Great article on the technological advances for packagers of beverages.
An excellent video made by GOOD: Magazine for World Water Day, which explains the trouble with polluted drinking water in many parts of the world.
Good news for the economy; Patent filings are on th rise according to a recent study by the World Intellectual Property Office. The WIPO report titled “World Intellectual Property Indicators,” published December 2012, shows patent filings are up 7% worldwide as of 2010 in comparison to 2009 nubers. International patent applications (PCT), protecting patents globally, rose 5.6% as of 2010. The US and China are leading the way with 80% of the total filings. The trend is shown by a graph released by WIPO shown below. Since the process from filing to finished product can take a few years, the data from 2010 is a good indication that new products will be flooding the market for the next couple years. This is great news for those looking for an economic recovery as these patents turn into products and new jobs.
It has been just over a year since the earthquake in Haiti killed more than 200,000 people and the situation is still grim. According to recent figures released January 21 by the World Health Organization, the outbreak of Cholera has reached an astounding 194,095 with 3651 deaths due to the outbreak.
The cause of the outbreak is still unknown, though some point fingers at the UN peacekeepers for bringing this disease back to Haiti after over 50 years of no reported cases. Regardless of the cause, it is apparent that Haiti’s struggle to rebuild after the earthquake has hit a roadblock that need immediate attention.
“Simply put, other actors need to get more involved because the needs are far too great to be covered solely by the organizations currently working to prevent and treat cholera,” Stefano Zannini, the Doctors Without Borders Haiti Head of Mission, said in a statement. “Both the short-term and long-term forecasts indicate that this situation will get worse, possibly far worse, before it gets better.”
With everything that has happened to the people in Haiti in 2010, we must continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers. We hope that soon we will be able to provide more aid in the form of Readymade bottles to the children in need in of safe food in this Haiti as well as other disaster areas. In the mean time, review the video below for some of the footage of the aftermath of this tragedy as well as the inspiration from those on the ground helping Haiti recover from this disaster.
There has been some disagreement on the how dangerous Bisphenol A contained in food packaging is. This may be the result of Industry groups who have actively been denying the health risks of the chemical. The debate over how BPA is regulated has made US and European food safety regulators look to update advisories on the chemical.
University of Canterbury Toxicologist Ian Shaw had this to say about BPA:
“I don’t think we should ban BPA, but I think we should control its use much more carefully. BPA is the chemical used to manufacture polycarbonate plastics, is a component of lacquers used to line food cans, and is used in some dental fillings – the problem is that it mimics the female hormone. Small doses over a long time can initiate female hormone responses.
“In males this might result in undescended testes or other sex organ deformities, but in females it is possible that some breast cancers might be stimulated. A specific type of breast cancer (estrogen receptor positive breast cancer) grows when the female hormone, estrogen, binds to a specific receptor in the cell; when the receptor is occupied the cancer cell divides and the cancer grows. An estrogen mimic such as BPA can bind to the receptor and stimulate the breast cancer cell to divide. Controlling its use while allowing it to be used for the benefit of society (e.g. in some medical devices) will reduce exposure and so reduce the risk.”
While University of Missouri-Columbia professor Fredrick Vom Saal put it a little more firm, stating, ““Among people who have actually read the literature, there is no debate, just an illusion of controversy. This is a phenomenally potent chemical.”
This may be just the beginning of chemicals in food manufacturing coming under fire. Patricia Hunt, a biologist at Washington State University said about the BPA issue, “It’s just the one that’s captured the attention, because researchers like me have gotten into the field and gone, ‘Holy cats! We’re all exposed to this.’ There’s been a heavy industry response, and we’ve gathered our forces together a little more strongly to shine a light on it. This is the poster child for this group of chemicals. Academic scientists are saying we need to do something, and we need to do it fast.”
With all of this being said, BPA is still an accepted food manufacturing chemical in many countries. We will stay tuned later this month as the European Food Authority makes there decision on the future of BPA in European manufacturing. This decision will surely hold weight on the rest of the world’s manufacturing.
It has been 5 years since Katrina swept through the Gulf Coast, but is the US better prepared for future disasters? According to one recent pole by the Pew Research Center, 57% of Americans say the country has not made improvements in disaster preparations.
The storm killed more than 1,800 people along the Gulf coast and rebuilding is far from finished. The aftermath of the storm was seen world wide as a mismanaged effort that failed to deliver relief aid in a timely fashion.
Since then relief has poured in from churches and humanitarian organizations helping to ease the suffering of victims. Despite this work there are still people living in temproary housing 5 years later.
Perhaps the only way to know if we are better equiped to handle another disaster is to wait and see how we react to the next one. With the continuing improvment in delivery of aid, texting of donation funds and general awareness that Katrina and other recent disasters have raised, there is hope that the future will be brighter.