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News 26741 to News 26750 of about 26837 news within page 2675
26741. 12/06/2001
   
Study shows soy reduces risk of prostate cancerUSA (Environmental News Network ) 7/6/2001-- Men at risk of prostatecancer might want to include more tofu and soy milk in their dietsfollowing the results of a study at the University of California at DavisCancer Center. Although the study was conducted with mice, and resultsmust be replicated with humans, researchers found that a chemical found insoy slowed prostate cancer growth in mice and caused prostate cancer cellsto die.The soy chemical found to reduce prostate cancer in mice is calledgenistein, one of two compounds in soy that belong to a family ofchemicals known as isoflavones. Isoflavones are phytoestrogens, plantbased chemicals that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body.Researchers theorize that the prevalence of soy in Asian diets may be onereason why men in Asia have a lower rate of prostate cancer than men inthe United States. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer amongAmerican men.Ralph deVere White, director of the UC Davis Cancer Center and chair ofthe Department of Urology at the UC Davis Medical Center, presented theresults of this study at the annual meeting of the American UrologicalAssociation in Anaheim this week."We've identified the mechanisms by which genistein may work in prostatecancer, and it's consistent with other studies of soy," said deVere White."While we are encouraged by these results, we need to test genistein inpatients with prostate cancer to be certain of its effectiveness."The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 334,500 new casesof prostate cancer in the United States this year. Prostate cancer isexpected to kill over 40,000 American men this year.For the UC Davis study, scientists tested a commercially made extract ofgenistein on mice bred to develop prostate cancer and on metastaticprostate cancer cell lines.In mice, genistein reduced prostate cancer tumor growth.In the tissue culture, genistein increased the production of p21, a genethat regulates cell growth, and it reduced the production of vascularendothelial growth factor, a protein that helps cancer grow. These factorscaused cancer cells to die.UC Davis researchers are now evaluating the effects of genistein in menwho have been diagnosed with slow growing prostate cancer. The cancercenter intends to enroll 70 men in a pilot study to see if genisteinlowers levels of prostate specific antigen, a tumor marker for prostatecancer.Men who have chosen not to receive treatment for prostate cancer or whohave undergone treatment and whose prostate specific antigen levels arerising slowly are eligible to volunteer for the trial. Results will beknown in a year.It is unlikely genistein would become a stand alone treatment for prostatecancer, said deVere White. "But we hope it could be used in conjunctionwith conventional therapy or as a preventive drug, if it indeed lowersprostate specific antigen."Other components in foods have been found to reduce prostate cancer.Studies now show that an all natural supplement of lycopene, the chemicalthat makes tomatoes red, may help prevent and treat prostate cancer.Omer Kucuk, M.D., professor of Medicine and Oncology, and colleagues atthe Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, Michigan, evaluated the effectthat encapsulated lycopene had on patients with existing prostate cancer.The study of 30 men with prostate cancer, reported in 1999 at the annualmeeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, showed that thosepatients who took lycopene supplements had smaller tumors, which were morelikely to be confined to the prostate. The tumors in patients who consumedthe lycopene showed signs of regression and decreased malignancy.Like many antioxidants, lycopene absorbs oxygen-free radicals that candamage DNA, and is believed to be responsible for many types of cancer."This study represents the first clinical evidence that lycopenesupplements may prevent cancer," said Dr. Kucuk. "Furthermore, thefindings suggest that lycopene may not only help prevent cancer, but mayalso be useful in treating men who are already diagnosed with prostatecancer."
26742. 08/06/2001
   
