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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Raw And Organic Almonds To Be Treated With Banned Carcinogen

… treated with the banned carcinogen for your protection of course …

almond pasteurization usda
Almonds are a unique package of nutrients – a good source of protein (6 grams per one ounce) along with dietary fiber, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, iron and vitamin E. In fact, one ounce of almonds provides about 7.4 grams of alpha-tocopherol vitamin E, 50 percent of the RDA. Almonds are the only good source of protein that is also an excellent source of vitamin E.

Read more about Almond Nutrition and Facts

And now, Almonds will soon be a good source of Propylene Oxide, a possible human carcinogen and highly toxic flammable compound.

The nutrition of almonds, the vitamins, minerals, good fats and enzymes are heat sensitive.

Pasteurizing them kills them.

Pasteurization heats the fats and makes it rancid and promotes ill health.

Why does the USDA think that decreasing the nutritional value of the food will make it better for human consumption?

OrganicConsumers.org says this about the USDA’s pasteurization of almonds

While the USDA generously describes the new almond treatments as pasteurization, the most common treatment method expected to be used fumigates almonds with propylene oxide. In lab experiments, the chemical leads to gene mutation, DNA strand breaks, and neoplastic cell transformation. The U.S. EPA has classified propylene oxide as a probable human carcinogen. Its use in treating food for human consumption is banned in the European Union, Canada, Mexico, and most other countries.

So, the carcinogen is banned from the EU, Canada, Mexico and most other countries but they’re going to force the almond growers to sprinkle it generously on our Almonds. Nice. Who’s in charge of this again?

Stop The Insanity

Organic Consumers has been leading a campaign to stop this stupidity. I’ve participated as best I can and brought it to the attention of my readers.

It didn’t work, but we may have an opportunity to reverse it for a small period of time

A recent alert from Organic Consumers
Despite a negative backlash from almond producers, retailers and consumers, the USDA has implemented its ruling to require that all raw almonds sold in stores must be pasteurized. The rule went into effect on September 1st, and since then, all retail outlets have been forced to remove true raw almonds from store shelves. Consumers will be misled by this action as there will still be almonds on store shelves labeled as "raw", but they will actually be pasteurized.

One of the FDA-recommended pasteurization methods requires the use of propylene oxide, which is classified as a "possible human carcinogen" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and is banned in Canada, Mexico, and the European Union.

Since the decision about the rule was made, Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Johanns, has stepped down. He is temporarily replaced by Chuck Conner. This may provide a new opportunity for reversal.

Please contact Conner today to ask that the rule be suspended for 6 months while the public comment period is re-opened.

Take Action Now

Why Pasteurization?

Unlike milk, eggs, and meats, for which real pasteurization or cooking offers an important protection from food-borne illness, no scientific evidence exists to show that almonds are an inherently risky food. In fact, Salmonella contamination of almonds can only occur when livestock manure or fecal matter is inadvertently transferred to the nuts through contaminated water, soil, or transportation and handling equipment. Almonds may also be infected by poor employee sanitation either on the farm or in processing facilities.

You may remember E. Coli tainted Spinach from 2006 that killed 3 people and sickened more than 200. That has now been linked to a Pig and Cattle farm.
Source of tainted Spinach linked to Pig and Cattle Farm

March 23, 2007

FRESNO, Calif. - The likely source of an E. coli outbreak in spinach that killed three people and sickened more than 200 was a small cattle ranch about 30 miles from California’s central coastline, state and federal officials said Friday as they concluded their investigation. cite

Suzanne Nelson of the Cleveland Free Times puts it very well in her story Don’t Eat That when she says

This is a story about a regulatory system increasingly friendly to the notion that consumers aren't smart enough or sufficiently informed to make the "right" choices

She adds…
It's also a story about nomenclature. At some undetectable moment in recent history, modern food parlance parted ways with common standards of forthrightness and left us in an up-is-down world where food manufacturers may soon be able to subject food to ionizing radiation and call it "cold pasteurization," where "chocolate" may not have to actually contain cocoa, and where almonds labeled "raw" must be sprayed with a suspected human carcinogen.

Here’s the deal from my perspective: The USDA is making choices for us because they think that we don’t know how to wash our own fruits and vegetables. If you’re not washing your fruits and vegetables to remove as much herbicide, pesticides, insects, insect eggs and any other wastes or debris, then you should begin now.

produces a fantastic for this exact purpose.

I can only imagine that the USDA is doing what they think is best, but from outside, their actions seem quite irresponsible and damaging to the public. That’s you and I. I feel that I am in charge of my life. I make the choices about what goes in my body, good or bad, but without an option here for raw Almonds, I’m pretty much fucked. I won’t put a known carcinogen into my body, so where does that leave me now?

I did some reading from the USDA’s website and from what I understand, since this rule goes into effect, we wont be able to buy anything unpasteurized in the US or Canada, but almonds shipped anywhere else just have to be labeled "safe for human consumption, free of carcinogens and perfectly raw and organic" to warn the consumer that they’re not pasteurized. If we can get a hold of those Almonds somehow, we’re good to go.

We may have to resort to Almond smuggling. It could be that simple. Forget cigarette smuggling, lets get into Almond smuggling.

To be honest, the USDA says that Almonds shipped outside of the US have to be "clearly" labeled "unpasteurized" so that we know that they’re (in their words) "safe" for consumption.

So here’s the current campaign that Organic Consumer is running.

Since the ruling Sept 1st, Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Johanns, has stepped down and has been temporarily replaced by Chuck Conner.

We have a chance for a reversal if our voice is heard.

I’m Canadian and I’m doing what I can do for this. If you’re in the US, your voice may be more powerful than mine. Do what you can. Visit Organic Consumer and participate in sending this email to Chuck.

I’ll see what I can do about getting a fax number so we can fax him as well.

Lets bombard him with emails and Fax’s

Standing by quietly is not an option.

Further reading

Cornocopia Institute Authentic Almond Project

Organic Consumers Democracy in Action Campaign

Suzanne Nelson's Don't Eat That Article


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Rob Coopers Fat burning tips In 1990 Rob weighed 475 pounds and was able to burn almost 300 lbs of fat in just two and a half years. Rob does weight management coaching from his office in Edmonton Alberta Canada. Rob's diet is based on a "System Specific Organic Whole Food" line of foods along with various fat burning, muscle building tips from Tom Venuto. Tom's Philosophy is very similar to Rob's and he's happy to recommend them

Rob is currently using the Seven Minute Muscle Workout program.


At 10:02 PM, Anonymous JoLynn Braley said...

This is absolutely maddening.

I went to the OCA and submitted my message to re-open the public comment period and sent the info to a few friends. Good thing I have a 2lb bag of truly raw almonds (bought a couple months ago) in the freezer for safe keeping.


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