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Old 04-18-2008, 08:13 PM   #1
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Canada and the Plastic Bottle Ban

One of my aunts, who passed on a few years ago at the age of 89, always put the milk she bought at the store into a glass container.

She was raised near a dairy and during the first part of her life the milk she bought was either raw (form the dairy unprocessed) or in a glass bottle.

She was very sceptical about plastic containers and told me more than once that the milk just didn't taste right.

Her opinion and the controversy about this topic, I think, is far from over.

http://www.reuters.com/article/healt...ame=healthNews


*note: I know the article talks about a specific type of plastic, but I think this issue on the safety of all plastic food containers will continue.


What do you think?
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:23 PM   #2
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I thought you were going to write a post about "evil liberals" banning your right to poison yourself with plastic polycarbonate.

I'm not a fan of plastic, and my cooking pans of preference are cast iron. I find the idea of teflon to be revolting.
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:23 PM   #3
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Seems like a standard case of risk management, and that the bottles have not been causing harm up to this point but they want to eliminate any chances.

Doesn't look like this has anything at all to do with buying your pasteurised milk in a plastic container and not getting sick. As lovely as your aunt may have been I put more stock here
Quote:

Pasteurization, since its adoption in the early 1900s, has been credited with dramatically reducing illness and death caused by contaminated milk. But today, some people are passing up pasteurized milk for what they claim is tastier and healthier "raw milk."

Public health officials couldn't disagree more.

Drinking raw (untreated) milk or eating raw milk products is "like playing Russian roulette with your health," says John Sheehan, director of the Food and Drug Administration's Division of Dairy and Egg Safety. "We see a number of cases of foodborne illness every year related to the consumption of raw milk."

More than 300 people in the United States got sick from drinking raw milk or eating cheese made from raw milk in 2001, and nearly 200 became ill from these products in 2002, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Raw milk may harbor a host of disease-causing organisms (pathogens), such as the bacteria campylobacter, escherichia, listeria, salmonella, yersinia, and brucella. Common symptoms of foodborne illness from many of these types of bacteria include diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, headache, vomiting, and exhaustion.

Most healthy people recover from foodborne illness within a short period of time, but others may have symptoms that are chronic, severe, or life-threatening.

People with weakened immune systems, such as elderly people, children, and those with certain diseases or conditions, are most at risk for severe infections from pathogens that may be present in raw milk. In pregnant women, Listeria monocytogenes-caused illness can result in miscarriage, fetal death, or illness or death of a newborn infant. And Escherichia coli infection has been linked to hemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition that can cause kidney failure and death.

Some of the diseases that pasteurization can prevent are tuberculosis, diphtheria, polio, salmonellosis, strep throat, scarlet fever, and typhoid fever.
Pasteurization and Contamination

The pasteurization process uses heat to destroy harmful bacteria without significantly changing milk's nutritional value or flavor. In addition to killing disease-causing bacteria, pasteurization destroys bacteria that cause spoilage, extending the shelf life of milk.

Milk can become contaminated on the farm when animals shed bacteria into the milk. Cows, goats, and sheep carry bacteria in their intestines that do not make them sick but can cause illness in people who consume their untreated milk or milk products.

But pathogens that are shed from animals aren't the only means of contamination, says Tom Szalkucki, assistant director of the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Cows can pick up pathogens from the environment just by lying down--giving germs the opportunity to collect on the udder, the organ from which milk is secreted. "Think about how many times a cow lays down in a field or the barn," says Szalkucki. "Even if the barn is cleaned thoroughly and regularly, it's not steamed. Contamination can take place because it's not a sterile environment."
The Health Hype

Raw milk advocates claim that unprocessed milk is healthier because pasteurization destroys nutrients and the enzymes necessary to absorb calcium. It also kills beneficial bacteria and is associated with allergies, arthritis, and other diseases, they say.

This is simply not the case, says Sheehan. Research has shown that there is no significant difference in the nutritional value of pasteurized and unpasteurized milk, he says. The caseins, the major family of milk proteins, are largely unaffected, and any modification in whey protein that might occur is barely perceptible.

