rice and thought, "This would sure go great with some human genes!"
How many? Zero times? I'm with you all the way. In fact, I expect that just about nobody could warm up to the idea of eating a genetically modified (GM) plant that contains human genes.
Here's the good news: These plants aren't actually grown for human consumption.
Here's the bad news: These plants exist, and when the wind blows their seeds, there's no telling where they might go.
-------- Have your "golden tickets" ready ---------------------------
Earlier this month, the USDA gave Ventria Bioscience (a California biotech company) preliminary approval to plant more than 3,000 acres of rice engineered with human genes that produce proteins found in breast milk. But this rice won't be sold to consumers - the proteins will be extracted and used for a medication that treats children with diarrhea. And that's the whole point: Growing the proteins is more efficient and less costly than manufacturing synthetic versions.
In a recent NutraIngredients-USA article titled "GM: A Healthy Debate," Jess Halliday noted that using genetically modified crops to improve human health might be the "golden ticket" that will finally convince a wary public that tinkering with genes in our food supply is just fine after all. So far, the general public isn't convinced this tinkering is safe. Ms. Halliday describes our cautious attitude like this: "turning their noses up like petulant toddlers."
That's got to be a new low in condescension. Especially given the fact that just a few days later another NutraIngredients-USA article noted that a variety of GM corn had produced liver and kidney toxicity in rats.
If I turn up my nose at potential kidney and liver toxicity, am I behaving like a petulant toddler? I suppose I am if there's a GM crop that will treat kidney and liver failure.
----------------------- Show me ------------------------------------
If the final USDA approval goes through, Ventria will plant more 450 acres of their Human Genes 'n' Rice this spring. That planting will be done in Kansas, but definitely not Missouri. Why not Missouri?
Interesting story.
Ventria originally proposed to plant its crop in the Show Me State, but that didn't sit well with beer maker Anheuser-Busch, which happens to be the largest rice buyer in the U.S. Anheuser-Busch executives threatened to purchase all their rice outside Missouri if Ventria went forward with the planting, so Ventria took its strange rice to Kansas.
Now why would Anheuser-Busch execs draw a line in the Missouri dirt? Because they were concerned about human-gene rice contaminating the crops that provide rice for their beer. But a line in the dirt (such as the long line that separates Kansas and Missouri) won't stop a rice crop from wandering.
Long story short: You can't contain nature, and you can't keep a plant engineered with human genes neatly contained in a single field.
------------------- Just say "NO!" --------------------------------------------
As I mentioned above, Ventria's green light for planting their Human Genes 'n' Rice is preliminary. If enough people voice their concerns about this Frankenfood, the USDA may be persuaded to step back and tread more carefully before they allow human genes to be grown in a crop that's typically grown for food.
But here's the catch: The public comment period for this issue ends tomorrow. So if you'd like to voice your opposition to this human gene "experiment," the time to speak up is now.
You can get specific information about how to give the USDA a piece of your mind at Michele Cagan's HSI On the Spot blog, which you'll find at the link below. Just look for her March 21, 2007, posting, titled "Stop Rice Pharming!!"

Monday, March 26, 2007

101 Fries, Thighs & Lies: Why you might want to read this

While I have not , as yet, read the book, what is said in her write-up, regards fats, is right on target.

Nutritionist attacks the food pyramid as an outdated monument to marketing.
BY Nancy Maes
Special to the Tribune
( Q - section 13 - Sunday March 25,2007 )
Deborah Arneson had a rude awakening when she started counseling people on how to lose weight based on everything she had been taught about the food pyramid and realizedthey were gaining weight instead. The licensed clinical nutritionistchronicles her experience in
demystifying the misinformation about diets and details a more effective way to slim down in her book :'
Fries, Thighs, and Lies" ( ISBN 1591201942 at Amazon )
(Basic Health Publications,$14.95).
Arneson discovered the major flaw in her early advice when she toured the headquarters of the American Dietetic Association, which was asked by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to turn the four food groups into a well-balanced diet. The result was the 1992 food pyramid and then the 2005 MyPyramid."The ADA has a wall that is about 30 feet long and about 6 feet high that lists all the food vendors that support the association," Arneson recalled. "There can't be much truth in information when all these people are feeding the coffers of the ADA."She concluded that "the pyramid is not a safe place to find information for a diet. lf you eat the food-pyramid way, you will eventually look like a pyramid and be small on the top and large on the bottom with thunder thighs."So what's a self-respecting nutritionist to do? Arneson found the answer on a trip to a village in India. "I saw women in their 60s, 70s and80s who looked 20 to 30 years younger. Their cheeks were full, their eyes were shining bright, their hair was hardly gray and they were very limber," she recalled. She discovered they were simmering fish, lamb and chicken in sesame and coconut oil and eating avocados off the trees."They were eating a lot of fat, and the women were all lean, so when I got back to Chicago, instead of recommending 30 to 35 percent healthy fat a day, I recommended 50 percent, and the fat on my patients started melting away."Arneson's book includes the three pyramids for proteins, fats and carbohydrates divided into the good, the bad and the ugly that she developed. The "good" are reflected in the foods Arneson may eat on a typical day: a protein drink that includes a tablespoon of coconut oil and a tablespoon of Healthy Balance oil for breakfast; hummus and rice crackers for a mid-morning snack; lemon Parmesan organic chicken and teriyaki broccoli for lunch; a sliver of goat cheese and grapes in midafternoon; homemade chicken sausage with peas and green beans for dinner; half an avocado before bedtime; and plenty of water, which is not in the pyramid. But Arneson admits that when the waterpipes broke at her office, her pipes froze at home and she had a medical emergency in her family she went to McDonald's and had a small chocolate milkshake and fries. In self-defense she said, "There are not four food groups, there are two food groups. There are physical health foods to stay lean, but some-times you need mental-health foods to make you feel good."