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    Kids' food can cause tantrums

    Colourings used in many children's food and drinks are liable to cause temper tantrum and disruptive behaviour in as many as a quarter of toddlers, according to British research. The findings suggested that all children, not just those showing hyperactive behaviour or at risk of allergic reactions, would benefit from the removal of colourings and additives, the scientists said.
    from Dominion Post 26 Oct 2002

    Fluoridation referendum rejected

  1. A petition to Wellington Regional Council seeking a referendum on fluoridation was unsuccessful. The 1000 signature petition, organised by Noeline Gannaway on behalf of the Pure Water Association and with support from Linda Kennington, Stephen Barner and Mary Byrne, was declined at a meeting on 18 July 2002 on the recommendation of the chairman Stuart Macaskill.

    Stopping fluoride doesn't mean more dental decay

  2. A number of studies published recently show that stopping the fluoridation of water supplies doesn't lead to more dental decay, as is often claimed by pro-fluoride proponents. Rates of dental decay either remained the same or decreased in a number of studies carried out in Finland, Cuba, Germany and Canada. Claims that the teeth of Tauranga children have worsened since fluoridation stopped in 1992 have not been backed up with good scientific evidence. A critical look at peer-reviewed epidemiological research does not in fact back the theory that lower dental decay is because of the artificial fluoridation of water supplies.

    For references to these studies, contact the Safe Food Campaign. Also available online through PubMed. (
    from Andreas Schuld, Parents of Fluoride Poisoned Children (PFPC) Vancouver,Canada,

    new local market certification

  3. ORGANICFARMNZ is the new certificate/trademark administered by Soil & Health and available to organic producers who are growing for the local market ­ grown by locals for locals, with registration costs being kept as low as possible. Members belong to a pod of between three and eight organic growers who peer review each other to verify that the prescribed organic standards have been met, and once a year an independent auditor checks the whole process.
    Organic NZ July/August 2002

    NZ Café of Year serves organic meat

  4. Nova Cafe in Dunedin has won the NZ Best Cafe of the Year Award. Tim Gow of Mountain Valley Organic Meats, proudly informed us that they supply all the café's red meat, which is bio-gro certified.

    No warning on soy formula

  5. A review of baby formula by the Australian New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA) has ignored Ministry of Health suggestions to put warning labels on soy-based formula. ANZFA is going against a Ministry of Health submission that parents should be told not to use soy infant formula except on advice of a health professional.

    Soy infant formula floods the body with a high amount of phytoestrogens that could affect the sexual development of infants; potentially causing girls to enter puberty earlier than usual and retarding physical maturation in boys. An American study found that babies fed on soy formula consume phytoestroens at six to 11 times the level (on a body weight basis) that causes changes in women's menstrual cycles.
    Green Party media release 21 March 2002

    Pig growth hormone sneaks into New Zealand

    A new growth hormone made by GE bacteria has been secretly approved for use on NZ pigs, and there is no requirement to disclose its use on the label.

    This growth hormone makes pigs grow by up to 20% more in the last month of their lives. The hormone Porcine Somatotropin (PST) is injected into the necks of pigs every day, for the last 30 days of their lives. Advice from the manufacturer is to inject pigs in the neck to prevent the meat being downgraded.

    The hormone was approved by the Animal Remedies Board on 12 October 2001. A similar hormone for cows, bovine somatotropin, was refused approval by MAF last year because of concerns about European consumers refusing to buy hormone-treated milk and meat.

    Australian officials had acknowledged there would likely be residues of the artificial hormone in pork from treated pigs.

    As Sue Kedgley, spokesperson for the Green Party commented, this hormone was highly controversial and was not even approved by the FDA for use in America. It had been sneaked into NZ without any public consultation or discussion. New labelling laws are urgently needed in NZ which would require growth promotants, antibiotic feed enhancers and growth hormones to be disclosed on the label.

    In the meantime the European Union told the Netherlands to seal off farms and feed producers suspected of being contaminated with a banned hormone which is used in New Zealand. The banned growth promotant, MPA, found in Dutch pig feed and soft drink syrup, has raised concern because it may cause infertility in people.
    Green Party media release 17 February 2002, Reuters 17 July 02

    Should we eat animal products to get vitamin B12?

  6. The Moorhead case in which a baby's death was attributed to B12 deficiency, allegedly related to the mother's vegan diet, has recently attracted much attention.In our next issue of Safe Food, John Silvester, a raw food vegan (vegetarian with no dairy or other animal products), will discuss food sources of the vitamin for people on all diets and show how its availability may relate to genetic engineering of foods.

    New food authority set up

  7. On 1 July the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) was set up by the Government, combining the functions of MAF Food and the food section in the Ministry of Health. The agency, a semi-autonomous body attached to MAF, is headed by Dr Andrew McKenzie. "Bringing these functions together in one agency will enable New Zealand to provide consistency in the management of food safety from the beginning of the food chain to the consumer", Dr McKenzie says. Will the new authority fulfil its mission of "protecting consumers and enhancing New Zealand's position as a trusted supplier of food"? Consumer forums on food safety will be held 2­3 times a year, with representatives of national or regional groups concerned with food. In addition an advisory board will be set up with, on the recommendation of the last forum in July, perhaps 2­3 consumer representatives.
    Consumers can call 0800 NZFSA (0800 693 721) if they have any concerns about food safety.

    Canola oil a pesticide

  8. Canola oil is registered with the EPA as a pesticide. This fact might persuade you not to use it, especially when considering all the other disadvantages which were described very ably by Chris Wheeler in our last newsletter.

    December 2002

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