Monday, October 29, 2007

More stupid "organic" propaganda

It assumes that "antioxidants" are good for you -- a myth. Antioxidants are the medical equivalent of global warming -- used to explain just about anything purely on the basis of theory. They can actually be dangerous and can shorten your life

The biggest study into organic food has found that it is more nutritious than ordinary produce and may help to lengthen people's lives. The evidence from the 12m pound four-year project will end years of debate and is likely to overturn government advice that eating organic food is no more than a lifestyle choice. The study found that organic fruit and vegetables contained as much as 40% more antioxidants, which scientists believe can cut the risk of cancer and heart disease, Britain's biggest killers. They also had higher levels of beneficial minerals such as iron and zinc.

Professor Carlo Leifert, the co-ordinator of the European Union-funded project, said the differences were so marked that organic produce would help to increase the nutrient intake of people not eating the recommended five portions a day of fruit and vegetables. "If you have just 20% more antioxidants and you can't get your kids to do five a day, then you might just be okay with four a day," he said.

This weekend the Food Standards Agency confirmed that it was reviewing the evidence before deciding whether to change its advice. Ministers and the agency have said there are no significant differences between organic and ordinary produce.

Researchers grew fruit and vegetables and reared cattle on adjacent organic and nonorganic sites on a 725-acre farm attached to Newcastle University, and at other sites in Europe. They found that levels of antioxidants in milk from organic herds were up to 90% higher than in milk from conventional herds. As well as finding up to 40% more antioxidants in organic vegetables, they also found that organic tomatoes from Greece had significantly higher levels of antioxidants, including flavo-noids thought to reduce coronary heart disease.

Leifert said the government was wrong about there being no difference between organic and conventional produce. "There is enough evidence now that the level of good things is higher in organics," he said.


New pill cuts urge to smoke

A REVOLUTIONARY new pill to help smokers quit is set to hit the Australian market - the first product which reduces the intensity of nicotine cravings. It is also claimed Champix reduces the pleasure from cigarettes if patients have a relapse.

But while the so-called wonder drug has helped thousands overseas to kick the habit, some patients have reported falling asleep at the wheel while on it. Britain's medicine watchdog issued a warning last week after two patients had car accidents. It was not known whether the drug caused the crashes, but it prompted authorities to recommend stronger warnings of possible side-effects. This included advising people that they should not drive or operate machinery until it is clear how the drug affects their abilities.

Developed by Pfizer, which also makes the anti-impotence drug Viagra, the pill targets the same "receptors" in the brain as nicotine. Unlike the anti-smoking drug Zyban, an antidepressant that lessens smokers' desire to smoke again, Champix is designed to block cravings and lessen withdrawal symptoms.

The Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods gave it approval in February. It has been recommended for listing on the PBS by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee. The prescription tablets have to be taken for at least 12 weeks.

Anne Jones, the chief executive of anti-smoking lobby group ASH (Action on Smoking and Health), said reports that the drug took away the enjoyment of a cigarette if a person had a relapse was "very promising".

Champix is the third pharmaceutical therapy available to smokers, joining Zyban and nicotine replacement therapy such as patches and gum. It is expected to be available from December. "It gives smokers who want to give up another choice of treatment," Ms Jones said. "If we have three drug types out there for smokers, that's got to be good. "Smokers, however, should not see it as a magic bullet. Motivation is the key to success."



Just some problems with the "Obesity" war:

1). It tries to impose behavior change on everybody -- when most of those targeted are not obese and hence have no reason to change their behaviour. It is a form of punishing the innocent and the guilty alike. (It is also typical of Leftist thinking: Scorning the individual and capable of dealing with large groups only).

2). The longevity research all leads to the conclusion that it is people of MIDDLING weight who live longest -- not slim people. So the "epidemic" of obesity is in fact largely an "epidemic" of living longer.

3). It is total calorie intake that makes you fat -- not where you get your calories. Policies that attack only the source of the calories (e.g. "junk food") without addressing total calorie intake are hence pissing into the wind. People involuntarily deprived of their preferred calorie intake from one source are highly likely to seek and find their calories elsewhere.

4). So-called junk food is perfectly nutritious. A big Mac meal comprises meat, bread, salad and potatoes -- which is a mainstream Western diet. If that is bad then we are all in big trouble.

5). Food warriors demonize salt and fat. But we need a daily salt intake to counter salt-loss through perspiration and the research shows that people on salt-restricted diets die SOONER. And Eskimos eat huge amounts of fat with no apparent ill-effects. And the average home-cooked roast dinner has LOTS of fat. Will we ban roast dinners?

6). The foods restricted are often no more calorific than those permitted -- such as milk and fruit-juice drinks.

7). Tendency to weight is mostly genetic and is therefore not readily susceptible to voluntary behaviour change.

8). And when are we going to ban cheese? Cheese is a concentrated calorie bomb and has lots of that wicked animal fat in it too. Wouldn't we all be better off without it? And what about butter and margarine? They are just about pure fat. Surely they should be treated as contraband in kids' lunchboxes! [/sarcasm].


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