Some Frequently asked Questions
Q. What are some of the potential health risks associated with synthetic food additives?
A. Additives such as synthetic colourings and preservatives are known to cause or exacerbate complaints like asthma, hyperactivity, skin rashes and migraines to name just a few.
Q. Are any food additives derived from animals and if so which ones?
A. Yes, some food additives are derived from animals. A few examples include cochineal (120), calcium carbonate (170), bone phosphate (542), disodium inosinate (631) and shellac (904).
Q. Which ingredients in personal care products like shampoo and toothpaste should be avoided?
A. Ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulphate, propylene glycol, fluoride, diethanolamine, propylparaben, quaternium 15, coal tar, DMDM hydantoin to name but a few, have been associated with various health problems from skin irritation to blindness in young children.
Q. What are some of the safer ingredients to look for in cosmetics and personal care?
A. Safer ingredients include yucca extract, stevia, shea butter, rose hip seed oil, evening primrose oil, neem oil and ascorbic acid, especially if they are certified organic.
Q. What is Genetic Engineering?
A. Genetic engineering (GE) also known as genetic modification (GM) involves taking genes from one species and inserting them into another entirely different species in an attempt to transfer a desired trait or characteristic.
Q. What are some of the potential health risks associated with genetic engineering?
A. One problem with GE foods is their unpredictability. Most genes being introduced into GE plants have never been part of the food supply so we cannot know if they are likely to be allergenic. A person may prove unexpectedly allergic to a food he or she has previously eaten safely. In a worst case scenario, an allergic reaction may prove fatal.
Q. What is food irradiation?
A. This is a method of eradicating dangerous organisms in products such as meat. It is also used to kill weed seeds in herbs and to delay ripening of some foods. It involves bombarding food with gamma rays from a nuclear source such as cobalt 60.
Q. What are some of the potential health risks associated with irradiation of foods?
A. Potential health risks include abnormal development of white blood cells, leukaemia, tumours, kidney disease and chronic reproductive and mutagenic effects. Irradiation also causes significant loss of nutrients from foods.