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Discussion in 'Current Events' started by roadbloc, Apr 29, 2014.
...American apples that is.
Much ado about probably nothing.
I (twitch) love me (twitch) unblemished apples.
The most important part of the article. Basically the European commission is having a knee jerk reaction and banning something. When they don't actually know if it is harmful.
Also does this chemical come off when the fruit is washed? I don't know about others but I always wash my produce before eating or cooking.
It's a moot point for me anyways. Most of the produce I buy is organic from Whole Foods. Not that I specifically want organic. They just have great tasting produce much of which is organic.
I wash fruit before I eat it too (I'm pretty sure the chemical does come off, or at least most of it). I mean, the stuff comes from an area where hundreds of people touch these things everyday, making sure that they're the right hardness and DON'T have these spots.
If the things didn't start going bad within the week, I would have more concern.
I'm more worried of the apples that come from our tree in the backyard anyway.
Two different philosophies between Europe and the US. Broadly speaking and generalizing - in the US the onus is on consumer groups to prove something added to food is harmful before it is controlled. In Europe the onus is on the produce to prove something is not harmful before it is allowed.
If a substance has been absorbed into the skin of the apple, then washing it won't wash it off.
If DPA is triggering a hormonal reaction, then even a little bit can be harmful. What was that plastic thing a few years ago? BPA? The traditional test for harmfulness of a chemical was if (for example) 100ppm exposure gave a population a 10% chance of a negative outcome then 10ppm would mean only 1% of the population had a probability of negative outcome. You'd then balance the risk and severity of that outcome to come up with an acceptable exposure level. In the case of a hormonal reactions though, it seems that some substances will trigger the same level of negative outcomes regardless of the exposure level... once they reach a level that is detectable by the body.
In the case of DPA (using it as a hypothetical model) - if the US's EPA used research that showed that 100ppm of DPA produced a few too many negative outcomes and therefore cut the exposure to a tenth of that - it doesn't necessarily mean the negative outcomes were cut by a factor of 10 as well. If it's a hormonal reaction the negative outcomes might be happening at the same rate.
In the US... it is up to consumer groups to prove that the 10ppm rate of DPA is causing harm. That is to say that the model used by the producers of cutting the exposure means that the harm is also cut is wrong. In Europe it is up to the producers to show the research that even a small amount of DPA is not harmful.
I could argue that since the limit was imposed - then they couldn't find any research that showed even the 10ppm limit was safe.
Just more protectionism from the EU to restrict their markets.
This is called the principle of precaution. They limited GMO commercialization, as Vermont wants to, because no independent proof was provided they're actually safe. Dr. Seralini study at least showed they may not be.
Valid yet unanswered question. I also wash apples before eating them, but still not sure ordinary, non antibacterial handsoap is safe to eat, even in minute amounts. I rinse other produce with vinegar-added water, mostly because everyone recommends it, so it stuck as a habit.
The EU one makes more sense. A consumer usually doesn't have the necessary resources to prove a given health problem was caused by decades of consuming something. Yet evidence is growing suggesting common yet serious health issues such as cancers and allergies are increasing from increased exposure to harmful substances.
Proves my point. Here, the city only minimally treats its sewage before letting it go in the river. In the US river "users" downstream would have prove our city lack of proper sewage treatment is harming them, while in the EU, our city would have to prove their process is safe. It is not, as proven by recent ichtyologic studies showing human medicine residues had a strong feminizing effect on fish. They have a shorter life cycle, and much easier to study. That's why health-related norms should be set by evidence independently set by scientific bodies.
It's a different way of doing things. Europe doesn't allow chemicals to be used unless they're proven safe. The US allows things to be used until they're proven to be a risk (I know I'm simplifying, but it boils down to essentially that).
I prefer the former. Who knows how many health problems were caused by chemicals that marginally increase yield?
Anti-bacterial soaps were one of the worse ideas we've had as a society. Ultimately ends up creating antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Pure unsubstantiated conjecture. Prove me wrong.
Apparently 2% of US apple exports are to the EU, although I've never noticed an American apple in the shops. Seems like a long way to shift a low value fruit.
During the summer... before the apple harvest here and when apples in storage are running low ... I'm buying New Zealand apples.
Yep, you're absolutely right. At least NZ has the excuse of being the wrong side of the world, although I can't help thinking that shipping fruit 12,000 miles isn't the best use of resources.
