Newsletter : 3fax1112.txt
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AP Omits Israel in List of Terror Attacks
On Nov. 8, the Associated Press released a list of "Recent Terror Attacks Around the World" to accompany reports on Saturday's deadly bombing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The list noted Islamic terrorism all over the world since 1998, but completely ignored all Palestinian terrorist attacks that occurred in Israel, HonestReporting.com reported. The AP list of attacks may be found at http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20031109/ap_on_re_mi_ea/saudi_explosion_glance_2
German Firm Says Israel Baby Food Lacked Key Vitamin
By Reuters and IsraelNationalNews.com
The Remedia beriberi crisis took a dramatic turn Tuesday, when the company's attorney
told a Knesset committee that the German manufacturer of the soy-based baby-formula,
Remedia Super Soya 1, had consciously removed Vitamin B-1, also known as thiamin, from the
The manufacturer - Humana GmbH, part of a collective that is Germany's second biggest
producer of milk products - reportedly removed the vitamin because it was already found in
sufficient quantities in the soy on which the product was based. This, however, leaves
unanswered the question of why no B1 at all was found in the latest Health Ministry tests
of the product.
B-1 is required to convert blood sugar into energy, for producing red blood cells, and
is involved in metabolic activities in nerves, muscles and the heart.
Dr. Dorit Nitzan-Kaluski, head of the Health Ministry's Food and Nutrition Authority,
told the Knesset committee that her office has "no confidence in Remedia." She said that
someone in the company must have known of the lack of the vitamin, and that this person
must have known that the Health Ministry's check of random samplings - which showed that
B1 was present - were not accurate.
Two babies have died in the past several weeks after they were fed only Remedia's
soy-based formula. Until now, Humana has not denied or confirmed that it had removed the
crucial vitamin, although the product label specifies clearly that B1 is found in
sufficient quantities. Humana did, however, emphasize that the formula was kosher and
manufactured under rabbinical supervision.
Responding to insinuations that the kosher specifications were responsible for the
decision to remove the vitamin, Rabbi Dr. Yisrael Meir Levinger, an expert in kashrut in
Europe, told Arutz-7, "It cannot be believed or assumed that a serious food manufacturing
plant would produce a contaminated or tainted food simply to attain a Kashrut
certification." He said that vitamins do not normally come from non-kosher sources: "They
come from vegetable sources, generally not from animal sources, and in fact they are
usually manufactured artificially."
Israeli police have launched an investigation into suspicions the product caused a B-1
vitamin deficiency that led to acute health problems in at least nine babies. Humana said
tests had shown the product contained between 29 and 37 micrograms of vitamin B-1 per 100
grams, less than one tenth of the product's declared value and under the European Union
(news - web sites) guideline for 120 micrograms per 100 grams.
Humana board chief Albert Grosse Frie said the company planned unspecified
"organizational and personnel" consequences as a result of the mistake and was cooperating
with an Israeli delegation visiting the firm as well as with prosecutors. "It is with
shock that we have watched the news and the pictures out of Israel... Our thoughts are
with the children, the mothers and the families," Grosse Frie told a news conference at
Humana's German headquarters in Herford.
A lack of vitamin B-1 can cause a disease called beriberi, characterized by
inflammatory or degenerative changes to the nerves, digestive system and heart.
Lawyers for one family filed lawsuits in a Tel Aviv court naming Humana, its Israeli
distributor Remedia Ltd, and the Israeli Health Ministry, and seeking $230 million in
damages. Another Israeli family filed a separate suit for some $26 million as compensation
for pain, suffering and anguish.
Lawyer Michael Bach, representing the Israeli family that brought the $230 million
suit, said he had asked to have the case treated as a class action and was awaiting the
court's decision. He declined further comment about his clients.
Attorney Ram Gorodesky, representing a second family, said they had fed two children with
the formula, and while none had been diagnosed with any illness, he was seeking damages
for potential consumer fraud since the formula lacked B-1.
IAEA: Iran is Not Developing Nuclear Weapons
By Yossi Melman, Ha'aretz
A report drafted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and obtained by
Ha'aretz indicates there is no evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Iran has
asked IAEA not to publish the report but it was nevertheless leaked to the media.
The report stated that there is no evidence that Iran's activities and the materials it
secretly acquired and never reported to IAEA have any connection to the development of
nuclear weapons. However, the report criticizes Iran's conduct until September 2003, when
it began cooperating with the IAEA after an ultimatum set by the agency. The report said
that in light of Iran's previous public announcements, it would take the IAEA some time
before it is able to reach the conclusion that Iran's nuclear programs are for peaceful
The report reviews the uranium enrichment activities carried out by Iran, which has not
been reported in the past. There is a special clause in the report noting that Iran's
announcement it had extracted small quantities of plutonium at Tehran's Nuclear Research
Center was not preceded by any report on the extraction attempts taking place.
Israelis Can Now Adopt Children from India
By Ruth Sinai, Ha'aretz Correspondent
Israelis may now adopt children from India, according to an agreement reached about a
month ago between the two countries. It is expected to help many Israeli families, as
there are few states from which children can be adopted.
India initially objected to the Israeli demand to convert the adopted children to
Judaism in Israel. However, they were eventually persuaded to agree. Amatzia, a non-profit
organization under the National Religious Party's Emunah women's movement, is one of some
10 agencies licensed to bring foreign children here for adoption. Amatzia initiated the
contact with India after most existing foreign adoption sources dried up.
Romania, the source of most children adopted by Israelis, shut its doors to foreign
adoptions two years ago as part of a reform in its adoption laws. Ukraine also halted
adoption to Israel for a while, fearing for the children's safety, while Russia insists on
a five-year wait before issuing permits to foreign adoption organizations. Last year the
Philippine government announced that it would no longer allow children to be taken to
Israel due to the security situation.
Amatzia's representatives went to the north of India, where the children's skin is
lighter, which would better suit Israeli families. Australia and European states also
adopt children in India, where the number of orphans is almost unlimited, and are
satisfied with the results.
After the Indian authorities agreed in principle to the adoptions, an unexpected
difficulty arose, following Amatzia's demand that all the adopted children undergo
conversion in Israel. The organization demands this condition of Israelis who seek its
help to adopt a foreign child. The Indians objected to the demand initially, and only
after the intervention of the Foreign Ministry were persuaded that this would be for the
good of the children, who will be living in Israel with Jewish families.
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