Here are some of the best food stories we came across this week:
- Billionaire Philanthropists Fund Massive Nutrition Science Initiative – 38-year-old hedge fund manager John Arnold, with his wife Laura, put $5 million in seed money towards the Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI), whose lofty goals are to perform scientifically valid studies to discover what truly causes obesity and thus reduce the U.S. obesity rate from its current 35% to 15%, and reduce diabetes incidence from 8% to 2%, all by 2020.
- Study Finds Link Between GMOs and Tumors – A two-year study published yesterday in Food and Chemical Toxicology found that rats fed GMO corn and water laced with small amounts of the herbicide Roundup (which is often used on GMO corn) grew tumors faster than their counterparts and died faster (especially females), versus those who ate non-GMO corn and drank clean water. However, some scientists have questioned the methodology of the study.
- U.S. Kids Consume Almost as Much Salt as Adults – A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that children in the U.S. between the ages of 8 and 18 are eating, on average, 3,387 mg of sodium per day. That’s about the same amount as adults and a lot more than the 2,300 mg daily limit recommended by the federal dietary guidelines. The association was strongest among overweight children.
- Consumer Reports Finds “Worrisome” Levels of Arsenic in Rice – New findings from a Consumer Reports investigation showed “significant” and “worrisome” amounts of inorganic arsenic in nearly every rice product tested, whether brown or white. The watchdog group urged consumers to scale back ingestion of rice products and asked the Food and Drug Administration to set stricter limits. Inorganic arsenic is a known carcinogen for humans and is also considered a launch pad for children’s future health woes.
- California Judge Rejects Request to Stop Foie Gras Ban – A Los Angeles federal judge denied a request from restaurateurs and foie producers to stop the enforcement of the state’s controversial foie gras ban. The lawsuit was filed in July just after the ban went into effect, claiming an unfair burden of figuring out exactly which duck products are banned was placed on the restaurant or distributor; the state Attorney General’s office has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
Photo courtesy of USDAgov.