Philippine exports of coco oil expected to improvPhilippines (BusinessWorld) 6/7/2001- The Philippine Coconut Authority(PCA) sees the country's monthly coconut oil (CNO) exports averaging120,000 metric tons (MT) for the rest of the year, exceeding normal levelsof 90,000 MT.PCA administrator Danilo M. Coronacion points to the bigger cargo spaceshipping companies are making available to accommodate the exportcommodity as the reason for projected increase.Exporters also said they are now making advanced reservations to guaranteethe availability of needed vessels.Coco oil exporters had difficulty shipping out volumes in the firstquarter due to a scarcity of shipping space triggered by stiff competitionfrom world manufacturers of petroleum and chemicals.But vessel demand from the petroleum and chemical industry has alreadyweakened, which in turn has improved the availability of shipping spacefor CNO.PCA chief Mr. Coronacion said this development will help local exportersship out an average of 120,000 MT a month, matching the country's strongexport performance for April and May."There has been a radical improvement in our exports in April and Maybecause of that. In coming months, it could even be better because we seean increase in orders from Korea," he told BusinessWorld in an interview.Preliminary data from the United Coconut Associations of the Philippines(UCAP) show that coco oil shipments for April and May reached 120,207 MTand 124,170 MT, respectively. UCAP is an umbrella organization of localcoconut producers, millers and traders.The Philippines ships out an average of 80,000 to 90,000 MT of coco oilmonthly.Export volumes for the first three months of the year had fluctuated dueto delayed shipments caused in turn by the scarcity of vessels.Initial UCAP data indicate that January coco oil exports reached 64,928MT. February shipments then surged to 134,332 MT only to dip in March to73,712 MT.Mr. Coronacion said waning vessel demand from petroleum and chemicalexporters allowed more vessels to accommodate CNO."There's now better availability of vessels. The situation has alreadyeased up. Forward contracts for these products (petroleum and chemicals)have already been fulfilled and so we now have better availability (ofshipping space)," Mr. Coronacion said.A trader from the Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF) Group ofCompanies aired a similar observation."Shipments of petroleum and chemicals are now lying low because the marketis already full. Buyers of these products also have their quotas and fromthe looks of things, they've already been met," the trader said in atelephone interview. The CIIF Group is the country's biggest manufacturerand exporter of coco oil.Shipping companies gave higher priority to petroleum and chemicalshipments exporters in the first quarter since they were willing to payhigher freight rates.PCA's Mr. Coronacion said exporters coped with the previous scarcity ofvessels by forging contracts with shipping firms specializing in thetransport of vegetable oils. This strategy, he said, assured exporters ofready vessels to accommodate their volumes. "They (exporters) have secureddedicated vessels just for CNO. Before, they simply waited for vesselsloaded with other commodities that just pass by the Philippines comingfrom other ASEAN countries," he said.An executive from the San Miguel Food Group, meanwhile, said they copedwith the lack of shipping space by making advanced vessel reservations.The company official also said they now secure larger vessels that enablethem to easily move out their increased output.This, the executive said, eliminates the need to temporarily shut downtheir CNO mills' operations whenever their storage tanks reach fullcapacity due to the late arrival of vessels."We usually book two vessels for a month. Our first vessel usually arrivesduring the middle of the month. What we did is to load not only ourestimated volume for the first batch but also part of what we expect toship for the second batch. That way, in case our second vessel arriveslate, we'd still be left with storage space in case our second vesselarrives late," the executive said.
26743. 07/06/2001
   
