Saturday, December 31, 2011


Shanghai (Reuters) - Chinese food safety regulators in the southern city of Shenzhen have found carcinogenic mildew in peanuts and cooking oil, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.  The cancer-causing substance, called aflatoxin, triggered public concern this week after milk giant Mengniu Dairy said last weekend its Sichuan plant had destroyed products found by a government quality watchdog to contain it.  Aflatoxin occurs naturally in the environment and is produced by certain common types of fungi. It can cause severe liver damage, including liver cancer.  Fungi and the aflatoxin they produce can infect crops before harvest or during harvesting and storage. The tainted crops then enter the foodchain either directly, or indirectly via animal feed, so milk, eggs, and meat can sometimes be contaminated with aflatoxins.

Xinhua reported that the Shenzhen market supervision bureau had said it found up to 4.3 times of the permitted level of aflatoxin in peanuts sold in two supermarkets and one frozen food store, and up to four times the allowed level of aflatoxin in cooking oil in four restaurants.  On Thursday, food safety officials recalled cooking oil produced by three companies in the southern Guangdong province because they may contain excessive levels of aflatoxin.  These incidents are the latest in a string of safety scandals to hit China’s food industry in recent years. In 2008, at least six children died and nearly 300 000 became ill in China from drinking powdered milk laced with melamine, an industrial chemical added to low-quality or diluted milk to give misleadingly high protein readings.

Chinese authorities have detected a cancer-causing toxin in peanuts and cooking oil that was only recently discovered in milk, in China’s latest food safety scandal.  Fungi and the aflatoxin they produce can infect crops before harvest or storage. Aflatoxin can enter the foodchain via animal feed; so after animal consumption of tainted crops, milk, eggs, and meat can be contaminated with it.  Despite so many risks, there are still people who wonder why it is not advisable to eat eggs and meat.

The Gaudiya Vaisnava object to meat eating because they consider animal slaughter a merciless act. ... To the extent that one is involved in merciless acts, one will be checked from making significant spiritual progress. ... Eat simply. Eat to live; don’t live to eat.  Bhagavad-gita teaches that a sattvic diet is best for spiritual life in general. Sattva refers to the quality of goodness, which is said to be illuminating. A sattvic diet is vegetarian, one that avoids overly spicy foods as well as onions and garlic, because these foods are said to excite passion (rajas). Meat, fish, and eggs are products of unnecessary violence and are considered unclean. Above all, one should eat in gratitude and service to God.

Śrīla Bhakti Vedanta Tripurari Mahārāja :
“When Invaders Destroy the Deity”
Śrī Caitanya Sanga - Vol. V, No. 24 - October 30, 2003
“Guru-Pranali and the Current of Spirituality”
Śrī Caitanya Sanga - Vol. V, No. 27 - December 7, 2003  -

No comments: