Stevia Sweetener Safe or Not?
Just as soft drink companies are poised to introduce new products sweetened with Stevia-derivative rebiana, a new 26-page report by toxicologists at the University of California, Los Angeles showed in several laboratory tests that the sweetener causes mutations and DNA damage, which raises the prospect that it causes cancer. Based on the report, Center for Science in the Public Interest is urging the FDA to not approve the sweetener until further tests are done. Interestingly, the tests sponsored by Cargill, manufacturer of the new sweetener, did not have similar results.
Junk Food Still Available in Schools
Marion Nestle contemplates the recent CDC report showing that, despite the childhood obesity epidemic, about 80% of public schools still sell snacks or sodas to kids during school hours.
Making Safer Beef Illegal
A federal appeals court says the government can prohibit meat packers like Kansas Creekstone Farms from testing their animals for mad cow disease, despite the fact that the USDA only performs limited testing. The rationale? Fears of an “unfair” competitive advantage that their meats can be labeled safe, forcing the meat packing industry to perform expensive testing.
More Reason Corn Ethanol Just Doesn’t Make Sense
Agriculture Research Service in Alabama and Maryland showed that sweet potatoes yield two-to-three times the amount of carbohydrate for ethanol production over corn. The numbers came close to the minimums even of the highest yielding crop for ethanol production, sugar cane. Sweet potatoes also require less pesticides and fertilizer inputs than corn.