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My intention is to provide the general public with reliable and truthful information on antioxidants, foods, beverages, supplements, cosmetics, and natural products. The volume of information that becomes available every day is such that even the professionals working in the respective fields are having difficulty keeping up with it. For a lay person, it is impossible to read the original sources, to evaluate them, and to understand their scientific value. These "informational pieces" will help the general public to make educated choices, at the time when the federal and state agencies do not adequately protect them from potentially hazardous compounds.

     Good news

I am glad to inform you that my book entitled "Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Antioxidants, Foods, Supplements, and Cosmetics" has just been published (see above). It has been quite a journey! Four years, almost every weekend, 14 hours a day! The most rewarding part of it is that it's generating a lot of interest. Although the book was published just a couple of weeks ago, I have already made two public presentations and received another seven (!) invitations for the next two months. As it was anticipated, for the general public, it becomes a jaw-dropping, life-changing experience. By the way, it will make a perfect Valentine's Day present for your beloved ones!

    Public Presentation

My next public appearance will take place on We, February 16, 2011, on the CSUN campus, in the Grand Salon, at 6pm. It is organized by the Phi Delta Epsilon fraternity and is entitled "Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Antioxidants, Foods, Supplements, and Cosmetics". If you are interested in attending, please register at https://www.csun.edu/phide/lecture (for details, please see the flyer attached).

    GOOD NEWS, but the consumers should remain vigilant

After decades of debates and procrastination,  finally,  food companies have realized that a consumer backlash against BPA (bis-phenol A) could adversely affect their reputation and pose a risk to shareholder value. As a result, some of them started replacing BPA in canned foods and plastic packaging with substitutes. This compound has been around for several decades, with a worldwide yearly production of some 5.6 billion lbs, 2 to 3 billion lbs being produced in the United States alone. It is shown to cause chromosomal abnormalities, and also to form, upon the enzymatic degradation, "bad" compounds, such as hexestrol. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 95% of urine samples in the U.S. contain BPA!

Should we, as consumers, be satisfied with these latest developments? Or, maybe we should keep an eye on manufacturers. Well, if the lessons of history are of any indication, then we should remain vigilant, and verify that whatever is promised by the companies is, in fact, carried out to a full extent, and in a timely manner. The troubling signs so far are as follows: (1) not all major manufacturers made commitments to phase it out in the coming years; (2) even if the commitment is made, there is no strict timeline as to when it will happen; (3) it will take years to phase it out, exposing us, and our children, to this chemical; (4) not all companies responded to surveys carried out by the consumer advocacy groups; (5) even if the substitutes are supposedly used, it is not clear at this time, which chemical compounds are chosen; and (6) firm's efforts oftenly lack transparency. Well, let's keep up the pressure until the job is done!


Fruity foods do not necessarily contain real fruit! We are all naive enough to expect that Kellogg's Frosted Mini Wheats Blueberry Muffin should contain blueberries. In fact, it does NOT! According to Kellogg's representative, the term "Blueberry Muffin" is used to describe the flavor of this particular food item. And this is not an isolated fact! Total Blueberry Pomegranate cereal from General Mills contains no blueberries, and also no pomegranate! If it is not a misrepresentation, or a false advertisement, then what is it? Most amazing thing is that some products with "fresh from the farm" pictures of blueberries, did not even contain blueberries among their ingredients! And what is the percentage of the public actually reading the list of ingredients? My own observations tell me that it's in a single digit, at best. So, the public is deprived from their right to know what every food item contains. If we continue down the same path, maybe, one day we'll buy a "fish" that would not contain any fish at all. My question is, where are the people who are paid by taxpayers to protect their interests, when we need them most?

About this email message
This is an informational piece, which I am sending to my students, colleagues, community members and other interested parties to inform them of the latest developments pertaining to consumer products.
I expect to send these messages on a regular basis. Besides the scientific updates, you will also learn about my upcoming public presentations and book signing events. If your friends and family are interested in receiving these messages, please send an email request to gagik.melikyan@csun.edu. If you prefer to be removed from this email list, please respond to this message with the word “unsubscribe” in the subject line.
No part may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, or by any information, storage or retrieval system, without a written permission from the author. Suggestions and feedback are welcome at gagik.melikyan@csun.edu.