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Govt study: Isoamyl acetate levels in baby food pose "no appreciable risk"

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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:29 PM
Original message
Govt study: Isoamyl acetate levels in baby food pose "no appreciable risk"
Actually, I don't know that there is such a study.

Isoamyl acetate is also known as banana oil, a chemical naturally produced by bananas. Baby food containing mashed bananas, even the purest organic baby food, is going to contain a lot of isoamyl acetate.

I wonder, however, how many people clicked on this post with anger and indignation already building up, ready to be outraged at a study which must have been produced by scientists who've sold their souls for political power and corporate cash, putting our most vulnerable at risk for personal gain.

I wonder how many people automatically assumed that isoamyl acetate was some terrible poison, almost certainly a carcinogen, and that NO LEVEL could POSSIBLY safe, especially FOR THE CHILDREN.

I wonder how many people automatically thought something like, "another sure sign of the evils of capitalism!".

I of course don't automatically trust every government study or government statement without question. That would be foolish. Plenty of people obviously overcompensate in the distrust department, however. If they hear the government proclaim something safe, something they may never have even heard of, something they may never have previously worried about, they will assume that the only possible reason someone is telling us that a thing is safe is because it most definitely isn't safe.

The Fukushima situation and the way some people react to anything said about any level of radiation are what have me thinking about the way so many people automatically respond to government or other public statements which tell them something is safe, something isn't a big risk, something isn't much of anything to worry about. I think that for some people there is not and cannot be such a thing as a reassuring official statement.
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catabryna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
1. I clicked on it because I wanted to know what Isoamyl acetate was.
Not sure what that says about me. :hi:
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Isoamyl acetate is a CHEMICAL...
...and more so, one with a nasty-sounding name. Isn't that all one needs to know? ;)
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catabryna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Not so with me...
I'm intellectually curious about such things. :)
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. We do have plenty of reasonable and honestly curious people on DU
They aren't always the loudest or most frequent posters, however. :)

It's hard to know how many people here are actually reacting the way I suspected some people might since I immediately 'fess up at the start of the post, and I don't know how many people who were starting to get worked up over the title of this thread would admit that their initial reaction once they see I was just testing responses.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #2
16. ZOMG! Water is a CHEMICAL! and so is PLUTONIUM OXIDE!
They're both CHEMICALS, see! So if you're worried about PLUTONIUM OXIDE, you must be worried about WATER!

CHEMICALS!

... :eyes:
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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
5. It is called
betrayal and broken trust.
We know that the people have been lied to over and over again to preserve profits.
Our country is undergoing a process that disregards the importance of just about any of the intangibles that hold a society together:
Things like trust; honor; fairness; honesty; loyalty etc. These things just do not enter the calculations of the increasingly powerful corporate state.

Strange thing is that people, humans, still operate on those intangibles, although they are increasingly, the negative side such as distrust and cynicism. Whether it is nuclear fallout, or a new chemical, we are on our own to learn and make decisions about our own safety and health.

You came up with an interesting exercise that to me demonstrates the fact that our society is becoming unglued from basic lack of trust. There is as much cynicism in this country now as what I learned there was in Eastern Bloc countries during the reign of communism.
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. There are good reasons for lack of trust, but it's also a matter...
...of critical thinking skills.

It is possible (although obviously it doesn't come naturally for many people) to work to gain some balanced perspective on your own, in spite of the negative aspects of the prevailing culture that weigh you down, and not go for the easy outs of reflexive distrust and the substitution of cynicism for wisdom.

Some of these problems are long-standing in American culture, not purely symptoms of changes in recent years or even decades. America has a long history of anti-intellectualism, which shows up in common attitudes, for example preferring to hear the almost-certain lie that something is "absolutely safe" over the measured reserve of qualified statements like "no appreciable risk".
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
6. k&r
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hayu_lol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. You don't need to buy 'baby' food...
an infant learning to eat solids can eat most table foods if they are passed briefly through a blender. Takes just a few minutes and saves a pile of money. The kids learn early how to enjoy almost any kind of food since they have always had a wide variety to eat.
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Your homemade mashed-up bananas will still have isoamyl acetate.
It may well be true that making your own baby food will save you money, for example, so there can be advantages, but if you responded to this thread thinking that making your own is a way to evade "dangers" like isoamyl acetate, you missed the point. :)
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Big Blue Marble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
10. I am so glad you did your little test,
because we all know there are no dangerous chemicals being placed in our precious
environment for the profit of a few.

Hope you enjoyed your little passive-agressive play. :eyes:
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. The black-and-white thinking of your response is exactly why...
...I posted what I posted.

