Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Attenborough in row over Nestlé funding 'advice' to Mandela

Steven Morris
Saturday March 8, 2003
The Guardian

"Lord Attenborough's role as a Unicef ambassador came under scrutiny yesterday after he appeared to try to persuade Nelson Mandela to accept a charitable donation from the controversial food giant Nestlé in exchange for a photo opportunity. Officials from the United Nations Children's Fund will be speaking to the film director and philanthropist about his extraordinary meeting with Mr Mandela, which was captured in a BBC1 documentary. During the meeting, Lord Attenborough seemed to be lobbying on behalf of the Swiss company, which has been criticised for pushing powdered baby milk on to mothers in developing countries and was attacked earlier this year for seeking $6m (£3.75m) from Ethiopia's cash-strapped government. Health campaigners expressed anger at the scenes and are calling on him to consider his position. Despite claiming a close knowledge of Nestlé in the programme, Lord Attenborough insisted he was not lobbying on the company's behalf and had not been paid by it. He said his remarks in the David Dimbleby documentary, shown on Wednesday, were taken out of context."
New York City - Vegan Couple Set For Trial
March 10, 2003, 12:06 PM EST

"Jury selection is due to start on Tuesday in the trial of a Queens couple accused of starving their first child nearly to death by feeding her a strict vegan diet.

Prosecutors allege that Joseph and Silva Swinton, both in their early 30s, failed to give essential infant nutrition to their daughter, Ice, before authorities took custody of her in November 2001, when she was 15 months old and weighed half the average weight of a child her age.

They were initially each charged in April with reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child. But prosecutors later added a new charge of first-degree assault against both, which means they each face a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

Authorities said the couple failed to feed their child breast milk or infant formula. Instead, the couple gave her a vegan diet of ground nuts, fresh squeezed juice, herbal tea, beans, cod liver oil and flaxseed oil."
New experimental drug helps fight peanut allergy [Considerable research and developments on peanut allergies are reported at an annual allergy conference including a reference to peanuts and pregnancy/breastfeeding.- JC] "Also at the academy's meeting Monday, Dr. Gideon Lack of St. Mary's Hospital at Imperial College in London reported on a study of 14,000 children in Great Britain looking at the cause of peanut allergy. It found that babies who drank soy milk or were exposed to skin creams with peanut oil in them were more likely to develop the allergy.

A family history of peanut intolerance also was associated with greater risk. But contrary to some theories, babies whose mothers ate peanuts during pregnancy or while breast-feeding were not more likely to develop the allergy.

While most children with other food allergies, such as to milk or eggs, eventually outgrow them, more than 80 percent of peanut allergies persist into adulthood."
03.10.2003 - Researchers call for better studies on environmental links to breast cancer
UCBerkeley News
By Sarah Yang, Media Relations | 10 March 2003

"A much broader net needs to be cast in the search for environmental links to breast cancer, concludes a report released today (Monday, March 10) that stems from a landmark gathering last year of researchers, public health officials and activists.

According to the report of the International Summit on Breast Cancer and the Environment, current research methods and health initiatives are insufficient when it comes to understanding and preventing non-genetic causes of breast cancer.

The report was submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, who organized the CDC-funded summit in Santa Cruz last May.

Research needs to evaluate contributing risk factors at all ages of a person's life, including infancy and adolescence, the report says. The report also promotes the establishment of a national biomonitoring program to track exposures using breast milk and other body fluids, the improvement of lifetime exposure assessment for complex chemical mixtures and increased community involvement at all levels of prevention and research."