Don't Eat it

Toronto, Ontario (AHN) - Health authorities in Canada put the total number of deaths from a listeriosis outbreak to *26 on Monday. Thirty-five other cases of the bacterial infection are suspected to be related to the outbreak.

Twelve of the deaths have been linked to listeria-tainted packed meat of Maple Leaf Foods. The firm has recalled the products distributed to stores and nursing homes and has shut down its meat processing plant indefinitely.

Meanwhile, victims of the food poisoning are preparing a class action suit against Maple Leaf. (allheadlinenews.com)

* "6" deaths more likely - see following:

SASKATCHEWAN (CBC) - The number of deaths confirmed to have been caused by listeria, or where listeria was a contributing factor, is now eight, three more than reported Wednesday.

As of Thursday, there were 29 confirmed cases of listeriosis caused by Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Of the 29 victims, 15 have died - 12 in Ontario, one in British Columbia, one in Saskatchewan and one in Quebec. In seven of those cases, listeriosis has not been confirmed as the actual cause of death.(ca.news.yahoo.com)

List of recalled products linked to ongoing listeriosis outbreak
Provided by: The Canadian Press

Aug. 26, 2008
TORONTO - A complete list of recalled products from Maple Leaf Foods, Atlantic Prepared Foods Ltd., Royal Touch Foods and Metro Ontario Inc., with applicable product code, product name, UPC code, package size and best before dates.
The recalled products have an establishment number of 97B and carry best-before dates up to and including the dates listed.

