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Portola Reporter
Portola , California
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January 28, 2009     Portola Reporter
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January 28, 2009
 

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Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009 13B FAI R, from page 12B The garden stalls, a popular faff attraction, have weathered many a year of neglect and disre- pair. Photos by Traci Bue "Little projects don't get noticed," said fairground maintenance supervisor Oran Morrison, "bu~ people will notice this one." .: 1 Should we risk our health with products made in China?i HERE'S TO YOUR HEALTH AURA WHITTAKER Between the tainted pet food, seafood laced with melamine and toothpaste with an antifreeze ingredi- ent, U.S. shoppers may be justified if they are becoming leery of Chinese-made goods and are trying to fill their shopping carts with products free of ingredients from that country. With all the recent news about food recalls and the dangerous ingredients from China, I am wondering if it is possible to avoid Chinese products that contain these dangerous ingredients? How difficult would it be? Is it pos- sible to avoid them complete- ly? If you don't watch the news, use the Internet or read a major newspaper, you may not have heard the hub- bub aboi~t melamine-tainted food products and recalls on Chinese products. Non-food products from China have been under scrutiny for toxic paint and faulty and dangerous parts. They mass-produce dispos- able products for our dispos- able society. It is supply and demand, right? But, what are we risking when we buy these questionable products from China? Visit the local discount and big box stores, and you will come up against the ultimate challenge for avoiding Chi- nese-made products. Just as you might suspect, most of the items are made in China or some other foreign coun- try. Kitchen accessories, cof- fee mugs, toys, clothes and more are all mostly made in China. A few products may say made in the USA, Italy or somewhere other than China, but they are rare. Imagine the effect it would have on the big box and dis- count stores if the United States banned imports from China. Where would you shop? Are you willing to use toothpaste made in China that has recently been found to contain a chemical called diethylene glycol, which is used to make antifreeze? China is already in an up- roar over a possible ban of seafood contaminated with melamine. The Philippines not only wants to ban prod- ucts from China, but also is encouraging consumers to buy local products. Chinese exports have been in the spotlight since the deaths attributed to tainted Chinese wheat gluten in pet food of dogs and cats in North America, followed by an alert recently by the Food and Drug Administration warn- ing about contaminated Chi- nese seafood. Where do you think most of our candy comes from? While few of the sweets packages in the candy aisle may say "Made in China," most are likely made with at least one ingredient that originated there. Candy wrappers typically list just the U.S. distributor of the products, so label read- ers can't determine the ori- gin of the vanillin found in a Nestle Crunch bar, the car- rageenan in a Baby Ruth or the gum arabic in a pack of Mentos. Those three ingredients, vanillin, carrageenan and gum arabic, and numerous other flavoring and preserva- tive additives, commonly come from Chinese compa- nies. It can be very frustrat- ing that labels don't tell you this. Companies in China pro- duce about 80 percent of the world's wheat gluten, com- mon in most breads, cakes and cookies, and 80 percent of its sorbic acid, a preserva- tive used in just about every- thing. Having companies provide complete details of all their ingredient and part origins might be time-consuming and confusing to the con- sumer. Who is to say compa- nies don't often switch where they get a product such as sugar? One month they may buy it at a better price from another country, then from somewhere else the next month. Perhaps we should give in- centives to companies who use all materials and get all products from the USA rather than ban China im- ports. Perhaps a formfil im- pact study could be done to see how it would affect our economy if we banned prod- ucts from China. I am not sure how this .~ problem will be resolved, but:2 in the meantime, if you care where products are made and=~ what they are made of, read !i labels on food products and :~ everything else you buy, :~ from shoes to Tupperware. il Your diligence could mean ~! the difference in life and death, or at the very least, : better health. Aura Whittaker has a bach- elor of science degree in kinesi-! ology, which is the study of the~ principles of mechanics and anatomy in relation to human~ movement. She has more than :-i lp years experience in nutri- tional consulting and person- ~i al training. For comments and suggestions, e-mail awhit~ taker@lassennews.com, or !i send mail to the Lasser, Coun- ~i ty Times, 100 Grand Ave., Su- ~: sanville, CA 96130, Attention: ! Whittaker. ~: Advertisings works! Letters to the Editor Share your opinions, concerns or ideas. Your letters can be mailed, faxed or e-mailed. All letters must contain the writer's name, address and phone number. To be considered, letters should not exceed 300 words. Only one letter per week per person will be considered, and only one letter per month per person regarding the same subject matter. We do not publish third-party or open letters. All letters deadline on Friday at 4p.m. E-mail: dfragnoli@plumasnews.com Fax: 530-283-3952 Mail: PO Box B Quincy, CA 95971 WORKING TOGETHER TO BUILD A BETTER COMMUNITY ... 283-0800 DITOU IIP01TII 832-4646 284-7800 258-3115 t SIERRA TAX SOLUTIONS P.O. Box 1499 Biairsden, CA 96103 530-836-0952 Fax: 530-836-0962 emaih sierratax@gotsky.com / "I only advertised in the Plumas-Lassen Connection (our phone book) and the tax pages of the four Plumas County papers. And from 2007 to 2008 my business went up 50%". Richard A. Cox Owner, Sierra Tax Solutions 287 Lawrence Street, Quincy, CA * 283.0800 Gr~nviHe, CA * 258-3115 ~,~Westwoo'd PinePress P.O. Box 790, Westwood, CA * 258-311~ 1.35 Main Street, Chester, CA * 2$8.3115 i i4iii~',~~: ..~:~ :w:.,::~::~ -~:::: ::~::~:*.~-~ ~ ~!::.. 100 Grand Ave., Snsanvine, CA 257.$~321 .n0u m0nn 133 W. Sierra (Hwy 70), Portela, CA 832-4646