Far East digest

Korean junk food consumption halves in last decade

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Korean junk food consumption halves in last decade

Related tags Nutrition

The rate that Korean teenagers regularly consume has halved over the past 10 years, the country’s health watchdog has found. 

According to a study by Korea’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) on fast food consumption rates of middle- and high-school students over the last decade, male students eating fast food more than three times a week has decreased from 31% in 2005 to 16.5% percent last year. The figure for female students dropped from 30% to 14.5% over the same period. 

Teenage consumption of soft drinks also decreased from 60% to 32% for male students and 45% to 19% for female students. However, three out of ten students still miss breakfast—a figure that has gone up slightly since 2005. 

The KCDC attributed the change to increased nutritional awareness. 

"We believe public interest in health and diet among teenagers has led to the decrease in fast food consumption​," one official told the press.

In 2014, 28.2% of boys said they skipped breakfast at least five times a week, a slight increase from 26.4% in 2005. For girls, the ratio also rose slightly, from 28 to 28.9 percent.

Officials suggest this marginal increase was because students had less time time to eat in the mornings, or had little appetite for breakfast.

Aclyramide found in all brown sugar samples tested by Taiwanese authorities

Having tested 19 brown sugar brands that are available across Taiwan, food officials found all of them contained acrylamide, a suspected carcinogen

The Food and Drug Administration’s tests were conducted on brands sold in farmers’ markets and supermarket chains across the island.

One brand contained acrylamide at 2,740 micrograms per kilogram—significantly higher than the 1,448 mcg/kg limit suggested by local health authorities.

Seven brands tested above 1,000 mcg/kg, while the lowest one registered 30mcg/kg.

Taiwan has not set a maximum permissible level for acrylamide as the debate continues over whether the compound causes cancer in humans.

It is used in wastewater treatment and manufacturing industries, and is also found in fried foods or foods cooked at high temperatures, including potato chips, french fries, coffee and bread. Brown sugar is vulnerable because of the way it is processed.

Taiwan gets new GMO labelling regulations

The Taiwan Food and Drug Administration has amended three GMO labelling regulations for prepackaged foods, food additives and unpackaged foods.

The regulations for prepackaged foods and food additives will come into force at the end of this year, while unpackaged foods rules will be implemented in three phases depending on the type of manufacture over the remainder of this year.

Taiwan’s consumers have access to a large quantity of food crops imported from the United States, with around 95% of these imports containing GM soybeans and GM corn. 

Bowing to public and regulatory pressure, the government has established labelling regulations to give better information on product content. 

Since 2014, packaged foods have been labeled if the GMO content exceeds 3%. However, this regulation does not cover all food ingredients. 

To amend the regulation, the Taiwan FDA has extended the scope from packaged foods, to all prepackaged and unpackaged foods, as well as food additives.

The new regulations stipulate that products that “use GMOs directly during the manufacturing process yet, the final product does not contain transgenic DNA fragments or transgenic proteins” will display reference to the GMO content.

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1 comment

GMO is a dangerous Poison

Posted by Mark Donner,

GMO and its associated lethal pesticides and herbicides are dangerous poisons. Eating genetically modified corn (GM corn) and consuming trace levels of Monsanto's Roundup chemical fertilizer caused rats to develop horrifying tumors, widespread organ damage, and premature death. rats exposed to even the smallest amounts, "developed mammary tumors and severe liver and kidney damage as early as four ...months in males, and seven months for females." The animals on the GM diet suffered mammary tumors, as well as severe liver and kidney damage. Everywhere GMO is being grown, food allergies, disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems, and others have been skyrocketing in the human populations.

There has been a drastic decline of crop-pollinating insects all over the world, and what this means for the future of the world's food supply. Wild pollinators like bumblebees, butterflies, and beetles are basically disappearing. GMO industrial agricultural practices are causing this insect genocide. Pollinating insects in general, which include a wide range of insects and other animals, are simply vanishing from their normal habitats and foraging areas. That lower diversity and lower abundance of wild insects means less fruits and destruction of the diversity of plants and their fruits worldwide.

GMOs cross pollinate and their seeds can travel. It is impossible to fully clean up our contaminated gene pool. Self-propagating GMO pollution will outlast the effects of global warming and nuclear waste. The potential impact is huge, threatening the health of future generations. GMO contamination has also caused economic losses for organic and non-GMO farmers who often struggle to keep their crops pure.

GMOs increase herbicide use. Most GM crops are engineered to be "herbicide tolerant"―surviving deadly weed killers. Monsanto, for example, sells Roundup Ready crops, designed to survive applications of their Roundup herbicide. Between 1996 and 2008, US farmers sprayed an extra 383 million pounds of herbicide on GMOs. Overuse of Roundup results in "superweeds," resistant to the herbicide. This is causing farmers to use even more toxic herbicides every year. Not only does this create environmental harm, GM foods contain higher residues of toxic herbicides. Roundup, for example, is linked with sterility, hormone disruption, birth defects, and cancer.

GM crops and their associated herbicides can harm birds, insects, amphibians, marine ecosystems, and soil organisms. They reduce bio-diversity, pollute water resources, and are unsustainable. For example, GM crops are eliminating habitat for monarch butterflies, whose populations are down 50% in the US. Roundup herbicide has been shown to cause birth defects in amphibians, embryonic deaths and endocrine disruptions, and organ damage in animals even at very low doses. GM canola has been found growing wild in North Dakota and California, threatening to pass on its herbicide tolerant genes on to weeds.

By mixing genes from totally unrelated species, genetic engineering unleashes a host of unpredictable side effects. Moreover, irrespective of the type of genes that are inserted, the very process of creating a GM plant can result in massive collateral damage that produces new toxins, allergens, carcinogens, and nutritional deficiencies.

GMOs do NOT increase yields, and work against feeding a hungry world.

Whereas sustainable non-GMO agricultural methods used in developing countries have conclusively resulted in yield increases of 79% and higher, GMOs do not, on average, increase yields at all. This was evident in the Union of Concerned Scientists' 2009 report Failure to Yield―the definitive study to date on GM crops and yield.

The toxins associated with GMO should never be tolerated. NEONICOTINOID PESTICIDE neurotoxins are absolutely the main factor causing the collapse of bee and pollinator populations along with other lethal chemicals, Agent Orange herbicides, glysophate, etc. When these poisons are banned as they were in Europe the bee populations start to recover. GMO neonicotinoids, roundup etc. MUST BE BANNED OUTRIGHT and all the farmers along with USDA, Biotech and chemical companies told to cease and desist from what they are doing.

An even scarier prospect: the "BT" version of GMO soybeans and corn, (basically pesticides engineered directly into the plant )

The "BT toxin" gene is put into the DNA of the corn in order for it to manufacture its own toxins that kill pests. The BT gene originated from a soil bacteria that also infiltrates the microflora (friendly digestive bacteria) in your gut. The Bt gene converts the microflora in your intestine into toxin-manufacturing machines.

So, to be clear, eating GMO corn products can cause your gut (which is primarily responsible for keeping you healthy) to turn into a breeding ground for tiny little pesticide factories inside your body, actively creating toxins which are designed to kill living things. These toxins are found in the blood and are readily transferred across the placenta to developing babies in the womb.

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