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12/09/2016 CANCER WARNING LABELS SOUGHT FOR PROCESSED MEAT AND POULTRY

A nine-page petition filed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest asks the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service to begin requiring colorectal cancer warning labels on certain meat and poultry products. The petition claims "scientific research has led to the conclusion that processed meat and poultry increases the risk of colorectal cancer." The North American Meat Institute (NAMI), said CSPI has earned the nickname "the food police" for such "scare tactics." The CSPI suggests the label should state: "USDA WARNING: Frequent consumption of processed meat products may increase your risk of developing cancer of the colon and rectum. To protect your health, limit consumption of such products." The group also wants a similar warning on poultry products. (foodsafetynews.com)

12/09/2016 "BRAIN-BOOSTING" FISH OIL IN POWDERED FORMULA MILK IS MAKING BABIES VIOLENTLY ILL

Babies are becoming violently ill after drinking a new formula milk touted by manufacturers as "brain boosting", child nutrition experts have warned. Alarmed mothers have complained that the powdered milk with fish oil makes their babies vomit and some have been taken to hospital with severe reflux. Fish oils have been added to major brands such as SMA and Aptamil to tempt parents who believe the Omega 3 fatty acids they contain help growing brains. But experts say babies cannot process fish oil, leading some to vomit the milk back up. Others suffer colic, diarrhoea and constipation. More than 13,000 parents have signed a petition demanding that Nestlé "ban SMA Pro Formula Milk" after it changed its ingredients in January. The three big brands – SMA, Aptamil and Cow & Gate now all include fish oil in their "standard" newborn milks. (dailymail.co.uk)

12/08/2016 COCONUT MILK MARKET TO GROW BY 15 PERCENT ANNUALLY

A new report published by global market research company ReportsnReports determined that the global coconut milk industry will grow by 15.4 percent every year until 2020. Researchers identified that the coconut milk industry is growing, thanks to the health benefits associated with the consumption of coconut products—including lowering cholesterol, improving blood pressure, and preventing heart attacks and strokes. The report revealed that coconut milk sales will be most prominent in the Americas, including Brazil and Argentina, where lactose intolerance affects 86 and 61 percent of the population, respectively. In addition to coconut milk, various sectors of the plant-based industry including meat, egg replacers, and other non-dairy milks are expected to boom in coming years.

12/08/2016 VEGAN ART EXHIBIT EXAMINES HOW HUMANS BULLY ANIMALS

A solo art exhibit entitled "Bully" by New Zealand-born vegan artist Claude Jones debuted yesterday at the Artereal Gallery in Sydney, Australia. Jones' artworks feature bulldogs acting out exploitative human behaviors on other animals such as rabbits, horses, and bulls. Jones went vegan six years ago after adopting a kitten named "Laska" who reminded the artist of her love for animals. Through her art, Jones aims to inspire more people to leave animals off their plates, avoid products tested on animals, and shun animal attractions such as circuses, aquatic shows, and horse and dog races. Jones is also one of 10 Queensland artists chosen to participate in touring exhibition, "Animal Fanfare," with viewing dates in several locations through April, 2017. The "Bully" exhibit will be available for viewing until December 22, 2016.

12/08/2016 SEAWORLD CUTS 320 JOBS TO STAY AFLOAT

SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby announced the day before yesterday that the company would be eliminating 320 jobs across their properties. The aquatic park has been struggling to stay in business since the release of influential documentary Blackfish in 2013. Reports of animal abuse and neglect from a former SeaWorld employee, the deaths of several marine animals, and a conspiracy uncovered last year wherein a SeaWorld employee admitted to infiltrating animal-rights organization PETA with the intent to spy on their activist actions, have all led to dire consequences for the park. Within the last two years, SeaWorld has faced decreased attendance, plummeting stock prices, and legislation that prohibits the company to breed orcas. Manby explained that the job cut will be part of the park's restructuring program—one that no longer uses whales as show performers.