How, pray tell, does my OP say or even imply "there are no dangerous chemicals" to worry about? Do you believe the only choices in life are naive trust or extreme reflexive distrust, with nothing in between?
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Big Blue Marble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Perhaps in your aggressive mode,
you missed the subtlety of sarcasm. You extrapolate wildly from my response.
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. It was either take your sarcasm in the most obvious form...
...as if you took my OP to be actually saying what you were sarcastically saying, or take your reply as having no clear point whatsoever. If your "subtlety" hid the fact that you understand the need for a balance between naive trust and extreme cynicism, then your tone didn't match that essential agreement with my OP.
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Big Blue Marble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. My, My, Your depth and wisdom are overwhelming. N/T
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. "Fukushima situation and the way some people react to anything said about any level of radiation"
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 04:46 PM by Warren DeMontague
...that's from your OP.

Yes, we're all stupid people who have such minimal understanding of science, that we're skeptical of the official reassurances--- or as Richard Alvarez, fmr. assistant to the Secretary of Energy under Clinton put it, "The Spin is all about reassurance"

Sure, it couldn't have anything to do with the fact that EVERY SINGLE FUCKING TIME there is a nuclear accident, the reflexive word from the authorities is "there is nothing to worry about, the public is in no danger"- before they, themselves, even know. From Chernobyl to TMI. Every god-damn time. Then, years later, when cancers start showing up, the response is "prove it".

So please, spare us the hand-wringing about how people are "overreacting" to this monumental, unprecedented clusterfuck.
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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Thank you!
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 05:11 PM by in_cog_ni_to
Agent Orange, Ground Zero, Chernobyl....pardon me if I don't trust a damn thing the government or EPA say. I'll do what "I" feel is best for MY family...and if that makes me stupid/overreacting, SO BE IT. I really don't give a fuck what pro-nukers call me. It's my life. My family's life...not theirs! So, screw 'em.
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. My point isn't about promoting automatic trust...
...it's about the diametric opposite, distrust so reflexive and automatic that, where you wouldn't have even worried about something at all if no one said anything, as soon as a government or company says something's safe or "an acceptable risk" you're in a panic... perhaps even in some cases doing stuff to yourself that's more dangerous than any real risk, like taking iodine tablets when you live in New York.

I can easily see people "protecting" their families by fleeing a radiation leak in such numbers and so recklessly that the traffic fatalities from the ensuing panic easily end up outweighing the real risk the radiation turned out to pose.

At any rate, I'm not even pro nuke. I'm not so anti-nuke that I would shut off every reactor totally disregarding the health hazards of fossil fuel replacements either. The best alternative is renewable energy, but we haven't developed that enough yet for it to meet our current energy needs.

"Agent Orange, Ground Zero, Chernobyl....pardon me if I don't trust a damn thing the government or EPA say."

What about the thousands upon thousands of things that people have been reassured weren't a danger... and they turned out NOT to have been a danger? Counting the failures (which are spectacular) and discounting the successes (which are boring and uneventful) leads to a distorted perspective. (See "confirmation bias".)
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:39 PM
Response to Original message
15. A classic example of "Homo faenum fenum"
Otherwise known as hay man, or straw man.
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. Not a straw man at all
There have been tests done (Penn and Teller did it once, but I'm pretty sure it's also been done with greater scientific scrutiny than that) getting people to sign petitions against the use of "dihydrogen monoxide". It's easy to get people to sign up, especially when you add completely true statements like the fact that water has proven to be deadly in sufficient quantities (drowning, drinking so much of it you suffer electrolyte imbalances or kidney failure).

The existence of real dangers that there isn't overreaction to imagined dangers. If you take my OP as meaning "Ah, don't worry. Everything is OK" then you utterly miss the point.

What is your point? That automatically fearing the unknown, assuming every reassurance about stuff you don't really understand is a lie or a cover-up, is the smartest way to go?
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. The straw man is that you fantasize you've got DU freaking out over your goofy OP.
You imagine that everyone here is so woefully less informed than you are, that we're going to fall all over ourselves to flip out about your baby food ingredient.

Actually, in my experience- on the whole (not counting, say, the moon bomb protesters, anti-vacc'ers and homeopathy boosters) DU is a relatively literate crowd, scientifically speaking.
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. "Freaking out"so easily, hardly. Not with me tipping my hand in the first line...
...of the text of the post. But a fair number of DUers starting to go that way, beginning to get revved up to be appalled? That much, yes. I wouldn't hazard a guess what percentage a "fair number" would be, but not an insignificant minority of DUers. If I'd held off until a later post to expose the game, I think the odds are high that I would have received several indignant replies about this chemical "outrage" from people who'd get upset first and then maybe Google later.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:43 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. So you would be trying to prove something to yourself that you're already convinced of
except you're not.
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. Huh?
At this point it seems you're arguing just to argue, that something about my OP bothered you even if it doesn't hold up under any of the specific complaints you made, and you can't let go of being pissy about it.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:51 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. Read that again, and think about it. That's not an argument, it's a summation.
If goofy OPs 'bothered' me, I wouldn't keep showing up around here. Carry on! :patriot:
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 02:06 AM
Response to Original message
26. Nothing is going to save capitalism -- it's suicidal exploitation of nature --
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 02:06 AM by defendandprotect
and we have Global Warming and BP and Japan to prove it!!

