Washington, D.C.'s Food & Water Watch, a national consumer advocacy group, today released a paper that rebutts the recent claims by Kona Blue Water Farms that the fish it raises are more sustainable than wild fish. The consumer group's paper enumerates the problems with the Hawaii-based aquaculture operation's methods and debunks the claims that its Kona Kampachi fish are sixty times as efficieny as wild fish.
Kona Blue is the producer of Kona Kampachi, a variety of Pacific yellowtail. The company has promoted its fish as sustainable and marketed it to exclusive restaurants across the United States. However, Food & Water Watch findings indicate that the company has been greenwashing its product. The fish farm is actually located in a sensitive ecological zone and feeds their fish a diet including chicken by-products, among other concerns. These findings come on the heels of public opposition to the farm by native Hawaiian groups for environmental reasons and for failing to consider native Hawaiian traditions and culture.
University of Adelaide scientists are part of an international research team that has uncovered the first example of a bacterium causing disease in humans by targeting a molecule that is incorporated into our bodies from our diet. The discovery has been published in the prestigious international journal Nature.
Microbiologists Dr Adrienne Paton and Professor James Paton, and their collaborators, have shown that a potent bacterial toxin, Subtilase cytotoxin, specifically targets human cells that express a sugar called Neu5Gc on their surface.
"Remarkably, humans cannot make Neu5Gc, and so we should all be resistant to the toxin," Professor Paton says. "However, consuming foods that have high levels of Neu5Gc, such as red meat and dairy products, leads to uptake of the sugar by human cells and this makes them susceptible to attack by the toxin."
Subtilase cytotoxin is produced by E. coli bacteria that cause bloody diarrhoea and haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) in humans. Professor Paton says in HUS, toxin-induced damage to the delicate cells lining the blood vessels causes clots, damage to red blood cells and kidney failure. Humans usually become infected with the potentially deadly E. coli after eating contaminated food, as occurred during Adelaide's Garibaldi outbreak in 1995.
"Red meat and dairy products, the richest dietary sources of Neu5Gc, are also the foods that are most commonly contaminated with the E. coli bacteria that produce the toxin," Professor Paton says.
"Through dietary choices, therefore, humans may expose themselves to an increased risk of infection with the E. coli bacteria and simultaneously sensitise themselves to the potentially lethal actions of the toxin it produces."
Omega-3 fatty acids -- found in salmon, walnuts and kiwi fruit -- provide many benefits, including improving learning and memory and helping to fight against such mental disorders as depression and mood disorders, schizophrenia, and dementia, said Gomez-Pinilla, a member of UCLA's Brain Research Institute and Brain Injury Research Center.
Synapses in the brain connect neurons and provide critical functions; much learning and memory occurs at the synapses, Gomez-Pinilla said.
"Omega-3 fatty acids support synaptic plasticity and seem to positively affect the expression of several molecules related to learning and memory that are found on synapses," Gomez-Pinilla said. "Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for normal brain function.
"Dietary deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids in humans has been associated with increased risk of several mental disorders, including attention-deficit disorder, dyslexia, dementia, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia," he said. "A deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids in rodents results in impaired learning and memory."
Children who had increased amounts of omega-3 fatty acids performed better in school, in reading and in spelling and had fewer behavioral problems, he said.
During the past several decades, the United States has increased meat production while consolidating livestock production into fewer, larger farms. The result has been rapid growth in poorly treated animal waste lagoons, the spread of resistance among infectious bacteria due to the use of antimicrobials for livestock disease prevention, animal welfare procedures that severely restrict natural animal behaviors, and a rural population incapable of competing with wealthy food industry corporations
LOS ANGELES - An undercover video showing crippled and sick animals being shoved with forklifts has led to the largest beef recall in the United States and a scramble to find out if any of the meat is still destined for school children's lunches.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Sunday ordered the recall of 143 million pounds of beef from a Southern California slaughterhouse that is the subject of an animal-abuse investigation.
The recall will affect beef products dating to Feb. 1, 2006, that came from Chino-based Westland/Hallmark Meat Co., the federal agency said. The company provided meat to various federal programs.