Diet & Health

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1993:

Responding to public panic over
tainted meat, President Bill Clinton on
February 11 ordered the USDA to hire 160
more meat inspectors, while Agriculture
Secretary Mike Espy promised a complete
overhaul of the meat inspection
system––which the Ronald Reagan and
George Bush presidential administrations
had streamlined by reducing the number of
inspectors. The panic began in December
when a six-year-old girl in San Diego
County, California, died after eating a
tainted Jack-in-the-Box hamburger, and
escalated January 22, when a two-year-old
boy died in Seattle, Washington, from the
same cause. More than 400 people who ate
Jack-in-the-Box hamburgers developed E.

coli 0157;H7 bacterial poisoning; 21
required emergency dialysis. Jack-in-the-
Box stock fell 30% in five weeks.
Magainin Pharmaceuticals of
Plymouth Meeting, Massachusetts, has
found a way to synthesize sqalamine, a
powerful natural antibiotic found in sharks,
without killing sharks. The discovery may
have come just in time to save whole shark
species. Shark prices have soared in recent
years due to increased medicinal demand
both from the Orient and the U.S. “natural
health” industry––but the shark catch in
U.S. coastal waters is down from 488,000
in 1989 to 370,000 in each of the past two
years because the slow-reproducing fish
have been critically depleted. Twelve of
the 22 shark species native to U.S. coastal
waters now receive federal protection.
A recent conference of more
than 200 nutritionists sponsored by the
Harvard School of Public Health and the
Oldways Preservation Trust produced con-
sensus that vegetarianism may be most easi-
ly sold to the public as a “Mediterranean”
diet. Harvard economist Theodore
Panayotou worried that widespread accep-
tance of the Meditterranean diet “would dis-
locate agriculture from the Middle West to
either coast,” while Columbia University
nutritionist Joan Gussow suggested, “it
would be a total disaster, agriculturally and
economically.” However, if farm land
along the coasts had a higher agricultural
value, protecting green belts and wildlife
habitat against urban sprawl would be easi-
er, and less emphasis on agriculture in the
Middle West would permit the growth of a
more diversified economy, as well as the
recovery of badly depleted topsoil.
Eating meals rich in cholesterol
increase the risk of heart attack not just
cumulatively but also within the next six to
seven hours, according to Dr. George
Miller of the Medical Research Council in
London, England. His findings verify
National Institutes of Health findings.
The Detroit News recently salut-
ed community activist Tom Milano, 44, a
former Hare Krishna whose accomplish-
ments include founding an acclaimed vege-
tarian soup kitchen called Project Food
First.
A new edition of Pamela
Teisler’s brochure, 101 Reasons Why I’m
A Vegetarian, is $1.00 from the VivaVegie
Society, P.O. Box 294, Prince Street
Station, New York, NY 10012. Fifty
copies are $20; 100 copies are $35.
The Seventh International
Vegan Festival, coming July 17-24, will
be held at Tossa del Mar, Spain. Room
and board for the week is $400 (U.S.
funds). Get details from Francisco Martin,
A.P. 38.127, 28080 Madrid, Spain; tele-
phone 34-1-331-99-60.
Beyond Beef seeks volunteers to
assist in picketing McDonald’s restaurants
on April 17 to urge the firm to offer a vege-
tarian burger––already sold in The
Netherlands. Get details from 1130 17th St.
NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036;
202-775-1132.
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