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31.08.2008: Tetracycline residues in milk 
Tetracycline is a broad-spectrum polyketide antibiotic produced by the Streptomyces bacterium, used to treat bacterial infections, including pneumonia and other respiratory tract infections; acne; infections of skin, genital and urinary systems; and the infection that causes stomach ulcers (Helicobacter pylori). It also may be used as an alternative to other medications for the treatment of Lyme disease and for the treatment and prevention of anthrax (after inhalational exposure). Tetracycline is in a class of medications called tetracycline antibiotics.
Tetracyclines are a group of broad-spectrum antibiotics whose general usefulness has been reduced with the onset of bacterial resistance. Despite this, they remain the treatment of choice for some specific indications.
| They are so named for their four (“tetra-”) hydrocarbon rings. More specifically, they are defined as a subclass of polyketides having an octahydrotetracene-2-carboxamide skeleton.
| Tetracyclines are collectively known as derivatives of polycyclic naphthacene carboxamide.
Mecanism and resistance 
Tetracycline inhibits cell growth by inhibiting translation. It binds to the 16S part of the 30S ribosomal subunit and prevents the amino-acyl tRNA from binding to the A site of the ribosome. The binding is reversible in nature.
Cells become resistant to tetracycline by at least three mechanisms: enzymatic inactivation of tetracycline, efflux, and ribosomal protection. Inactivation is the rarest type of resistance, where an acetyl group is added to the molecule, causing inactivation of the drug. In efflux, a resistance gene encodes a membrane protein that actively pumps tetracycline out of the cell. This is the mechanism of action of the tetracycline resistance gene on the artificial plasmid pBR322. In ribosomal protection a resistance gene encodes a protein which can have several effects depending on what gene is transferred. Six classes of ribosomal protection genes/proteins have been found, all with high sequence homology suggesting a common evolutionary ancestor.
Possible mechanisms of action of these protective proteins include:
1.blocking tetracyclines from binding to the ribosome,
2.binding to the ribosome and distorting the structure to still allow t-RNA binding while tetracycline is bound, and
3.binding to the ribosome and dislodging tetracycline.
Veterinary use of tetracyclines 
The tetracyclines group of dairy antibiotics is used to treat bovine mastitis in dairy herds, and includes tetracycline, chlortetracycline, and oxytetracycline. Quarantine of treated animals up to 4 days is necessary to avoid tetracycline residues higher than 100 parts per billion in milk and their products, established by the European Union. Tetracyclines are widely used in Spain and other European countries.
Dip-stick test for tetracyclines in milk
A new dip-stick test from Neogen's TetraStar(R) monitoring tetracyclines in milk charges, gives results in six minutes. Another test is necessary to control the beta-lactam group of dairy antibiotics, which includes amoxicillin, ampicillin, cephapirin, cloxacillin, and penicillin. This group is widely used throughout the world in dairy veterinary medication.
 Wikipedia: Tetracycline
 Wikipedia: Tetracycline antibiotics
 Reuters: Neogen Launches Quickest Test Available for Tetracyclines in Milk 13.02.2008
29.08.2008: Elevated serum selenium is associated with elevated serum lipids 
Selenium, known for its antioxidant properties may, however, affect several cardiometabolic risk factors, such as glucose homeostasis and lipid concentrations.
Joachim Bleys and colleagues 2008 examined the relation of serum selenium concentrations with serum lipids. They found that elevated serum selenium was associated with elevated serum concentrations of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triacylglycerols, apo B, and apo A-I among US adults, a population with high selenium intake. The authors call for more experimental studies to determine cause and effect of the relations of elevated serum selenium and serum lipids.
 Bleys, Joachim; Navas-Acien, Ana; Stranges, Saverio; Menke, Andy; Miller, Edgar R. 3rd; Guallar. Eliseo: Serum selenium and serum lipids in US adults. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 88, No. 2, 416-423, August 2008
30.08.2008:The INTERMAP study links glutamate to obesity 
Consumption of the flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG) may increase the risk of gaining weight, regardless of energy intake according to a study on humans by Ka He and colleagues 2008.
The authors cite that animal studies indicate that monosodium glutamate (MSG) can induce hypothalamic lesions and leptin resistance, possibly influencing energy balance, leading to overweight.
In his study He found that people with an average intake of 0.33 g/day of MSG in food preparation had an average BMI 23.5 kg per sq. m. and Non-MSG users had an average BMI of 22.3 kg per sq. m. The authors concluded that prevalence of overweight was significantly higher in MSG users than in non-users,
Reaction of the Glutamate industry 
The Glutamate Association questions the study in a statement from 22.08.2008. The Association says that according to data of the WHO the countries with high intakes of glutamate do not have high population BMI.
The average person in the United States consumes approximately 11 grams of glutamate daily from all food sources (primarily dietary protein), while the body produces about 50 grams of free glutamate daily. Dietary glutamate from MSG averages less than one half gram/person/day .
Human studies where MSG was added to the diet have failed to show changes in body weight (Essed et al., Appetite 2007,48:29) 
A study on rats suggests that MSG in the diet actually suppresses body weight. (Kondoh and Torii, PhysiolBehav2008,doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2008.05.010) 
 He, K.; Zhao, L.; Daviglus, M.L; Dyer, A.R.; Van Horn, L.; Garside, D.; Zhu, L.; Guo, D.; Wu, Y.; Zhou, B.; Stamler J.: Association of Monosodium Glutamate Intake With Overweight in Chinese Adults: The INTERMAP Study. Obesity. Volume 16, Number 8, Pages 1875-1880. doi: 10.1038/oby.2008.274
 The Glutamate Association: Statement on MSG and Body Weight August 22, 2008.
 Essed, Natasja H.; van Staveren, Wija A.; Kok, Frans J.; de Graaf, Cees: No effect of 16 weeks flavor enhancement on dietary intake and nutritional status of nursing home elderly. Appetite 2007, 48 Pages 29-36
 Kondoh, Takashi; Torii, Kunio: MSG intake suppresses weight gain, fat deposition, and plasma leptin levels in male Sprague–Dawley rats. PhysiolBehav2008,doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2008.05.010
29.08.2008: Low-cost fat replacer for beverages from agarose microparticles 
According to Ellis and Jacquier 2008 agarose microparticles from red seaweed Gracilaria rhodophyta may became a low-cost fat replacer or as micro-encapsulation vehicles for functional ingredient. The researchers found that shearing bulk gels dispersed in cold water using a high speed rotor/stator device an average particle size of about 100 micrometres were obtained.
The authors stress that these small particles may be incorporated into a food product as a bulking agent and texture modifiers for a wide range of beverages. They concluded that the simple and low-cost procedure to produce an array of agarose microparticles may be used to improve textural functionalities to beverages
 Ellis, A.; Jacquier, J.C.: Manufacture and characterisation of agarose microparticles. Journal of Food Engineering. Volume 90, Issue 2, Pages 141-145
29.08.2008: Colour stability of strawberry nectar from purre 
Manfred Gössinger and colleagues 2008 studied the effect of processing steps on the colour stability and the anthocyanin content of nectars made from strawberry puree, using frozen strawberries, influence of processing temperature (10 °C vs. 20 °C), sieving, pH reduction and storage temperature (20 °C vs. 4 °C).
The authors found that frozen strawberries improved the colour stability of the nectar of strawberry with a shelf-life of up to 12 months without any additives with increased half-life of anthocyanin monomers. Reduced content of anthocyanins were found using higher processing temperature after pasteurisation, as well as the reduction of the pH value during processing on the colour and the content of anthocyanin monomers. Sieving had no significant effect on colour stability and the content of anthocyanin monomers. Storage temperature had a strong impact on colour stability and degradation of anthocyanin monomers. Storage at 4 °C kept the nectar colour acceptable over even more than 12 months. They stress that compared to frozen strawberries stored at −80 °C, frozen strawberries stored at −18 °C had a lower activity of polyphenoloxidase (PPO) and peroxidase (POD) of about 53% and 22%, respectively.
 Gössinger, Manfred; Moritz, Stefan; Hermes, Monika; Wendelin, Silvia; Scherbichler, Hannes; Halbwirth, Heidrun; Stich, Karl; Berghofer, Emmerich: Effects of processing parameters on colour stability of strawberry nectar from puree. Journal of Food Engineering. Volume 90, Issue 2, Pages 171-178
29.08.2008: New safety concerns about rebiana from stevia 
Kobylewskil and Eckhert 2008, in a study prepared for the CSPI, concluded that the FDA should ensure that the genetic toxicity studies that produced either positive or conflicting results be repeated. The authors added that studies that look at potential DNA adducts related to the potential reactive metabolites (C-13 carbonium ion or the epoxide)
of steviol would be a strong addition to the genotoxicity data. Finally, the FDA should require carcinogenicity and toxicology studies in rats and in mice before accepting rebaudioside A as a GRAS substance or approving it as a food additive.
The researchers emphasized the need for more genotoxicity tests, because of the evidence that derivatives of stevia that are closely related to rebiana damage DNA and chromosomes.
Coca-Cola and Pepsi are planning to introduce new drinks made with rebiana, an extract of stevia leaves that is 200 times sweeter than sugar. But according to the study of Kobylewskil and Eckhert, several, though not all, laboratory tests show that the sweetener causes mutations and DNA damage, which raises the prospect that it causes cancer. The CSPI asks the FDA for additional tests before accepting rebiana as Generally Regarded as Safe, or GRAS.
Rebiana is shorthand for rebaudioside A, a component of stevia. It is obtained from the leaves of a shrub native to Brazil and Paraguay. 
 Kobylewski1, Sarah; Eckhert, Curtis D.: Toxicology of Rebaudioside A: A Review. University of Kalifornien, Los Angeles.
 CSPI: Lab Tests Point to Problems with Trendy New Stevia Sweetener. CSPI Urges More Testing Before Stevia Extract is Used in Food, Drinks. 28.08.2008
28.08.2008: Blutongue virus serotype 8 reemerges in Germany in 2008 
Martin Beer and colleagues 2008 report that bluetongue virus (BTV) is an Orbivirus which is transmitted by the bite of Culicoides spp. midges. It causes a noncontagious, arthropod-borne disease of domestic and wild ruminants and camelids; disease can be serious, particularly in sheep. BTV had never been reported in any European country north of the Alps until August 2006, when outbreaks of BTV serotype 8 (BTV-8) were almost simultaneously discovered in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and France. In 2006, a total of 893 cases were detected in Germany, but the source of initial virus introduction remains unknown. Subsequently, BTV-8 overwintered in the region, spread over most of the country, and led to almost 21,000 new cases in 2007 in Germany. BTV-8 infections spread to additional European countries, e.g., the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Denmark, and Spain.
In February 2008 bluetongue virus serotype 8 (BTV-8) was detected in Germany in an export heifer. According to the authors reemergence was confirmed by retesting the samples, experimental inoculation, fingerprinting analysis, and virus isolation. The authors stress that overwintering of BTV-8 and continuous low-level infections are assumed.
