No. 191 December 1998

RARE, MEDIUM, AND WELL-DONE MEAT If you are a woman who likes meat (beef steak, hamburger, and bacon) well-done or very well-done, take note. "... consumption of well-done meats and, thus, exposures to heterocyclic amines formed during the high-temperature cooking play an important role in the risk of breast cancer." This statement comes from "Well-Done Meat Intake and the Risk of Breast Cancer" by Wei Zheng et al. Journal of the National Cancer Institute v. 90, no. 22, November 18, 1998, pages 1724-1229. (HE 20.3161:90/22). People who frequently consume fried and grilled food have a high incidence of gastric cancer. This is the concern of "Heterocyclic Amines: Occurrence and Prevention in Cooked Food" by Saida Robbana-Barnat et al in Environmental Health Perspectives v. 104, no. 3 March 1996, pages 280-288 (HE 20.3559:104/3. Flame-kissed foods covered with carbon and burnt drippings are covered with carcinogenic compounds which one then consumes. Cooking well-done, or very well done meats can be achieved. For safe grill cooking and the prevention of heterocyclic amines in cooked food, put a liner between the food and the fire, don't allow the meat juice to splatter back from the fire to the meat, keep a lower fire, and cook at a lower heat and temperature. These cooking modifications may mean longer cooking time but do prevent the formation of heterocyclic amines in the food you eat.

EMF SAFE (1997) VS. RISKS (1998) REPORTS There has been a concern about low frequency (60 Hz) electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) and cancer from EMFs . As electricity flows from home appliances, cell phones, sleeping blankets, radios, power lines, and personal computers, it creates an electromagnetic field that is a public health concern. Congress requested the National Academy of Sciences to study EMFs and determine the scientific basis for any adverse health effects. The NAS reviewed the published literature up to 1996 and concluded, "…the current body of evidence does not show that exposures to these fields present a human health hazard. Specifically, no conclusive and consistent evidence shows that exposures to residential and magnetic fields produce cancer, adverse neural behavior effects, or reproductive and development effects." This study: Possible Health Effects of Exposure to Residential Electric and Magnetic Fields, Committee on the Possible Effects of Electromagnetic Fields on Biologic Systems, (reviewed in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, v. 90, no. 22, November 18, 1998, page 1744) reports there is no causal relationship between residential EMFs and cancer. The controversy lingers on. If you go to http://www.niehs.nih.gov/emfrapid/ you will find the EMFRAPID (Electric and Magnetic Field Research and Public Information Dissemination Program) web site which includes the PDF and HTML versions of the 1998 EMF Working Group Report which was also mandated by Congress. Here you will find information about the potential health risks of EMFs. Eventhough the reports obviously conflict with each other, they both could have validity, what do you think?

YEAR 2000, THE NEW MILLENIUM? : A LESSER PROBLEM Only because we have computers and computer programmers who did not think (or at least, think enough) about the year 2000, we have a Y2K problem which is more significant and important that who will win the world series or NFL playoffs in 1999. The year 2000 is not the beginning of the new, i. e. third millenium. "While the period 1900-1999 is of course a century, as in any period of 100 years, it is incorrect to label it the 20th century, which began on January 1, 1901, and will end on December 31, 2000. Only then [January 1, 2001] will the third millenium of our era begin (page vii). A century takes 100 years, but an era begins on AD 1, so the third millenium begins on January 1, 2001. So says Ruth S. Freitag in Introduction of the Battle of the Centuries, A List of References. Issued in 1995 by the Library of Congress, this 57 paged bibliography (LC 33.9/3:B32) which includes an index presents the literature discussing the issues of "what is the exact date when a century ends", specifically, the end of the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. For any "Father Time" aficionados, the book cover pictures Father Time at (circa) age 20. The bibliography, international in scope, covers sources dated from 1601 through 1995, but shows nothing about computers or the computer problem, even in its subject index. Did you know the "end of the century" was a problem?

OMB CIRCULAR The Patent Office, Census Bureau, and the Internal Revenue Service serve the public directly, which makes them well known. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), however, is lesser known because it works directly with every other federal agency. The OMB makes and issues the policies, in the form of OMB circulars, which guide the Federal agencies to promote their efficiency and uniformity in operations. OMB circulars regulate or monitor the administration of the Federal agencies' programs, which is why participation in a Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance program could require an OMB circular. Prior to December 21, 1998, these circulars were sometimes difficult to obtain (when compared to the IRS that sends out tax forms automatically). As of December 21, 1998, the internet and within the OMB's Internet web site at http://www.whitehouse.gov/OMB/circulars/index.html one can find the 29 OMB circulars, listed numerically and by "Major Category" which are in effect as of December 21, 1998. Per "Office of Management and Budget, 5 CFR Part 1310, Listing of OMB Circulars," Federal Register v. 63, No. 244, December 21,1998 page 70311, you will find a list of all the current circulars in the Federal Register. This updated OMB List of Circulars will replace the old list in the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) and can be found on the Internet.

