Sunday, August 12, 2007
Posted in Environment Genetic Engineering Health Human Rights Organics PRISM NEWS PODCASTS | Tagged Environment, Genetic Engineering, Health, Human Rights, Organics, PRISM NEWS PODCASTS
This Prism Webcast News Bulletin:
- Organic Dairy and Meat Improves Quality of Mothers’ Breast Milk
- The NZ Gowan river protection a win for water conservation
- FSANZ Approves of GE animal food into human food chain regardless of safety doubts
- The Olympics countdown - one year left to fulfil human rights promises made by the Chinese Communist Party
- And a Special guest interview with Dr Betty Martini on the Dangers of Aspartame
Organic Dairy and Meat Improves Quality of Mothers’ Breast Milk
A new study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, showed that organic dairy and meat products in a mother’s diet positively affect the nutritional quality of her breast milk-markedly by increasing beneficial fatty acids.
The research showed that a diet in which 90% or more of dairy and meat products are organic is related with measurably higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is a type of fat that is believed to have anti-carcinogenic, anti-atherosclerotic, anti-diabetic and immune-enhancing effects, as well as a favourable influence on body fat composition. For newborns specifically, CLA is believed to especially aid immune system development. The study involved 312 breastfeeding women with 1-month old infants from the Netherlands.
The researcher’s findings provide scientific support for the common sense understanding that organic foods are healthier.
I spoke to Dr. Lukas Rist, who is the lead author of the study and the head of research at the Paracelsus Hospital in Switzerland.
NZ Gowan river protection a win for water conservation
A recent NZ Environment Court decision confirming that the Gowan River on the west coast of the South Island should be protected from inappropriate hydro development is an important win for the river and for New Zealanders, Forest & Bird says.
The Majac Trust sought to vary the Buller Water Conservation Order that protects the Buller river and its tributaries like the Gowan to allow water diversion and discharges necessary to develop a hydro-electric power project on the Gowan River.
Forest & Bird, Fish and Game, the Department of Conservation, rafting companies and many individuals had opposed the original application and won, when the Majac hydro electric proposal was rejected by a special tribunal last year.
The case then went to the Environment Court, where the same groups again opposed the application at hearings in Nelson earlier this year. The Environment Court has now made the same decision as the tribunal and recommended against varying the Water Conservation Order.
I spoke to Forest & Birds Top of the South Field Officer Debs Martin.
FSANZ Approval of GM animal food into human food chain regardless of safety doubts
The Trans Tasman Food Authority, Food Standards Australia/New Zealand (FSANZ) admit they need more information to assess GE foods but have gone ahead to approve LY038 in Australia but not New Zealand. Monsanto High Lysine (LY038) Corn has seen the application degraded from a human to animal one over four years “in case it enters the human food chain”, even though it has a high potential to produce toxic by-products when cooked.
The approval was made despite FSANZ having insufficient information on the product and against warnings from New Zealand scientists that the GE corn could present health risks when cooked.
But FSANZ has disclosed that it will be amending the FSANZ Act to address the shortcomings that meant vital information was not required to be provided by applicants.
The admission casts a shadow over previous approvals of GE foods that have been widely opposed by consumers and concerned scientists and medical professionals.
But Industry assessment of data has differed significantly to independent studies on GE food safety. There has been mounting evidence of danger that has been documented in both industry and independent tests in GE animals feeding studies.
I spoke to Claire Bleakely the President of GE Free NZ about this latest development.
The Olympics countdown - one year left to fulfil human rights promises
With just under one year to go before the Olympics take place in Beijing, many in China and abroad are beginning to look ahead to assess the likely legacy of the Games for human rights in China. Amnesty International recently released a report on human rights issues they are monitoring ahead of the August 2008 Olympics to assesses how the promises made by Chinese communist officials to improve human rights in the run-up to the Olympics.
While positive steps have been made in some limited areas, Amnesty International remains concerned that these are overshadowed by other negative developments - in particular the growing crackdown on Chinese human rights activists and journalists as well as the continued use of Re-education through Labour’ (RTL) and other forms of detention without trial.
Official statements suggest that the Olympics are being used to justify such repression in the name of harmony’ or social stability’ rather than acting as a catalyst for reform. Global experience shows that the best way to ensure social stability is to ensure the protection of fundamental human rights based on the rule of law.
Many in China and around the world have high expectations for human rights progress in relation to the Olympic Games. However, the image of the Olympics continues to be being tarnished by ongoing reports of the house arrest’, torture or unfair trial of Chinese activists and the extension of systems for detention without trial in Beijing as part of the city’s clean-up’ ahead of August 2008.
I spoke to Gary Reese from Amnesty International NZ about the human rights situation in China one year out from the Olympic Games and started off by asking him what is that Amnesty International wants the Chinese communist government to do.
The Dangers of Aspartame by Dr Betty Martini
The New Zealand Soil & Health Association and the Safe Food Campaign recently hosted Dr Betty Martini the founder of Mission Possible International, a worldwide volunteer force of individuals and support groups who are very concerned about the health issues of aspartame the artificial sweetener put in many food products such as diet drinks, desserts, chewing gum, vitamins and other medications etc.
Mission Possible International is committed to removing the toxic synthetic sweetener aspartame/Additive 951 from the world food chain. This product often appears under the brand names Equal and Nutrasweet in New Zealand and is a component in many diet, diabetic, fitness and consumer medical products including Diet Coke, Wrigley’s “No Sugar” chewing gums, Roche’s Vitamin B tablet drink, and many popular breath fresheners.
Dr Martini was invited to New Zealand in the wake of Abby Cormack’s well publicised poisoning with sugar free chewing gum.
Additive 951/aspartame is technically defined as L-Aspartyl-l-phenylalanine methyl ester, 98%, aspartame CAS #22839-47-0, C14H18N2O5, or more popularly described since 1981 (when it was approved for general use by the US FDA) under various brand names - Nutrasweet, Equal, Spoonful, Benevia, Equal Measure, Canderel, etc. This synthetic sweetener rapidly breaks down in the human body into three chemicals hazardous to human health: - (1.) Aspartic acid, (around 40%); (2.) Phenylalanine, (around 50%); and (3.) Methanol (10%). Although both aspartic acid and phenylalanine are amino-acids essential to human metabolism they are never presented to the human body in the raw chemical synthetic form that aspartame’s breakdown represents. Hence they assault the human brain and nerve pathways with the same addictive violence as methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin with consequent health problems.
In this podcast I interview Betty Martini about the dangers of aspartame, but first I needed to find out how to pronounce it correctly.