 Hoffmann B, Saßerath M, Thalheim S, Bunzenthal C, Strebelow G, Beer M. Bluetongue virus serotype 8 reemergence in Germany, 2007 and 2008. Emerg Infect Dis . 2008 Sep. Available from http://www.cdc.gov/EID/content/14/9/1421.htm DOI: 10.3201/eid1409.080417
28.08.2008: Genetic modulation of aroma of fruits and vegetables 
Dong-Sun Lee and colleagues 2008 used genetic manipulation of enzymes in plants to change aromas in fruit and vegetable. This may enable scientists to change the flavour and taste of fruits and vegetables. The authors say that the flavour of GM olive oil may be altered modifying the activity of enzymes which generate the substances responsible for flavour.
The research based on changes of the allene oxide synthase (AOS) into hydroperoxide lyase HPL. This gene modifies the enzymes which produce green leaf volatiles (GLVs), working with Arabidopsis thaliana, and used 3-D images of the enzymes to make a small, but specific, genetic change in AOS, leading to the generation of HPL.
The AOS enzyme produces jasmonate, the scent of jasmine flowers, and the hydroperoxide lyase HPL aromas to fruits and vegetables, GLVs.
The authors stress that this knowledge may be used for pest control. GM modification of enzyme pass could create pest resistant plants because green leaf volatiles and jasmonates also ward off predators, attracting predators of plant predators.
 Lee, Dong-Sun; Nioche, Pierre; Hamberg, Mats; Raman, C. S. : Structural insights into the evolutionary paths of oxylipin biosynthetic enzymes. Nature. Published online ahead of print 20 August 2008, doi: 10.1038/nature07307.
28.08.2008: Pigs as Source of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus CC398 Infections in Humans 
Methicillin-resistant Stapylococcus aureus (MRSA) is becoming increasingly recognized among persons in the community without established risk factors. MRSA primarily causes human disease and animals have not, until now, been considered a source of infection.
It has recently become apparent that animals, particularly pigs, can constitute a separate MRSA reservoir and be a source of a novel and rapidly emerging type of MRSA in humans; namely MRSA clonal complex (CC)398.
According to Robert L. Skov and colleagues 2008 an emerging subtype of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), clonal complex (CC) 398, was found in near 50 per cent in Danish pigs on 4 of 5 farms. The CC398 variant of the bacteria was found infecting humans. The study found that living or working on farms with animals was an independent risk factor for CC398.
Based on microbiologic testing the authors stress that pigs are a source of CC398 in Denmark.
The study reinforces results of studies in France, the Netherlands, and Canada that indicated that CC398 is transmissible from animals to humans.
Lewis, Hannah C.; Molbak, Kare; Reese, Catrin; Aarestrup, Frank M.; Selchau, Mette; Sorum, Marit; Skov, Robert L.: Pigs as Source of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus CC398 Infections in Humans, Denmark. CDC Emerging Infectious Diseases. Volume 14, Number 9–September 2008.
26.08.2008: GM crops may become the biggest environmental disaster "of all time", says Prince Charles 
Prince Charles said relying on big corporations for the mass production of food would not only threaten future food supplies but also force smaller producers out of business.
We have gone working against Nature for too long." But these corporate monsters have engaged in "an experiment that's gone seriously wrong, causing untold problems which become very expensive and very difficult to undo".
The Prince cites India's Punjab where the so-called green revolution, involving hybrid seeds and grains that demand huge quantities of water, has led to a collapse in the water table, and in Western Australia struggles with huge salinisation problems, through excessive approaches to modern forms of agriculture".
Environment minister asks for proves on GM failure 
Phil Woolas, the environment minister challenged the Prince of Wales to prove his claim that firms developing genetically modified crops risked environmental disaster. The minister called for evidences.
According to Woolas the Prince is ignoring the needs of the world's poorest countries by attacking GM crops, and insisted the government would go ahead with trials unless scientific evidence showed they were harmful.
Woolas said the government had a "moral responsibility" to investigate whether GM crops could help alleviate hunger in the developing world. It was easy for people in countries where food was plentiful to ignore the potential of GM to raise agricultural productivity, he said.
 Daily Telegraph: Prince Charles warns GM crops risk causing the biggest-ever environmental disaster
 Gardian.com: Minister challenges Prince Charles to prove GM crops threat
Phil Woolas says government will go ahead with trials unless scientific evidence shows GM crops are harmful. 18.08.2008.
25.08.2008: Fuel price will fall 70 per cent with new product from Butalco company covering 15 to 20 percent of German petrol demand 
Professor Eckhard Boles from the Institute for Molecular Bio Sciences of Frankfurt University developed an industrial process for the production of fuel from plant waste. He calls his product cellulosic ethanol. Boles uses genetic modified yeasts which can ferment different sugars from cellulose of hay and other agrarian waste. The researcher claims that this procedure will reduce pressure which ethanol production exerts on food production and will cost only one third of other fuel. The price will be 20 Cent/liter before tax.
Butanol, the next goal:
The Butalco company, founded by Boles will start its cellulosic ethanol pilot plant in less than 18 month. Research going on for 15 years aims to replace ethanol with butanol which has a higher energy density, can be use up to 100 per cent by the combustion engine, no change is necessary and it can be transported using existent pipelines. In 3 to 5 years Boles hopes to have yeasts genetic engineered to produce butanol for the fuel market.
Supplying 15 to 20 percent of German petrol demand 
Boles says there is no concern related to safety issues with the GM yeast because the process takes place in a closed circuit separated from the food sector. The raw material will come from local field crops but in the long term t forest stocks will be used as he biomass, thus the Butalco process could deliver 15 to 20 per cent of the German petrol demand.
The GM yeast 
Boles and his team found that lignocellulosic biomass is considered to be an ecologically and economically ideal
feedstock for the production of bioethanol. Hydrolysates hereof contain hexoses and pentoses. L-arabinose is, after D-xylose, the second most abundant pentose in lignocellulosic hydrolysates. Recombinant S. cerevisiae strains fermenting both pentoses to ethanol have recently been developed.
The team cloned a gene in the Sacharomyces cerevisiae enabling the yeast to ferment also L-arabinose.
Controversity on cellulosic ethanol 
Cellulosic ethanol is a biofuel produced from wood, grasses, or the non-edible parts of plants. According to U.S. Department of Energy studies conducted by the Argonne Laboratories of the University of Chicago, one of the benefits of cellulosic ethanol is that it reduces greenhouse gas emmission by 85% over reformulated gasoline. By contrast, starch ethanol (e.g., from corn), which most frequently uses natural gas to provide energy for the process, may not reduce GHG emissions at all depending on how the starch-based feedstock is produced. A study by Nobel Prize winner Paul Crutzen found ethanol produced from corn, rapeseed (canola), and sugarcane had a "net climate warming" effect when compared to oil.
 Nachgefragt bei: Eckhard Boles: Treibstoff für 20 Cent pro Liter. Handelsblatt 24.08.2008
 New Energy. Magazine for Renewable Energy: Grass instead of oil. New Energy 2/08, April 2008.
 Keller M.; Boles, E.: Cloning of an L-arabinose transporter from the yeast Pichia stipitis and its functional expression in recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae. 3rd European Federation of Biotechnology Conference Physiology of Yeasts and Filamentous Fungi. 13-16 June 2007.
 Wikipedia: Cellulosic ethanol.
25.08.2008: Irradiation of spinach and lettuce 
The FDA announced that it will allow food processors to irradiate some leafy greens (spinach and iceberg lettuce). The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says that this action may be safe and effective in treating some pathogens, however, it will not solve all problems of pathogenic bacteria on leafy vegetables.
The CSPI recommends FDA to adopt a series of preventive measures starting at the farm that could control foodborne pathogens. Our suggestions, outlined in 2006 petition to FDA, include common-sense food safety control measures:
1. Farmers and processors should be required to keep a written food safety plan specific to the environmental conditions on that particular farm.
2. FDA should develop uniform standards to evaluate those plans, for water quality, worker sanitation, and manure use and management.
3. Written plans should be audited once per season, either by FDA or a 3rd party auditor (whose audits should be reviewed by FDA).
With the approval of irradiation on spinach and lettuce, FDA should also specify that these products should be clearly labeled with the radura symbol and the words “treated with irradiation.” This labeling—required for other irradiated products—provides consumers with the information to make choices about the food they purchase.
It is clear that produce safety must become a priority for FDA, starting at the farm. Congress should also act to ensure that the agency has the authority and the resources to fulfill its critical public health mandate.
The CSPI Petition also includes further details: 
Appropriate manure management is required. Composting of manure intended for use on food crops should be monitored and records should be maintained to ensure effective controls are used to destroy pathogens. Domestic animals should be excluded from fields and orchards during the growing and harvesting season, and growing areas should have wildlife deterrents.
Growers and producers should ensure that the water supply used for irrigation and in food
processing plants is suitable for its intended use. Facilities should have an environmental monitoring program that includes sampling for pathogens to detect areas of harborage and to verify the effectiveness of cleaning and sanitizing programs in preventing cross-contamination. Water used for washing produce should be monitored for the presence of pathogens at a rate adequate to ensure highly contaminated batches are identified and either destroyed or sent for further processing.
Growers and processors should ensure that employees have close access to bathrooms and that handwashing facilities are visible to supervisors. Employees with direct and indirect access to the production areas should be trained in preventive controls that will help to eliminate or minimize contamination of produce.
Processors should mark packaging to ensure easy traceback to the farm of origin when fruits and vegetables are implicated in an outbreak.
 FDA Approves Irradiation for Spinach, Lettuce. Statement of CSPI Food Safety Director Caroline Smith DeWaal. 21.08.2008.
 CSPI: Citizen Petition. November 15, 2006.
24.08.2008: Paprika food colour is safe 
Paprika as food colour is increasingly being used by the food industry. Safety tests on rats found paprika food colour as safe. The toxicity and carcinogenicity studies of paprika colour were performed by Inoue and colleagues 2008.
Treatment with paprika color caused a significant increase in incidence of hepatocellular vacuolation, in 5% males, however, no toxicological effects or other abnormal effects such as tumors were noted.
The authors concluded that, based on slight histopathological changes, noted as hepatocellular vacuolation, the no-observed-effect level (NOEL) was estimated to be 2.5% in the diet (1253 mg/kg bw/day) and the the no-observed-effect level (NOEL) was 2.5 per cent in the diet, or 1253 mg per kg of bodyweight per day, for the male rats. The NOEL for the female rats was determine to be five per cent, or 2826 mg per kg of bodyweight per day.
Paprika colour is therefore not carcinogenic nor toxic under present conditions.
 Inoue, T.; Umemura, T.; Maeda, M.; Ishii, Y.; Okamura, T.; Tasaki, M.; Nishikawa, A.: Safety assessment of dietary administered paprika colour in combined chronic toxicity and carcinogenicity studies using F344 rats. Food and Chemical Toxicology. August 2008, Volume 46, Issue 8, Pages 2689-2693
24.08.2008: The European Food Safety Authority rejected claims which lacked scientific background 
EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) rejected seven assessed claims for failing to demonstrate causality between consumption of specific nutrients or foods and intended health benefits.