"Milk is a good source of the vitamins thiamine, folate, B-12, and riboflavin," adds Sheehan, "and pasteurization results in losses of anywhere from zero to 10 percent for each of these, which most would consider only a marginal reduction."

While the major nutrients are left unchanged by pasteurization, vitamin D, which enhances the body's absorption of calcium, is added to processed milk. Vitamin D is not found in significant levels in raw milk.

"Pasteurization will destroy some enzymes," says Barbara Ingham, Ph.D., associate professor and extension food scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "But the enzymes that are naturally present in milk are bovine enzymes. Our bodies don't use animal enzymes to help metabolize calcium and other nutrients."

"Enzymes in the food that we eat and drink are broken down in the human gastrointestinal tract," adds Ingham. "Human bodies rely on our own native enzymes to digest and metabolize food."

"Most of the native enzymes of milk survive pasteurization largely intact," says Sheehan, "including those thought to have natural antimicrobial properties and those that contribute to prolonging milk's shelf life." Other enzymes that survive are thought to play a role in cheese ripening.

Ingham says that pasteurization will destroy some bacteria that may be helpful in the fermentation of milk into products such as cheese and yogurt, "but the benefit of destroying the harmful bacteria vastly outweighs the supposed benefits of retaining those helpful microorganisms. Plus, by adding the microorganisms that we need for fermentation, we can assure a consistently high quality product."

Science has not shown a connection between drinking raw milk and disease prevention. "The small quantities of antibodies in milk are not absorbed in the human intestinal tract," says Ingham. "And there is no scientific evidence that raw milk contains an anti-arthritis factor or that it enhances resistance to other diseases."

Fans of raw milk often cite its creamy rich taste, says Szalkucki, who adds that it may be creamier because it is not made according to the standards for processed milk. "If you go to a grocery store and buy fluid milk, it's been standardized for a certain percentage of fat, such as 2 percent," he says. "Raw milk is potentially creamier because it has not been standardized and it has a higher fat content."
The Law

It is a violation of federal law enforced by the FDA to sell raw milk packaged for consumer use across state lines (interstate commerce). But each state regulates the sale of raw milk within the state (intrastate), and some states allow it to be sold. This means that in some states dairy operations may sell it to local retail food stores, or to consumers directly from the farm or at agricultural fairs or other community events, depending on the state law.

In states that prohibit intrastate sales of raw milk, some people have tried to circumvent the law by "cow sharing," or "cow leasing." They pay a fee to a farmer to lease or purchase part of a cow in exchange for raw milk, claiming that they are not actually buying the milk since they are part-owners of the cow. Wisconsin banned cow-leasing programs after 75 people became infected with Campylobacter jejuni bacteria in 2001 from drinking unpasteurized milk obtained through such a program.
Raw Milk Cheeses

The FDA allows the manufacture and interstate sale of raw milk cheeses that are aged for at least 60 days at a temperature not less than 35 degrees Fahrenheit. "However, recent research calls into question the effectiveness of 60-day aging as a means of pathogen reduction," says Sheehan.

The FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) is currently examining the safety of raw milk cheeses and plans to develop a risk profile for these cheeses. This information will help FDA risk managers make future decisions regarding the regulation of these products to protect public health.
Ensuring Milk Safety

The FDA provides oversight for the processing of raw milk into pasteurized milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, and sour cream under the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments "Grade A" milk program. This cooperative program between the FDA and the 50 states and Puerto Rico helps to ensure the uniformity of milk regulations and the safety of milk and milk products. The program is based on standards described in the FDA's Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO), a model code of regulations that can be adopted by the states in their own regulations.

Under the Grade A program, state personnel conduct inspections and assign ratings and FDA regional milk specialists audit these ratings, says Richard Eubanks, M.P.H., a senior milk sanitation officer on CFSAN's Milk Safety Team. "It's a rigorous process of inspection and auditing," he says, and "it covers from cow to carton," starting with the dairy farm and continuing through the processing and packaging of products at milk plants. Products that pass inspection may be labeled "Grade A."

