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FDA Approves a Spray-on Virus to Keep Processed Meats ''Safe''

In its infinite wisdom, the FDA has approved the use of bacteriophages, a mixture of six bacteria-destroying viruses developed to be sprayed on various lunch meats, sausages and hot dogs, potentially making processed meats an even more dangerous food choice than before.

The FDA gave the go-ahead for the spray -- developed by Baltimore-based Intralytix -- to be applied to sliced ham and turkey, hot dogs and other processed meats as a means to prevent listeriosis in adults, children and pregnant women with weakened immune systems.

If you haven't been scared away from processed meats yet, here's one more reason: At one point, the FDA had concerns this spray-on concoction might contain some toxic residue from the bacterial mix of sprays. The agency claims human contact with these residues in small quantities doesn't cause health problems, but are you willing to bet they won't?

By the way, this isn't the last you've heard of Intralytix: The company will soon seek FDA approval for another spray-on bacteriophage made to kill E. coli bacteria on beef. All the more reason to stay away from grain-fed meats, laced with health-harming nitrites, pesticides and antibiotics.

Yahoo News August 19, 2006

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