Nobel prize winner calls for compulsory GM studies
26744. 05/06/2001
   
Timely To Introduce CPO As Fifth Energy Source, Says Dr Lim
26745. 01/06/2001
   
Food industry creates allergy-aware labeling standardWASHINGTON, 5/31/2001 (The Associated Press) - Food labels will use moreeasily understood terms for ingredients that can cause allergic reactions,such as ``milk'' for ``casein'' and ``eggs'' for ``albumen,'' under newindustry guidelines intended to help consumers avoid products that canmake them sick.Labels also would disclose the sources of flavorings that could beallergy-inducing, such as butter or peanuts.The guidelines ``will make life safer for individuals with food allergiesand their families,'' said Anne Munoz-Furlong, founder of the Food Allergyand Anaphylaxis Network, an advocacy group that receives some industryfunding. ``It will cut down on phone calls to companies about ingredientinformation, saving the companies some money.''Putting common terms on food labels will especially help children, shesaid.The standards being issued Thursday by industry trade groups alsodiscourage food makers from indiscriminate use of a warning label such as``May contain peanuts.'' Some companies are routinely using such labels toprotect themselves against lawsuits, Munoz-Furlong said.Under the guidelines, such labels should be used ``judiciously'' and onlywhen manufacturers can't avoid the possibility of allergens in theirproducts.Some 7 million Americans who suffer from food allergies rely on ingredientlabels to tell which processed foods are safe for them to consume. Someallergic reactions, particularly to peanuts, can be fatal, claiming anestimated 150 lives a year.The Food and Drug Administration welcomed the industry guidelines,releasing a letter to the industry Wednesday that called them a``significant step forward'' and a ``major health benefit to the foodallergy sensitive consumer.''FDA has expressed increased concern about food allergies in recent yearsbut not has proposed labeling rules.Because the trade groups can't enforce the standards, there is no penaltyfor companies that don't follow them.``Politically, these recommendations are designed to undercut legislationor regulations,'' said Michael Jacobson, director of the Center forScience in the Public Interest, an advocacy group.But food makers will be under pressure from consumers to follow theguidelines, said Tim Willard, a spokesman for the National Food ProcessorsAssociation. ``If they find clear label information on certain productsand not on others, they are going to buy the products they like.Some companies, including cereal makers, already have been putting speciallabels on products.Kellogg's new Atlantis cereal bears a special label which says, in capitalletters: ``Contains wheat and milk ingredients. Corn used in this productcontains traces of soybeans.''The new guidelines apply to eight food groups that are responsible formost allergic reactions: Crustaceans such as crab and lobster, eggs, fish,milk, peanuts, soy, tree nuts such as almonds and walnuts, and wheat.Technical terms for ingredients such as casein won't disappear fromlabels. But packages will put the common terms in a special label, asKellogg's does, or add them to the ingredient list.Janet Leydorf of Gambrills, Md., welcomed the guideline on disclosure offlavoring sources.Her 4-year-old daughter, who is allergic to milk and peanuts, developedhives after eating a birthday party treat that was covering in icing. Aflavoring in the icing was made from milk, Leydorf discovered aftercalling the manufacturer.``It's a lot easier to prevent this problem (an allergic reaction) than todeal with it after it occurs,'' she said.Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network: http://www.foodallergy.orgNational Food Processors Association: http://www.nfpa-food.orgCenter for Science in the Public Interest: http://www.cspinet.org
26746. 01/06/2001
   
Golden Hope hit by poor palm oil pricesMay 30, 2001(The Stars) - FIRST plantations losses. Golden Hope's (RM3.36)plantations and manufacturing divisions turned in losses in theJanuary-March 2001 quarter.We believe the RM8.8mil loss for the plantations division was the firstfor Golden Hope in recent history and the first from a major plantationscompany thus far in the current result season.We had forewarned of plantations losses due to depressed palm oil pricesas early as seven months ago. No production statistics were disclosed inthe result.Manufacturing not spared. Manufacturing (refining, wood-based) alsoslipped into the red with RM2.8mil losses after two years of profits. Webelieve that lower MDF prices and production volume have led to the poorshowing.Property development was the only bright spot, turning from RM8.4mil lossin October-December 2000 to RM15mil profit.The improvement came from Golden Hope's 100%-owned property developmentarm which launched a new property project, Kota Seriemas, near Nilai. Incontrast, its other property subsidiary under 62%-owned Negara Propertiesrecorded 43% drop in profit.Tough times still. We expect Golden Hope to continue to face difficulttimes ahead as palm oil prices remain depressed at around RM730 per tonnecurrently compared to its production cost of more than RM800 per tonne.We notice that Golden Hope is seemingly focusing on property developmentunder its wholly-owned subsidiary. Recently, it proposed to acquire 12pieces of land from Negara at RM89.1mil cash.That the acquisition was priced at a 14.4% premium to independentvaluation is unusual especially given the prevailing conditions of theproperty market.Dividend sustainable? While Golden Hope has maintained its interim netdividend at 3.6 sen (paid in April), there could be uncertainties on thefinal dividend especially in view of the latest plantations losses.In the previous financial year, it paid out 11.1 sen in final dividend.Note that its net cash balance has fallen further to RM638mil end-March2001 from RM679mil end-December and RM837mil in September. Continue toAVOID Golden Hope.
26747. 01/06/2001
   
