Natural Foods Merchandiser

California Sues Tuna Manufacturers
Tuna canners should have warned consumers about mercury in their products, said California Attorney General Bill Lockyer. Lockyer filed suit June 21 against the makers of StarKist, Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea, citing Proposition 65, which requires warnings if products contain known carcinogens or reproductive toxins.

In March 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency advised adults to eat no more than 12 ounces per week of fish and shellfish. Lockyer?s office tested albacore and light canned tunas and found higher levels of mercury than considered safe by either agency.

?We?re not trying to eliminate tuna from people?s diets. We?re trying to enforce the law and protect the health and safety of California women and children,? Lockyer said.

?This suit ? will needlessly scare consumers away from affordable foods that are good for them,? said U.S. Tuna Foundation Executive Director David Burney.

FDA Asked to Recall Body Care Products
The Environmental Working Group wants the Food and Drug Administration to issue warning labels or recall 367 personal care products that EWG says have ingredients with unproven safety records. EWG surveyed 2,300 people and found the average adult uses nine cosmetic products daily and is exposed to 126 chemical ingredients. Of 10,000 products studied, 356 contain ingredients that lack safety data to support use in personal care products, said EWG. Another 19 contain ingredients such as ceteareth-20 or sodium borate, which EWG said may be harmful even when used as directed.

?Cosmetics companies that sell products in Europe have to remove chemicals that can cause cancer, mutations and birth defects? by this fall, said Charlotte Brody, executive director of Commonweal, a research institute. There?s no reason they couldn?t market the same toxin-free formulations of their products in the United States, she added.


Vitamins Enlisted in Fight Against AIDS
In a study published July 1 in The New England Journal of Medicine, a team working in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, found AIDS-infected women taking multivitamins had a slower disease progression than a control group.

Researchers gave 1,078 pregnant women either vitamin A, vitamin A and a multivitamin (B-complex, C and E), a multivitamin alone or placebo. Almost 25 percent of women taking just a multivitamin progressed to late-stage AIDS or died, compared with 31 percent of those taking placebo.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and Muhimbili University carried out the study, funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXV/number 8/p. 9

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