Archive for the ‘pesticides’ Category

Gulf War illness is real, new federal report says

November 17, 2008

An extensive federal report released Monday concludes that roughly one in four of the 697,000 U.S. veterans of the 1990-91 Gulf War suffer from Gulf War illness.
That illness is a condition now identified as the likely consequence of exposure to toxic chemicals, including pesticides and a drug administered to protect troops against nerve gas.

The 452-page report states that “scientific evidence leaves no question that Gulf War illness is a real condition with real causes and serious consequences for affected veterans.”

By Alan Silverleib

A U.S. soldier wears protection against chemical weapons during the Gulf War in a February 1991 photo.

A U.S. soldier wears protection against chemical weapons during the Gulf War in a February 1991 photo.

The report, compiled by a panel of scientific experts and veterans serving on the congressionally mandated Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses, fails to identify any cure for the malady.

It also notes that few veterans afflicted with Gulf War illness have recovered over time.

The report, titled “Gulf War Illness and the Health of Gulf War Veterans,” was officially presented Monday to Secretary of Veterans Affairs James Peak. Noting that overall funding for research into Gulf War illness has declined dramatically since 2001, it calls for a “renewed federal research commitment” to “identify effective treatments for Gulf War illness and address other priority Gulf War health issues.”

According to the report, Gulf War illness is a “complex of multiple concurrent symptoms” that “typically includes persistent memory and concentration problems, chronic headaches, widespread pain, gastrointestinal problems, and other chronic abnormalities.”

The illness is identified as the consequence of multiple “biological alterations” affecting the brain and nervous system.

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Japan Health Minister: China Food Poisoning May be Deliberate

February 5, 2008
By MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press Writer

TOKYO – Pesticide-laced Chinese dumplings that sickened at least 10 people in Japan and triggered a nationwide scare were probably poisoned deliberately, Japan’s health minister said Tuesday.
The frozen dumplings, produced by China‘s Tianyang Food Processing Ltd., were contaminated with the pesticide methamidophos and blamed for a string of poisonings in December and January.

Investigators, however, have found traces of the pesticide on the outside of the dumplings, rather than on the filling. The poison was also found in much higher concentrations than would be expected from residue from pesticides sprayed on vegetables.

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China: Farming Fish in Toxic Waters

December 16, 2007

By David Barboza
The New York Times
December 16, 2007

FUQING, China — Here in southern China, beneath the looming mountains of Fujian Province, lie dozens of enormous ponds filled with murky brown water and teeming with eels, shrimp and tilapia, much of it destined for markets in Japan and the West.

Fuqing is one of the centers of a booming industry that over two decades has transformed this country into the biggest producer and exporter of seafood in the world, and the fastest-growing supplier to the United States.But that growth is threatened by the two most glaring environmental weaknesses in China: acute water shortages and water supplies contaminated by sewage, industrial waste and agricultural runoff that includes pesticides. The fish farms, in turn, are discharging wastewater that further pollutes the water supply.

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Vietnam: China’a Seafood Exports Slide as Vietnam’s Boom

China not sole food-safety offender

July 21, 2007

July 21, 2007

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican cantaloupe irrigated with water from sewage-tainted rivers. Candy laced with lead. Chinese toothpaste is not the only concern for U.S. consumers wary of the health risks posed by imported goods.

Producers in other developing nations are notorious violators of basic food-safety standards, even as they woo consumers with a growing appetite for foods such as pickled mangoes from India and fruits and vegetables during winter from Mexico.

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Tricky Vietnamese Truth About Catfish