More bad news for American fruit exporters:
I recently read a good article that looked at both sides of the issue. The best option is, of course, to only eat those foods that are in season and harvested locally - more or less. However there are great swaths of this continent that would be getting pretty tired of potatoes and turnips by march.
The article made the point that it is actually more energy efficient to move fresh apples from NZ to the Canada than to spend the energy keeping them refrigerated and in storage for 6 months. It was a Canadian article, but the principle can be applied globally I believe. Is it better to move something or to put it into a climate controlled warehouse.
Interesting. I'm now perilously close to fifty and I'm trying to remember just how seasonal fruit and veg were when I was a kid. Certainly salads (and salad potatoes) weren't all year round.
Very few fruits had been discovered back then, we lived mostly on Angel Delight. I would *guess* that shops sold us soft apples, stored in the dark at a cool ambient temperature. The traditional 'satsuma in yer Christmas stocking' would have been... Spanish / North African, and relatively fresh?
There's an old story - from the 1970s - of Russian who had managed to emigrate from the old USSR to Canada. His friends (who had travelled) had warned him about the range of goods to be found in the stores in the west - so that bit of culture shock was within his expectations. However, he was totally gob-smacked in the first week when his breakfast plate included slices of apples and strawberries. For his entire life strawberries were eaten in the spring - and apples were eaten in the fall
. and he had never ever imagined, much less seen, the two side by side.
It is a wonderful world we live in.
The other thing to note is that now you can grow strawberries right through the summer.
True. See DDT. When something yields too good results to be true / sustainable, it has usually dire consequences. Medication, insecticides, stocks, examples abound.
Indeed As soon as I moved out of my parent's house, I stopped using these altogether. Not to say we should never wash hands or objects touched by so many others, but ordinary soap makes a good job of getting rid of many germs by physical action. I still cringe when I see people on the subway compulsively rubbing their hands with Purell and can't help but think as them as careless to society.
I was hoping to come in here and give some right winger "yeah, 'MURICA" type a right drilling
DDT was just plain toxic on so many levels.
Most hand soaps are by nature anti-bacterial. Purell is more or less washing with alcohol and some veg product along with at times fragrance.
Europe is full of rotten apples so I am unsure what the complaint is (grin).
Clearly you don't understand much on the complaints.
DDT wasn't known to be so toxic because, as GMO, no long-term study was ever done on it when it was released on the market.
Purell may be natural, but along with heavy use of antibacterial soaps, contribute to the selection of resistant bacteria, whereas ordinary soap doesn't.
DDT was never tested when it was used widely. In simpler terms it did exactly what it was supposed to do but with no testing on impact to animals or how long the chemical remains "active."
I totally agree with the over use of products like Purell. However, near all typical soaps by nature are "anti-bacterial." Much of the promotion of anti-bacterial soaps is just hype. This isn't my opinion but has been a long known quantity among advertising agencies, various protection advocates for healthy living etc. I don't think we are far apart on this topic but just looking at it from different perspectives.
I agree that washing one's hands with plain soap and water the best solution and much better over washing with an antibacterial soap that contain triclosan (or similar). But I did want to, respectively, clarify one point you made. Purell doesn't contain an antibacterial drug - like triclosan. Purell's active ingredient is alcohol instead - and unlike triclosan, alcohol doesn't encourage antibacterial drug resistance.
Also, DDT is not a GMO...
And so were numerous "miracle drugs" from the 30s onward, cooling liquid in transformers, etc.
These campaigns play heavily on the germophobia of the American mother, and have succeeded quite well. Lysol would be out of business if the public ceased to buy into lies.
Never said anything remotely like it.
My apologies if I misinterpreted
. I interpreted it as 'DDT, as a GMO, wasn't known to be so toxic [because]….' … and then the explanation.
I suspect English is not your first language so it's possible we're miscommunicating slightly.
If you knew how European Countries, and the EU as a whole works. You would understand they care about peoples health before profits of big business.
I don't mean to be rude but siting other suspect practices does not make what happened with DDT acceptable. This is rather poor logic on your part. Might also mention that comparing a chemical compound that is designed to be a poison with "miracle drugs" is ... well pretty much a lackluster offering. As well, though primitive a great deal of drugs of the named generation you mentioned were in fact tested in experimental labs and more including sulfa based drugs.
We can concur that the public is fed a great deal of hype on a multitude of topics including cleanliness of the body and the home.