Health updates

The following is new information regarding Frankencrops in Venezuela and benzene in soda drinks.

Venezuela moves to ban Frankencrops

Monsanto’s plans to grow 500,000 acres of genetically engineered crops in Venezuela have been thwarted by the nation’s popular president, Hugo Chavez. According to Chavez, when he learned about Monsanto’s plans, “I ordered an end to the project. This project is terminated.”

He is now encouraging Venezuela’s national legislature to pass some of the most sweeping restrictions on genetically modified organisms in the entire Western Hemisphere.

Cancer-causing benzene found in soda drinks

Cancer-causing benzene seems to pop up in U.S. sodas with alarming regularity.

The FDA recently reported that it tested 100 sodas and found unacceptable levels of the known carcinogen in five of the drinks. Some of these drinks had benzene levels nearly 100 times that which is considered safe by the EPA for drinking water. The toxin is formed when a soda manufacturer uses two ingredients that react to form benzene: ascorbic acid and sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate.

Soda companies found to have dangerous levels of benzene have vowed to reformulate their drinks. In the meantime, you may want to boycott the following beverages and consider avoiding any soda with the “toxic two” ingredients (ascorbic acid and sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate), found in an astoundingly high number of popular drinks. (As a note, beverages labeled as “organic” cannot contain these ingredients.)

Sodas found to contain carcinogenic benzene

  • Safeway Select Diet Orange
  • AquaCal Strawberry Flavored Water Beverage
  • Crystal Light Sunrise Classic Orange
  • Giant Light Cranberry Juice Cocktail
  • Crush Pineapple



Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 3, June/July 2007.

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