The European Responsible Nutrition Alliance (ERNA), said the claim rejections produces a vast economic damage for the industry. The rejected claims fell under article 14 of the health and nutrition claims regulation, which governs disease reduction and children’s claims. Scientific backup had been insufficient.
Only Unilever’s plant sterol submission outlining cholesterol lowering potential and reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease was approved.
Two claims of the Irish National Dairy Council linking dairy product consumption with ideal body weight and reduced incidence of dental carries in children were rejected because causality was not proven and the kind of dairy products in question were not defined. Applicants are concerned with rejection criteria of generic claims such as dairy product because or most of them the substance, by its very generic nature, is not characterised.
Unilever dossier relating ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and LA (linoleic acid) consumption to healthy growth and development in children, was rejected because children already receive enough ALA and LA in their regular diets.
EFSA concluded that there is no benefit of additional fortification. Even so the company will submitting their comments to the European Commission, because they believe that a proven claim has to be approved, despite failing to provide any additional benefit.
 EFSA adopts first opinions on health claims made on foods relating to disease risk reduction and children’s health
22.08.2008: Margarine free of atherogenic trans-fatty acids 
Kim, Lumor and Akoh 2008, researchers from the University of Georgia developed alternatives to partially hydrogenated vegetable oils high in trans fatty acids used for the production of margarine and other foods.
Structured lipids for formulating trans-free margarines were synthesized by lipase-catalyzed interesterification of the blends of canola oil, palm stearin, and palm kernel oil in weight ratios of 50:30:20 or 60:25:15. Both blends were trans-free and had similar hardness, adhesiveness, or cohesiveness to margarines which were produced from hydrogenated vegetable oils margarine fats high in trans-fratty acids.
The authors claim that lipase-catalyzed interesterification of canola /palm stearin/ palm kernel oil is the is one of the most successful process in the production of trans-free margarines.
 Kim, Byung Hee; Lumor, Stephen E.; Akoh, Casimir C.: trans-Free Margarines Prepared with Canola Oil/Palm Stearin/Palm Kernel Oil-Based Structured Lipids
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Published online ahead of print, ASAP Article, doi: 10.1021/jf801412v
21.08.2008: New data suggest that energy drinks increase health risks 
Energy drinks contain caffeine, taurine, inosite and glucuronolactone. Energy drinks with high popularity are Red Bull, Full Throttle, Amp and Rush.
According to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) provides information on more recent human data on the possible health risks posed by the consumption of energy drinks. It draws attention to reports that cardiac dysrhythmia, seizures, kidney failure and fatalities occurred after consuming energy drinks. The question about the causal relationship is still open.
The BfR calls attention to findings which indicate that test persons no longer realistically assess their dwindling responsiveness caused by alcohol consumption under the influence of energy drinks. The parallel consumption of alcohol and energy drinks can, therefore, lead to an individual misjudging his ability to perform.
Caffeine-containing lemonades which taurine, inosite and glucuronolactone have been added (energy drinks), are approved in Germany as follows:
- caffeine up to max. 320 mg/l,
- taurine up to max. 4000 mg/l,
- inosite up to max. 200 mg/l and
- glucuronolactone up to max. 2400 mg/l
In its opinion of 18 March 2002, the BfR expressed the opinion that the safety of energy drinks are to be questioned in the circumstances in which they are possibly drunk by some consumers. This is substantiated by more recent human data. The BfR therefore recommends comprehensive information on product labels in addition to the currently prescribed labeling on a high caffeine content:
- adverse effects cannot be ruled out when larger amounts of these beverages are consumed in conjunction with intensive physical activity or with intake of alcoholic beverages;
- beverages of this kind, particularly when consumed in larger amounts, are not recommended for children, pregnant women, lactating women or individuals who are sensitive to caffeine.
Study says energy drinks may be harmful to people with hypertension, heart disease 
The study, leaded by James Kalus, Pharm.D. says that participants consuming two cans of energy drinks per day had their heart rate increased 7.8 percent the first day and 11 percent the seventh day. Blood pressure increased at least 7 percent the first and seventh days.
The authors recommend that people who have hypertension or heart disease and are taking medication for them to avoid consuming energy drinks because of a potential risk to their health.
Kalus stressed further that energy drinks should not be confused with sports drinks, which aim to replenish the carbohydrates and electrolytes that a body needs, and that both caffeine and taurine from energy drinks have a direct impact on cardiac function.
Australia study says one can of energy drink can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke 
Scott Willoughby and colleagues 2008 say that one 250 ml can of the energy drink Red Bull is sufficient to increase the risk of heart attack or stroke, even in young people. The study found that the drink caused the blood to become sticky, a precursor to cardiovascular problems such as stroke. After one hour after Red Bull ingestion, the blood systems were similar to patients with cardiovascular disease. It altered platelet aggregation and endothelial function in young healthy adults. One can contains 80 mg of caffeine and 1000mg of taurine.
Results showed that mean arterial pressure increased significantly after one can of Red Bull but heart rate was unaffected. Platelet reactivity was acutely increased by Red Bull while endothelial function deteriorated.
Willoughby and colleagues stressed that although the incidence of sudden cardiac death is low, the drink could be dangerous for people with any sort of cardiovascular abnormality. They also said that the sugar-free version of Red Bull could increase the danger of blood clots and raise the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Energy drinks with caffeine and taurine are banned in Norway, Uruguay and Denmark because of health risks.
Nutritional information on the most popular drinks 
Kotke and Gehrke 2008 provided a table with nutritional information on the most popular drinks. The table was compiled to help renal dietitians to stay informed of the abundance of products and to guide chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients appropriately. 
The authors stress that a sports drink is a beverage designed to help athletes rehydrate and replenish sugar and other nutrients that can be depleted after strenuous training or competition. An energy drink is a beverage designed to give the consumer a burst of energy through a combination of ingredients including caffeine, vitamins, minerals, and exotic herbal ingredients. Some CKD patients may need a sports drink if they are training for or performing in a strenuous sports-related event that depletes their electrolytes and sugar. Energy drinks, if approved by the renal dietitian, may be appropriate for patients who can tolerate them.
Most energy drinks contain herbal supplements such as guarana, yerba mate leaves, Pannax ginseng, gingko biloba, and milk thistle. When determining if an energy drink is appropriate, it is important to remember that herbal supplements often claim to provide health benefits with minimal scientific evidentiary support. Some herbs may interact with prescription medications and alter their effectiveness or interact in a harmful way.
An “N/A” (not available) in table 1 means no information was available, and therefore the authors do not recommend these products for CKD patients, until further information is available. Caffeine from guarana, an herbal supplement is not listed.
Red Bull banned in France 
High energy drinks containing caffeine and taurine are banned in Norway, Uruguay, Denmark and Iceland and this week the European Court of Justice has upheld a French ban. The EC's Scientific Committee on Food conducted a study last year, and found that while caffeine levels in energy drinks were safe, more studies were needed to assess the dangers of taurine and glucuronolactone. While other toxicology experts had concluded that the caffeine levels in Red Bull are safe, France had a right to ban the drink on the advice of its own experts, the court said. 
 German Federal Risk Institute: New Human Data on the Assessment of Energy Drinks. BfR Information No. 016/2008, 13 March 2008.
 American Heart Association: Energy drinks may pose risks for people with high blood pressure, heart disease. AHA News 11/06/2007
 DeSciscio, Paolo; Prabhu, Anisha; Worthley, Matthew; Roberts-Thomson, Ross; Sanders, Prashanthan; Willoughby, Scott: Acute Effects of Red Bull on Platelet and Endothelial Function. Heart, Lung and Circulation. Volume 17, Supplement 3, 2008, Pages S23-S24. Doi:10.1016/j.hlc.2008.05.055
 Kotke, Kelly; Gehrke, Kim: Sports and Energy Drinks. Journal of Renal Nutrition
Volume 18, Issue 2, March 2008, Pages e1-e8. doi:10.1053/j.jrn.2007.10.034 ScienceDirect
 Nutritional Content of Sports and Energy Drinks. Table 1. ScienceDirect
 Belfast Telegraph: European court backs ban on Red Bull over health concerns. 18.08.2008
19.08.2008: INCRA, an institution of the Brazilian government leads deforestation in the Amazon region 
According to the Brazilian paper “Jornal do Brasil”, the environment minister, Carlos Minc, commemorated last Friday (15.08.2008) a 50 per cent drop in deforestation of the Amazon region, comparing data from July with June. Despite the improvements, the situation is serious.
The paper stresses that the government is fighting against big enterprises , and most of all, against itself: The National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA) - Instituto Nacional de Colonização e Reforma Agrária. INCRA - is listed four times among the 25 biggest deforestation organizations of the Amazon region in2007.
INCRA does not lead the list of deforestation because its infractions were listed in four different districts. Summing all hectares which were cleared by INCRA leads by far all other organizations engaged in deforestation in 2007. It was fined by the environment institute (IBAMA) with R$ 176 million (74 million Euro) for the deforestation of 151 thousand hectares of Amazonian forest in the state of Mato Grosso, a “special preservation”protected area .
The top deforestation organizations
From the top 25 deforestation organizations 15 are operating in the state of Mato Grosso , seven in Pará, one in the state Amazonas, one in Rondônia and one in the state of Acre. Sidinei Carrara, of Pará, was fined with R$ 148 milhões (62 million Euro). More that six thousand hectares of forest was destroyed by the group Celso Padovani & CIA LTDA in Marcelândia in Mato Grosso.
Deforestation in Brazil mounts up to 600 thousand hectares which were destroyed only in 2007. Ibama registered 3.312 delicts in 2007 and issued R$ 2 billions (840 Million Euro) fine. It is uncertain if these fines will ever be payed because of the complicated laws allowing appeals which may delay the case up to 32 years.
The four top deforestation states are situated in the North. Mato Grosso is the outstanding State with
385 registrated delicts and 400 thousand hectares of destroyed forest. The state of Pará comes next with 127 thousand hectares, Rondônia had 38 thousand hectares destroyed by deforestation and the state of Amazonas shows up with 24 thousand hectares.
The state of Maranhão ranks five in deforestation with more than 22 thousand hectares which were deforestated. In two other states, Acre and Tocantins, 935 delicts were registrated
None other states of Brazil were found last year, to have deforested more than three thousand hectares. Illegal deforestation therefore is concentrated in the Amazon rain forest, where it hurts the most.
Brazil consumes 200 Million m3 of forest each year 
According to a report from the Brazilian paper Diário do Pará 19.08.2008, the country consumes 350 million cubic metres of wood. Only 150 million come from planted forests. The state of Paraná and Santa Catarina presented the highest area of new plantations, summing up to 6 million hectares, which nears the area planted with sugar cane. This,however, is not sufficient to cover the demand of celulose, cast iron, building and furniture industry .
