US places ban on Chinese food imports


More than 1200 Chinese children have been hospitalised after drinking tainted milk formula (AFP)

Products from the dairy company whose tainted formula killed at least four babies are back on the shelves in China just as the United States issued a ban on Chinese food imports in case of similar contamination.

Such a broad ban by the Food and Drug administration on goods from an entire country rather than from a new rogue manufacturer is unusual and reflects the level of concern over how widespread the problem is in China.

Importers to the United States must now certify that food products are free of dairy or of the industrial chemical melamine that has been found in a vast array of Chinese products – from baby powder to milk powder to creamy confectionery. Failing that, the goods will be stopped at the border.

The FDA order said: “The problem of melamine contamination is not limited to infant formula products. Chinese government sources indicate contamination of milk components, especially dried milk powder, which are used in a variety of finished foods.” These are believed to spread throughout the food chain in China.

Read moreUS places ban on Chinese food imports

Rare Treatment Is Reported to Cure AIDS Patient

Doctors in Berlin are reporting that they cured a man of AIDS by giving him transplanted blood stem cells from a person naturally resistant to the virus.

But while the case has novel medical implications, experts say it will be of little immediate use in treating AIDS. Top American researchers called the treatment unthinkable for the millions infected in Africa and impractical even for insured patients in top research hospitals.

“It’s very nice, and it’s not even surprising,” said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “But it’s just off the table of practicality.”

The patient, a 42-year-old American resident in Germany, also has leukemia, which justified the high risk of a stem-cell transplant. Such transplants require wiping out a patient’s immune system, including bone marrow, with radiation and drugs; 10 to 30 percent of those getting them die.

“Frankly, I’d rather take the medicine,” said Dr. Robert C. Gallo, director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, referring to antiretroviral drugs.

Read moreRare Treatment Is Reported to Cure AIDS Patient

Radioactive Beer Kegs Menace Public, Boost Costs for Recyclers

Scrap metal is processed at the Jewometaal Stainless Processing B.V. in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, on Tuesday, April 22, 2008. Photographer: Roger Cremers/Bloomberg News

Nov. 11 (Bloomberg) — French authorities made headlines last month when they said as many as 500 sets of radioactive buttons had been installed in elevators around the country. It wasn’t an isolated case.

Improper disposal of industrial equipment and medical scanners containing radioactive materials is letting nuclear waste trickle into scrap smelters, contaminating consumer goods, threatening the $140 billion trade in recycled metal and spurring the United Nations to call for increased screening.

Last year, U.S. Customs rejected 64 shipments of radioactive goods at the nation’s ports, including purses, cutlery, sinks and hand tools, according to data released by the Department of Homeland Security in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. India was the largest source, followed by China.

“The world is waking up very late to this,” said Paul de Bruin, radiation safety chief for Jewometaal Stainless Processing BV in Rotterdam, the world’s biggest stainless-steel scrap yard. “There will be more of this because a lot of the scrap coming to us right now is from the 1970s and 1980s, when there were a lot of uncontrolled radioactive sources distributed to industry.”

On Oct. 21, the French nuclear regulator said elevator buttons assembled by Mafelec, a Chimilin, France-based company, contained radioactive metal shipped from India. Employees who handled the buttons received three times the safe dose of radiation for non-nuclear workers, according to the agency.

Operations at the factory are now back to normal and the company has cut ties with the “source” of the radiation, Mafelec said in a statement. “In the worst-case scenario the exposure would have been under that of a medical scan,” Chief Executive Officer Gilles Heinrich said.

1 Million Missing Sources

Many atomic devices weren’t licensed when they were first widely used by industry in the 1970s. While most countries have since tightened regulations, it is still difficult to track first-generation equipment that is now coming to the end of its useful life.

Abandoned medical scanners, food processing devices and mining equipment containing radioactive metals such as cesium-137 and cobalt-60 are often picked up by scrap collectors and sold to recyclers, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear arm. De Bruin said he sometimes finds such items hidden inside beer kegs and lead pipes to prevent detection.

There may be more than 1 million missing radioactive sources worldwide, the Vienna-based IAEA estimates.

Read moreRadioactive Beer Kegs Menace Public, Boost Costs for Recyclers

Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

£13m shed-size reactors will be delivered by lorry

Nuclear power plants smaller than a garden shed and able to power 20,000 homes will be on sale within five years, say scientists at Los Alamos, the US government laboratory which developed the first atomic bomb.

The miniature reactors will be factory-sealed, contain no weapons-grade material, have no moving parts and will be nearly impossible to steal because they will be encased in concrete and buried underground.

The US government has licensed the technology to Hyperion, a New Mexico-based company which said last week that it has taken its first firm orders and plans to start mass production within five years. ‘Our goal is to generate electricity for 10 cents a watt anywhere in the world,’ said John Deal, chief executive of Hyperion. ‘They will cost approximately $25m [£13m] each. For a community with 10,000 households, that is a very affordable $250 per home.’

Read moreMini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Tyson Foods Injects Chickens with Antibiotics Before They Hatch to Claim “Raised without Antibiotics”

(NaturalNews) Tyson Foods, the world’s largest meat processor and the second largest chicken producer in the United States, has admitted that it injects its chickens with antibiotics before they hatch, but labels them as raised without antibiotics anyway. In response, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) told Tyson to stop using the antibiotic-free label. The company has sued over its right to keep using it.

The controversy over Tyson’s antibiotic-free label began in summer 2007, when the company began a massive advertising campaign to tout its chicken as “raised without antibiotics.” Already, Tyson has spent tens of millions of dollars this year to date in continuing this campaign.

