Essays on whatever interests us: hazards of
PVC toys, health, nutrition, psychology and mind-body interaction, creative
play, the USDA's Organic Foods regs, Vermont's Green Mountain Club.
Ideas, Essays, Reports on health, toy safety, psychology,
and whatever else interests us
Please help pay for this research and writing by shopping at turnertoys. Thanks!
Unless otherwise noted, the material is written by Ed Loewenton, who
received a BA, MS (1969), and completed part of the work for a hDP in Psychology at the
University of Pennsylvania. All
material © 1987 - 2000 18th Century Industries, Inc. or Edward Loewenton
read copyright notice.
We suggest you save the longer articles to your hard disk and
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4/27/00: Pharmacologic (drug) treatment of children with ADHD
reduces risk of later substance abuse (alcohol and drugs). Possibly an
argument in the plus column for the use of such drugs as Ritalin.
Related short article: Connection Possible Between Eye Disorder in Children and ADHD
Articles for March, 2000
- The end of tooth decay as we know it? A tooth decay
vaccine, in development for the past 20 years, enters human trials later this
year and may be available for public use in 3 to 5 more years. Genetic
engineering replaces the "bad" bacterium with a "good" one. Learn
why "refined" sugars are bad for your teeth. 3/19/2000
- 2 Articles on diet and
obesity in children
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.
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
Are PVC Toys Safe for Children?
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 a 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
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 have announce that
they are 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
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
12/25/99: What is the real problem with the genetically modified
crops? 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
Food Standards Update
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, go to
The Future of Organic Agriculture :
The U. S. Dept. of Agriculture's National Organic
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
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