Just the Facts
All in the Family
U.S. Department of Agriculture secretary Ann Veneman has named Dale Moore, former head of legislative affairs for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, to be her chief of staff.
Ukrainian candy makers admit that "Fat in Chocolate" was created more as a joke than anything else; however, customers have been forking over serious cash to take them home. Can this be real—chocolate-covered pork fat?
Shark Cartilage: Not for Human Consumption
Americans have doled out millions of dollars for shark cartilage supplements advertised as curing or preventing human cancers. After all, claimed one popular book, Sharks Don't Get Cancer. Well, it turns out they do get cancer, and a new Danish study confirmed that shark cartiolage was ineffective in treating women with breast cancer.
Men Face Prison for Assault with a Big Mac
A dangerous Hong Kong trio of 20-somethings, previously charged with blackmail, wounding, and theft, recently kidnapped 19-year-old Au Chi-yung, pelting him with airguns and forcing him to eat four Big Macs, two bags of fries, and a large soda in one sitting. After 17 days of confinement, the prisoner managed to escape. His captors are now behind bars.
Hasty Drug Approvals = Deadly Medicine
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that approval time for new prescription drugs has shrunken from 30 months eight years ago to 12 months today, with high-demand medicines racing to market in as little as 6 months. Years ago, when Europe took the lead in marketing new drugs, American regulators watched for side effects before approving drugs here. Now, the majority of new drugs debut in the United States. Ten drugs have been recalled for toxic effects since 1997.
Care for Some POPs on Your Popcorn?
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are nasty, long-lasting environmental chemicals including dioxins, pesticides, and other concoctions known to cause cancer and reproductive problems. As tracking POPs with air monitoring equipment is expensive, Professor Kevin Jones of Lancaster University came up with a better idea: Analyze regional sticks of butter. Cows who graze on contaminated soil quickly concentrate POPs in their body fat, and these contaminants show up in milk fat and butter.
Out of 23 nations examined, POPs levels were highest in Europe and North America and lowest in New Zealand and Australia.
A Persimmon a Day Keeps the Cardiologist Away
While it's true that all fruits and vegetables have protective fiber and precious antioxidant properties, the persimmon is a shining example of heart-healthy food. It contains twice the fiber and more antioxidants (especially tannins) than regular apples, and ranks number one in the fruit bowl for potassium, magnesium, calcium, manganese, and iron. The reddish-orange power fruit can be baked, made into a jam, or eaten au natural.
MAGNIFYING GLASS PHOTO © 2001, PHOTODISC, INC. /
ILLUSTRATIONS: DOUG HALL, PCRM