In addition to the creation of a Product Safety Panel at the Cabinet level, there has been substantial media coverage of the risks associated with cheap Chinese exports of tainted consumer goods. Personal care items like toothpaste tainted with the antifreeze diethylene glycol, honey tainted with risky antibiotics, and food tainted with illegal substances, pesticides, and carcinogens are among these exports. In contrast, Congress and the media say little about the decades-old domestic marketing of risky American consumer goods.
Numerous harmful compounds that can be avoided are included in U.S. personal care and cosmetic items, including various carcinogens, hormones, and allergies. These substances are not subject to FDA regulation. Leading toothpaste brands containing hazardous chemicals are among these goods.
In stark contrast, the European Union, which consists of 30 countries, has created a Cosmetics Directive that forbids the creation and importation of goods that may be harmful to human health. The State of California’s 2005 Safe Cosmetic Act, which mandates that cosmetic businesses publish information on harmful substances, serves to highlight FDA’s indifference.
U.S. milk from cows injected with Monsanto’s genetically modified recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) to boost milk production is a key cause for worry. Approximately one-third of the country’s dairy cows are housed in herds that use the hormone, according to Monsanto. This milk has very high concentrations of IGF-1, a natural growth factor. Increased levels of IGF-1 in milk increase risks of breast cancer by up to seven times, in addition to risks of colon and prostate cancers, as shown in over 30 scientific articles, as well as in our May 2007 Citizen Petition to the FDA.
Unsurprisingly, Canada, 29 European countries, Norway, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa have all prohibited the importation of dairy products containing rBGH from the United States.
Additionally, the United Governments Food Safety Agency, which was comprised of 101 nations worldwide, overwhelmingly rejected a safety guideline for milk containing rBGH in June 1999. However, the FDA has not imposed any limitations on its ongoing sale in the United States or mandated the use of warning labels.
Sex hormones, whether synthetic or natural, are widely present in American beef. Pellets of these hormones are implanted under the skin of the ear when U.S. beef cattle join feedlots. This procedure is repeated halfway through the 100-day pre-slaughter fattening period. These hormones make an additional $80 per animal by increasing carcass weight.
Contrary to FDA and USDA assertions, it should come as no surprise that there are up to 20 times more hormone residues in beef than is typical. Since 1975, the U.S. has seen an increase in the prevalence of reproductive cancers, with postmenopausal breast cancer cases increasing by 36%, testicular cancer cases increasing by 50%, and prostate cancer cases increasing by 88%.
These worries led to a restriction on American beef imports in Europe in 1989, and a similar ban in Japan in 2003. The most valuable foreign market for American beef prior to the embargo was Japan, which imported more than $1.5 billion worth in 2003.
These worries are not brand-new. The FDA registration and residue-tolerance programmes and USDA inspections are in almost utter chaos, which has been made worse by blatant denials and cover-ups, as shown by a succession of General Accountability Office reports and Congressional hearings.
The House Committee on Government Operations unanimously approved a report from January 1986 titled “Human Food Safety and the Regulation of Animal Drugs,” which came to the conclusion that “the FDA has consistently disregarded its responsibility – has repeatedly put what it perceives as interests of veterinarians and the livestock industry ahead of its legal obligation to protect consumers.” This has put the health and safety of people who consume meat, milk, and poultry at risk.
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