Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mercury Found in Corn Syrup

Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient, according to two new U.S. studies.

HFCS has replaced sugar as the sweetener in many beverages and foods such as breads, cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups and condiments. On average, Americans consume about 12 teaspoons per day of HFCS, but teens and other high consumers can take in 80 percent more HFCS than average.

"Mercury is toxic in all its forms. Given how much high-fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered. We are calling for immediate changes by industry and the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] to help stop this avoidable mercury contamination of the food supply," said the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy's Dr. David Wallinga, a co-author of both studies.

Source: Washington Post

Monday, January 19, 2009

Delhi, India to Ban Plastic Bags

New Delhi has banned the use of plastic bags in all shops, starting very soon. Notification has been sent out to all shopkeepers, and they are being given 10 to 12 days to fall into line. After that, traders will have to pay a penalty or spend five years in prison (what!). That's the new law that the Delhi government says it is ready to enforce. Civil servants said that punitive measures were needed after another law prohibiting plastic bags was ignored. However they do accept that the new ban will have to be implemented slowly.

Source: Treehugger.com