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Much as famine relief organizations are getting tired of ignorant anti-biotech protesters, the grown-ups at the World Health Organization are getting tired of the reckless kids at Ralph Nader's group Public Citizen. The WHO angrily denies Public Citizen's report claiming that irradiating food to kill bacteria is dangerous (see ACSH's booklet on the topic as well):

Gerald Moy, a food safety scientist at WHO, told United Press International he was "pretty miffed" at the charges in the report. "Public Citizen has never provided us with any documentation to support their charges that irradiation does all these...

Media coverage of the disastrous E. coli outbreak in Europe has become a source of both anxiety and relief for Americans: In Germany, nearly 3,000 have fallen ill thus far — 700 with acute kidney failure — and 27 have died, but there’s been no sign that this highly virulent form of E. coli has caused any illness in the U.S.

However, says ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross, the European epidemic is something of a wake-up call. While he emphasizes that Europe’s current outbreak should not cause any American to hesitate in the produce section, he does observe that food irradiation needs to be taken more seriously. “If food irradiation were more widely used, both here and in Europe,” he says, I believe that the...

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is calling for a vegetarian alternative to the food pyramid, claiming that adherence to the current food pyramid is not adequately combating obesity and diabetes, and is thus illegal. It is worth noting that PCRM is not a physicians group. The group is driven by a vegan agenda and animal rights interests.

Based on a Technical Paper by Clare Hasler, Ph.D.

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Executive Summary

Foods that may have health benefits beyond the traditional nutrients that they contain are often called "functional foods." The concept of functional foods has become popular in recent...

Reuters reports, “Cases of six common food poisoning agents have dropped sharply since the U.S. government started to monitor them closely in the 1990s, [CDC] officials reported on Thursday.”

“Plaintiffs’ lawyers are scrambling because they don’t know what to do with this,” says Stier. “They’ve been trying to make the case that food poisoning is a bigger and bigger problem in the U.S., when it fact it has declined.”

The food police agenda does not stop at attacking fast food. Last week we pointed out how the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), hungry for attention once again, petitioned the FDA to ban artificial dyes from food because they assert it exacerbates hyperactivity in some children (thankfully, the FDA denied their petition citing no evidence of this claim). Now, The New York Times’ Gardiner Harris has responded with an article highlighting the importance of food coloring in the sensory aspects of eating. For example, he points out that consumers...

Methods of modern biotechnology now provide farmers and food producers with advanced tools to produce more healthful and better tasting food, as well as produce which resist attacks by insects and survives inclement weather conditions. Genetically modified food is really nothing new: farmers have long performed cross breeding of plants to provide improved products. But today's sophisticated science allows food producers to make alterations selectively and with precision.

Rarely has there been such a widespread consensus on an issue as there is among scientists world wide on the subject of the utility and safety of genetically modified foods. Just last month , Nobel Prize winners Dr. Norman Borlaug and Dr. James Watson were among 1,000 scientists signing an open letter endorsing...

An article by Sara Solovitch in the December 19, 2005 Los Angeles Times on California's lawsuit against foods containing acrylamide included a quote from ACSH president Dr. Elizabeth Whelan -- and followed it with what may the public health overstatement of the year:

"Your attorney general has singled out French fries and potato chips, which reveals that something else is going on here," says Elizabeth M. Whelan, president of the American Council on Science and Health, a consumer advocacy group that receives funding from the food industry.

"There's a huge...

A May 10, 2006 letter to the editor in the Washington Times denounced an earlier piece by ACSH's Dr. Elizabeth Whelan:

Elizabeth Whelan's Commentary column ("Slow burn on fast food," Saturday) crystallizes the ongoing controversy regarding our nation's obesity epidemic. As she states, this is indeed a complex problem, and it will require complex solutions. In her commentary, however, [Dr.] Whelan unfortunately discounts any changes by fast-food establishments as potential contributions to such solutions.

If at all concerned about the health of our nation, [Dr.] Whelan should be eminently concerned with the eating habits of our society. Indeed, childhood obesity has...

To the Editor:

The Personal Health column on Dec.5 correctly notes the potential of genetically-improved food to help feed the world while reducing the need for pesticides ("Gene-Altered Foods: A Case Against Panic"). Genetic engineering is thoroughly regulated by at least three separate federal agencies. Scientific data reveal no cases of any human illness from GM foods, despite over four years of common use.

Superstition and fear should not interfere with this technology, which has so much to offer those who suffer from hunger and malnutrition. Unfounded concerns about hypothetical risks are far outweighed by the real benefits that will soon be realized, if scientific research and development of genetically-modified agriculture is allowed to proceed unhindered.