Malaysia, Indonesia struggle to create common palm policyKuala Lumpur, 31/5/2001 (soyatech.com)- Traders are sceptical thatMalaysia and Indonesia, the world's first and second biggest producers ofpalm oil respectively, can establish mutually benefiting palm oilpolicies. They said discussions held between the two countries are "onlygood on paper" and do not reflect the real situation where everybody iseager to dispose of their palm oil."Talks between ministers are only good on paper, but the truth iscooperation in commodities can never be established because the mainagenda here is to sell oil and that is how it works," a trader toldBusiness Times in Kuala Lumpur yesterday."If we take the recent visit by Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayeelast week to Malaysia, they have agreed to look into the possibility ofdoing counter-trade of at least one million tonnes of palm oil for railwayprojects. That is not cooperation but rather competition. Ironically, thetwo producers have called for a level playing field in the past," thetrader added.He said Malaysia cannot be blamed for securing the Indian market for itspalm oil because so much money is involved and both countries have to lookto their own interests.Primary Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik and his Indonesiancounterpart Luhut Pandjaitan embarked on joint trips to both India andChina last month to discuss better palm oil cooperation and market accessbetween producers and buyers.India and China are two of the world's biggest buyers of palm oil,consistently buying some three million tonnes of the commodity over thepast several years.Meanwhile, another trader said Malaysia and Indonesia will have to firstagree on a common selling price for palm oil before deciding on anythingelse."Ideally, when it comes to prices, there can never be cooperation betweenMalaysia and Indonesia. "How can you tell Indonesia to sell at the sameprice as Malaysia when they are already guaranteed of their markets attheir current price. I don't think they will risk it," the trader said. Headded that Malaysia has to sell around 11 million tonnes of its palm oilevery year and Indonesia around eight million tonnes."How do you tell another country not to sell its oil in this particularcountry at this particular price? If I don't sell my oil, what will I dowith my oil?" the trader questioned.Malaysia in the past has accused Indonesia of consistently selling itspalm oil at below market prices of around US$10 (US$1 = RM3.80), a movewhich the latter can afford to do due to lower costs of production andstandard of living.The trader added that if both countries can somehow agree on a commonselling price, they need to push for it now because Indonesia will notwait and risk losing sales that will affect gains in export earnings badlyneeded by the country."Undercutting is really a relative term and is subject to variousinterpretations. Indonesia will see it justified due to their lower costsof production and sell at a price they are happy with. Malaysia, in themeantime, cannot afford to lower prices due to higher costs ofproduction," the trader pointed out.He said each country will have to look at its own interests and marketrequirements first. "Malaysia and Indonesia have their own clientele.Pakistan, for example, will only buy refined bleached and deodorised palmolein from Malaysia and not from Indonesia due to better added value," thetrader said.He said Malaysia is obviously on the losing end because the joint trip wasinitiated by Malaysia and not by Indonesia. "Indonesia tagged along andreaped the fruit of Malaysia's labour because they didn't have to do muchresearch and development (R and D) and marketing, tasks solely done byMalaysia. Furthermore, how does the Government tell privately-ownedcompanies to sell at a predetermined price unless they are wholly-owned bythe Government," the trader added.However, traders said the two countries can succeed in areas of promotion,marketing, joint ventures and R and D.
26748. 01/06/2001
   
Malaysia, Venezuela pledge palm oil cooperation30 May 2001 (Business Times) - MALAYSIA and Venezuela have pledged tocooperate for mutual benefit in the palm oil sector.
26749. 01/06/2001
   
