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E-M:/ Institute of Medicine panel on dioxins

Title: Institute of Medicine panel on dioxins
Dioxin contamination has become an increasingly important issue in Michigan,
particularly the contamination downstream of Dow in Midland.
Today, the Institute of Medicine urged the US Government to act to help
citizens reduce their exposures to dioxin by focusing on food sources.

Panel Seeks to Shield Kids From Dioxins

 The Associated Press


U.S. needs to act to reduce dioxins, panel says

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent

WASHINGTON, July 1 (Reuters) - The U.S. government needs to help its citizens reduce their exposure to dioxins, in part by encouraging people to eat less meat, cheese and other sources of animal fat, an expert panel said on Tuesday.

Authorities should test for dioxins in farm animals, feed and crops, and try to find acceptable levels of the compounds, the Institute of Medicine panel said.

Dioxin is the notorious toxic component in Agent Orange -- used to clear forests in the Vietnam war -- and caused the evacuation of the town of Times Beach, Missouri, in 1983 and of the Love Canal site in Niagara Falls, New York, in 1978.

Dioxins have hormone-like effects on the human body and can cause cancer, infertility and other sexual changes.

They persist in the environment and build up in fatty tissues and fatty products -- meaning they accumulate in the bodies of farm animals that eat contaminated feed or grass. Meat and full-fat milk carry the highest levels of dioxins.