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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 07:34 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. And that's a response to banana oil?
Or you just can't stand to pass up an opportunity to wedge that in on the most feeble of tangential connections?
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. It's a response to your effort vs "another sure sign of the evils of capitalism!" ...

I wonder how many people automatically thought something like, "another sure sign of the evils of capitalism!".

and ...


The Fukushima situation and the way some people react to anything said about any level of radiation are what have me thinking about the way so many people automatically respond to government or other public statements which tell them something is safe, something isn't a big risk, something isn't much of anything to worry about. I think that for some people there is not and cannot be such a thing as a reassuring official statement.


Automatically? What dummies we are to suspect that nuclear reactors and their radication aren't

good for humanity!

Especially when built in earthquake prone areas -- including in the USA!

:rofl:











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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. It's still tangential to banana oil...
...and even pretty tangential to nuclear power. Capitalists didn't build Chernobyl.

And who said anything about it being stupid to worry about Fukushima, in general? There's plenty to worry about there, the question is which are the real worries and which are the imagined or exaggerated worries?

If you were really thinking "another sure sign of the evils of capitalism!" from either the title of the thread, or even the mention of Fukushima (which you of course can't resist interpreting in black-and-white fashion as meaning something like "there's not a thing to worry about!") then you are demonstrating exactly the kind of absurd, simplistic, knee-jerk reaction my OP was all about.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #29
34. Everything at Fukushima is a real worry -- from GE design, their locations and existence!
Capitalists haven't ever built a nuclear reactor because they couldn't absorb

the costs -- only taxpayers could --

Only thought I had about your thread was "another attempt to alibi for corporations" --

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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. If that's the only thought you had, you didn't think very much.
That's an utterly ridiculous interpretation of the OP. You're trying very hard to be the parody I was pointing out, and it's almost as if you're proud to be a real example of what should only be a parody.

I imagine that, instead of seeing yourself as overreacting and exaggerating the OP, you pride yourself as "seeing through it" to what you're sure is the "real" meaning and motivation behind it. Those corporate apologists are everywhere, and they aren't going to fool you, nosiree! :eyes:
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Matariki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 07:48 PM
Response to Original message
30. PLEASE READ THIS
http://www.radiation.org/press/pressreleaseThyroid10012...

A quote from the article:
Reactors routinely emit low doses of radioactive iodine into local air and water. For decades, health authorities contended low dose exposures to radiation did not harm humans. But a 1999 study by the National Academy of Sciences found that up to 212,000 Americans developed thyroid cancer from radioactive iodine from above-ground atomic bomb tests in Nevada, which added low doses to the U.S. diet in the 1950s and 1960s.
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. And that's a response to the OP exactly how? n/t
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Matariki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. The OP saying that people over react to government assurances
specifically, at the end, that people don't believe assurances of 'any level' of radiation.

The issue at the link I provided demonstrates how unreliable those assurances are. A decade ago we're told low levels of radiation won't hurt you - now there's an epidemic of thyroid cancer caused by radiation.
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. The point is that each case is an individual case
There are actually far more reassurances that hold up as true than don't hold up, but nobody remembers those that do, and they don't make the news.

Where those reassurances start with scientists, they are usually qualified with error bars and probabilities that get lost in translation. A government scientific report says, "There is a less than X% chance that exposure to Y will increase incidence of cancer by Z cases per 100,000 per year", reporters simplify that beyond recognition, and when someone gets cancer who lived near Y, then the government was "wrong" or "lied".

For decades, health authorities contended low dose exposures to radiation did not harm humans. But a 1999 study by the National Academy of Sciences found that up to 212,000 Americans developed thyroid cancer from radioactive iodine from above-ground atomic bomb tests in Nevada, which added low doses to the U.S. diet in the 1950s and 1960s.

This is not a blanket statement that all exposures and all low doses are the same. This is about radioactive contamination, specifically with radioactive iodine, where the body is absorbing something that emits radiation. You can be exposed to radiation, which could be alpha, beta, or gamma radiation, and not be contaminated. The above quote cannot validly be taken to mean, "OMG! Even low doses are always dangerous!".

Further, how low is "low"? Double average natural exposure? 20% more? 0.000001% more?
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:46 PM
Response to Original message
35. Isoamyl acetate? Is there a support group for this?
I volunteer to make cookies.
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