The FDA Grade A milk program includes pasteurized milk from cows, goats, sheep, and horses. Raw milk and raw milk cheeses cannot be labeled Grade A, since they are not pasteurized and not covered under the program.
http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2004/504_milk.html
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Seems like a standard case of risk management, and that the bottles have not been causing harm up to this point but they want to eliminate any chances.

Doesn't look like this has anything at all to do with buying your pasteurised milk in a plastic container and not getting sick. As lovely as your aunt may have been I put more stock herehttp://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2004/504_milk.html


A_Wanderer,

I don't wanna go off topic here on the benifits or health hazards of consuming raw milk, but I disagree with the the article you posted.

And (this might be a good topic for another thread)>>>
Whole milk is, I think, is much healthier than that watered down stuff.

All things in moderation

The FDA link
http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2004/504_milk.html
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:43 PM   #5
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Considering the fact that the 'target' is infants, and the sterilization that bottles for young infants must go through, I'd say it's a wise move.

Re: unpasteurized milk (yes, it's a completely separate topic), my brother-in-law's family have been dairy farmers for probably over 50 years, and he grew up drinking raw milk. So have my niece and nephew. I've had it at their place as well - that's all they even have! - and as far as I know, no one's ever gotten ill. Perhaps in a case like that, one develops an immunity against the bacteria?
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by VintagePunk
Considering the fact that the 'target' is infants, and the sterilization that bottles for young infants must go through, I'd say it's a wise move.

Re: unpasteurized milk (yes, it's a completely separate topic), my brother-in-law's family have been dairy farmers for probably over 50 years, and he grew up drinking raw milk. So have my niece and nephew. I've had it at their place as well - that's all they even have! - and as far as I know, no one's ever gotten ill. Perhaps in a case like that, one develops an immunity against the bacteria?

VintagePunk,

I saw on a news program a few months ago about how dairy farmers and other farmers who work around farm animals have a much lower chance of developing lung cancer.
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:02 PM   #7
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This has all been blown ridiculously out of proportion. It's mostly Nalgene-type bottles (the plastic - "polycarbonate" - is the same as these baby bottles) that this mass hysteria is focused on. I sold them for a while at the sports/outdoor store I worked at, and people would come in demanding refunds for selling them "a dangerous product". The thing is, the bottles don't leach BPA unless you put boiling water into them, put them in the dishwasher, or put them into the microwave. However, when you buy a Nalgene bottle, it says right on the label "NOT INTENDED FOR HOT BEVERAGES" and specifies that they ought to be washed by hand.

This scare is based off one study whose conclusions have been shown to be dubious at best.

If you use a product as it's intended, you're fine. If you don't, you're either negligent (by not reading the instructions), stupid, or both. Banning the bottles outright is absolutely ludicrous. The Canadian government certainly has more pressing issues to take care of.
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by the iron horse



VintagePunk,

I saw on a news program a few months ago about how dairy farmers and other farmers who work around farm animals have a much lower chance of developing lung cancer.
That's probably good news for my b-i-l, because he smokes like a chimney.
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by DaveC
If you use a product as it's intended, you're fine. If you don't, you're either negligent (by not reading the instructions), stupid, or both. Banning the bottles outright is absolutely ludicrous.
Nalgene touts these bottles as being nearly indestructable, and speaking from experience they are just that, and is it really that unreasonable to throw it in the dishwasher? I don't think that qualifies as being negligent - it's a dishwasher afterall. It the compound can be released from something so simple as a dishwasher - that's a little worrisome.

Coincidently, I switched my 8 year old nalgene bottle this week to a Sigg bottle partly because of these studies and it was just time for a change. I do have to say that the water does taste a little better, but it could be it my head. Now I just have to worry about getting Alzheimer's disease from the aluminum.
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by VintagePunk


That's probably good news for my b-i-l, because he smokes like a chimney.

A wink at you on that comment, but I better not say anything else or this might collaspe into a "second-hand tobacco smoke kills you dead" debate.

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Old 04-18-2008, 09:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by the iron horse
I saw on a news program a few months ago about how dairy farmers and other farmers who work around farm animals have a much lower chance of developing lung cancer.
But they're at a higher risk of developing other lung diseases so it's a wash.
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by randhail


But they're at a higher risk of developing other lung diseases so it's a wash.


