Just the Facts
Cell Tests Ready
Good news from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The federal government's environmental scientists recently reported that human cell tests can be used immediately to reduce the numbers of animals poisoned in lethal dose tests and can completely replace animals in these tests in two to three years.
Will We Ever Learn?
Feeding naturally vegetarian cows a diet of ground-up animal remains sparked mad cow disease. Now, U.S. government-funded scientists are using undigested proteins from cattle manure to manufacture cattle feed. One goal of the plan is to "recycle" the 160 tons of animal manure produced annually from America's factory farms.
The latest sampling of chickens in Britain's supermarkets and butchers found that two-thirds were infected with food-poisoning bacteria despite 20 years of improved hygiene measures. A full 65 percent of samples were contaminated with campylobacter, the bacterium responsible for three-fourths of confirmed food poisoning cases. "Free range" and organic chickens were just as likely to be infected.
Going to Extremes
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Lap-Band Adjustable Gastric Banding System, a device that is implanted inside the patient and tightened around the stomach. By inflating the band, doctors say they can control the amount of food severely obese patients can eat.
Consuming More, Enjoying Less
Worldwatch Institute, a Washington, D.C., think tank, tracked 49 trends in the industrialized world and found that while many people can afford to eat more meat, take more pills, and drive more miles, they aren't better off consuming these once-coveted lifestyle habits. In fact, feedlot production is threatening soil, air, and water quality, the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture has reduced the effectiveness of the drugs, and feeding blood and bone concoctions to farmed animals has led to incurable mad cow and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease tragedies.
Nightmare on M Street
McDonald's has opened hotels in Switzerland where every headboard in its 112 rooms is shaped like the golden arches. Oddly enough, instead of full-sized bathrooms, customers will find "wet areas" with a shower and mini-toilet in the middle of the room. At least visitors will be spared burger-shaped beds and French fry lamps, which were part of the original concept.
Serving Meat? Not to the Williams Sisters
U.S. Open champ Serena Williams is sticking to a mainly vegetarian diet like her big sister Venus after suffering from food poisoning during her quarter-final loss to Jennifer Capriati. The muscular size-six player says she feels more fit and faster on her feet.
Silence of the Yams
Finally…a reality series where participants don't take themselves so seriously. TNN is roaming the country casting everyday folks in movie parodies in its new program "Small Shots." The premiere episode features an FBI agent spying through the window at a vegetarian Hannibal Lecter, who is urging Agent Starling to eat her vegetables. After all, "Meat is murder," he reminds her as he offers her a tofu burger with lima beans and a nice chamomile tea.