The ministry of agriculture, fishery and supply will provide a sustainable wood production policy but admits that everything is just soft talk.
 Jornal do Brasil: Incra é líder do desmatamento 18.08.2008
 Brasil consome 200 milhões de m3 de florestas. Diário do Pará. 19.08.2008
18.08.2008: Intake of omega- 3 fatty acids from fish may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) 
According to the European EUREYE study age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the single most common cause of adult blind registration in many developed countries, including Europe. AMD occurs predominantly in the older population, especially in those aged over 70 years.
There are two main types of AMD: neovascular (“wet”) AMD, and geographic atrophy (“dry”) AMD. AMD is considered to represent the severe form of a constellation of morphological changes in the retina that occur in the ageing eye. Longitudinal studies have shown that, in around one in five people, these features are a risk for the development of AMD.
The EUREYE study included possible causes such as dietary risks, smoking, solar radiation and antioxidant vitamins.
Cristina Augood and colleagues 2008 writing for EUREYE report that eating once a week oily fish rich in DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) the risk of neovascular AMD (NV-AMD) was halved. According to the authors vitamin D might be a protective agent for AMD through its anti-inflammatory properties. There was no independent association between dietary vitamin D and NV-AMD when either EPA or DHA were included in the model. 
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine: Age-related maculopathy and macular degeneration in elderly European populations: the EUREYE study
 Augood, Cristina; Chakravarthy, Usha; Young, Ian; Vioque, Jesus; de Jong, Paulus TVM; Bentham, Graham; Rahu, Mati; Seland, Johan; Soubrane, Gisele; Tomazzoli, Laura; Topouzis, Fotis; Vingerling, Johannes R; Fletcher, Astrid E: Oily fish consumption, dietary docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid intakes, and associations with neovascular age-related macular degeneration: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 88, No. 2, 398-406, August 2008
17.08.2008: Aphids survey to predict responses to environmental changes 
According to Dr Richard Harrington aphids, such as the peach-potato aphid (Myzus persicae) are found flying around almost four weeks earlier, and their number in spring and early summer is increased when crops are particularly vulnerable to damage.
Aphids extract large amounts of sap, weakening the host plant, and spread plant viruses. Aphids excrete very sticky honeydew, which can encourage the growth of moulds causing further weakening and attract ants which live in symbiosis with the aphids.
Up to date news on the distribution and abundance of pest aphids at a regional scale in UK based on data from a network of sixteen suction traps are provided by the Centre for Bioenergy and Climate Change Department of Plant and Invertebrate Ecology, Rothamsted Research. These long-term data on the seasonal appearance of flying aphids not only show that there are already noticeable changes in the UK climate, but they also provide the knowledge which will help to mitigate the consequences. 
Richard Harrington and colleagues 2007 suggested the possible value of aphids in predicting responses to environmental changes. Aphids have a short generation time and low developmental threshold temperatures and respond particularly strongly to environmental changes. Forty years daily survey data of aphids have been collected throughout the European Network "EXAMINE".  
 Harrington, Richard: Flying in the face of change. Rothamsted Research .The quarterly magazine of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council . BBSRC Busines s July 2008. Page 12
 RIS:Aphid bulletin.
 Harrington, Richard; Clark, Suzanne J.; Welham, Sue J.; Verrier, Paul J.; Denholm, Colin H.; Hulle, Maurice, Maurice, Damien; Rounsevell, Mark D.; Cocu, Nadege: Environmental change and the phenology of European aphids. Global Change Biology. Volume 13 Issue 8, Pages 1550-1564 Published Online: Jul 17 2007 12:00AM. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2007.01394.x
Examine: Exploitation of Aphid Monitoring systems in Europe.
17.08.2008:Protozoa on leafy vegetables increases risk of enteric diseases 
Brandle and colleagues 2008 studied the protozoa Glaucoma sp., Tetrahymena pyriformis , Colpoda steinii, and Acanthamoeba palestinensis on spinach and lettuce and their interactions with S. enterica, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Listeria monocytogenes.
The authors found that vesicles production was observed during grazing on E. coli O157:H7 and S. enterica but not during grazing on L. monocytogenes, in vitro and on leaves. Also C. steinii and A. palestinensis did not produce vesicles, nor any of the enteric pathogens were trapped by both protozoa.
The researchers report that up to 50 Salmonella cells are found in a vacuole. The dense clustering is supposed to protect the innermost ones from ultraviolet rays or harmful temperatures, they are also protected against low doses of calcium hypochlorite, used to sanitize food-processing equipment and foods. Salmonella cells in vacuoles were three times more likely to survive a 10-minute bath of 2 parts per million of calcium hypochlorite than unenclosed cells.
The authors found that E. coli O157:H7 in expelled vesicles multiplied and escaped the expelled protozoan vesicles. They conclude that protozoa and their activity on leafy vegetables with formation of vesicles may enhance the aggressivity of trapped enteric bacteria which can better resist food sanitation.
 Poornima Gourabathini, Maria T. Brandl, Katherine S. Redding, John H. Gunderson, and Sharon G. Berk: Interactions between Food-Borne Pathogens and Protozoa Isolated from Lettuce and Spinach. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, April 2008, p. 2518-2525, Vol. 74, No. 8. doi:10.1128/AEM.02709-07
16.08.2008: Safety of fresh-cut produces 
According to the USDA, between 1996 and 2006, there were 24 reported incidents of foodborne illness caused by contaminated fresh-cut produce in the United States, such as the E. coli O157:H7 contamination of spinach. To increase the safety of fresh-cut produces the department published some important recommendations :
Anything that comes into contact with fresh produce has the potential to contaminate it, such as indirect or direct contact with feces. Sources of fecal contamination include animals, untreated manure used as a soil amendment, water, infected workers, or conditions in the field or packing facility, such as unclean containers and tools used in harvesting and packing.
Multiple farming activities come close together making it harder to keep livestock and produce separate. Livestock and wildlife are likely to be drinking from the same creek that irrigates a crop field.
Transport also presents opportunities for contamination, such as unclean floors and walls of the vehicles or unclean containers.
Processing fresh produce into fresh-cut products further increases the risk of contamination by breaking the natural exterior barrier of the produce. The release of plant cellular components when produce is shredded or chopped provides a nutritive medium in which pathogen can grow and contamination can spread.
Improper sanitation during processing is another major potential point of contamination by pathogens, followed by the absence of a lethal process, such as a heat step during production to eliminate pathogens; and the potential for temperature change during processing, storage, transport, and retail display.
Ultrasound cleaning of equipment 
Ultrasound technology is being used to sterilize equipment without chemicals. Utrasound treatments, around 20 kHz, collapse bubbles in the cleaning liquid and releases energy that kills bacteria.
Rapid microbe removal
Bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes on the belt surfaces are eliminated in only 10-20 seconds.
Cleaning with ultrasound saves about 50 percent of energy and water., and avoids blind spots of the conveyor. The sanitation system includes precleaning with degreasers and caustics, followed with ultrasonic sterilization of the belt surface.
The USDA said that researchers at its Produce Quality and Safety Laboratory (PQSL) in Maryland have been focusing on ways to keep salads safe at processing plants before and after bagging. Cutting fresh produce during harvesting removes natural protective barriers, exposing cut surfaces to potential contaminants. Combining sanitizers with ultrasound, optimizing oxygen conditions and not reusing washing water can reduce bacterial contamination of lettuce and leafy greens. Young leaves of lettuce have higher risk of pathogen contamination.
Nitrogen fertilizers may increase risk of pathogens on lettuce 
Brandl and Amundson 2008 found that the increases in population size of E. coli O157:H7 on lettuce plants was 10-fold higher on the young (inner) leaves than on the middle leaves, suggesting that leaf age affects preharvest as well as postharvest colonization. The authors say that young-leaf exudates were 2.9 and 1.5 times richer in total nitrogen and carbon, respectively, than middle-leaf exudates. The low nitrogen limits the growth of pathogens on these leaves.
The authors concluded that leaf age and nitrogen content in young lettuce leaves may be associated with a greater risk of contamination with E. coli O157:H7.
Maria Brandl calls for a strategy of reduction of nitrogen fertilizers to increase safety of lettuce.
Washing and ultrasound 
Yaguang Luo, studied the safety and quality of precut lettuce. He found that sliced romaine lettuce leaves rinsed in fresh wash water, dried, packed in bags and stored for 14 days by 5°C had lower bacterial counts than leaves which were unwashed or were washed with reused water.
Luo also found that the combination of a sanitizer with ultrasound treatment for industrial-scale reduced substantially the number of bacteria on the surface of vegetables.
Modified atmosphere and temperature may alter bacterial resistance to gastric juice 
Arvind Bhagwat studied the effect of low-oxygen based modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) and temperature after 8 days storage of fresh lettuce.
The author found that bacteria acquired resistance to synthetic gastric juice when stored under extremely low-oxygen conditions ( between 0,5 and one per cent of oxygen) and at temperatures of 15°C or above. No resistance was induced among bacteria stored under extremely low-oxygen conditions and at temperatures of 10°C or below. Proper storage temperatures are, therefore, essential to minimize bacterial growth and adaptability inside sealed, bagged salad greens under MAP. The authors concluded that MAP must be supported by proper storage temperature to minimizing bacterial adaptability.
 USDA: Forum-Making Sure Leafy Greens and Other Produce Stay Safe
 USDA Agricultural Research Service: Safe Leafy Greens-Before and After Bagging. July 2008 - Vol. 56, No. 6
 M. T. Brandl and R. Amundson: Leaf Age as a Risk Factor in Contamination of Lettuce with Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella enterica. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 2008 74: 2298-2306.
 USDA Agricultural Research Service: Cold Temperature is Key to Quality of Bagged Salads. Agricultural Research Magazine. July 2008 - Vol. 56, No. 6
 USDA Agricultural Research Service: Safe Leafy Greens-Before and After Bagging. Agricultural Research Magazine. July 2008 - Vol. 56, No. 6
14.08.2008: Decline of honeybee populations 
Honeybee decline is thought to be caused by a combination of factors like climate change, parasites (like the varroa mite), diseases, overexposure to pesticides and the loss of suitable habitat. Dr Dave Chandler examines naturally occurring fungi that kill the varroa mite. Varroa destructor, formerly V. jacobsoni, feed on the circulatory fluid of honey bee pupae and adult bees, activate and transmit diseases, reducing bee life expectancy and causing the colony to decline. Presently, the control of varroa is based on the use of chemical pesticides.
To avoid growing mite resistance, biological control technologies, such as fungus which kill the varroa mite, could offer an alternative pest management strategy of varroa, but had a low impact on the bees and worked in the warm and dry conditions typically found in bee hives and find the best ways of applying this weapon across the hive. This includes fungal footbaths at the main entrance to hives and powder spays.
Othe mite control systems 
Fluvalinate (Apistan strips):
Fluvalinate is the active ingredient of Apistan strips. It is a synthetic pyrethroid applied as a contact miticide.
