Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: Tune in, turn on, score some Vogels.

146 Responses

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  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Put the stuff in Coca Cola. It's consumed in vast quantities. Young people seem to subsist on it.

    Coca Cola? Wot, is this the 1950s, Gramps?

    The beverages of choice I see young 'uns drinking around Wellington Station every morning are hot chocolate for the girls and cheap energy drinks for the boys.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1851 posts Report Reply

  • Max Call,

    or why not just put in everything...
    bread, coke, milk, chips, water supply!

    Fruit Bowl of New Zealand… • Since Jun 2007 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    The only way this will work is if the nation consumes sufficient bread to compound its obesity problem.

    Why have chosen to simply regurgitate a press release from the opponents of this, Mr. Slack?

    The "eleven slice" number assumes that you eat nothing else but bread to get your dose of vitamin B9.

    Practically every Western Country fortifies it bread in this way, including the home of freedom and the conspiracy theory the United States.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1776 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    Treated bread for 4 million to perhaps prevent 3-4 spina-bifada events. (Great sympathy for the familes of course.) .
    I bet that since Key over-ruled Pharmac regarding Herceptin, he would be quite happy to over-rule the"law"on folic acid to prevent a public reaction. Populist!

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • John Fouhy,

    "Prospective cohort and case-control studies suggest an association between low folate intake and increased risk of colo-rectal adenoma and cancer."
    link

    "In adult life folate deficiency has been known for decades to produce a characteristic form of anaemia ("megaloblastic"). More recently degrees of folate inadequacy, not severe enough to produce anaemia, have been found to be associated with high blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine. [...] High blood levels of homocysteine have been linked with the risk of arterial disease, dementia and Alzheimer's disease."
    link

    My question for the masses: How do you get folate in your diet normally?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I'm disappointed. I thought that here at least I'd find a decent fisking of the whole debacle. This is no more sensible than the kerfuffle over the lightbulbs. They're carrying on over at Kiwiblog as if it's a conspiracy by female bureaucrats to give prostate cancer to men.

    At least some links to the science would be good.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 791 posts Report Reply

  • noizyboy,

    Dimpost rightly pointed out that the whole idea would seem a lot less threatening if we stopped referring to the chemical in question as 'folic acid', and started calling it by its 'other' name - Vitamin B9, instead.

    'Cos vitamins are always good for you, right?

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • Max Call,

    How do you get folate in your diet normally?

    lots of green veges

    Fruit Bowl of New Zealand… • Since Jun 2007 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Apparently this was, until the Food Council hired Katherine Rich (presumably on the basis that an attractive Tory woman would be the acceptable face of allowing greater spina bifida for th convenience of their members) as their PR hack, a bi-partisan issue that National signed up to before the last election.

    But like allowing fattty foods back into our schools, it is clear that if the choice is between astro-turf populism that feeds into pbase prejudice and the advice of experts and NGO's this government will pick the small minded and ignorant response everytime.

    Anyway, once the Food Council (and the Green Party via the usual nonsensical utterances of their resident food nutjob Sue Kedgley) have seen of the conspiracy to mass poison us all with vitamin B9, I imagine they'll be able to deal with the REAL threat posed by the shadowy Illuminati - mass vaccinations.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1776 posts Report Reply

  • Max Call,

    Thanks for the links John - I was worried because my mum has recently been treated for colon cancer.

    speaking of mass vaccinations...

    The government recently announced they would fund the seasonal 'flu vaccine for all NZers now. I have already had it. I spoke to a nurse friend about vaccinating my daughters and she recommended that we do it. Her reasoning was that if someone had ordinary seasonal 'flu they were then more vulnerable to swine 'flu (catching it and severity of impact).

    It would be good to get some other opinions on this.

    Fruit Bowl of New Zealand… • Since Jun 2007 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Graham,

    Yay - acid in our coke. I'm in heaven. constantly. blissfully.now if we can just figure out a way to put mdma in our coffee i'm gonna be a supremely happy man.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 176 posts Report Reply

  • Max Call,

    Fruit Bowl of New Zealand… • Since Jun 2007 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    I used to mis-hear it as 'frolic acid' but I presume that it is a naturally-occuring acid. We do get some unholy alliances around these issues. The anti-flouride mob are stirring again up this way.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2288 posts Report Reply

  • andrew gunn,

    I'd like to hear what people think about the 'freedom of choice' argument.