COMMENTS ON THE NEW DOLLAR COIN There are new designs of the $20, $50, and $100 bills are complete but it the United States $1 Coin Act (PL 105-124, Section 4 - "United States Dollar Coins", 111 STAT. 22536-2537) mandates the creation of a new dollar coin. The new $1 coin which replaces the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin, is now being designed and will not be issued until the year 2000. "United States Mint, Dollar Coin Design, November 23, 1998, Request for Comments" Federal Register v. 63, no. 228 November 27, 1998, pages 65634-65635 tells us that the U.S. Mint wants us to review and comment on the proposed designs for the obverse ("heads") and reverse ("tails") of the new coin. The coin , gold in color, has a depiction of Sacagawea, who was the Native American Guide for (the 19th century explorers) Lewis and Clark on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse. On the U.S. Mint web site at http://www.usmint.gov/Mint_Programs/Golden_Dollar_coin/index.cfm?action=dollar_faq is the online edition of the history of the Sacagawea Dollar Coin. It seems current public opinion is not for Sacagawea if you read the new GAO report issued in January 1999, New Dollar Coin: Public Prefers Statue of Liberty Over Sacagawea.  GGD-99-24 is found at   http://www.gao.gov/new.items/gg99024.pdf

HEALTHY EATING INDEX : HOW HUNGRY, NURISHED, MALNURISHED, FOOD SECURE ARE AMERICANS? There has always been hunger and malnutrition in America but no measurement and no food security or hunger data. In 1989-1990, there was the first USDA Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals (CSFII). In 1992 the Healthy Eating index was created. First issued in October 1995 by the USDA Center for Nutrition and Policy Promotion, the Healthy Eating Index (for the 1989-1990 CFSII data) measures the diet quality of what Americans are eating as effects what the American people reported in each CSFII. From each CFSII survey database, a Healthy Eating Index is compiled and issued. This Healthy Eating Index and the food and nutrient intake data, which the Index reflects, gives us a good picture of hunger, nutrition, and malnutrition in the United States. This Index shows how well nourished/or malnourished, how hungry, the American people report in these food surveys. The Healthy Eating Index is sound because each American household provides an accurate picture of what food(s) and how much is consumed. [Validation of a Self-Reported Measure of Household Food Insufficiency With Nutrient Intake Data, by Donald Rose and Victor Oliveira, August 1997 USDA/Economic Research Service Technical Bulletin No. 1863, (A 1.36:1863)] The Healthy Eating Index: 1994-96 issued by USDA Center for Nutrition and Policy Promotion in July 1998 (A 1.2:H 34) is the latest index available.

THE AMERICAN FRONTIER: A BIT OF TRIVIA When the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620, the American frontier extended from (what would now be) the southern tip of Florida to the northern tip of Maine all the way (west) to the Pacific Ocean. That was the beginning of the American Frontier. But do you know when the Frontier was officially closed because it no longer existed? The Superintendent of Census on April 10, 1891 wrote: "Up to and including 1880 the country had a frontier of settlement…but there can hardly be said to be frontier line. In the discussion of its extent, its westward movement, etc., it can not, therefore, any longer have a place in the census reports." This is the last statement found on page 4 of Distribution of population according to density: 1890, Extra Census Bulletin No. 2, dated April 20, 1891 (I 12.6:2). Eventhough the Frontier Line disappeared there were not large areas of unsettled land in many states, but the Census Office determined there was no longer any westward movement and no longer a west(ern frontier) to be discovered. The next American frontier, outer space was not opened until almost 100 years later.

MOON ROCKS, METEORITES, AND ET REVISITED When the American astronauts visited the Moon, they brought back some rock samples. When the Martian Meteorite was found and examined, the National Research Council issued Mars Sample Return: Issues and Recommendations, (National Academy Press, 1997). Since the Mars sample, NASA has developed its planetary sample policy. Evaluating the Biological Potential in Samples Returned from Planetary Satellites and Small Solar System Bodies, Framework for Decision Making (NAS 1.2:B52/4) is an 100 paged 1998 volume outlining the analysis samples of meteorites, asteroids, cosmic dust, and planetary satellites. Planetary satellites refer to samples of our Moon, and the moons of other planets, which future space missions will achieve. This is an easy-to-read presentation of what analyses will be done, what will be sought, and scientists will conduct a good but safe inquiry. Chapter 7 "Considering the potential risks from returned samples" deals with the likelihood of finding a living organism, the putative nature of life, concerns about potential biohazards and adverse effects, containment and quarantine facilities, and the testing of returned samples. Chapter 8 "Conclusions and recommendations" provides the reader and the scientist the procedures and methods for handling the extraterrestrial planetary samples brought back to earth by successful current and future space exploration.

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February 15, 1999