Coumaphos (CheckMite+ strips):
Coumaphos is the active ingredient of CheckMite+ strips. The product is an organophosphate, applied as a contact miticide.
Sugar esters (Sucrocide) in spray application
Formic acid is effective against Varroa and tracheal mites (Acarapis woodi).
Oxalic acid (Oxalic acid dihydrate) should only be applied in late fall when the colony has no brood.
Non Chemical Control:
Traps and oils.
 Chandler, Dave; Prince, Gill; Ball, Brenda; Pell, Judith; Birchall, Caroline: Fungal biocontrol of the varroa mite
 Wikipedia: Varroa mite
14.08.2008: Antioxidant potential of cinnamon tea 
Akram Ranjbar and colleagues 2006 studied the antioxidative stress capacity of cinnamon tea (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) in humans for 2 weeks. The authors found an increased in total antioxidant power and total thiols but a decrease in lipid peroxidation levels, compared with regular tea. The authors concluded that the antioxidant potential of cinamon tea may reduce the complications related to oxidative stress.
Antidiabetic effect of Cinnamomum cassia extract 
According to Verpohl, Bauer and Neddermann 2005 Cinnamomum cassia bark or extracts from Cinnamomum cassia and zeylanicum exerted an effect on blood glucose and plasma insulin levels in rats. The cassia extract was found to be superior to the zeylanicum extract. The extract of cassia was slightly more efficacious than its bark.
The authors concluded that acassia extract reduced the blood glucose levels in a glucose tolerance test (GTT), and plasma insulin production was elevated responding to an in vitro stimulatory effect of insulin release from INS-1 cells. Cassia extract is, therefore, considered to have a direct antidiabetic effect.
 Ranjbar, Akram; Ghasmeinezhad, Sara; Zamani, Hosnieh; Malekirad, Ali Akbar; Baiaty, Akram; Mohammadirad, Azadeh; Abdollahi, Mohammad: Antioxidative stress potential of Cinnamomum zeylanicum in humans: a comparative cross-sectional clinical study. Therapy, January 2006, Vol. 3, No. 1, Pages 113-117. Doi: 10.2217/14750708.3.1.113
 Antidiabetic effect of Cinnamomum cassia and Cinnamomum zeylanicum: In vivo and In vitro
Eugen J. Verspohl, Katrin Bauer, Eckhard Neddermann. Volume 19 Issue 3, March 2005. Pages 203 – 206. Doi:10.1002/ptr.1643
14.08.2008: Safflower extract reduces risk of renal fibrosis 
Akram Ranjbar and colleagues 2006 studied the blood-circulation-promoting Chinese herb, safflower, on fibrosis status in NRK-49F cells, and the mechanism of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), a potent fibrogenic growth factor. They found that safflower extract can suppress renal cellular fibrosis by inhibiting the TGF-beta autocrine loop, and less tissue collagen were noted in the nephron and serum TGF-beta1 compared with the untreated controls.
The authors concluded that safflower extract inhibits renal fibrosis by down-regulating TGF-beta signals.
 Yu-Lin Yang, Shan-Yu Chang, Hsiang-Chun Teng, Yi-Shiuan Liu, Tao-Chen Lee, Lea-Yea Chuang, Jinn-Yuh Guh, Fang-Rong Chang, Tung-Nan Liao, Jau-Shyang Huang, Jeng-Hsien Yeh, Wen-Teng Chang, Min-Yuan Hung, Ching-Jen Wang, Tai-An Chiang, Chien-Ya Hung , Tsung-Jen Hung: Safflower extract: A novel renal fibrosis antagonist that functions by suppressing autocrine TGF-beta Journal of Cellular Biochemistry Volume 104 Issue 3, Pages 908 - 919 Doi:10.1002/jcb.21676
14.08.2008: Select sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) brans: inhibition of protein glycation 
Farrar, Hartle, Hargrove and Greenspan 2008 studied the effect of ethanol extracts of polyphenolic phytochemicals located in the bran fraction of sorghum, on albumin glycation, important in the pathogenesis of many diabetic complications. Sorghum brans with a high phenolic content and high antioxidant properties inhibited protein glycation, low phenolic content did not. Ethanol extracts of wheat, rice or oat bran did not inhibit protein glycation.
The authors concluded that certain varieties of sorghum bran may have an effect on diabetes and insulin resistance. They suggest that select sorghum brans to be used as a nutraceuticals.
 Farrar, Johnetta L.; Hartle, Diane K.; Hargrove, James L.; Greenspan, Phillip: A novel nutraceutical property of select sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) brans: inhibition of protein glycation. Volume 22 Issue 8, 2008. Pages 1052 - 1056 http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/119881948/abstract
14.08.2008: EFSA considers ice structuring protein ISP as safe 
Ice structuring proteins (ISPs) are naturally produced by a variety of living organisms - including certain fish, plants and vegetables - to help them cope with very cold environments by lowering the temperature at which ice crystals form.
A joint opinion on the EFSA found these proteins tto be safe for use in foods. They will be added
to ice cream in order to control the formation of ice crystals during manufacture permitting a creamy consistency with lower fat content. The technique involves production of the isolated proteins using a genetically modified strain of baker’s yeast. The protein produced does not contain any residual modified yeast cells or detectable recombinant DNA.
EFSA’s NDA and GMO Panels concluded that the proposed use of ISPs – in ice cream at no more than 0.01% of weight - is safe subject to the specification and production practices described by the applicant. The Panels found no evidence of genotoxic activity in a variety of trials. Based on a range of test results, the risk of an allergic reaction in fish-allergic people or the population at large is considered very unlikely, as is the possibility that allergic reactions to yeast allergens could occur due to eating the ISP-containing products.
Ice structuring proteins are in common foods such as oats, rye, wheat, barley, carrot, potato and cold water fish. No safety issues have been reported either from consuming natural dietary sources or through the addition of ISPs to foods, which is authorized in countries including the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
The organism used for the productio of ISPs
The baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Strain CENPK338 has been used since
2003 for commercial production of the ISP for use in non European ice cream production. No gene encoding antibiotic resistance and no bacterial DNA were introduced. From 2003 to 2007 more than 470 million ISP-containing edible ice products have been sold in the USA and 47 thousand litres of ISP containing ice cream has been sold in Australia/New Zealand. There have been no reported safety issues.
With regards to the potential of adverse allergic reactions against yeast allergens, the Panel considers it is unlikely that such reactions would occur after ingestion of the ISP-containing products. The Panel concludes that the use of the ISP type III HPLC 12 preparation at a maximum level equivalent to 0.01% ISP type III HPLC 12 in edible ices is safe.
 EFSA: Safety of Ice Structuring Protein (ISP) - Scientific Opinion of the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies and of the Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms
Question number: EFSA-Q-2008-073 Published 08.08.2008
13.08.2008: Low birth weight is associated with salt sensitivity 
Dr Giacomo Simonetti and colleagues 2008 found that children aged between 7 and 15 who had low birth weights are more likely to be salt sensitive, have increased blood pressure with higher intakes of salt, than children of the same age with normal birth weights, and are more likely to develop hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and renal disease later in life. Salt sensitivity was present in 37% and 47% of all of the low birth weight and small for gestational age children, respectively, kidney length.
The authors believe that that smaller kidneys leading to salt sensitivity is probably one reason of that. They recommend that low-birth-weight infants avoid a lifelong excessive salt intake. They stress that fast food may also be harmful to these persons. Infants with low birth weights frequently come from complicated pregnancies. A healthy lifestyle during pregnancy is therefore beneficial for mother and newborn. They call for more studies on this subject.
 Simonetti, Giacomo D.; Raio, Luigi; Surbek, Daniel; Nelle, Mathias; Frey, Felix J.; Mohaupt, Markus G.: Salt Sensitivity of Children With Low Birth Weight. Hypertension, Aug 2008; doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.108.114983
12.08.2008: Despite rising prices of feed EPA rejected a waiver of ethanol mandate 
According to the National Chicken Council NCC, the Environmental Protection Agency's rejected a request submitted in April by the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry to grant a waiver of the ethanol mandate that is diverting corn from livestock and poultry feed into motor fuel. The NCC says that it is outrageous that the federal government continues to require and even to subsidize the diversion of corn from the food supply into the fuel supply, The Council stresses that food-to-fuel policy rises food prices and chicken companies are loosing money, amounting up to.
The position of the Farm Foundation 
Tyner, Hurt and Abbott, 2008, in the study, What’s Driving Food Prices?, written for the Farm Foundation, identified three broad sets of forces driving food price increases: global changes in production and consumption of key commodities, the depreciation of the U.S. dollar, and growth in the production of biofuels.
The authors say that food price levels are the result of complex interactions among multiple factors. However, one simple fact stands out: economic growth and rising human aspirations are putting greater pressure on the global resource base.
The study stresses that policies, including subsidies and mandates, in the United States and European Union led to the development of the biofuels industry and its growing demand for corn and vegetable oils. In the last four years, most of the growing global demand for corn has come from its increased use for ethanol production. The ethanol blender credit, tariff and Renewable Fuel Standard are factors causing increased corn price, but quantitatively most of the increase has been driven by higher oil prices.
The report said that quantitatively, most of the corn price increase is driven by high crude oil prices. Corn price has increased by $4 a bushel in four years, and only $1 resulted from the ethanol subsidy, meanwhile the increase of the crude oil price mounted up to $80 a barrel.
The National Corn Growers Association 
The National Corn Growers Association hailed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision today to deny a request to reduce the renewable fuels standard. Ron Litterer, president of the association says: "We hope that those who have been critical of corn ethanol because of its perceived connection to higher retail food prices will work with us to help achieve a diversified and comprehensive solution to high energy prices and our reliance on foreign oil."
 The National Chicken Council : Chicken Industry "Deeply Disappointed" by EPA Inaction On Ethanol Waiver, Urges Congress To Reform Program. Press Release 8.8.2008.
 Abbott, Philip C.; Hurt, Christopher; Tyner, Wallace E.: What's Driving Food Prices. July 23, 2008. Farm Foundation.
 The National Corn Growers Association : NCGA Thanks EPA for Denying Request to Waive Renewable Fuels Standard (8-7-08)
10.08.2008: No difference between organic foods and conventional foods concerning trace elements and bioavailability. 
Dr Susanne Bügel and colleagues from the University of Copenhagen investigated major and trace element contents of dried carrots, kale, peas, potatoes and apples and the mineral retention determined in rats fed diets based on these foodstuffs in comparison to conventional foods. The minerals Ca, P, Mg, Na, K, Fe, Zn, Cu, Mo, Co, Cd, and V. were studied in this research.
The authors found no differences in content and in retention of minerals between both cultivation systems. In conclusion of the study the belief that organically grown foodstuffs generally contain more major and trace elements than conventionally grown foodstuffs is not supported, neither is the bioavailability of major and trace minerals increased in rats.