32138 Artisan Collection ALL HAM KIELBASA 900 63100 32138 6 08OC22 3.5 kg
32136 Artisan Collection MONTREAL SMOKED MEAT 900 63100 32136 2 08OC15 2.7 kg
32125 Artisan Collection OVEN ROASTED BONELESS TURKEY 900 63100 32125 6 08OC22 4 kg
24171 Best Value COOKED HAM 7 71212 85255 7 08OC22 375 g
38164 Best Value COOKED HAM 7 71212 85264 9 08OC22 175 g
60250 Bittners / Schneiders ALL HAM KIELBASA 900 60811 60250 6 08OC22 3.5 kg
60215 Bittners / Schneiders FRENCH ONION MEAT LOAF 900 60811 60215 5 08OC29 2 kg
60213 Bittners / Schneiders HAM & BACON BAKED MEAT LOAF 900 60811 60213 1 08OC29 2 kg
60271 Bittners / Schneiders KIELBASA BAKED MEAT LOAF 900 60811 60271 1 08OC29 2 kg
60235 Bittners / Schneiders OVEN ROASTED BONELESS TURKEY 900 60811 60235 3 08OC22 4 kg
60218 Bittners / Schneiders PEPPERCORN BAKED MEAT LOAF 900 60811 60218 6 08OC29 2 kg
07133 Boston Pizza SHAVED ROAST BEEF FROZEN 100 63100 07133 9 09FE16 750 g
17035 Burns BOLOGNA 900 56839 17035 6 08OC22 4.36 kg
41450 Burns BOLOGNA 900 63100 41450 7 08OC22 250 g
24945 Burns BOLOGNA CHUNKS 0 64000 00212 9 08OC22 1 kg
29920 Burns BOLOGNA CHUNKS 0 64000 00212 9 08OC22 750 g
24759 Burns BUNG BOLOGNA 900 56839 24759 1 08OC22 8.93 kg
21360 Burns PEPPERONI BITES 0 63100 21360 2 09JA02 500 g
41452 Burns PEPPERONI SLICED 900 63100 41452 1 08OC15 200 g
60089 Burns PIZZA TOPPINGS (SALAMI, SMOKED HAM, PEPPERONI) 900 60383 60089 4 08OC22 2.2 kg
18015 Burns REGULAR PEPPERONI 900 64000 18015 8 08DE18 2.1 kg
17981 Burns REGULAR SALAMI 900 64000 17981 7 08DE18 2.15 kg
18007 Burns REGULAR SUMMER SAUSAGE 900 64000 18007 3 08DE18 2.12 kg
53640 Burns SALAMI, PEPPERONI, SUMMER SAUSAGE 900 00000 53640 3 08OC19 3.98 kg
33030 Burns SLICED BOLOGNA 0 640220 4 08OC22 175 g
34908 Burns SLICED COOKED HAM 0 640210 7 08OC15 375 g
35890 Burns SLICED COOKED HAM 0 640190 4 08OC15 175 g
19496 Burns SLICED PEPPERONI 0 642030 7 08OC15 375 g
46590 Burns SLICED PEPPERONI 0 640350 4 08OC15 175 g
10812 Burns SLICED SALAMI 0 641170 7 08OC29 375 g
41451 Burns SLICED SALAMI 900 63100 41451 4 08OC29 200 g
49743 Burns SLICED SALAMI 0 640320 3 08OC29 175 g
65757 Burns SLICED SUMMER SAUSAGE 0 640310 6 08OC15 175 g
17034 Burns SMOKED BOLOGNA PIECE 006400017034 08OC22 4 kg
82457 Burns SP SUB SANDWICH 900 00000 82457 9 08OC22 3.91 kg
39691 Campfire GARLIC SAUSAGE 100 56839 39691 0 08OC22 500 g
34225 Compliments CHICKEN BREAST 0 55742 38110 08OC22 125 g
34219 Compliments CHICKEN BREAST 0 68820 10440 7 08OC22 125 g
34220 Compliments TURKEY BREAST 0 68820 10441 4 08OC22 125 g
34226 Compliments TURKEY BREAST 0 55742 38111 08OC22 125 g
50499 Coorsh PASTRAMI EYE OF ROUND 900 55900 50499 1 08OC22 2.1 kg
51275 Coorsh SMOKED MEAT 0 55900 51275 7 08OC22 200 g
17418 Country Morning COOKED HAM 0 57316 02908 9 08OC22 175 g
82538 Country Morning COOKED HAM 0 57316 17302 7 08OC22 375 g
60236 Deli Gourmet OVEN ROASTED TURKEY BREAST 900 60811 60236 0 08OC08 3.7 kg
60243 Deli Gourmet SLICED ROAST BEEF 100 00000 60243 0 08OC01 1 kg
24263 Equality COOKED HAM 0 57627 35040 7 08OC22 375 g
17183 Generic 2 ASSORTED COOKED MEATS 100 56839 17183 8 08OC22 5 kg
