Posts Tagged ‘industry’

Another Kick at the Foam

March 6, 2008

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In my last post about polystyrene I told you about the closure of the Mississauga recycling facility. 01

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Seize the Moment Before it Disappears

March 3, 2008

Here’s a post that I found at Theater Of Cruelty and admired so much that I just had to ask for permission to repost it here:

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Tasty Bug Pellets – a Plastics Solution?

January 4, 2008

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Landfills continuously receive millions of tons of plastic that can take hundreds of years to break down. But increasing public awareness and criticism about the impact that we’re having upon our planet, seems to be influencing some positive corporate response.

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The King of Trans-Fat?

December 21, 2007

Sally Brown (CEO; Heart and Stroke Foundation) labelled Burger King the “King of Trans Fat” earlier today because many of the company’s products still contain unacceptably high levels of trans fats.

Fast-food companies often simply use the chemically changed oils (liquid to artery-clogging semi-solid) in their products because it extends shelf life, and that means increased profit.

“Not all companies are reducing them in all products, but Burger King isn’t reducing them in any products.”

Appended 2007/12/22:

click for larger imageHere’s the BK at Commissioners/Pond Mills in London, Ont; as you can see, being newly-crowned as king of trans fats doesn’t appear to be hurting business any.

Links:
2007/12/20 – CBC: …Burger King in the hot seat
2007/12/20 – Toronto Star: Burger King takes … trans fat crown
2007/12/20 – CityNews: …Government Report Names Names
2007/12/21 – Toronto Star: Burger King scores worst on trans fats
2007/12/21 – Globe & Mail: Burger King reigning leader in trans fats
2007/12/31 – Globe & Mail: Calgary cracks down on trans fat

Reducing CO2 Emissions

December 19, 2007

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“Coal is, and will continue to be, a major source of the world’s energy and emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2)” (report: “Preparing to Capture Carbon”; Science Friday journal).  1

‘Clean’ Coal Technology

An industry group, known as FutureGen Alliance, has committed $400 million to a futuristic power plant project over 10 years.  2

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Food Additive Safety

December 16, 2007

Today’s Daily Telegraph warns that “HUNDREDS of popular Australian children’s snack foods and sweets are laced with suspect additives which international researchers have linked to adverse behavioural reactions…such as allergies, asthma, hyperactivity and rashes.”

According to Health Canada, “Generally speaking, a food additive is any chemical substance added to a food during manufacturing or processing that becomes a part of the food or affects the food’s characteristics, such as its colour or texture. Some food additives are derived from natural sources. Others are made synthetically.”

Only food additives listed in the Tables of Division 16 in the Food and Drug Regulations are permitted to be used in food.
(source: Health Canada)

The Health Products & Food Branch of Health Canada is responsible for evaluating and approving new food additives. The legislative mechanisms under which the Government of Canada controls them are the Food and Drugs Act and the Food and Drug Regulations. And the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) enforces Canada’s food labelling laws and the food safety standards set by Health Canada.

Links:
Health Canada: National Surveillance of…Hazardous Chemicals in Foods
EFSA: Food Additives
Action On Additives website
2004/05/25 – The Independent: Artificial colorings…boost…hyperactivity…
2007/05/08 – Food Standards Agency: Additives and children’s behaviour
2007/05/09 – Daily Telegraph: New evidence links E-numbers to hyperactivity
2007/05/12 – Daily Telegraph: Tantrum-linked additives in 132 new products
2007/09/ – Food Standards Agency: Intolerance to additives
2007/09/06 – Food Standards Agency: …revised advice on…artificial colours
2007/09/06 – Daily Telegraph: Parents warned about artificial food additives
2007/09/06 – BBC: Parents warned of additives link
2007/09/17 – TimesOnline: Subtracting the additives

Regulating Gift Cards

December 6, 2007

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You’ve got to wonder if these exemptions are just another case of industry lobbyists overriding the interests of consumers.
(source: Bruce Cran; Consumers Assoc.)

Ontario Consumer Protection Act changes took effect 2007/10/01. Prior to that, the McGuinty Liberals heralded the coming changes. But now they’re strangely quiet about the loopholes.

Under the new rules, gift cards can’t be sold with a transaction fee, can’t expire, and shoppers can’t be penalized if they don’t spend their credit immediately.

But… shopping malls are excempted for now. And loyalty cards (where you accumulate points), and prepaid phone cards…

Links:
2007/05/29 – CTV: Ontario government bans gift card expiry dates
2007/05/29 – City News: Ontario Sets Day For End Of Gift Card Expiry Dates
2007/11/14 – Toronto Star: Unredeemed gift cards a present for retailers
2007/12/05 – Globe&Mail: Some Ontario gift-card loopholes…
2007/12/06 – CBC: Gift card exemption riles critics

How Red Is Your Meat?

November 15, 2007

imageWhen you shop for meat, what influences your purchase decision?

If you’re like most people, you’ll pass up the brownish-tinged steak for the one beside it that’s noticeably red. So, in an effort to cut it’s losses, the meat industry is reported to be adopting the practise of fixing the meat’s pigment by treating it with carbon monoxide. And when this tactic is coupled with a type of packaging that further maintains the low-oxygen atmosphere, it’s said that the meat keeps looking red “not just longer, but almost indefinitely.”

A 2001 EU report warns that “the presence of CO may mask visual evidence of spoilage.”

I ran a search on the Health Canada website but it didn’t turn up anything useful, so I dashed off an email inquiry. Here’s the answer I got:

Date: Thur, 15 Nov 2007 12:22:12 -0500
From: Health Canada
To: Gregory Fowler
Subject: Re: WWW Form Submission

November 15 2007,

Dear Mr. Fowler,

Thank you for using Health Canada online.

The use of carbon monoxide in food products is not currently permitted under the Food and Drug Redulations.

Thank you for writing.

Food Directorate
Health Products and Food Branch
Health Canada

So that’s good news. Provided that “Redulations” means regulations.

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Links:
2006/02/20: Washington Post – FDA is Urged to Ban …
2006/02/21 – USA Today: Groups protest use…
2006/09/26 – Food Quality News: Carbon monoxide in meat products…
2007/10/30 – Alberta Govt: Lawmakers Introduce Bill…
2006/09/26 – Food Quality News: Carbon monoxide in meat products…
2007/11/14 – Treehugger: More on Giving Meat the Tailpipe Treatment

Proposed New 2008 Water Rates

November 15, 2007

At it’s meeting yesterday, Board of Control received a staff update with respect to the water rates. Randy Richmond writes about it in today’s paper (“Lower water rates on tap“; London Free Press; 2007/11/15).

A proposed drop in rates for residential users would be offset by an increase in rates for “industry, commercial businesses, highrises and institutions.” Long overdue, in my opinion (read my last post on the subject HERE).

No doubt about it, industrial rates do significantly impact some businesses. Labatt’s is a heavy water user that comes to mind. But if the quote attributed to Tom Gosnell that “we will have on paper a fair system, but no industry and no jobs,” then I think that he’s out to lunch. If there’s such fear-mongering going on down at City Hall, then Bud Polhill’s prediction that 2008 will be “a year of hell” may well come true.

Here’s a thought. Jack up the rates as suggested, but consider a rebate to some businesses which is contingent upon the size of the workforce that they have employed over that corresponding period.

Let me know if you think that I’m out to lunch as well.

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Links:
2007/11/21 – LFP: 9% hike sought in city water rates