No support for conclusion that rats prefer organic feed to conventional ones 
A study of Young and colleagues 2005 did not support foregoing studies which claimed that rats prefered organic foodstuffs.
The authors wrote that many rats showed individual preference for the experimental diets, but totally no clear difference among the dietary treatments could be obtained, as our data showed preferences conditional on mothers' diet treatments. The present study could therefore not support some of the previous reports (Plochberger and Velmirov, 1992, Mäder et al., 1993, Malheiros et al., 2003, concluding that rats prefer organic feeds to conventional ones.
No definite conclusion could be drawn with regard to the selection of food from one cultivation system in preference to food of another.
Opinions supporting organic food claims
The Danish government’s International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems: The Centre says that it is generally accepted that food grown organically is better for human health than food grown in the conventional way using pesticides, but no scientific studies to back these claims are presented.
The Soil Association in UK: The Association says that consumers consider aspects like lower pesticide residue levels and less impact on the environment when buying organic produces.
The Association criticizes the study of Bügel alleging that results were based on dry weight basis and not on a fresh weight basis, the results were therefore not comparable.The majority of the non-organic fruit and vegetables in soil that had previously been under organic, rather than non-organic, management. The Association cited also the study of Lauridsen 2008 which found that different cultivation methods caused differences in some health-related biomarkers.
Organic foodstuffs cause differences in health-related biomarkers 
Lauridsen and colleagues 2008 studied the health-related biomarkers effects of different growth conditions of plant foods. They found that rats fed with low pesticides input fodder had a higher serum IgG concentration compared to rats fed with high pesticide input fodder and 14% less adipose tissue, and showed less movement during the day than the other treatments. The liver metabolic function and free malonedialdehyde and fatty acid and alfa tocopherol and the liver concentration of lipid hydroperoxides differed between these two treatments.
The authors concluded that different cultivation methods caused differences in some health-related biomarkers and called for more studies on the subject.
 Kristensen, Mette; Ostengaard, Halekoh, Lars Ulrich; Jorgensen, Henry; Lauridsen, Charlotte; Brandt, Kirsten; Bügel, Suzanne. Effect of plant cultivation methods on content of major and trace elements in foodstuffs and retention in rats. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
 Yong, C.; Halekoh, Ulrich; Jørgensen, Henry und Lauridsen, Charlotte (2005) Dependent on dietary treatments of mothers, rats showed individual preference of diets containing ingredients produced with different cultivation strategies. Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences 2005, 14:pp. 715-726.
 Lauridsen, C. Yong, C. Halekoh, U. Bugel, S. H. Brandt, K. Christensen, L. P. Jorgensen, H.: Rats show differences in some biomarkers of health when eating diets based on ingredients produced with three different cultivation strategies: Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 2008, Vol. 88; Number 4, pages 720-732
10.08.2008: Study supports caffeine protection of the blood brain barrier 
Chen and colleagues 2008 studied the way how chronic ingestion of caffeine protects against high cholesterol diet-induced disruptions of the blood brain barrier (BBB). High levels of serum cholesterol and disruptions of the blood brain barrier may increase risk of Alzheimer's disease.
In this study rabbits were fed with a 2\% cholesterol-enriched diet and 3 mg caffeine daily for 12 weeks. Caffeine reduced the biochemical indicators of disruption of the blood brain barrier.
The authors concluded that chronic ingestion of caffeine protects against high cholesterol diet-induced disruptions of the BBB, and caffeine and drugs similar to caffeine might be useful in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Caffeine is a safe and readily available drug which stabilises the blood brain barrier and protects against neurological disorders.
 Chen X, Gawryluk JW, Wagener JF, Ghribi O, Geiger JD.: Caffeine blocks disruption of blood brain barrier in a rabbit model of Alzheimer's disease. J Neuroinflammation. 2008 Apr 3;5:12. PMID: 18387175
08.08.2008: GM kiwi fruit will meet flavour, colour and market demands, says New Zwaland research 
The New Zealand's Hort Research and Genesis Research and Development Corporation published a collection of 130,000 DNA sequences of kiwi fruit , which enables breeders to tailor new fruits to meet consumer tastes and market needs. The expressed sequence tags (EST) from plant genes eptressing flavour, colour, shape, and vitamin content, ripening and storage time are now identified.
The authors stress that using Marker Assisted Selection (MAS) breeders may identify the specific genes of interest. The outcomes of this research will be used in the New Zealand kiwi production which amount up to 34.000 tonnes per year.
 Crowhurst, Ross N., and colleagues: Analysis of expressed sequence tags from actinidia: applications of a cross species EST database for gene discovery in the areas of flavor, health, color and ripening. BMC Genomics 2008, 9:351 BMC Genomics 2008, 9:351 Doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-351
The full article is provided at:
06.08.2007: The eradication of Helicobacter pylori after gastric cancer cancer surgery 
Nicholas J. Talley wrote that the risk for regression of gastric cancer after gastric surgery was reduced after eradicating the bacteria Helicobacter pylori. Previous studies claimed that there was a relation between Helicobacter pylori infection and gastric cancer. 
Despite being classified as carcinogen by the WHO, and the Asian-Pacific consensus conference in 2007 having recommended that population-based screening and antibiotic treatment of Helicobacter pylori in high-risk populations, this is not generally accepted. The author stresses therefore that eradication of this bacterium should be priority in regions with high incidence of gastric cancer.
According to Kazutoshi Fukase and colleagues, 2008 the prophylactic eradication of Helicobacter pylori after endoscopic resection of early gastric cancer should be used to prevent the development of metachronous gastric carcinoma. 
The study of Fukase contradicts previous studies which found no relation between the bacterium and stomach cancer.  
 Talley, Nicholas J: Is it time to screen and treat H pilori to prevent gastric cancer? Lancet. 2008;372:350-352; 392-397.
 Wang, Changcheng; Yuan, Yuhong; Hunt, Richard H.: The Association Between Helicobacter pylori Infection and Early Gastric Cancer: A Meta-Analysis. Am J Gastroenterol. 2007 Aug;102(8):1789-98. Epub 2007 May 23.
 Fukase K, Kato M, Kikuchi S, Inoue K, Uemura N, Okamoto S, Terao S, Amagai K, Hayashi S, Asaka M; Japan Gast Study Group.Effect of eradication of Helicobacter pylori on incidence of metachronous gastric carcinoma after endoscopic resection of early gastric cancer: an open-label, randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2008 Aug 2;372(9636):392-7. PMID: 18675689.
 Helicobacter pylori Eradication to Prevent Gastric Cancer in a High-Risk Region of China: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Benjamin Chun-Yu Wong; Shiu Kum Lam; Wai Man Wong; Jian Shun Chen; Ting Ting Zheng; Rui E. Feng; Kam Chuen Lai; Wayne Hsing Cheng Hu; Siu Tsan Yuen; Suet Yi Leung; Daniel Yee Tak Fong; Joanna Ho; Chi Kong Ching; Jun Shi Chen
 Fuccio, L.; Zagari, R.M.; Minardi, M.E.; Bazzoli, F.: Systematic review: Helicobacter pylori eradication for the prevention of gastric cancer (p 133-141). Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. Volume 25 Issue 2, Pages 133 – 141. Doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2006.03183.x
03.08.2008: Mediterranean population change from healthy traditional Mediterranean diet to unhealthy diets high in meat and fast foods 
According to a paper of the FAO, compiled by Josef Schmidhuber, the Mediterranean population is shifting from their traditional healthy diets, rich in cereals, fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish and olive oil, to diets with more meat, saturated fats and time-saving processed foods.
Studies say that the Mediterranean diet has benefits for arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, hearth health and blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, lung disease, and allergies.
Schmidhuber studied the compliance of the diets in relation to protein, total lipids, fatty acids, carbohydrates, total dietary fibre, sugar, cholesterol, sodium chloride/sodium, and fruits and vegetables in the period of 1961 to 2003 compared with the recommendations of the WHO/FAO.
The author blames the European agricultural policies as one of the main culprits, generating not only high costs for consumers and taxpayers when subsidies are paid to farmers, but even higher costs when consumers and taxpayers have to bear the health burden of over-consumption encouraged by these subsidies.
The diet has become too fat, too salty and too sweet, calories rising by 20 per cent from 2960 kcal to 3340 kcal in the last 40 years for Europe and even by 40 per cent in the countries around the Mediterraean Sea. Spain had the highest shift to fatty foods from 25 percent of fat to 40 percent of the diet.
Schmidhuber also stresses that in general the rise in supermarkets, changes in food distribution systems, and calorie needs declining as people lead more sedentary lifestyles are factors of the dietary shift in Europe. More women have jobs outside the home and convenience foods are preferred.
Non-EU Mediterranean countries adhere to diets higher in carbohydrates. Egypt is cited with a diet of 400 g of glycaemic carbohydrates per person per day.
 Schmidhuber, Josef: The EU Diet – Evolution, Evaluation and Impacts of the CAP. Senior Economist Global Perspectives Studies Unit, FAO.
03.08.2008: Plasma glucose concentration at 1 hour during the oral glucose tolerance test to predict the risk for type 2 diabetes 
Muhammad A. Abdul-Ghani and colleagues 2008 assessed the efficacy of 1-h plasma glucose concentration and the metabolic syndrome in predicting future risk of type 2 diabetes.
The authors suggest the use of the plasma glucose concentration at 1 hour during the oral glucose tolerance test to predict the risk of type 2 diabetes. A plasma glucose higher than 155 mg/dl, and the Adult Treatment Panel ATP III criteria for the metabolic syndrome was found useful to classify nondiabetic patients into three risk groups: low, intermediate, and high risk.
 Abdul-Ghani, Muhammad A.; Abdul-Ghani, Tamam; Ali, Nibal; DeFronzo, Ralph A.: One-Hour Plasma Glucose Concentration and the Metabolic Syndrome Identify Subjects at High Risk for Future Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care 2008 31: 1650-1655.
02.08.2008: Pesticide risk assessment
The EFSA assessed the risk of several pesticides and presented its conlusions.
Abamectin (Avermectin) 
Abamectin is a mixture of avermectins, containing more than 80% avermectin B1a and less than 20% avermectin B1b . These two components, B1a and B1b have very similar biological and toxicological properties. The avermectins are insecticida or antihelmitic compounds derived from the soil bacterium Streptomyces avermitilis as a fermentation product. It is used to control insect and mite pests. 
According to the EFSA, Abamectin is very toxic by inhalation and if swallowed. Abamectin had no mutagenic or carcinogenic potential.
The acceptable daily intake (ADI) and acceptable operator exposure level (AOEL) are 0.0025 mg/kg bw/day based on the short term dog studies, whereas the acute reference dose (ARfD) is 0.005 mg/kg bw based on the acute neurotoxicity study.
The long term risk to birds was assessed as high for the uses in lettuce and tomatoes.
The acute risk to mammals is considered to be low. However a long term risk to mammals cannot be excluded. Abamectin is very toxic to aquatic organisms.
