Ideas, Essays, Reports on health, toy safety, psychology, and whatever else interests us
1971 - 2008 Edward Loewenton
 Health, toy safety, psychology, and whatever interests us

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All material on this website was written by Ed Loewenton, who received a BA, MS (1969), and completed part of the work for a PhD in Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.  Ed is currently a Psychotherapist in private practice in Stowe, Vermont.
All material 1987 - 2018 Edward Loewenton     Please read copyright notice.
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  • Two articles on diet and obesity in children: 3/19/2000
         1. Asking obese children to reduce the amount of time they spend on sedentary activities
    has the same effect on physical fitness and weight loss as asking them to increase the amount of time they spend being physically active. Two groups of 8- to 12- year-olds showed equal weight loss   ******
         2. Eating Meals With Family Helps Adolescents Maintain Healthy Dietary Habits.   A group of 9- to 14-year-old children who frequently ate dinner with their families had healthier dietary patterns than those who reported fewer family dinners.        
  • SEC requires major food processors to allow shareholder vote on genetically enginered foods. 2/25/2000 
    Three major U.S. food processors, Coca Cola Co, PepsiCo Inc, & Phillip Morris, will probably allow shareholder proposals restricting the companies' use of genetically modified foods to be introduced at coming annual meetings.  more...
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  • Are PVC Toys Safe for Children?  
    July, 2002:
    two more questions on pvc in water and infant bottles answered.
    June, 2002:
    we reviwed an on-line interview with a European vinyl industry spokesman.  Read our comments on what he had to say.
    Phthalate Update 11/1/99:
     
    C. Everett  Koop, former U.S. Surgeon General, has been called "America's Doctor".  He was senior author of a review of the literature on DEHP & DINP, phthalates used respectively in Medical products and soft toys (including  teethers), published June 22, 1999. The paper's conclusion? Phthalates in PVC are safe for consumers, although more study is recommended. The recommendation of further study is repeated several times in the document,  although the popular press often simply reported the findings as "Koop declares vinyl safe!". The reporting has even referred to the group as the "Koop Commission", suggesting that this is somehow an official Federal undertaking.  In fact, it was funded by a private organization to which Koop had close ties, funded by, among other sources, donations from many private corporations.
    PVC, or Polyvinyl Chloride (Vinyl), is one of the materials most commonly used  for children's toys, and in fact, for so much of the things with which we surround ourselves: car trim and interiors, household water pipes, packaging (including food packaging), house siding, all sorts of medical and surgical devices, clothing, and children's products, including toys.  .  There is a growing concern about some of the components of PVC, which may present a very serious hazard to children.  During 1999, a growing list of mass-market manufacturers announced that they were seeking alternatives to the use of PVC,  including Nike, many toy companies, and Ford Motor Co. In this large and expanding section of the turnertoys.com website, we  examine these questions in great detail.  We present here the nature of the hazard, responses from the plastics and chemical industry spokespeople, and our own analysis, in an effort to sort out the arguments. To get full value from these pages, you should plan to spend a fair amount of time browsing the pages.  We have prepared a new "print-friendly" version, which allows you to print the main parts of the report, read off-line, and return to read the supplementary documents when you have time

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  • Protecting Organic Agriculture from contamination from genetically engineered crops:   4/23/2005 Legislative Action in Vermont (see also next article)
  • SEC requires major food processors to allow shareholder vote on genetically enginered foods. 2/25/2000 
    Three major U.S. food processors, Coca Cola Co, PepsiCo Inc, & Phillip Morris, will probably allow shareholder proposals restricting the companies' use of genetically modified foods to be introduced at coming annual meetings.  more...
  •   What is the real problem with the genetically modified crops?  12/25/1999  Let's talk sense.   We don't believe genetic engineering is inherently "evil".  Science and its working-class younger brother, technology, are essentially amoral: they yield both good and harmful results, according to the moral fiber and wisdom of those entrusted with their use. The question we need to ask is rather, how are the techniques of genetic modification  of crops being used now?  Read our thoughts on the topic. 
  • 7/4/99: Organic Food Standards Update  We have some very useful information for you about the meaning of "Certified Organic". The Federal Government is still trying to formulate national standards. We are working on a section of the website which will tell you what standards are now in effect state-by-state, and how they are enforced.  In other words, what  the term "organic" really means.   Right now, you can read about what it means when the label reads "In acordance with the California Organic Food Act of 1990". You can also share with your fellow readers your opinion on the Feds' efforts at a nationwide standard. To read what we have so far, read the next article:

  • 12/1/1998   The Future of Organic Agriculture :  The U. S. Dept. of Agriculture's National Organic Program     
         In 1990, in response to the perceived need to establish a set of standards to which foods labeled and sold as "Organic" must conform, Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA).  This established the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), composed of organic processors and farmers, and other experts involved in the production and processing of organic foods.  The NOSB was instructed to recommend to the USDA a set of standards  In 1997, the USDA proposed a set of regulations and definitions called the National Organic Program.  In doing so, USDA ignored many of NOSB's recommendations, and inserted many loopholes that appeared to offer the industrial food processing industry and large-scale conventional agribusiness an easy and low-cost entre' to the ever-growing and very profitable organic foods market.   On April 30, 1998, the public comment period for the proposed NOP regulations came to an end.   By that date, the USDA had received more formal comments  than for any other issue in history.   The results were overwhelmingly negative...

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