    I mean, I support vaccination programmes, and I supported the last Government's efforts to restrict unhealthy foods in schools... but compulsorily putting something in a staple like bread makes me go "hmmm".

    Then again there's already iodine in salt, as David pointed out, and the sky hasn't fallen in. So I'm a bit confused. What are the limits of the 'freedom of choice' case?

    Come on (folate proponents and opponents) - convince me.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2009 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    At least some links to the science would be good.

    I've appended them to the post.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Nathaniel Wilson,

    I'm curious how many people up and arms about this happily buy vitamin-fortified cereals? And wasn't "and folic acid for reproduction" a selling point once upon a time?

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    Why have chosen to simply regurgitate a press release from the opponents of this, Mr. Slack?
    The "eleven slice" number assumes that you eat nothing else but bread to get your dose of vitamin B9.

    Fair enough, but it seems to me nonetheless that if you want to bring home something for dinner you should point your rifle directly at the rabbit.
    Even if they have other sources, it sounds to me as though it's still likely that the women for whom it's intended will get insufficient by this means.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Congrats to the PR bod who came up with "eleven slices", now a compulsory part of the catechism, like plasma TVs in prison and hip-hop tours. Not ten. Not twelve. Too even, too round. Eleven it is, and ever shall be.

    Thick slices? Thin slices? Baguette slices? Hamburger bun slices? Auntie's cucumber sandwich slices, with the crusts cut off? Who knows? Who cares? Reporters, repeat, repeat ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 718 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    For the love of Mike, can someone fix the extra long links that are messing with the page width?

    What are the limits of the 'freedom of choice' case?

    The limits are that as the FSANZ points out, it hasn't really worked. People who need it (actually, the mothers of people who need it) don't know it could benefit them half the time because they're not expecting to be pregnant. And the kids, of course, have no choice either way. It's the same with kids drinking fluoridated water - their dental health is dependent on the choices of others.

    The benefits are demonstrable, the risks negligible, as even Kate Wilkinson agrees.

    What I'm most worried about is that all this scaremongering will put soon-to-be pregnant women off taking supplements because they might get cancer.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 791 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Tom, Katherine Rich has been the head of that organisation since shortly after she left politics. Is that really the best you've got?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16492 posts Report Reply

  • David Ritchie,

    Dr. Peter Gluckman is John Key's Chief Science Advisor, and his research is on

    what gives us a healthy start to life: understanding how a baby’s environment between conception and birth determines its childhood development and life-long health - and the impact that this knowledge has for individuals and whole populations.

    Just wondering if anybody in the media feels like getting his take on the matter. Perhaps he could "drop" some "science" on us "y'all".

    Wellingtron • Since Nov 2006 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    A policy version of direct rabbit-rifle pointing might be identifying all women aged, say, 15-45 and giving them each supplements in pill form for up to thirty years each. I think it's pretty easy to identify the cost and implementation issues associated with that.

    I expect everyone seriously objecting to supplementation to hand over their supplies of Sultana Bran and Calci-Smart tout suite.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 791 posts Report Reply

  • Rachel Prosser,

    The curious thing is, down the line, an artisan baker somewhere will advertise their bread as "no folic acid added" (analogy here - unpasteurised cheeses.)

    Also, the thing about 11 slices - someone read Chip and Dave Heath's book "Made to Stick" on that one - , but if you're getting the equivalent of 7 slices then the added folate in 4 slices (or the amount an average woman would consume) might get you up to the recommended amount.

    Although I have no idea what the difference would be on the hypothetical average woman/average gestation about getting the equivalent of 8 slices, 10 slices, or 12 slices of folic acid would be on your baby's spina bifida risk. I wonder if it's a tipping point scenario?

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2008 • 225 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1095 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Tom, Katherine Rich has been the head of that organisation since shortly after she left politics. Is that really the best you've got?

    Well, I sure thought the crack about "the acceptable face of allowing greater spina bifida" was a particularly nasty and cheap attack of Helen Lovejoy-ism.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

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