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Spray-on Virus to Keep Processed Meats ''Safe''


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#1
frantique

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FDA Approves a Spray-on Virus to Keep Processed Meats ''Safe''

The FDA has approved a mix of six bacteria-killing viruses designed to be sprayed on ready-to-eat meat and poultry products. The viruses, called bacteriophages, kill the Listeria monocytogenes bacterium. This is the first-ever approval of viruses as a food additive.

Listeria monocytogenes can cause a serious infection called listeriosis. About 2,500 people in the United States become seriously ill with listeriosis each year, and 500 die.

Lunch meats are particularly vulnerable to Listeria because they are generally not cooked or reheated after purchase.

Consumers will not be informed as to whether their meat and poultry products have been treated with the spray. Intralytix, the company that produces the virus spray, also plans to seek FDA approval for another bacteriophage product, this one designed to kill E. coli bacteria.

Yahoo News August 19, 2006

So, what do you think?
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#2
warriorscot

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Its a good thing, bio engineered viruses are a big factor of medical research they conceivably have the potential to cure cancer and the common cold, and while there is a certain risk of mutation its unlikely under normal circumstances and even if they did its doubtful they would be harmful. Its a good first step to introduce people to this new field.
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#3
elmundo

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:whistling: :blink: :help: :) good realy good
thanks for the update
good to know
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#4
sari

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I personally don't necessarily trust the FDA and decisions like this. I'm primarily vegetarian anyway, but haven't been comfortable eating meat for a while simply because of the stories of antibiotics and everything else that is given to our livestock and poulty in an effort to make them "better" for us (let's not even get into mad cow disease - since when was it a good idea to feed livestock parts of other livestock? They're not carnivores by nature). I'm a big proponent of organic foods, and at least 50% of the food I buy and consume is certified organic. While I understand these are natural additives, I'm leery of the constant need to purify our food.

One thing that bothers me about this story is that consumers will not be notified as to whether the food they buy has been treated. We cannot make an informed choice if we're not provided this information.
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#5
dsenette

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Consumers will not be informed as to whether their meat and poultry products have been treated with the spray

that's the only thing that bugs me....thats like "you will not be informed that there are nuts in this product"... i don't agree with not knowing what's in my food...
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#6
warriorscot

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Could be worse you should see food here so many labels you dont know whats really in it at all i dont know anyone that understands the traffic light system for food. Organic isnt allways all that great although we dont use steroids and hormones on meat here as much its often not a massive difference for meat at least here it was pretty much all organic before the organic fad hit the world. Crops on the other hand organic is sometimes worse what they basically do is not use newer fertilisers and pesticides the only ones they are allowed to use are simple traditional ones but the main problem they are worse for you than all the new stuff, the biggest difference isnt in the what they use its how they farm it using the older lower yield but more effective quality wise methods.

But things like bacteriophages are a great new way that is harmless to us and largely harmless to our environment which is alot better than stuff used now because its not just killing bugs on meat there is alot of applications in food production and medicine.
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#7
Facedown98

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Man, what will they come out with next?! :whistling:
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#8
frantique

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Man, what will they come out with next?!


They already have ... or did!
Are you aware that the lovely red colour of the meat you buy is either a red dye or (mostly in the supermarkets) means it has been gassed with carbon monoxide. It appears that we, the public, have a preference for red fresh looking meat rather than its real browny colour.
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#9
dsenette

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But things like bacteriophages are a great new way that is harmless to us and largely harmless to our environment which is alot better than stuff used now because its not just killing bugs on meat there is alot of applications in food production and medicine.

i agree that they're great and will probably help alot and SHOULD be 100% safe (or close to it) but...not telling me you're putting it in my food? that's where i get annoyed...i feel the same way about hte antibiotics and steroids....those should be listed somewhere as well
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#10
frantique

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I'm guessing that if all constituents in or added to or sprayed onto food were listed for us then a lot of us would simply stop eating or grow our own. This wouldn't bode too well for the food industry.
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#11
warriorscot

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Yeah you would also probably run out of space on the boxes, there is also the logistical problem that they often get meats from more than one source, it would be impractical to list everything but the presence of hormones, antibiotics and steroids are pretty well publisced probably why they dont put it on the packet that and lazyness.
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#12
dsenette

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Yeah you would also probably run out of space on the boxes

i'm not neccessarily talking about on the box...but there should be a website that lists the stuff...like the package could have the product name of whatever the virus is called or simply "bacteriophage agent"...then you go to that company's website (or the FDA website) to find out exactly what's in the agent so that i can form an EDUCATED opinion on whether or not i'd like to eat the product
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#13
boomercj

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The meat industry is afraid of consumers making an educated decision. It's bad business.
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#14
frantique

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And we really can't leave out the pharmaceutical companies who reap the profits from supplying the chemicals - they need to make a living too!
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#15
frantique

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Was going through some old files today and came across this one:

PRESS RELEASE April 5, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Arsenic Widespread in Chicken, Testing Finds
Avoidable arsenic commonly added to chicken feed; Arsenic-free chicken available.

Minneapolis - Brand name chicken products sold in American supermarkets and fast food restaurants are widely contaminated with arsenic, according to independent test results released today by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP).

Testing of 155 samples from uncooked supermarket chicken products found 55 percent carried detectable arsenic. Arsenic was more than twice as prevalent in conventional brands of supermarket chicken as in certified organic and other "premium" brands. All 90 fast food chicken products tested by IATP also contained detectable arsenic. The full report can be read at: www.iatp.org.

Arsenic in chicken meat appears closely linked to the decades-old practice of intentionally and routinely putting arsenic into chicken feed. At least 70 percent of U.S. broiler chickens have been fed arsenic, according to estimates.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture fails to test for arsenic in the chicken breasts or thighs that Americans mostly eat, and does not make public results of its testing of individual brands.

Arsenic causes cancer and contributes to other diseases including heart disease, diabetes and declines in intellectual function. While none of the chicken products tested had arsenic levels above federal standards much has changed since those standards were set. For one thing, Americans eat at least two and a half times more chicken than they did 40 years ago. Additionally, the latest science reports that some forms of arsenic are more toxic than previously thought, and cumulative human exposures to arsenic, including in chicken meat, are likely higher than previously thought.

So what are you having for dinner tonight? Red meat, chicken, ...?
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