The EfSA concluded that a safe use with respect to aquatic invertebrates is demonstrated only for the use in lettuce in the field (pond scenario) and the use in lettuce and tomatoes in glasshouses (ditch). For all the other uses and scenarios the risk is not acceptable without sufficient risk mitigation measures (for example no-spray bufferzones varying from 14 (stream scenario) – 18 m (ditch scenario) for applications in citrus and 2 m for the applications in tomatoes and lettuce.
The relevant regulatory endpoint for the acute risk assessment for fish was the mean HC5 based on
LC50-values (= 3.08 μg a.s./L) with a safety factor of 10 = 0.31 μg a.s./L. Based on this value the use in citrus needs a bufferzone of minimal 10 m. For the other uses no additional bufferzones are necessary. For the chronic risk assessment to fish an HC5 of 0.22 μg a.s./L was agreed upon.
For the use in citrus a buffer zone of minimal 15 m is needed to get an acceptable off-field risk. For the field uses in lettuce and tomatoes this buffer zone should be 5 m.
The representative formulated product for the evaluation was “Fluazinam 500SC”, a suspension
concentrate containing 500 g/L fluazinam. Fluazinam is the technical grade active ingredient of Allegro 500F. It is used for the control of late blight on potatoes and is temporary registered under Section 17 of the Pest Control Products (PCP) Regulations of Canada.
In the acute studies, fluazinam was harmful by inhalation, severely irritating to the eyes and skin sensitizer. The liver was the target organ in repeat dose studies with rats, mice and dogs. Some haematological changes were also observed in dogs, and the increased vacuolation of white matter in brain and spinal cord observed at high doses was demonstrated to be directly related to one impurity.
The acceptable daily intake (ADI) is 0.01 mg/kg bw/day, the acute reference dose (ARfD) 0.07 mg/kg bw and the acceptable operator exposure level (AOEL) 0.004 mg/kg bw/day.
Fish was the most sensitive aquatic organisms on an acute and chronic time scale in the standard
Metazachlor is a herbicide. It was proposed to be classified as skin sensitiser. The relevant NOAELs for subacute and subchronic exposure in rats are 110 mg/kg bw/day and 21 mg/kg bw/day.
Metazachlor did not show any genotoxic potential. Liver adenomas and thyroid tumours occurred in the rat, while the mouse showed slight increases in bladder transitional cell tumours at high dose levels. Since there was no genotoxicity and clear no- effect levels for tumour development were seen in all tests, it was apparent that tumour development could be considered to involve a threshold mechanism. A classification as “Limited evidence of a carcinogenic effect” was proposed.
An ADI of 0.08 mg/kg bw/day was derived for metazachlor, based on the NOAEL of 8.5 mg/kg
bw/day; an ARfD of 0.5 mg/kg bw was derived, based on the NOAEL of 50 mg/kg bw/day from the developmental study in rats, and the AOEL was set at 0.2 mg/kg bw/day, based on the relevant short term toxicity NOAEL 21 mg/kg bw/day in rat.
A possible transfer of soil residues to rotational crops has been identified, but under usual rotation
practices with rape seed no measurable residue level above the analytical limit of quantification is
expected in food commodities from rotational crops.
There is a low exposure of livestock to residues present in feeding stuff but their transfer to edible
animal commodities is not expected to reach analytically measurable levels.
Fenpropimorph is rapidly and almost completely absorbed, largely distributed, extensively metabolised and without bioaccumulation in the body. In the acute toxicity studies, the compound was shown to be harmful if swallowed and irritating to the skin. In the short term studies, the liver was the target organ and the body weight was decreased in all species.
No effects on the reproductive parameters were observed in a multigeneration study in rats, but
teratogenic findings in rats and rabbits led to the proposed classification Repro Cat.3 R63 Possible
risk of harm to the unborn child.
The agreed ADI (acceptable daily intake) was 0.003 mg/kg bw/day, the agreed AOEL (acceptable
operator exposure level) 0.007 mg/kg bw/day and the agreed ARfD (acute reference dose) 0.03 mg/kg bw.
A transfer of residues to livestock consuming treated feedstuffs may result in measurable residue
levels in animal commodities. MRLs are proposed for plant and animal commodities. The resulting consumer exposure was found to be below the toxicological reference values.
In mammalian toxicity tests, mepiquat-chloride is harmful to rats after oral exposure and is proposed for classification with R22 “Harmful if swallowed” (LD50 464 mg/kg bw, equivalent to 270 mg/kg bw mepiquat). The dermal LD50 of mepiquat-chloride in rats is >2000 mg/kg bw; mepiquat-chloride is proposed for classification as R20, Harmful by inhalation as the LC50 in the rat for mepiquat- chloride was approximately 4.89 mg/l (equivalent to 2.84 mg/L mepiquat), the maximum attainable concentration under the experimental conditions. Mepiquat-chloride is not a skin or eye irritant, nor a sensitiser.
The ADI is 0.2 mg/kg bw/day based on the NOAEL of 19.9 mg/kg bw/day from the 12-month dietary study in dogs; the AOEL is 0.3 mg/kg bw/day based on the NOAEL of 30.5 mg/kg bw/day from the 90-day study in dogs; the ARfD of 0.3 mg/kg bw for mepiquat-chloride is based on the NOAEL of 30 mg/kg bw/day obtained in the developmental neurotoxicity study.
The metabolism of mepiquat chloride was investigated in wheat, barley, cotton and grapes. The major component in the crops at harvest was unmetabolised mepiquat. Residues above the limit of quantification of the analytical method are not expected to occur in succeeding and rotational crops. Currently, only the use of mepiquat chloride on barley would be supported by a sufficient number of valid residue trial data while the notified representative use is on cereals in general.
Birds and mammals may be exposed to mepiquat-chloride by intake of insects present in the treated crop.
Buprofezin (NNI-750) 
The Acceptable Daily Intake of 0.01 mg/kg bw/day is based on the relevant NOAEL of 0.9 mg/kg bw/day from the 24 month study in rats, with an SF of 100. The Acceptable Operator Exposure Level is 0.04 mg/kg bw/day, based on a NOAEL of 10 mg/kg bw/day, with an SF of 100 and a correction for oral absorption of 40%. The Acute Reference Dose is 0.5 mg/kg bw based on the NOAEL from the developmental toxicity study and applying an SF 100.
Target organs in subchronic and chronic studies are liver and thyroid, showing increased weights and histological and clinical chemistry findings.
A potential transfer of residues to rotational crops has been noted. In soil under aerobic conditions NNI-750 exhibits medium to high persistence. NNI-750 is as very toxic to aquatic organisms. Buffer zones of 20 m are required for use in citrus to identify low risk.
Imidacloprid (Confidor, Gaucho) risk to bees 
Imidacloprid is almost completely absorbed by oral administration, does not bioaccumulate and is excreted mainly by the urine. Showing a high acute oral toxicity in mice but a low toxicity after dermal or inhalative exposure.
The acceptable daily intake (ADI) was 0.06 mg/kg bw/day based on the chronic rat study, the acceptable operator exposure level (AOEL) was 0.08 mg/kg bw/day based on the 90-day
dog study supported by the subchronic rat neurotoxicity study, and the acute reference dose (ARfD) was 0.08 mg/kg bw/day based on the 90-day dog study.
No risk for the consumer has been identified under acute or chronic exposure to residues resulting
from the representative uses of imidacloprid. This conclusion needs however to be consolidated by
further information first confirming that the metabolism of the compound in plants does not lead to compounds of particular toxicological concern.
The representative uses are spray application in apples (northern Europe and southern Europe) and
tomatoes (southern Europe) indoors and outdoors and seed treatment of sugar beet.
Overall it is concluded that the spray applications of imidacloprid pose a high risk to bees. Risk
mitigation is required for the use in orchards. The risk to bees is considered to be low if the product is not applied during flowering and if flowering weeds are removed/mown before the application. However it should be noted that bees potentially foraging in the off-crop area would still be exposed via spray drift and hence not be protected by the suggested risk mitigation measure. Flowering tomato plants are visited by honey-bees and other pollinators. The risk mitigation suggested for orchards is not an option for the use in tomato since the tomato plants flower almost continuously.
The spray application of imidacloprid will cause severe impacts on non-target arthropods in the in-
field and off-field area. However in semi-field and field studies it was demonstrated that
recolonisation of the in-field area is possible. The available data suggest that ageing of residues of
273 days is required in order not to be hazardous to larvae of Poecilus cupreus. A high risk to soil
dwelling arthropods cannot be excluded for the seed treatment use. The available semi-field test with P. cupreus was conducted at too low concentrations of imidacloprid to allow a conclusion on the risk from the representative use in sugar-beet.
Tralkoxydim is rapidly and almost completely absorbed. It is widely distributed and rapidly excreted. It has no potential for accumulation and is extensively metabolised. It is of moderate oral toxicity and of low toxicity via the dermal and inhalative route. It is a mild skin- and eye irritant and not a skin sensitizer.
The liver and the adrenal glands were the main targets of toxicity. Tralkoxydim is not genotoxic. Based on increased incidences of Leydig cell tumours in male rats and increases in ovarian tumours in the carcinogenicity study in female hamsters a classification as “Limited evidence of a carcinogenic effect” is proposed. Based on adverse effects on gonads observed in hamster, dog and rat in subchronic and chronic studies a classification as “Possible risk of impaired fertility” is proposed. Based on postimplantation loss and malformations observed in rats and abortions and reduced litters in rabbits, a classification as “Possible risk of harm to the unborn child” is proposed. Based on these classifications the tralkoxydim metabolite R173642 was considered relevant according to the EU guideline Sanco/221/2000-rev.10.
The acceptable daily intake (ADI) and the acceptable operator exposure level (AOEL) have been set at 0.005 mg/kg bw/d based on the effects observed in the 90- day and the 1-year dog study applying a safety factor of 100. The acute reference dose (ARfD) of 0.01 mg/kg bw has been derived from a rat developmental study.
Tralkoxydim is toxic to aquatic organisms, Lemna gibba as the most sensitive species. The risk to
aquatic living organisms is considered low for tralkoxydim. The risk to bees, non-target arthropods, earthworms and soil living organisms is considered to be low. Risk mitigation comparable to 5 m buffer zones are required to protect non- target plants outside the treated field.
In mammalian metabolism studies, napropamide was rapidly and extensively absorbed (> 90 %), and widely distributed.
Napropamide has low acute toxicity and no classification is proposed related to acute toxicity testing including irritancy and sensitisation. Critical effect observed through short term and long term studies was decreased body weight. No genotoxic potential is attributed to napropamide. No potential for carcinogenicity or neurotoxicity was observed; no adverse effect on fertility or on reproductive parameters was observed either, except for a higher abortion rate at maternally toxic doses in the rabbit which could not be ruled out from being a substance related effect.
The acceptable daily intake (ADI) is set at 0.3 mg/kg bw/day; the acceptable operator exposure level (AOEL) is 0.5 mg/kg bw/day considering an assessment factor of 100 and no acute reference dose is allocated.
