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Science, Schmienze

Columnist Terence Corcoran rages against anti-genetically engineered food activists, rightly noting that these special interest groups have no qualms about using junk science to prove their point. "Greenpeace, for example, is making the rounds of newspaper editorial boards and using its usual technique: If the science isn't there, then make it up," said Corcoran.
Posted January 18, 2000 at 12:00 am

With A Little Help From Their Friends

Prompted by environmental groups, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is forcing farmers who plan on growing GE corn next spring to plant up to 50 percent of their crop with conventional seed. The EPA bases its unprecedented action on a controversial Cornell University laboratory study that found pollen from GE corn could kill Monarch butterfly caterpillars, despite the fact the author of the study maintains that the conditions created in the laboratory are extremely unlikely to be duplicated in nature.
Posted January 12, 2000 at 12:00 am

No Happy Meal For Him

The director of the University of Pennsylvania's Weight and Eating Disorder Clinic blames the fast-food industry's marketing practices for causing obesity: "You don't see them giving away toys with health meals… When you look at all the fast-food marketing to children, it's analogous to tobacco marketing. Super-sizing. Big Gulp. It's absolute junk food… People should have ethical standards when they promote products to children." ("He'll let you eat fast food, but fie on the French fries," The Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/15/99, No link available.)
Posted January 12, 2000 at 12:00 am

Black As Hell, Strong As Death, And Sweet As Love

U.S. News & World Report treats millions of coffee-lovers to six java-jivin' websites, including a "Wine Spectator" style review site and dozens of inexpensive gourmet blends.
Posted January 12, 2000 at 12:00 am

Et Tuu, Fido?

One of the latest rages among vegetarians is to force their dogs to go vegetarian too. Vegetarians claim an all-plant diet will transform Fido from fat to fit. However, Dr. Andy Turkell of the American Animal Hospital Association says, "The obesity issue has nothing to do with too much meat… A dog's closest relative in the wild is the wolf. Wolves kill plant eaters like rabbits and eat their intestinal contents, which contain carbohydrates. You have to respect your dog's ancestry and anatomy."
Posted January 11, 2000 at 12:00 am

The Matrix Chickens

The power of the internet to perpetuate urban legends is being felt by KFC. A recent e-mail claims that Kentucky Fried Chicken had started calling itself KFC because it no longer uses real chickens. Instead, the e-mail claims KFC uses genetically altered organisms that are kept alive by tubes that "have no beaks, no feathers, and no feet." The University of New Hampshire, mentioned as having done a study on the KFC "chickens" in the e-mail, set up a web page to handle the hoax which is getting about 15 to 18 hits per minute per day.
Posted January 10, 2000 at 12:00 am

Label Food Out Of Existence

Nannies on the editorial staff at the Capital Times (Madison, WI), are calling for labels on genetically modified foods, including foods in restaurants. Noting that some chains, including McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut and Domino's, have removed genetically engineered ingredients from their menus in the UK, the Times asks, "Do those corporations continue to dish out genetically modified foods at their restaurants in countries that do not label-most particularly the United States? Of course. …It's time for the United States to require the labeling of all foods sold in this country."
Posted January 7, 2000 at 12:00 am

Legislating In What We Eat

Calling obesity “a full blown health crisis and truly a national epidemic,” Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) promoted her “Lifelong Improvements in Food and Exercise Act” at a press conference…
Posted January 7, 2000 at 12:00 am

CSPI At It Again

As the FDA considers labels for food containing trans fat (including labels for restaurants making a health claim or providing nutritional information on menu items), The Center for Science in the Public Interest is calling upon diners to forgo all restaurant fried foods (especially whole fried onions and Buffalo wings), salads with meat and cheese, and even mayonnaise, until trans fat labels are put in place.
Posted January 6, 2000 at 12:00 am

A Sticky-Sweet Situation

Anti-aspartame activists have taken their campaign against the sweetner across the pond to the UK with some success. The British government has in the past agreed with the FDA's assessment that aspartame is perfectly safe, but, having been influenced by the scare tactics of activists, some British officials are calling for further investigation. One Member of Parliament demanded, "Aspartame should be withdrawn immediately pending further investigation."
Posted January 6, 2000 at 12:00 am