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Test Uses Low-Tech Litmus Paper to Detect E. Coli

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Litmus paper, long known as a low-tech method of testing substances for acidity, might have a new use as a cheap, quick way to test for E. coli, according to researchers at McMaster University in Ontario. The researchers correlated levels of E. coli bacteria with pH values represented by the colors to which the litmus… Continue Reading

WHO Study Measures Global Burden of Listeria

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In 2010, Listeria monocytogenes was estimated to infect 23,150 people worldwide. It killed 5,463 of them, or 23.6 percent, according to a new study by European researchers in the World Health Organization (WHO) published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. The researchers say that an urgent effort is needed to fill in information on Listeria infections… Continue Reading

Legislation Would Muzzle Science Teachers in Virginia

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Science teachers in Virginia with an opinion about vaccines, raw milk, or genetically modified organisms in food would be best advised to keep their mouths shut under the currently proposed House Bill 207. Delegate Richard P. “Dickie” Bell (R-Staunton) is the “chief patron,” or sponsor, of the bill that local media suggest is probably aimed… Continue Reading

E. Coli Protein Study Could Help Advance Detection, Treatment

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E. coli has earned its reputation as a deadly pathogen lurking in contaminated foods, but a multi-year study may give it some positive press as a source of medical knowledge and potential therapeutics. Researchers at Kansas State University are studying a protein secreted by E. coli bacteria that blocks functions of the body’s innate immune… Continue Reading

Journal Retracts Controversial GMO Study

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A controversial study suggesting that rats fed genetically modified corn were more likely to develop cancer has been retracted by the scientific journal that first published it. The study had been cited by opponents of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as evidence of their harm, but it was heavily criticized in the scientific community for failing… Continue Reading

It’s Not All About the Science

Opinion

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This article originally appeared in the October/November 2013 edition of Food Safety Magazine. The author has provided a number of references listed at the end of the article. “GMO health risks,”[1] “The sweet lowdown: Exposing the unhealthy truth about sugar,”[2] “Is high-fructose corn syrup bad for you?”[3] and “Chemical cuisine. Learn about food additives”[4] —… Continue Reading

Report: Problems Posed by Animal Agriculture Have Worsened in Recent Years

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In the past five years, policies by the Obama administration and Congress have worsened the problems that animal agriculture poses to public health, the environment and animal welfare, according to a new report by the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production. The new report, released Tuesday, serves as an update to a 2008 report… Continue Reading

New Study Ties Higher Rate of MRSA Infections to Living Near Swine Operations

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Pennsylvania residents living near pig farms or fields fertilized with pig manure were up to 38 percent more likely to acquire infections of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA, according to a new study by researchers from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Geisinger’s Henry Hood Center for Health Research. The… Continue Reading

IAFP 2013: Bridging the Gap Between Food Science and Public Perception

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With controversial issues such as genetically engineered foods, nanotechnology and Pink Slime occupying headlines that leave consumers concerned and food company executives wringing their hands, a panel of food safety experts convened on the second full day of the 2013 IAFP conference to answer a pressing question: How can the food industry bridge the gap… Continue Reading

Scientists Debate New Study on GMO-Fed Pigs

Study highlights issue of GM seed research restrictions

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Science commentators involved in the genetically modified food debate have weighed in on a new study that says pigs fed genetically modified grains suffered a higher rate of severe stomach inflammation and developed heavier uteri. Some experts have said the study shows evidence of a problem that warrants further study, while others have dismissed it… Continue Reading