Archive for March, 2010

7 Foods banned in E.U. but still available on U.S. shelves…

Posted in main squeeze with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2010 by Sustainable Choice


posted by Megan, selected from TreeHugger Feb 28, 2010 3:09 pm

By Christine Lepisto, TreeHugger

Genetically Modified Foods

Although the E.U. is continuously coming under attack for policies banning GM foods, the community is highly suspicious of genetically modified foods, and the agro-industrial pressures that drive their use. The problem with GM foods is that there is simply not sufficient research and understanding to inform good public policy. In spite of widespread GM use without apparent negative impacts in other countries, the recent public reaction to trans-fats are reason enough to support a precautionary principle for the food supply chain.

Pesticides in Your Food

The E.U. has acted against the worst pesticides typically found as residuals in the food chain. A ban on 22 pesticides was passed at the E.U. level, and is pending approval by the Member States. Critics claim the ban will raise prices and may harm malaria control, but advocates of the ban say action must be taken against the pesticides which are known to cause harm to health and nevertheless consistently found in studies of food consumption.

Bovine Growth Hormone

This drug, known as rBGH for short, is not allowed in Europe. In contrast, U.S. citizens struggle even for laws that allow hormone-free labeling so that consumers have a choice. This should be an easy black-and-white decision for all regulators and any corporation that is really concerned about sustainability: give consumers the information. We deserve control over our food choice.

Chlorinated Chickens

Amid cries that eating American chickens would degrade European citizens to the status of guinea pigs, the E.U. continued a ban on chickens washed in chlorine. The ban effectively prevents all import of chickens from the U.S. into Europe. If chicken chlorination is “totally absurd” and “outrageous” for Europeans, what does that mean for Americans?

Food Contact Chemicals

Phthalates and Bisphenols in plastic are really beneficial. They help manufacturers create plastic products with the softness and moldability needed to fulfill consumer needs. But when the food contact additives are found in the food and liquids contained by those plastics, trouble starts. Both the U.S. and Europe stringently regulate food contact use of chemicals. However, the standard of approval is different. In Europe, the precautionary principle requires that the suppliers of chemicals prove their additives safe, or they will be banned. Of course, although the E.U. has banned phthalates in toys, both phthalates and bisphenol-A remain approved for food contact uses — subject to strict regulations on their use.

Stevia, the natural sweetener

The U.S. recently approved this “natural” sweetener as a food additive. Previously, it was sold in the U.S. under the less stringent dietary supplement laws. It has been embraced in Japan for over three decades, but E.U. bans still stand — pointing to potential disturbances in fertility and other negative health impacts. But the sweetener is credited with potentially positive health effects too. Is this a case where consumer choice should prevail?

Planned Ban: Food Dyes

Many food dyes previously recognized as safe are suspected of contributing to attention deficit disorder. Action is afoot as the UK evaluates a ban on synthetic food colors. Regulation in the E.U. often starts through the leadership of one Member State, which pushes the concepts up to Brussels after a proof-of-concept pilot phase. Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Orange B, and Red 3 are among the food colors associated with hyperactivity.


Nike!? Not bad!

Posted in fruits of our labor, inside slice, main squeeze with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2010 by Sustainable Choice

Check out this article on Greenopolis about Nike and what they are doing to be more responsible:

Nice to hear something nice about one of the big boys for a change!

Mobile Phone Radition (ick) Rate your phone!

Posted in fruits of our labor, inside slice, main squeeze with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2010 by Sustainable Choice

Well the time has come…you can evaluate the safety of your phone, and I don’t mean if it’s safe to talk and drive or not… but instead how much radiation are you drinking up with that conversation…  The Environmental Working Group has gathered data and evaluates most phones…check out how yours rates:

The following chart is taken from the Environmental Working Group:

Best and Worst Phones

Listing is based on phones currently available from major carriers. You can also see all available phones or all phones (current and legacy) ranked by radiation.

BEST PHONES (low radiation) WORST PHONES (high radiation)
Sanyo Katana II [Kajeet] Blackberry 8820 [AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless]
Samsung Rugby (SGH-a837) [AT&T] Motorola i880 [Sprint]
Blackberry Storm 9530 [Verizon Wireless] Palm Pixi [Sprint]
Samsung I8000 Omnia II [Verizon Wireless] Motorola Moto VE440 [MetroPCS]
Samsung Propel Pro (SGH-i627) [AT&T] Motorola i335 [Sprint]
Samsung SGH-t229 [T-Mobile] Motorola MOTO VU204 [Verizon Wireless]
Helio Pantech Ocean [Virgin Mobile] Blackberry 8703e [Verizon Wireless]
Sony Ericsson W518a Walkman [AT&T] Kyocera Jax S1300 [Virgin Mobile]
Samsung SGH-a137 [AT&T, AT&T GoPhone] HTC Magic (T-Mobile myTouch 3G) [T-Mobile]
LG Shine II [AT&T] Blackberry Bold 9700 [AT&T, T-Mobile]