Poultry farmers regularly treat chickens and other birds with antibiotics to prevent the development of intestinal infections that might reduce the weight (and profitability) of the birds. Yet scientists have become increasingly concerned that the routine use of antibiotics in animal agriculture may accelerate the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that could lead to a pandemic or other health crisis.

After Tyson began labeling its chicken antibiotic-free, the USDA warned the company that such labels were not truthful, because Tyson regularly treats its birds’ feed with bacteria-killing ionophores. Tyson argued that ionophores are antimicrobials rather than antibiotics, but the USDA reiterated its policy that “ionophores are antibiotics.”

Read moreTyson Foods Injects Chickens with Antibiotics Before They Hatch to Claim “Raised without Antibiotics”

Harvard Psychiatrists Hide Millions of Dollars Received from Drug Companies

(NaturalNews) A congressional investigation has revealed that a group of Harvard psychiatrists, instrumental in pushing the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children and its off-label treatment with antipsychotics, concealed from university officials the millions of dollars they earned in consulting fees for the companies that make those drugs.

Iowa Sen. Charles E. Grassley requested the financial disclosure reports that Drs. Joseph Biederman, Timothy E. Wilens and Thomas Spencer had filed with Harvard University between 2000 and 2007. He then asked a handful of pharmaceutical companies for their own records on how much had been paid to the researchers in that time.

The numbers reported by the drug companies were much higher than those on the researchers’ forms.

“Basically, these forms were a mess,” Grassley said. “Over the last seven years, it looked like they had taken a couple hundred thousand dollars.”

Upon being confronted with the discrepancies, the researchers admitted to having concealed certain consulting fees and upped their estimates. These new numbers still fell short of those reported by the drug companies.

Biederman, for example, originally told Harvard that he had received no money from Johnson & Johnson in 2001. When Grassley asked him to double check, Biederman admitted to receiving $3,500. The drug company’s records, however, recorded payments of $58,169 to Biederman in that year alone.

A more thorough investigation revealed that Biederman and Wilens had received at least $1.6 million from the pharmaceutical industry between 2000 and 2007, while Spencer had received at least $1 million.

Read moreHarvard Psychiatrists Hide Millions of Dollars Received from Drug Companies

Dispelling the Myths Surrounding Homeopathy

(NaturalNews) In this article, I would like to dispel a plethora of myths surrounding homeopathy which have been used to discredit this highly efficacious healing art and science. Homeopaths are given few opportunities in the media to defend their profession, so a lot of misconceptions abound. The medical profession in general presents a fierce and blinkered opposition, yet as Big Pharma is learning of all sorts of amazing cured cases, they are determined to stamp out competition via EU regulation.

Myth No. 1 – Homeopathic medicines cure nothing

Read moreDispelling the Myths Surrounding Homeopathy

Chinese shoppers shocked by tainted food scandal

BEIJING, China (CNN) — Consumers in Beijing’s malls and shops are shunning the milk and poultry sections — for good reasons.

Poultry products, including eggs, may be contaminated with melamine through animal food.
Poultry products, including eggs, may be contaminated with melamine through animal food.

They are shocked and scared by the news headlines: some food produced in China is tainted with melamine.

“Of course I’m worried,” says a woman shopping in Nanxiaojie Market. Stop eating eggs? “That’s not possible,” she tells CNN. “If there’s a problem with eggs, it should be solved fundamentally.”

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao says China will take steps to win back consumers.

Read moreChinese shoppers shocked by tainted food scandal

Chinese melamine scandal widens

There are fears contamination could be widespread throughout the food chain

The toxic chemical melamine is probably being routinely added to Chinese animal feed, state media has reported.

Correspondents say the unusually frank reports in several news outlets are an admission that contamination could be widespread throughout the food chain.

The melamine scandal began early in September, when at least four Chinese babies were killed by contaminated milk, and thousands more became ill.

The news led firms across Asia to recall products made from Chinese milk.

The problem widened last weekend when the authorities in Hong Kong reported that melamine had also been detected in Chinese eggs.

Four brands of eggs have since been found to be contaminated, and agriculture officials speculate that the cause was probably melamine-laced feed given to hens.

Melamine is high in nitrogen, and the chemical is added to food products to make them appear to have a higher protein content.

‘Open secret’

Several state newspapers carried reports on Thursday suggesting that the addition of melamine to animal feed was widespread.

Read moreChinese melamine scandal widens

China vows penalties as melamine eggs scare spreads


Eggs from mainland China are seen at a wholesale market in Hong Kong Monday. Wal-Mart pulled all the eggs from its store shelves Tuesday across the country over melamine fears.
Bobby Yip/Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) – Authorities in a northeastern Chinese city on Wednesday vowed severe punishment for those responsible for melamine-tainted eggs turning up in Hong Kong, as the health scare spread to another city in eastern China.

At least four children have died and tens of thousands were made ill amid the melamine scandal, the latest in a series of health scares to sully the “made in China” label.

Chinese products ranging from chocolate to milk powder have been recalled throughout the world due to contamination fears. Melamine, used in making plastic chairs among other things, is often added to cheat nutrition tests.

Chinese eggs have now come under the spotlight, after Hong Kong food safety authorities over the weekend found melamine-tainted eggs produced by Hanwei Group in the northeastern port city of Dalian on local shelves.

Problem eggs have now been found in Hangzhou, capital of the eastern province of Zhejiang, the official Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday, citing quality authorities there who had ordered a city-wide recall of all “Ciyunxiang”-brand eggs.

Read moreChina vows penalties as melamine eggs scare spreads