Sime records RM470.5m net profit for 9-month period
26750. 01/06/2001
   
World Agricultural Forum fails to agree on global hunger strategyDate Posted: 5/31/2001Financial Times, London, 31/5/2001 (Financial Times) - Anarchists andenvironmentalists were missing from the World Agricultural Forum in StLouis in the US state of Missouri this week. But even without organisedprotests at the meeting - attended by representatives of agribusinesses,multilateral agencies and developing countries - there was little harmony.While US and European companies hawked technology as the solution toundernourishment in developing countries, international agencies andnational representatives saw a host of more immediate and mundaneproblems. These included inadequate farm size, lack of investment, tradedistortions and subsidies in the industrialised countries.As the United Nation's Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) pointsout, recent international efforts to reduce the numbers of underfedpeople, primarily in developing nations, are falling short of objectives.This is not for want of agricultural production. "If all food produced inthe world were to be divided equally among its inhabitants, every man,woman and child would consume 2,760 calories each day," says JacquesDiouf, the FAO's director-general.Yet even the relatively modest objective, adopted five years ago, ofhalving the number of undernourished people by 2015 - to about 400m - willbe missed if current trends persist. At present, about 8m people a yearare moving from the "hungry" category to that of adequately fed, accordingto Mr Diouf. This is well short of the 20m needed to keep up withpopulation growth.Then there is the prospect of a sharply rising global population in thedecades ahead. Projections vary, but the United Nations thinks the worldpopulation could be 9bn-plus by 2050, compared with 6bn at 2000.That leaves some agricultural economists calculating that demand forcereals could rise by as much as 40 per cent by 2020, and for meat, by 60per cent. Although land under cultivation will probably also rise, it isunlikely to match the population growth rate.Given recent experience, everyone is wary of drawing catastrophicMalthusian conclusions. Over the past two decades, rising agriculturalyields have meant that food production growth has more than matchedpopulation trends, with food prices falling significantly.With the prospect of another round of world trade talks now back on thehorizon after the Seattle debacle, developing countries are pointingvigorously to the distorting implications of food support payments inindustrialised countries.They point out that agricultural subsidies in the developed nations areabout the same as the total GDP of sub-Saharan Africa."In 1999 alone, the total support to agriculture by OECD (industrialised)countries was estimated at Dollars 361.5bn, or 1.4 per cent of their totalGDP. Certainly, this support is in accord with WTO (World TradeOrganisation) agreements, but there is little doubt that it gives acompetitive edge which poorer countries cannot match," said Mr Diouf.At the same time, there is the question of the extent to which developingcountries themselves - and multilateral agencies - have been missingopportunities for structural change or infrastructure investment inagriculture. Pointing to the tens of millions of small-scale farmers inIndonesia, for example, Bungaran Saragih, the country's agricultureminister, acknowledged that the result was inadequate capital to buy farm"inputs" (such as fertiliser) and reduced bargaining power.Even representatives of the World Bank admit the organisation's lending tofarm projects has dwindled to an all-time low (as a percentage of thetotal budget), and that there is a need to foster structural change aspart of the loan programme."We would like to shift our strategy towards (encouraging) efficiency,"said a senior adviser. "Small is not always beautiful in a globalisedagricultural market."Last, there is the thorny issue of technology. St Louis is home toMonsanto, perhaps the company most closely associated with agriculturalbiotechnology, and representatives of other large agribusiness companies -such as Cargill, Bunge, Dow Agrosciences - were out in force. For the mostpart, issues such as genetic engineering were wrapped together with lesscontroversial topics such as yield management systems."Technology will be absolutely essential, but the answer does not lie withone technology, rather a technology toolbox," said Charles Fischer,president of DowAgrosciences, the chemical company's agribusiness arm.Even so, the responses from some developing countries remained cautious.The earlier "green revolution" - which dramatically increased riceproductivity - "has given rise in Asia to the idea that technology is apanacea", noted another Indonesian representative. But, he added: "Sincethe 1990s, we have begun to suffer setbacks - soil degredation, diseases.""We need a very wide range of technologies - and ones that are appropriatein one region may not be appropriate in another," suggested Gerard Viatte,director for food, agriculture and fisheries at the Paris-based OECD. Adiplomatic thought - but one which seems unlikely to resolve the debate.
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