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AP Omits Israel in List of Terror Attacks

By IsraelNationalNews.com

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 ingredients.

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 purposes only.

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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