Sunday, July 8, 2007

Consumer Beware

The Colgate toothpaste you’re using may not be what you think it is. Just like there are imitations of designer clothes now there is a faux toothpaste. The fake Colgate however is harmful to your health. It contains harmful bacteria was an announcement made on Friday as announced by Health Canada officials. "Consumers who have this counterfeit product are advised to discontinue use immediately and not to use their toothbrush," a Health Canada statement said of the toothpaste.

The first warnings about this product came out in June when diethylene glycol was found at levels that are harmful to people. What is it? If you want an industrial solvent found in some antifreeze products you’d have a supply.

How can you spot a fake? Look for “Manufactured in South Africa”. There are misspellings: isclinically, South Afrlca, and South African Dental Assoxiation.

These fakes were found in Canada and Massachusetts. More were found this month in Massachusetts, even though an initial announcement was made by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, was in June.

Officials are urging consumers to avoid toothpaste with a label with “Made in China”, “Colgate’ manufactured in South Africa and toothpaste without English labeling.

The Colgate-Palmolive Corporation announced it is working with the Food and Drug Administration to locate the source of the fakes.

Prior reports of contaminated products from China have been in the news over the last year. There have been recalls and bans on items from children’s toys, which were painted with lead paint, medicine that turned out to be drywall, and then this toothpaste.

China is working to stop the manufactures of poor quality items. In June there was a Chinese government agency announcement stating that 152,000 food processors were shut down in 2006.

What to do? Make sure your local provider checks the quality of what they offer and pulls items off the shelf if there is a warning issued. Ask about the source of products whether food or other items.

Fruit of Summer

Fruit of Summer

It is summer time and farmers markets are overflowing with produce that is fresh and organic. What to choose? A variety is always fun. berries, melons, plums, all offer you good taste, a variety of colors, and nutrition that can be added to any meal.

Berries with red, blue, or purple skin contain bioflavonoids which are antioxidants. Antioxidants reduce the damage from free radicals. Anthocyanin is a bioflavonoid which helps reduce inflammation.

Blueberries have one of the highest levels of antioxidants. They also have neuroprotective properties that help to protect cells from chemical, trauma, and plaque damage. Along with that they help slow age-related memory loss, Alzheimer’s, and senility.

Cherries contain anthocyanin compounds. These act to stimulate the pancreas so that it produces insulin. In Chinese medicine it has been observed that cherries help keep diabetics healthy. Other dark fruit also helps to maintain balanced blood sugar.

Anthocyanin compounds also act to protect against heart disease by lowering cholesterol. And they also protect against cancer and arthritis.

Of course there are strawberries which have vitamin C and apricots with A.

What to do with them? Cover your cereal to start the morning with your favorite flavor of the day. Simply cut up a variety and mix together. Or if you like yogurt, mix chopped up fruit with organic vanilla yogurt.

If you want an elaborate ‘serving dish’ you can cut a watermelon or cantaloupe in half, either straight edge, saw tooth, or scallop and scoop out the insides. Cut up what you remove into cubes and add to your fruit salad. Fill up your dish and enjoy. Great for a picnic!