Category Archive: News

Lois Pope

Medical research is the study and execution of various tests and trials on humans and even animals for the purpose of learning more about how the human body works, and how to treat various conditions, disorders, and diseases. We have thousands of years worth of medical research to thank for the advances we’ve made today. If it weren’t for doctors, nurses, other medical professionals, and even the everyday person asking questions like, “What is causing that pain?” and, “I wonder if I can fix this problem by opening up the body and looking for the infected part”, we wouldn’t have all of the miracles of medical science to utilize today.

Major benefits of medical research include:
1) antibiotics to treat bacterial infections that were once severely debilitating or even deadly
2) vaccinations to prevent and sometimes even entirely eradicate diseases like polio, measles, mumps, scarlet fever, and chicken pox
3) effective treatments for the management of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes
4) medication to lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels
5) life-saving surgeries for many of the body’s organs.

But medical research doesn’t come cheaply. There are many costs to consider: the cost of retaining doctors and scientists to conduct research, the cost of the facilities were research is conducted, the cost of supplies, and even the cost of compensating willing human subjects for offering their bodies to medical science. It takes significant amounts of money to fund medical research, and this money comes from government, commercial, and private resources. Some of the foundations who conduct medical research — such as a woman named Lois Pope and her LIFE Foundation, which focuses on neurological research — also raise their own funds via private investors and grants.

While some foundations are lucky enough to be able to qualify for special grants and scholarships to use for furthering their medical research, the majority of funds come from government distribution of taxpayer dollars, and from corporate and private sources. In the United States, for example, roughly 95 billion dollars were provided for medical research during 2003, and these funds came from pharmaceutical companies, bio-technology companies, medical device companies, and state and local governments.

With these funds, medical research can be conducted in a variety of environments and in a variety of ways, with a variety of purposes. However, while the government is very much in favor of medical research in order to fund research, they also heavily regulate this industry. There are national regulatory agencies who monitor the research that is conducted, particularly when it comes to the development of new medications. In the United States it’s the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) who regulates drug research and production, while worldwide it’s the World Medical Association who monitors general medical research.

Medical research doesn’t come without risk, but while there will always be risks as well as setbacks, the overall benefits of medical research can’t be denied. The new discoveries found via medical research is often life-saving, or at the very least, significantly life-improving.

Share

More Biscuits Contaminated With Melamine

I got a shock when I read this from the newspapers this morning : 

PUTRAJAYA: Eighteen types of biscuits bearing the Khong Guan and Khian Guan brands have been found to contain excessive levels of melamine.

Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said the contamination is from the raising agent ammonium bicarbonate from China which was used to produce the biscuits.

As a result, Liow said, ammonium bicarbonate from China was now banned. Ammonium bicarbonate from other countries would be taken for tests.

“Results from our tests found that the melamine level in the ammonium carbonate used for Khong Guan and Khian Guan biscuits is 33.4ppm and 508ppm respectively,” he told a press conference on Thursday.

The permissible level of melamine is 2.5 parts per million (ppm).
He said 18 out of 47 products had been found with excessive levels of melamine and the manufacturer has been instructed to recall them.

“We have also requested that they voluntarily recall the rest of their products,” he said.

“All factories that use ammonium bicarbonate from China will have their products tested. We will test all biscuits in the country,” he said.

Earlier, the ministry had found Ego White Rabbit Creamy Candy and Taro brand biscuit by Bairong to contain excessive levels of melamine and ordered that the products be withdrawn.

He said the ministry was checking Julie’s Crackers and Mali unsweetened condensed milk which was reported in the media to contain excessive levels of melamine.

Liow said consumers could contact the Food Services and Quality division at 03-8883 3655/3503/3652/3500 for information.

Khong Guan Sdn Bhd and Khian Guan Biscuit Manufacturing Company Sdn Bhd, in a joint statement, said they would fully cooperate with the ministry and would ensure that the products were recalled quickly.

The two companies said they have ceased using ammonium bicarbonate from China and had switched to those sourced from other countries.

“Khian Guan and Khong Guan have never used any dairy ingredients of Chinese origin in our products. All our dairy ingredients are sourced from either Australia or New Zealand,” they added.

I am shocked because many of the biscuits listed as tainted were the ones that I used to eat, my 2 older gals too! The baby fish biscuit, animal shaped biscuits and biskut rokok (biscuits in the shape of mini cigarattes) are my gals’ favorite and they were still eating them several weeks ago. I threw all their biscuits away recently after the melamine scare. Khong Guan is also one of the brands that we used to buy for biscuits. I just hope that the biscuits that Aly and Sher have been eating were not tainted with melamine.

So what is safe to eat now you tell me?  The culprit this time is ammonium bicarbonate (raising powder) imported from China and almost all snacks have raising powder – biscuits, cakes, etc.  My relative told me last week that yeast imported from China was also found to be tainted with melamine.  Now almost everything that I eat daily have yeast in them – bread, Chinese muffin (fatt koa), some kuihs, etc.  So if we can’t biscuits, cakes, bread, buns, pastries, milk, yoghurt, what else can we eat? 

Share