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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Consumer Alert: Food Contamination

Oh, no! Not mozzarella!

Raw Story is reporting that Japan and South Korea have suspended mozzarella imports temporarily after reports surfaced claiming that some of the cheese was made with contaminated milk. the European Union has asked Italy for safety assurances by Wednesday at the latest.

Italy responded with the statement that follows:
"Checks have been made on 132 producers and only in nine cases traces of dioxin have been found," Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema told reporters, saying international alarm over the mozzarella was "totally exaggerated and unjustified."
Italian health officials claim the dioxin contamination apparently resulted from a garbage crisis earlier this year in Naples and the surrounding Campania region.

According to the article:
With landfills and dumping sites in the area full, locals burned piles of garbage in the streets and in open fields. Health officials say industrial waste was also set ablaze, spreading fumes that in some cases contained dioxin.

"The presence of dioxin is not due to the garbage itself but to the fact that substances containing dioxin have been burned and the fallout from the smoke brought some dioxin to the ground," Health Ministry undersecretary Gianpaolo Patta said.
Disposing of the garbage that the human population generates each year is becoming an insoluble problem. With a continent-sized mess of plastic in the ocean, and airborne contaminants from burning of garbage, we're poisoning our water, our earth, our air, and our food chain. For what it's worth, the Italian governmental sources are claiming that only one per cent of the mozzarella di bufala has been found to be contaminated. Hopefully it will all be consumed by those responsible for lowering clean air standards.

Dioxins result from some forms of combustion and can also come from industry, including paper and pulp production, and businesses that use chlorine.

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