12/07/2016 LONDON RESTAURANTS REFUSE TO ACCEPT NON-VEGAN MONEY

Several restaurants in England are refusing to accept the new £5 banknotes after learning they contain tallow—an animal byproduct made with rendered beef or mutton fat. "To stay true to the cause, we will no longer be accepting new five pound notes," Brixton vegan restaurant VegBar announced on Twitter last week. Similarly, vegan juice bar Not Just Juice in Gloucestershire has stopped accepting the notes. Additionally, The National Council of Hindu Temples in the United Kingdom has issued an official statement that bans the use of the notes in the organization, stating that the tallow-laced currency is "a medium for communicating pain and suffering and we would not want to come into contact with it." The Bank of England confirmed last week that the new £5 banknotes contain tallow due to a plastic polymer used by their supplier Innovia Security. A petition launched to remove the animal product from English currency—which the Bank of England promised to address—and currently has nearly 130,000 signatures.

12/07/2016 YALE EMBRACES CUTTING MEAT CONSUMPTION AS CORE VALUE

A motion to introduce more non-animal proteins at Yale University Dwight Dining hall was passed by the executive committee by an overwhelming majority of 46 to eight in November. The resolution was set forth by Yale Animal Welfare Alliance and stated, "in light of the enormous negative repercussions of meat consumption, we advocate that Yale Dining make a concerted effort to increase the amount of non-animal protein in the dining halls." According to Dwight Hall Co-Coordinator Anthony D'Ambrosio, the resolution will be incorporated as a "core value" of the ivy league university. Currently, the campus dining hall offers vegan butter, mayonnaise, and plant-based milks regularly. Dining halls at universities across the United States continue to add more plant-based proteins to appease student demand for healthier, more ethical, and environmentally friendly options.

12/07/2016 KAT VON D RAISED $200K TO BENEFIT LAB CHIMPS

Makeup mogul and animal-rights activist Kat Von D announced last week that her company Kat Von D Beauty donated $236,000 to Project Chimps—a nonprofit organization that rehabilitates chimpanzees who have been used for cosmetic testing. The funds were generated by sales of the limited edition "Project Chimps" shade of Everlasting Liquid Lipstick released by Kat Von D Beauty in August. "Not only will this donation help raise awareness to the cruel [and] unnecessary animal testing industry," Von D stated in an Instagram post, "but it will help give 300 chimps—who for the last [three] decades have lived an unnatural life in testing labs—rehabilitation, and a safe haven to live out the comfortable life they deserve." Earlier this year, Von D announced that she would reformulate every product in her cosmetic brand to be completely vegan and debuted her cruelty-free brand in the United Kingdom and Ireland in October.

12/06/2016 FDA SEIZES 4 MILLION POUNDS OF MILK

On Wednesday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seized four million pounds of powdered milk (worth over $4 million) produced by Valley Milk Products LLC in Virginia. The FDA filed a complaint against the company that alleges its products were adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, after a recent investigation revealed the presence of salmonella in its products and work surfaces—as well as other unsanitary conditions, including water dripping from the ceiling into milk products. "The FDA urged Valley Milk to conduct a voluntary recall of the implicated products," FDA's associate commissioner for regulatory affairs Melinda K. Plaisier said. "The firm refused to recall and, as a result, we have had to intervene and seize this adulterated food to prevent it from reaching consumers who could be exposed to Salmonella from these products." This government action comes after dairy producers in the United States dumped 43 million gallons of excess milk into manure lagoons and fields in the first eight months of 2016.

12/06/2016 UNDERCOVER MEXICAN SLAUGHTERHOUSE FOOTAGE RELEASED

Animal-rights organization Mercy for Animals (MFA) released its most recent undercover investigation on November 30. MFA partnered with international animal protection group Animal Equality (AE) to set up surveillance cameras in government-owned slaughterhouses across 11 municipalities in Mexico. The groups captured harrowing footage of animals being shocked with electric prongs on their faces, workers wrapping chains around animals' legs and stringing them upside down, and animals being scalded alive and stabbed repeatedly before languishing for extended periods of time, eventually choking on their own blood and vomit. Both MFA and AE are calling on the federal government of Mexico to pass protective legislation that would require rendering animals insensible prior to slaughter. Earlier this year, MFA's Vice President in Mexico Blanka Alfaro Pola was successful in thwarting the "Animal Protection Act" in Nuevo Leon, Mexico which, despite its name, would have left countless farm and companion animals unprotected.

12/06/2016 KIDS COMPETE FOR $25K WITH VEGAN CHOCOLATE MILK

Students of New Zealand's Hutt Valley High School were named finalists in the entrepreneurial competition Young Enterprise Scheme for their vegan product, Ease Chocolate Milk. Vegan students Eireanne Millikin, Megan Rea, Ella Steele, and Zara Badrick—who developed the coconut-based milk to fill a gap in the vegan beverage industry—spoke in front of representatives from the county's chamber of commerce this week. The students partnered with local chocolatier The Chocolate Story to create their Belgian chocolate-infused non-dairy beverage, and received acclaim from tasters including parliament member Chris Bishop. Winners will be announced on December 7 and will receive $25,000 to be used toward their college education.

12/05/2016 ENGLAND CONSIDERS MAKING ITS CASH VEGAN

The Bank of England is looking to remove animal products from its new £5 banknote. The note went into circulation in September and uses a plastic polymer that contains tallow—or rendered beef or mutton fat. The bank confirmed on Twitter on Monday that the notes contained tallow, which sparked a social media outrage resulting in more than 100,000 signatures on a Change.org petition asking the bank to reformulate the banknote sans animal products. In a statement to British media outlet BBC, the bank revealed it was not aware of the presence of tallow in the banknote when it contracted material supplier Innovia Security to create the currency.

12/05/2016 MARINE ANIMAL PARK CHARGED WITH FIVE COUNTS OF CRUELTY

The Ontario arm of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) charged area aquatic park Marineland with five counts of animal cruelty on Friday under the Ontario SPCA Act. During a recent visit to the marine park, the animal welfare organization found a peacock in distress, neglected guinea hens, and malnourished black bears. The OSPCA did not have the authority to remove the animals in question, however, the organization continues to monitor Marineland to ensure the charges are addressed. "Reports of animal cruelty are taken very seriously," OSPCA's Senior Inspector Steve Toy says. "When we receive reports of cruelty that involve wildlife or exotic animals, we will utilize our experts as well as industry experts to assist us with our investigation."

12/05/2016 VEGAN RESCUES 100-YEAR-OLD GIANT LOBSTER

Vegan Nova Scotia resident Katie Conklin rescued "King Louie"—a 23-pound lobster believed to be 100-years-old—from New Brunswick store Alma Lobster Shop. Shop co-owner Catherine MacDonald says the rare lobster became an attraction after people expressed interest in mounting the animal and using him as a promotional prop for their businesses. Luckily, Conklin acted fast and paid $230 for King Louie and released him back into Bay of Fundy, where he was caught several days prior by local fishermen. King Louie is the most recently rescued lobster in Canada. This summer, vegan Christine Longhead rescued lobster Lobby Joe from a tank in Ontario and spent more than $300 to transport him to the ocean in Halifax. One month later, Canadian monks released 600 pounds of lobsters off the coast of the Wood Islands after purchasing them from local vendors on Prince Edward Island.

12/02/2016 ACADEMY OF NUTRITION AND DIETETICS GREENLIGHTS VEGANISM

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND)—a collection of 100,000 healthcare professionals, the largest in the United States—published its official position on vegetarian diets in the December issue its medical journal. "It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases," the AND states. While the organization recognizes the benefits of vegetarian diets in general, AND finds the vegan diet is best for reducing the risk of (and treating) illness such as heart disease, hypertension, some forms of cancer, and type 2 diabetes. AND deemed vegan diets effective at promoting a lower body mass index, more environmentally friendly than other diets, and safe for people in all stages of life. While AND has published various papers on how consuming animal products affects health, this is the first time AND included their position on how the animal agriculture negatively impacts the environment.

