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The Food Magazine Issue 73

April/June 2006

Food Magazine 73Government suspends health lifeline
Publicly funded health activities are feeling the aftershock of the NHS financial crisis. Over 300 health organisations have been waiting since the beginning of January to find out if funding bids to the Department of Health have been successful.

Unlabelled GM soya discovered in a wide variety of foods
Foods made with soya mince or textured vegetable protein are more likely than not to contain traces of genetically modified soya.

Disney hesitates over junk-food ban
In May, the national press hinted that Disney might cease to associate its popular children’s characters with junk food, after the entertainment company ended its 10-year partnership with McDonald’s. A change of heart? We fear not.

Confectioners join forces to avoid a red light

FSA retreats from battle with salt sellers
The UK Food Standards Agency's long-awaited recommendations for reduced salt consumption revealed a retreat from their previous proposals which set tough limits on the sodium content of popular processed foods.

Sausages and soap face ethical boycott
Committed Nestlé boycotters have been struggling in recent months with the ethical conundrum of whether to continue buying cosmetics and toiletries at the Body Shop, after it was bought out in March by L'Oréal, of which Nestlé owns a significant share. Meanwhile, it is rumoured that the vegetarian food company Tivall is set to purchase Linda McCartney Foods. Nestlé owns 50.1% of Tivall. Could we soon see a boycott of Linda McCartney sausages?

Climate change: the risk of food poisoning
Among the many problems that climate change may bring to the British Isles is a rise in the risk of food poisoning, especially during the winter months. Tim Lobstein reports

Methyl bromide passes its sell-by date
More than 5,000 farms and organisations joined forces with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in April to reinvigorate the phase-out of an agricultural fumigant that damages the ozone layer. Two UK supermarket chains were specifically highlighted in the UNEP publicity for taking a lead role – Marks & Spencer and the Co-op.

Aspartame: the litmus test for the FSA and EFSA
Erik Millstone, Professor of Science Policy at the University of Sussex, warns that recent research into the artificial sweetener aspartame is being ignored by food regulators.

ASA fails to defend fruit
Simply ticking off a few food companies isn’t nearly enough to convince health campaigners that the Advertising Standards Association is a champion of good nutrition, argues Kath Dalmeny.

Manipulated desire
Marketeers have been using science to manipulate individuals' motivations, desires and behaviour for over fifty years.

Stopping the rot in nutrition science
Barrie Margetts, Editor-in-Chief of the scientific journal Public Health Nutrition, examines the issue of commercially motivated and sometime fraudulent nutrition research.

Ofcom redefines a ‘child’, but what do the experts say?
Ofcom made the bizarre decision to suggest that junk food ads might be regulated only for children under the age of nine. Why nine? It is apparently an age randomly picked out of the air, and hardly an effective basis for regulation.

Two ways to tackle benzene
While American lawyers prepare to take soft drinks companies to court over the presence of benzene in their products, the measures taken in the UK tell a different story.

What the doctor reads
The latest research from the medical journals