Epoxiconazole does not have genotoxic potential in vitro and in vivo. In a 24-months study in
rats liver toxicity was observed and additionally ovary- and adrenal gland tumours were seen. In a 18- month carcinogenicity study in mice a treatment related increase in liver tumours has been observed based on which a classification of epoxiconazole as “Harmful; Limited evidence of a carcinogenic effect” was proposed. Based on the effects on reproduction seen in a two- generation study in rats (dystocia, impaired fertility, prolonged gestation and vaginal haemorrhages) it was concluded to propose a classification as “Harmful; Possible risk of impaired fertility”. Based on developmental effects such as increases in number of resorptions, skeletal variations and malformations observed in relevant studies in rats and rabbits also a classification as “Harmful; Possible risk of harm to the unborn child” was proposed. Results from new in vitro studies and a new developmental study in rats confirm that epoxiconazole has endocrine disrupting properties but do not merit changing relevant NOAELs or revising the proposed classification according to an evaluation by the rapporteur Member State.
The acceptable daily intake (ADI) is 0.008 mg/kg bw/d derived from an 18-month carcinogenicity
study in mice applying a safety factor of 100. An acute reference dose (ARfD) of 0.023 mg/kg bw has been derived based on the effects observed in two generation reproduction study in rats
Bromuconazole (Granit) 
In mammals, bromuconazole oral LD50 is 328 mg/kg bw. Classification as “harmful if swallowed” was proposed. ased on a dose-dependent increase of placental weight
and ossification delays or supernumerary bones in a number of skeletal structures. It was agreed to
propose classification ‘May cause harm to unborn child’.
The ADI of 0.01 mg/kg bw/day was set based on the relevant long term toxicity/carcinogenicity NOAEL of 0.88 mg/kg bw/day from the 2 year rat study.
Bromuconazole is very toxic to aquatic organisms. The risk to bees, earthworms, non-target plants and biological methods of sewage treatment was assessed as low.
During the mammalian toxicology studies, flutolanil was shown to be orally absorbed up to 70% and rapidly excreted. Its acute toxicity was low, it was not irritating and did not cause skin sensitization.
In short term studies, the target organ was the liver in the different species. Flutolanil was considered to have no genotoxic potential, no carcinogenic properties, no teratogenic effects or adverse effects on the reproductive parameters, and no specific neurotoxic properties.
The acceptable daily intake (ADI) is 0.09 mg/kg bw/day based on the 2-year rat study, the
acceptable operator exposure level (AOEL) is 0.56 mg/kg bw/day based on the 90-day dog study with correction for oral absorption (70%), and the acute reference dose was considered as not necessary. The dermal absorption values were 0.5% for the concentrate and 5% for the dilution.
Benfluralin has a low acute toxicity, but showed irritating and sensitizing properties. Main target organs in short term and long term studies were the liver and kidneys.
Classification as "limited evidence of a carcinogenic effect" was proposed, based on neoplastic changes observed in the liver of rats and mice and thyroid tumours in rats upon long term exposure.
The acceptable daily intake (ADI) is set at 0.005 mg/kg bw/day.
 EFSA: Conclusion regarding the peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance abamectin. F inalised: 29 May 2008
 Wikipedia: Abamectin.
 Conclusion regarding the peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance fluazinam. 26.03.2008. Publication date 29.07.2008.
 Conclusion regarding the peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance metazachlor. 14.04.2008. Publication date: 29.07.2008
Conclusion regarding the peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance fenpropimorph 14.04.2008. Publication Date: 29.07.2008
 EFSA: Conclusion regarding the peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance mepiquat. 14.04.2008. Publication Date: 28.07.2008.
 EFSA Conclusion regarding the peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance buprofezin (notified active substance).
 EFSA: Conclusion regarding the peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance imidacloprid. 29.05.2008. Publication Date: 28.07.2008
 EFSA: Conclusion regarding the peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance tralkoxydim. 26.03.2008 PublicationDate: 28.07.2008
 EFSA: Conclusion regarding the peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance napropamide. Þublication Date 28.07.2008
 EFSA: Conclusion regarding the peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance epoxiconazole. 26.03.2008. Publication Date: 28.07.2008
 Conclusion regarding the peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance bromuconazole. 26/03/2008 Published: 28/07/2008
 Conclusion regarding the peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance flutolanil. 03/03/2008 Published: 28/07/2008
 Conclusion regarding the peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance benfluralin. 03/03/2008 Published: 28/07/2008
01.08.2008: Touchi Extract 
Touchi is a fermented soy bean extract that has been used for centuries in Asia. It is a protein-rich product in powder form obtained by aqueous extraction of small soybeans that have been fermented using the fungus Aspergillus Oryzae, also known as “salted black beans”.
An application to the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) requests to use touchi in food supplements and make health claims to combat metabolic syndrome, a collection of conditions associated with obesity and type-2 diabetes. It was lodged by a Japanese distributor, CBC Co Ltd planing to market the ingredient as a food supplement and a tea/soup style formulation at levels that would not exceed 4.5g per daily serving/dose. One portion of black bean sauce contains 15g of fermented black beans, which corresponds to 4.5g of Touchi extract.
Alpha-glucosidase Inhibitory Action 
According to CBC Co Ltd touchi extract can inhibit alpha-glucosidase action, when consumed as a food supplement alongside a meal. It can delay carbohydrate digestion in the small intestinal tract. Undigested carbohydrates or disaccharides are then excreted rather than being absorbed by the body thus providing possible assistance in weight control regimes.
CBC points out that the inhibition of alpha-glucosidase is found only in beans fermented with Aspergillus sp.; it is absent in the raw or boiled bean, in bean whey or in beans fermented with Bacillus subtilis natto (a traditional Japanese appetiser). According to the UK FSA touchi will be marketed at anyone who wants to slow the breakdown of carbohydrates.
Antihyperglycemic effect of touchi extract 
Hiroyuki Fujita and colleagues 2001 found that water-extracted touchi presented antiglycemic effect at a minimum effective dose of 0.3 g. The researchers gave 0.3 g Touchi extract to diabetics before eating 200 g of cooked rice, the postprandial increases in blood glucose and mean insulin levels were significantly depressed, compared with levels when no TE was administered. This effect was due to the alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity of the extract. The authors suggest touchi extract in the management of patients with non–insulin-dependent diabetic mellitus.
Powdered Houji-tea long-term ingestion: The effects of powdered Houji-tea was studied by Fujita and coleagues 2001 in humans with borderline and mild type-2 diabetes. All subjects ingested Houji-tea with or without 0.3 g of TE before each of three meals per day for 3 mo. The alpha-glucosidase inhibitory TE demonstrated an antihyperglycemic effect and may prove useful for improving glycemic control in subjects suffering from borderline and type-2 diabetes mellitus. 
 ACNFP: July 2008: Application from CBC Co. Ltd., for the authorisation of Touchi extract under the Novel Food Regulation (EC) 258/97
 Application for Touchi Extract
 Fujita, Hiroyuki; Yamagami, Tomohide; Ohshima, Kazunori: Fermented Soybean–Derived Water-Soluble Touchi Extract Inhibits alpha-Glucosidase and Is Antiglycemic in Rats and Humans after Single Oral Treatments Journal of Nutrition. 2001;131:1211-1213.
 Fujita, H.; Yamagami,T.; Ohshima, K.: Long-Term Ingestion of a Fermented Soybean-Derived Touchi-Extract with alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitory Activity Is Safe and Effective in Humans with Borderline and Mild Type-2 Diabetes
J. Nutr., August 1, 2001; 131(8): 2105 - 2108.
01.08.2007: Camphor in flavourings and other food ingredients 
According to an opinion of the Panel of the EFSA dietary exposure to camphor arises from the consumption of foods flavoured by using either herbs (e.g. basil, coriander, marjoram, rosemary, sage), their essential oils or the chemically defined flavouring substance d-camphor. Camphor is easily absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and oxidised to 5- and 3-hydroxycamphor, followed by conjugation and excretion. Camphor is not mutagenic, and there is no evidence of reproductive and developmental toxicity after oral administration to rats and rabbits.
A TDI could not be derived. A chronic exposure of 15 mg/day equivalent to 250 µg/kg body weight (bw)/day was calculated. The Panel considered that there would be no safety concern regarding chronic toxicity.
The acute exposure estimates for children and adults are about 60-120 times and 150-360 times, respectively, lower than the probable lowest lethal oral bolus dose of 50 mg/kg bw. The acute exposure estimates for children and adults are about 2-5 times and 6-14 times, respectively, lower than the dose of 2 mg/kg bw below which no acute effects have been reported in human case studies.
The Panel suggests that maximum limits should be set to ensure that exposure to camphor does not exceed 2 mg/kg bw on a single day in any age group.
EFSA: Camphor in flavourings and other food ingredients with flavouring properties - Opinion of the Scientific Panel on Food Additives, Flavourings, Processing Aids and Materials in Contact with Food on a request from the Commission Question number: EFSA-Q-2003-144 Publication date: 30/07/2008
01.08.2008: Pathogens on raw produces 
Pathogen contamination of produce typically consumed raw has caused large scale foodborne illness. According to Robert Mandrell and colleagues 2008 pathogenic microbes often need the help of other microbial species to make the jump from their usual residents (in the intestines of warm blooded animals) to inhabit plants
Pathogens on lettuce, tomatoes and herbs
The researchers at US ARS found that pathogens such as Eschericia coli and Salmonella develop better on younger leaves with about three times as much nitrogen as in the middle leaves. Therefore strategies to minimise use of nitrogen fertilisers may help reduce E. coli contamination of produce.
On romaine lettuce and on the herb cilantro E. coli and Salmonella are aided by Erwinia chrysanthemi which causes soft rot of the vegetable and biofilms of E. coli and Salmonella.
Xanthomonas campestris (bacterial leaf spot of tomato) helps Salmonella to bind and grow on or in tomato plants. The researchers say that Xanthomonas campestris may disable the plant's immune response, allowing both it and Salmonella to multiply. Soil flooded with Salmonella contaminated water remained infectious to tomato seeds for six weeks and may infect the new plant. Crop debris can also serve as a reservoir of viable Salmonella for at least a week. The authors recommend a fallow period of about two weeks, before replanting fields with lettuce and tomatoes. The team suggest that potentially contaminated fields could benefit from a fallow period of perhaps a few weeks.
The bacterium Wausteria paucula enhances E. coli survival on lettuce leaves by six fold. However, Enterobacter asburiae, living on plants such as beans, cotton and cucumbers without harming them, reduces levels of E. coli and Salmonella on seeds of thale cress. The survival rate of E.coli fell by 20 - 30 fold when Enterobacter asburiae, Wausteria paucula and E.coli come together.
The authors suggest to control and to introduce certain microbes to crops in order to reduce the risk of pathogen spread on fresh produce like tomatoes lettuce and cilantro.
 FDA: Outmaneuvering Foodborne Pathogens. July 2008