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Agency Approves First Use of Viruses as a Food Additive

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bicentennial_baby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-19-06 09:33 PM
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Agency Approves First Use of Viruses as a Food Additive
"WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 (AP) A mix of bacteria-killing viruses may be sprayed on cold cuts, wieners and sausages to combat common microbes that kill hundreds of people a year, federal health officials ruled Friday.

The ruling, by the Food and Drug Administration, is the first approval of viruses as a food additive, said Andrew Zajac of the Office of Food Additive Safety at the agency.

Treatments that use bacteriophages to attack harmful bacteria have been a part of folk medicine for hundreds of years in India and for decades in the former Soviet Union.

The approved mix of six viruses is intended to be sprayed onto ready-to-eat meat and poultry products, including sliced ham and turkey, said John Vazzana, the president and chief executive of Intralytix, which developed the additive.

The viruses, called bacteriophages, are meant to kill strains of the Listeria monocytogenes bacterium, the food agency said. "

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/19/us/19viruses.html?_r=...

Knowing what I know about bacteriophages and their potential to be the next wave in bacteria murder :D, I give this an initial :thumbsup:
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 01:06 AM
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1. Bacteriophage research first ran into trouble
years ago before antibiotics were developed because some bacteria produce serious toxins when they're attacked by phages, the type of toxins you'd see in toxic shock syndrome. They have to be used very carefully and only on specific bacteria. Fortunately, they all have very specific targets.

Phage research has only recently come back into fashion. The bugs are fighting back and there are no new antibiotics in the pipeline.

You've already been eating bacteriophages for years, they're part of nature. So far, I give this the thumbs up, too.
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