Filed Under: Uncategorized

Some Tidbits From Our News File

The Wall Street Journal picks apart a new book by obesity warrior Ellen Ruppel Shell, saying that her argument “rejects any possibility of personal responsibility and thus denies dignity to the very group it is attempting to help.”

Joyless eating maven Marion Nestle tells the Seattle Times today that food marketers, schools, and Uncle Sam are all to blame for the perceived “epidemic” of obesity in America. Meanwhile, parents in New Mexico have figured out that energy output is just as important a piece of the puzzle as food intake. Asked about the junk food debate in the local schools, one Albuquerque dad said: “Our time would be better spent finding PE teachers.”

Veterinarians and wildlife officials in Illinois tell the Associated Press that chronic wasting disease (called “mad deer disease” by food-scare activists) “poses no threat to people.”

Another one for the “campaign finance abuses” file. A food co-op in Corvallis, Oregon is being investigated on charges that it illegally gave discounts to customers who worked for the campaign to enact “Measure 27,” the biotech food labeling initiative that was defeated on Tuesday. Oregon law forbids giving away anything of value in order to influence people’s political choices.

The “Campaign to Label GE Foods” announced this morning that it is “creating turn-key templates” for activists to use in “the next round” of biotech labeling fights. “Our goal over the next two years,” says The Campaign’s Craig Winters, “is to get hundreds of city and county resolutions passed in support for labeling of genetically engineered foods. And we want to get labeling bills introduced in dozens of states.”

In the aftermath of Florida’s “pregnant pig” constitutional amendment, the Humane Society of the United States told the Washington Post this morning that they “expect to put this measure on several more state ballots in the future.” The smart money is on Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, where an activist victory could cripple the pork industry and result in much higher meat prices for consumers.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has waded back into piggy politics, this time telling a Canadian audience that pork farming is “a devastating industry.” Check out our profile of Kennedy’s Water Keeper Alliance for the scoop on why he does what he does.

David Suzuki, Canada’s answer to Carl Safina, is telling his countrymen that they must eat less meat in order to save the planet. Echoing the upcoming “Meatless Mondays” campaign, Suzuki urges Canadians to “choose at least one day a week to eat meat-free meals.”

Ralph Nader’s group Public Citizen is still whipping up a frenzy of fear over irradiated meat, even though the USDA supports its inclusion in school lunches and grocery stores are struggling to keep up with demand.

In a rare moment of sanity, the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s Michael Jacobson told the New York Times recently that “the general food supply is basically safe.”

And speaking of CSPI, the group is taking advantage of next week’s Harry Potter movie release to re-hash last year’s attack on soft drinks. Coca-Cola is committed to spending $150 million dollars on child literacy programs, using the Harry Potter phenomenon as a hook to attract kids to reading. CSPI says shame on them. You be the judge.

The government of Zambia is reportedly furious at aid workers in a refugee camp who have been distributing biotech corn to starving people. Aid workers said that 125,000 people are depending on that food to survive, and that riots will ensue if the maize is taken away.

A Michigan State University professor has launched the nation’s first comprehensive web site dedicated to “animal rights law.”

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