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FDA approves virus as food additive

No labelling. No warning. Horrific. Disgusting. Be sure to ask your local deli, 'What's in my food today?'
 http://health.dailynews.com/central.content/view/2387/

FDA Oks Spray-On Virus Additives for Meat
Written by Rita Jenkins| 20 August, 2006 04:38 GMT



The FDA has approved a spray-on mixture of bacteria-killing viruses as additives to cold cuts, wieners and sausages to destroy Listeria microbes, which kill hundreds of people in the US each year. The latest US-approved additive to ready-to-eat lunchmeat and poultry products is a combination of six bacteriophages -- parasitic viruses that destroy the Listeria monocytogenes bacterium, which sickens thousands and kills hundreds of people each year.
The Food and Drug Administration on Friday declared the virus mix safe to spray on such foods as cold cuts, hot dogs, sausages, sliced ham and turkey prior to packaging.

Foods like these are especially vulnerable to Listeria because they are often not reheated prior to consumption, explained Andrew Zajac of the FDA's Office of Food Additive Safety. Cooking meat kills the Listeria bacterium, but foods can become contaminated after processing.

The FDA's approval of the mixture -- the first time viruses have been approved for use as a food additive -- is a "huge milestone" in the fight against food-borne illnesses, said John Vazzana, chief executive officer of Intralytix. Pregnant women, newborns and adults with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable to listeriosis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that 2,500 people become seriously ill with the infection each year, and 500 ultimately die from it.

Bacteriaphages are grown in a preparation of the same bacteria they are designed to kill, and then purified.

According to Intralytix, typical phages have hollow heads that store their viral DNA and tunnel tails with tips that bind to specific molecules on the surface of their target bacteria. The viral DNA is injected through the tail into the host cell, where it directs the production of progeny phages.

These "young" phages burst from the host cell, thereby destroying it, and go on to infect more bacteria. The viruses will not kill any organism other than their target bacteria.

Prior to issuing its approval, the FDA was concerned that the virus preparation might contain toxic residues associated with the bacteria. Tests found no residues present, however. In small quantities, such residues would be unlikely to cause any health problems, the FDA said.
just another reason 27.Aug.2006 19:42

Shaker

To not eat those crap foods.
We have a dog and for the longest time were using bits of hot dogs for her treats. Seems that where we lived previously, that didn't seem to be a problem at all. She might get one or two 'treats' a day. After moving to this area, the first summer the dog developed problems that made her itch and shed terribly. We tried a lot of different things, different foods, but never thought that the treats could be responsible. We finally began to make her food ourselves, a pretty involved process, but one in which we could make very large batches that would last, with freezing in small packages that would be a week's worth, three months. After a while on our food, there was some improvement, but it was slight. We finally decided to take her off all food that we didn't make ourselves. It didn't take a couple of weeks, and we noticed a pronounced difference in her tendency to shed. This summer the problem doesn't seem to be there at all, to our relief and, I'm sure, the dog's, too. Now, you could say that the combination of our made food and taking her off the hot dog 'treats' did it, but, personally, I believe that all along it was the hot dogs. Another noticable change was that she doesn't have to go out as often at all.
Just stay away from that junk.

Actually, this doesn't worry me 28.Aug.2006 00:06

average person

As the article states, the viruses used can only target bacteria. If you look up viruses on, say, Wikipedia, you will see that the types of viruses that target bacteria are so vastly different from those that target multi-cellular organisms that it would be virtually impossible for these additive viruses to mutate in a way that would be harmful to humans. My only concern would be that getting occasional, relatively mellow bacteria into our bodies is actually good, as it provides basically "exercise" for our immune system (with the exception of folks who are immuno-impaired).

Rash Of Hives - Could It Be Related To Hot Dog Virus? 17.Sep.2006 10:52

ta813@aol.com ta813@aol.com

I purchased a large family-sizes package of NATHANS BEEF HOT DOGS approximately 2 months ago and had been cooking them by grilling them indoors on my George Foreman Grill. At that same approximate time, I also came down with a very serious rash of large, itchy hives, which I knew was an allergic reaction to something, however I had no idea what the cause might be. I did not immediately relate my rash to the Nathan's hot dogs because my husband and son who had eaten those same hotdogs had not come down with similar rashes. My rash responded to Benedril Antihisthimines, but then returned again the next day as soon as I awakened in the morning. In fact, the rash has continued to return Every Day since then, and is extremely debilitaing. I spent the first month taking massive doses of benedril pills daily to combat the rash, and was frightened to notice that my vision was being adversely affected as were my sinuses. After approx. 1.5 months of self-treatment with the Benedril pills, I finally took my problem to a doctor who said she was uncertain as to what the cause of my rash could be. She said it was probably due to some sort of virus in my system, however she could not be sure, so she decided to initially treat me with 1. Zertec Antihistimines (10 mg. once per day as opposed to the Benedryl which I'd been taking 4-6 times daily), 2. five days of anibiotics, and 3. a 5-day pack of steroid pills. It has now been 1 week since I completed that doctor's treatment plan, however my rash is still attempting to surface on my skin, therefore I am still taking 10mg. of Zertec antihisthimine once daily to keep the rash down, and I am still wracking my brain trying to figure out what could be causing this.

To say that I have carefully considered every single food item I have been consuming would be an understatement. I have meticulously narrowed down my food intake to include nothing but plain bran cereal, bran bread, and milk, however the rash has persisted. I did consider the Nathan's hot dogs 2 months ago, long before reading anything about the virus being sprayed on certain meat products, however I originally discarded that theory as soon as we ran out of the hot dogs and my rash continued.

Today, for the first time, I learned through a news article about the virus that is being sprayed onto hotdogs and some other meats, and quite naturally my interest was peaked. I am now wondering if there is a possibility that I may have contracted some sort of virus from having eaten those hotdogs, and if it it possible that that virus is causing my chronic rash of hives.

I am unsure as yet of the appropriate next steps I should take in exploring this very serious concern. Any advice or input from anyone with knowledge in this area will be greatly appreciated. I can be contacted via email at  ta813@aol.com

palm beach county, florida

FDA , Intralytix Inc. and spraying viruses on our foods 18.Sep.2006 17:44

Mom

Why do you think the FDA "sprung" this on Americans?
Because they knew we wouldn't go for it.
Think of it....it's the hallmark of a virus...they MUTATE.THEY ARE ALIVE!
What do you think they will do when they find no Listeria in your system and they must feed and replicate?
Remember all the drugs the FDA approved that turned out to be deadly?
WE HAVE TILL OCT TO WRITE THE FDA PROTESTING THIS.
Their site says they wont accept emails on this subject we have to WRITE them and THE DEPT of AGRICULTURE who is going to administer/control it.
Good Luck

Phage technology in not new 18.Sep.2006 20:51

Alchemist

The Russians have been using this technique for a long time now and it is extremely effective and safe. The viruses die off when there is no more bacteria for it to eat.