Day: April 24, 2007

Melamine movin' on up the food chain

The FDA mentioned recently that the melamine suspected of poisoning many cats had gotten into pig feed in California, well, it gets worse…

Tuesday: Uh-Oh — North Carolina Public Radio WUNC

The FDA announced this afternoon that thousands of hogs in NC and four or five other states are now under quarantine because they were fed tainted rice gluten. Hogs here and in CA have tested positive for melamine. No one knows yet whether it poses any dangers to humans who ate the hogs, but the feds say they’re trying to find out.

At this point in time, I would consider any animal feed from China suspect. Way out of control, because we have no procedure for being proactive about these things…

It won’t amount to much because melamine apparently does not affect humans as much as it seems to affect cats, but it is the utter lack of control of ingredients and raw materials that scares me. What else can sneak through? What if the next one is actually deadly to humans?

India makes commercial satellite launch

The Hindu : Front Page : PSLV makes commercial launch

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday successfully made the first commercial launch of a foreign satellite through the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C8). Italian satellite, Agile, weighing 352 kg, was placed in a precise orbit about 550 km above the earth.

The PSLV also carried an ISRO payload, Advanced Avionics Module (AAM), to establish the next generation computers, navigation, guidance, control and telemetry systems that will be used in future launch vehicles. It weighed 185 kg.

ISRO Chairman G. Madhavan Nair called the mission “a 100 per cent success” and “a remarkable achievement.”

He said: “We have made a good entry into the launch business. I hope we will get more and more business opportunities in future. The contract [to launch the Italian satellite] came at a time when there was a complex, competitive environment.”

Indian space research has always been way ahead of just about any other field, a good indication of the research priorities set in the 1970s. The take home message is that if India throws money and attention at a problem, it does seem to have some success. Now if they can only fix this