12/02/2016 UK CURRENCY IS NOT VEGAN

New £5 banknotes containing "tallow," or rendered beef or mutton fat, entered into circulation in England this September. The notes are printed using plastic polymer pellets for the materials' stain- and water-resistant qualities. The Bank of England confirmed via Twitter on Monday that tallow was present in the banknotes. Concerned citizen Doug Maw launched a petition—which currently has over 100,000 signatures—on Change.org to remove the animal product. "This is unacceptable to millions of vegans, vegetarians, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and others in the UK," the petition states. "We demand that you cease to use animal products in the production of currency that we have to use." The petition will be delivered directly to the Bank of England urging them to remove tallow from the new banknotes.

12/02/2016 TORONTO FOOD BANK SERVED 50,000TH VEG MEAL

The Toronto Vegetarian Food Bank (TVFB) served its 50,000th vegan-friendly meal last weekend. TVFB was launched in 2015 with the mission to allow people to maintain their ethical dietary choice despite financial circumstances. "We don't think that people's dignity should be sacrificed because they're down on their luck," TVFB executive director Matt Noble—himself a seven-year vegan—said. The food bank spends 60-percent of its budget on fruit and vegetables and offers protein-rich tofu-based dishes and plant-based milk. "We want to not have people put in a position where they have to choose between feeding themselves or harming another being," Noble said. TVFB will continue serving its community throughout the holidays with the next event scheduled for December 19.

12/01/2016 POPE TO WORLD LEADERS: ACT ON CLIMATE CHANGE NOW

Pope Francis met with the members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences—including theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking—at the Vatican on Monday. During his speech, the Pope urged the scientists to "work free of political, economic or ideological interests, to develop a cultural model which can face the crisis of climatic change and its social consequences." Pope Francis directly addressed politicians who deny the existence of climate change by discussing the problematic nature of "the ease with which well-founded scientific opinion about the state of our planet is disregarded." The Pope's speech comes after president-elect Donald Trump vowed to pull out of the Paris Agreement—signed by 200 countries in an effort to collaboratively combat climate change—and announced he would appoint avid climate change critic Myron Ebell as head of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Trump has since wavered on his position regarding climate change, but the future the US participation in the Paris Agreement remains uncertain.

12/01/2016 MEATLESS OPTIONS AT RESTAURANTS WILL BOOM IN 2017

New York-based food consulting firm Baum + Whiteman (BW) released their annual food trends report for 2016, and the firm predicted the popularity of non-animal protein and vegetables will continue to grow on restaurant menus. Due to ever increasing demand for plant-based alternatives to meat, BW says, "We've reached a tipping point for vegetables," adding, "They're pushing animal protein to the side of the plate ... or entirely off it." BW calls this trend "root to stem" dining and names several restaurants—including Philadelphia-based vegan eatery Vedge—as early adopters of the trend. In conjunction with several market research reports that predict an exponential growth of vegan milk, meat, egg replacer, and packaged goods industries in coming years, 2017 will be a great year for plant-based dining.

12/01/2016 RISE OF MEAT CONSUMPTION WIPING OUT BLUE ZONES

A recent feature in Canadian media outlet MacLean's explored a phenomenon plaguing blue zones—or areas with the largest concentrations of individuals over 100 years old. In 2009, Michael Poulin began to study blue zones—namely Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Ikaria, Greece—to determine the commonalities between the areas, and found that one common thread was residents followed a mostly plant-based diet. Poulin's new research of younger generations in the blue zones indicates that they will not live as long as their predecessors due to an increase in meat and junk food consumption. The American diet brought to Okinawa via a United States military base in the 1940s will wipe out the blue zone there in 10 to 15 years. In Costa Rica, Nicoya is now home to many Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonalds' fast-food chains, and as a result is undergoing a "nutritional transition," according to global health scholar at Macalester College Eric Carter. Outside of the disappearing blue zones, the spread of the Western diet into areas such as China and Africa, has been credited for increases in obesity rates and nutritional deficiencies.

The number of news found: 20.

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