Popular soda ingredient poses cancer risk

Public health researchers have analyzed soda consumption data in order to characterize people’s exposure to a potentially carcinogenic byproduct of some types of caramel color. Caramel color is a common ingredient in colas and other dark soft drinks. The results show that between 44 and 58 percent of people over the age of six typically have at least one can of soda per day, possibly more, potentially exposing them to 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI), a possible human carcinogen formed during the manufacture of some kinds of caramel color.

Building on an analysis of 4-MEI concentrations in 11 different soft drinks first published by Consumer Reports in 2014, researchers led by a team at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) estimated exposure to 4-MEI from caramel-colored soft drinks and modeled the potential cancer burden related to routine soft drink consumption levels in the United States.

“Soft drink consumers are being exposed to an avoidable and unnecessary cancer risk from an ingredient that is being added to these beverages simply for aesthetic purposes,” says Keeve Nachman, PhD, senior author of the study…”This unnecessary exposure poses a threat to public health and raises questions about the continued use of caramel coloring in soda…”

While there’s currently no federal limit for 4-MEI in food or beverages, Consumer Reports petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to set limits for the potential carcinogen last year. It also shared the findings with the California Attorney General’s office, which enforces the state’s Proposition 65 law aimed at reducing consumers’ exposure to toxic chemicals. Under this state law, any food or beverage sold in the state that exposes consumers to more than a specific amount of 4-MEI per day requires a health-warning label.

Another one I don’t have to worry about. I actually keep most New Year’s Resolutions as long as I limit myself to one at a time. Make it simple. Make it achievable.

A number of years ago I stopped consuming any carbonated beverages.

Mississippi Bill puts Jesus at the wheel — without qualifying drivers license

A few years ago, someone created a Facebook event page for “Jesus, Take the Wheel” Day. It encouraged Christian drivers to remove their hands for a total of five minutes on the highway on a particular day and let Jesus control the car.

That turned out to be a joke (thankfully), but Mississippi legislators may soon pass a very real bill that lets people get behind the wheel of a vehicle they have no business driving… as long as it’s church-owned:

House members on Thursday [Feb. 5] passed a bill exempting mid-sized church buses from the state’s commercial driver’s license requirements, prompting one lawmaker to call it the “Jesus Take the Wheel Act.”

The bill, HB 132, would help congregations lacking a CDL-certified driver transport up to 30 passengers in a church-owned vehicle…

Current law requires CDL-certified drivers for any vehicle transporting more than 16 passengers, including the driver. The bill would amend that law to exempt church buses designed to carry 30 passengers or less.

It’s a ridiculous and potentially-harmful exemption. Keep in mind that obtaining a CDL license isn’t that hard. You simply have to pass a written test, a driving test, and a physical exam…

If state officials care so little about the safety of passengers in these church-owned vehicles — and the people who have to be on the road with these drivers — they may as well just pass a bill allowing Jesus to take the wheel.

An automatic parallel with the stupidity of allowing religious/philosophical exemptions from vaccination. Just as safety amd the public good is the mandate for public health regulations the same is true for regulations affecting travel on public highways.

There really is no need to debate every portion of the Constitution that bothers superstitious people who think the safety of their holy butts is guaranteed by some wraith in the clouds.

Latest gun nut / Darwin Award candidate


What every well-dressed Republican woman [supposedly] needs

St Joseph Police say bodybuilder and Republican town official accidentally fires her own weapon while fitting her bra holster…

“She was having trouble adjusting her bra holster, couldn’t get it to fit the way she wanted it to. She was looking down at it and accidentally discharged the weapon,” St Joseph public safety director Mark Clapp told the Gazette about the woman, Christina Bond.

Bond reportedly shot herself in the eye on New Year’s Day, and had to be airlifted to Bronson Methodist Hospital. Her full autopsy hasn’t been released.

Gun accessories such as bra and purse holsters, designed for women, have grown in popularity over the last few years. Many businesses now cater specifically to female gun owners.

Did you think the combination of paranoia and stupidity was exclusive to men?

Bond was a delegate for St Joseph Township, in south-west Michigan. Bond was also a bodybuilder, winning the Miss Michigan Figure Overall Championship in 2013, and volunteered at the ministry at Berrien County jail.

Konfederacy Klavern Kartoon bigotry in Roswell newspaper – once again

Remember this? : “I salute the flag of the State of New Mexico and the Zia symbol of perfect friendship among united cultures.”

Someone should remind the Roswell Daily Record what it means to be New Mexican.

The newspaper made famous for publishing the story of a purported UFO crash in 1947 is becoming infamous in the 21st century for publishing the most racist editorial cartoon of the week – again.

02-15-15-keith-bell-cartoon

Here’s the message from the editorial page of the Daily Record to readers:

“Roswell signage suggestions… to clear up any confusion about where some people should go.”

Those “some people” appear to be Chaves County’s estimated 35,676 Hispanic residents (see the US Census data here for that) that are told to go “811 miles west” to the “Cesar Chavez home and national monument” and the county’s 1,711 African-American residents who are told to go 1,272 miles east to the “Martin Luther King, Jr. birth home and national historic site.”

The scumbags running the newspaper don’t respond to direct pressure on their bigotry. Never have. The ProgressnowNM folks have a link to a petition directed to advertisers instead. Nothing wrong with hitting bigots where their hearts are located – in the wallet.

They also offer a brief history of racist activity in the Daily Record.

UN slams Mexico over citizens who have “disappeared”


“I didn’t notice anyone missing. Did you?”

A U.N. committee accused Mexico of failing to adequately prosecute and convict individuals responsible for enforced disappearances.

The United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances has published its concluding observations…about Mexico’s efforts to combat enforced disappearances at the request of the relatives of the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students…

The experts voiced concern at “impunity regarding numerous cases of enforced disappearances.”

The recommendations from the U.N. panel calls on the Mexican government to adhere to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICCPED), under which all signatory parties are required to fully investigate enforced disappearances and bring all those responsible to justice…

The Mexican government ratified the ICCPED in 2010, which stipulates that all signatory parties’ allow the U.N. Committee on Enforced Disappearances authorization to hear individual cases of alleged disappearances and issue recommendations…

According to official figures, almost 50 percent of the 22,322 disappeared people went missing between 2012 and 2014 under the current administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto.

I’ve said it before. Let me say it, again.

Corruption, the absence of rule by law, the dominance of neighborhood by neighborhood, provincial, regional rule by gangsters, vicious killers wholly insulated from justice by bought-and-paid-for coppers – this is the stuff of daily life in Mexico. It lies at the core of my personal boycott of our southern neighbor. And, yes, it is also key to my contempt for jingoist, Amerika First Republicans, cruel conservatives who don’t understand commerce and base their definition of economic justice on bigotry.