As if I don’t have enough to worry about.

We moved to Brooklyn from Long Island City in 2008. I was pregnant, we were living in a big drafty third floor walk up apartment with no laundry that overlooked the midtown tunnel toll plaza and just beyond that, the Newtown Creek, you know, one of the most polluted waterways in the country.  I wasn’t excited about the idea of raising a baby exposed to those toxins. And this is aside from the fact that Jeremy works in a shop on the Gowanus canal, a brand new Superfund site. I relish the day he comes home having sprouted a second head.

And now there’s this “a just-released report by the National Cancer Institute that showed a 9.4% increase in childhood cancer between 1992 and 2007, the FDA let moms and dads all across America down. Instead of making the long overdue move to do something serious about getting rid of toxic food dyes so ubiquitous in our food supply, they instead fell back on those two simple words so often used to stall, delay and deny: “more research.”” Link to the full article at Healthy Child, Healthy World here.

But if you don’t feel like clicking on the link, the gist of the article is that so much of our packaged food, most of which is marketed towards kids, includes artificial dyes and food colors, and links are being made between these dyes and hyperactivity, cancer and food allergies. Okay, so we as progressive parents know about these dyes, and to read labels and avoid processed foods when we can, but if you’re still with me, here’s the kicker. Major food manufacturing corporations, I’m looking at you Kraft, Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, have removed these dyes from food they manufacture and sell in other countries. What ?!?!

In the UK, these companies “have voluntarily removed artificial colors, the preservative sodium benzoate, and even aspartame from their products. Particularly those marketed to kids. Take a close look at the ingredient list for the product below.”

So if these companies have proved that they can make healthy processed foods without the added chemicals, WHY can’t they do it for our kids? Why can’t the FDA just admit that added chemicals are not good for us and let’s move on. In the meantime, keep reading those labels and keep eating clean.
But wait, there’s more. I just heard this crazy statistic – up to 80% of the antibiotics used in the US are given to farm animals, and only 20% go to sick people.  The animals in question are not necessarily sick, but are given the drugs prophylactically so they’ll grow faster and won’t get sick from the wholly unhealthy conditions they live under. A regular grass fed cow takes something like 5 years to go to slaughter, whereas a corn-fed cow given an unhealthy dose of antibiotics can be ready for slaughter in 9 MONTHS. This is bananas.
Props to NY Congresswoman, Louise Slaughter, (the only microbiologist in Congress) for raising awareness and bringing this to the floor. Back in 2009 she introduced the The Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA), designed to ensure that we preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics for the treatment of human disease. Last month she reintroduced the bill. The new bill aims to prevent certain antibiotics from being given to animals, because they’re the same ones (think tetracycline, penicillin, etc.) that we humans rely on to fight off dangerous infections. The more those antibiotics are given to animals, the more antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” develop—and these superbugs are responsible for a growing number of deaths. For example, each year 90,000 Americans die from bacterial infections acquired during hospital stays, and 70 percent of those infections were resistant to the drugs that should have conquered them.
If you’ve stayed with me this far, some things you can do. Buy organic meat, dairy and eggs. Rather than spend the money to eat antibiotic laden food , spend the money, buy the good stuff and eat less of it. Write your congressperson and ask them to support PAMTA. Click here for an easy link.


Filed under Family, healthy eating, Healthy habits, mom stuff

2 responses to “toxins=gross

  1. Food and Drug Administration FDA is meeting Wednesday and Thursday to see if theres a link between commonly used food dyes and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD and if so what should be done…The topic pits the food industry against some parents public watchdog groups and academics whove long agitated for a closer look at the additives…Right now the FDA says theres not enough evidence to definitively say that food dyes contribute to ADHD and no one is expecting a ban on specific food dyes anytime soon. ..This weeks meeting is significant because it is the first time the FDA has acknowledged that food dyes may affect children in a limited way said Doctor David Schab a psychiatric researcher and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia Psychiatry and the New York State Psychiatric Institute in New York City…Schab whos slated to testify at the hearing called it a big step forward. ..The question the panel is dealing with is do the dyes cause ADHD or might they simply trigger some nonspecific behaviors such as irritability and insomnia Schab said. ..Jeff Cronin a spokesman for the Center for Science in the Public Interest — which has long lobbied for a ban on the dyes — said that the evidence that artificial food dyes worsen some childrens behavior is pretty convincing. ..Cronin hopes the FDA panel will recommend warning labels on foods with these additives and encourage companies to switch to safer colorings.

  2. Pingback: The Truth About Antibiotics & Your Food « Natural Child World

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