Thursday, August 31, 2006

U.K.: Organic milk controversy: "Organic milk is healthier than standard pasteurised milk, scientists have said in a call on the Government to revise official advice. A letter written by 14 scientists that was received today by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) claims that organic milk has higher levels of Omega 3 essential fatty acids, which are thought to boost health and provide protection from coronary heart disease. The authors of the letter want the FSA to change its stance on organic milk and “recognise that there are differences that exist between organic and nonorganic milk”. But the FSA said: “On the basis of current evidence, the agency’s assessment is that organic food is not significantly different in terms of food safety and nutrition from food produced conventionally.”

Blood worth bottling: "Blood products taken from people who have recovered from bird flu could be useful for treating other patients in the event of a pandemic, research has suggested. An analysis of how such transfusions were used in hospitals during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 has indicated that they reduced the risk of death and eased symptoms, raising the prospect that a similar approach could be used against H5N1 influenza. Although vaccines and antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu are likely to be the front line of defence today, blood plasma transfusions could provide a valuable back-up. They could prove a particularly valuable weapon against the H5N1 virus in developing countries with poor access to vaccines and antivirals, scientists said yesterday."

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