Please post a link to support your statement.

I work around a barn daily and I would love to know why manure is killing me.
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by the iron horse




Please post a link to support your statement.

I work around a barn daily and I would love to know why manure is killing me.
From Wiki:

Quote:
Farmer's lung is an hypersensitivity pneumonitis induced by the inhalation of biologic dusts coming from mouldy hay or other agricultural products. The immune response is most often initiated by exposure to thermophilic actinomycetes, which generates IgG-type antibodies that circulate in the bloodstream. Following a subsequent exposure, IgG antibodies combine with the inhaled allergen and form immune complexes. These complexes are deposited in the lung and generate an inflammatory response typical of a type III hypersensitivity response.
Farmer's lung is an example of extrinsic allergic alveolitis.

Quote:
Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis (HP) is categorized as acute, subacute, and chronic based on the duration of the illness.
Acute
In the acute form of HP, symptoms may develop 4-6 hours following heavy exposure to the provoking antigen. Symptoms include fever, chills, malaise, cough, chest tightness, dyspnea, and headache. Symptoms resolve within 12 hours to several days upon cessation of exposure.[1]
Acute HP is characterized by poorly formed noncaseating interstitial granulomas and mononuclear cell infiltration in a peribronchial distribution with prominent giant cells.[1]
On chest radiographs, a diffuse micronodular interstitial pattern (at times with ground-glass density in the lower and middle lung zones) may be observed. Findings are normal in approximately 10% of patients." In high-resolution CT scans, ground-glass opacities or diffusely increased radiodensities are present. Pulmonary function tests show "diffusing capacity of lungs for carbon monoxide. ... Many patients have hypoxemia at rest, and all patients desaturate with exercise.[1]
Subacute
Patients with subacute HP gradually develop a productive cough, dyspnea, fatigue, anorexia, weight loss, and pleurisy. Symptoms are similar to the acute form of the disease, but are less severe and last longer. On chest radiographs, micronodular or reticular opacities are most prominent in mid-to-upper lung zones.[1] Findings may be present in patients who have experienced repeated acute attacks.
The subacute, or intermittent, form produces more well-formed noncaseating granulomas, bronchiolitis with or without organizing pneumonia, and interstitial fibrosis.[1]
Chronic
In chronic HP patients often lack a history of acute episodes. They have an insidious onset of cough, progressive dyspnea, fatigue, and weight loss. Removing exposure results in only partial improvement. ... Clubbing is observed in 50% of patients. Tachypnea, respiratory distress, and inspiratory crackles over lower lung fields often are present.[1]
On chest radiographs, progressive fibrotic changes with loss of lung volume particularly affect the upper lobes. Nodular or ground-glass opacities are not present. Features of emphysema are found on significant chest films and CT scans.[1]
Chronic forms reveal additional findings of chronic interstitial inflammation and alveolar destruction (honeycombing) associated with dense fibrosis. Cholesterol clefts or asteroid bodies are present within or outside granulomas.[1]
In addition, many patients have hypoxemia at rest, and all patients desaturate with exercise.
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Old 04-18-2008, 10:01 PM   #14
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Thank you posting the information.

I guess I'm going to leave this world before the age of 100.


Or else start drinking non-fat milk......
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Old 04-19-2008, 07:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by randhail


Nalgene touts these bottles as being nearly indestructable, and speaking from experience they are just that, and is it really that unreasonable to throw it in the dishwasher? I don't think that qualifies as being negligent - it's a dishwasher afterall. It the compound can be released from something so simple as a dishwasher - that's a little worrisome.
From the bottles I know it's mentioned on the bottle.
Furthermore, if it's said that they should not be filled with hot beverages and should not be microwaved I would say it is reasonable to make the connection that the hot water of a dishwasher might not exactly be that good for the bottle.

There is certain clothing you know shouldn't be thrown into the washing machine, though it's a washing machine after all. That's no different with these bottles.

Considering that milk bottles for babies usually get heated up beforehand I'm a bit puzzled why these bottles were allowed to be used for that purpose in the first place.
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