Online and in the news: Plastic padding

PLASTIC PADDING: Exposure in the womb to a common chemical used in plastic water bottles and food cans may predispose babies to obesity, research suggests.

Scientists found that children exposed to higher levels of the chemical BPA in the womb had higher levels of body fat.

Senior author Dr Andrew Rundle, from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, said: “Endocrine (hormone) disrupting chemicals like BPA may alter the baby’s metabolism and how fat cells are formed early in life.”

SAFE FOOD: Genetically engineered (GE) food is safe to eat, top scientists have said, following extensive research into the controversial products.

The practice of genetically engineering crops has been criticised for its potential impact on human health and the environment. 

But a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine committee has dismissed claims they are not fit for human consumption after completing a study of more than 900 pieces of research and publications from the last two decades.

The US government advisory body said its committee found there was no evidence to suggest genetically engineered foods had adverse effects.

NO LINK: A study has challenged a link between low vitamin D levels and high multiple sclerosis rates in the Orkney Islands. 

Previous research has strongly associated low levels of vitamin D — mainly generated by our skin through sun exposure — with an increased risk of developing MS.

Edinburgh University scientists were therefore surprised when a survey of the vitamin D levels of around one in 10 of the population found average levels to be higher than in mainland Scotland. 

The highest levels were seen in farmers and people over 60 years of age who take regular foreign holidays.

Professor Jim Wilson, who led the study Edinburgh university’s Usher Institute, said: “It would appear that poor vitamin D status, while common enough, cannot explain the excess of multiple sclerosis we see in Orkney.”


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