93198 Generic 2 BEEF CHUB 100 00000 93198 1 09FE16 1 kg
22931 Generic 2 BOLOGNA 100 00000 22931 6 08OC22 6.0 kg
22930 Generic 2 GRADE OVERLANDER RINGS 900 00000 22930 5 08OC22 6.0 kg
08450 Generic 2 PASTRAMI SLICED 100 00000 08450 2 08OC01 2.5 kg
99158 Generic 2 TURKEY ENDS & PIECES 100 63100 99158 3 08OC01 12 kg
71331 Generic FS CORNED BEEF END BULK 100 64875 11331 8 08OC01 10 kg
71330 Generic FS ROAST BEEF ENDS BULK 100 64875 71330 1 08OC01 10 kg
20079 Harmonie COOKED HAM 0 57316 07215 3 08OC22 375 g
93199 Hickory Farms BEEF STICK 0 58485 93199 9 09FE16 1 kg
06932 Hickory Farms BEEF STICK 100 58485 06932 3 09FE16 250 g
16963 Hickory Farms BEEF STICK 100 58485 06363 4 09FE16 175 g
91004 Hickory Farms BEEF STICK 0 58485 91004 8 09FE16 375 g
91017 Hickory Farms GARLIC BEEF STICK 0 58485 91017 8 09FE16 375 g
00052 Hygrade BBQ STICK 0 58640 00052 2 09MA17 25 g
00042 Hygrade BBQ STICK FROZEN 0 58640 00052 2 09MA17 25 g
00207 Hygrade GARLIC BOLGNA 0 58640 00207 6 08NO18 500 g
00040 Hygrade PEPPERONI 0 58640 00050 8 09MA17 25 g
00050 Hygrade PEPPERONI 0 58640 00050 8 09MA17 25 g
01151 Hygrade SMOKED MEAT 0 58640 01151 1 08OC22 200 g
08448 Kirkland Signature SLICED PASTRAMI 0 62000 08448 0 08OC15 1 kg
44938 Main Street Deli CORNED BEEF 100 63100 44938 1 08OC15 500 g
42706 Main Street Deli ROAST BEEF 100 63100 42706 8 08OC08 500 g
82708 Maple Leaf BEEF BOLOGNA 0 63100 82708 3 08OC29 375 g
33249 Maple Leaf BEEF SALAMI 900 63100 33249 8 08DE18 2.5 kg
22919 Maple Leaf BLOOD PUDDING 900 63100 22919 4 08OC29 425 g
89442 Maple Leaf CHICKEN STRIP VALU PACK 0 63100 89442 9 08OC22 400 g
80316 Maple Leaf CLEARVIEW COOKED DICED TURKEY ROLL FROZEN 900 67052 80316 7 09AU20 2.25 kg
82024 Maple Leaf COOKED HAM 0 63100 82024 4 08OC22 375 g
83744 Maple Leaf DELI EXPRESS SMOKED MEAT 0 63100 83744 0 08OC22 200 g
22829 Maple Leaf DELI MOCK CHICKEN LOAF ROLLED IN TOASTED WHEAT CRUMBS 900 63100 22829 6 08OC15 3.6 kg
48000 Maple Leaf DELI SHAVED CORNED BEEF 0 62000 48019 0 08OC22 200 g
48004 Maple Leaf DELI SHAVED HONEY HAM 0 62000 48020 6 08OC22 200 g
48002 Maple Leaf DELI SHAVED SMOKED HAM 0 62000 48016 9 08OC22 200 g
48001 Maple Leaf DELI SHAVED SMOKED MEAT 0 62000 48018 3 08OC22 200 g
48003 Maple Leaf DELI SHAVED SMOKED TURKEY 0 62000 48017 6 08OC22 150 g
80219 Maple Leaf EZEE PIZZA 0 64000 04050 3 08OC22 250 g
61380 Maple Leaf EZEE SUB DAGWOOD 0 63100 61380 8 08OC22 375 g
61353 Maple Leaf EZEE SUB GOURMET 0 63100 61353 2 08OC22 250 g
61361 Maple Leaf EZEE SUB HERO 0 63100 61361 7 08OC22 375 g
68684 Maple Leaf EZEE SUB TURKEY 0 63100 68684 0 08OC22 250 g
82718 Maple Leaf GARLIC BOLOGNA 0 63100 82718 2 08NO05 375 g
83166 Maple Leaf HOT PEPPERONI STICK 0 63100 83166 0 08OC29 250 g
22101 Maple Leaf LARGE WAX BOLOGNA 900 63100 22101 3 09FE16 4.4 kg
83121 Maple Leaf LEAN LITE PEPPERONI STIX 0 63100 83121 9 08OC29 250 g
22781 Maple Leaf MACARONI & CHEESE LOAF 900 63100 22781 7 08OC15 3.5 kg
83118 Maple Leaf PEPPERONI 900 63100 83118 2 08DE18 2.75 kg
83130 Maple Leaf PEPPERONI STICK 0 63100 83130 1 08OC29 250 g
22851 Maple Leaf SALAMI 900 63100 22851 7 08DE18 2.8 kg
82771 Maple Leaf SLICED BOLOGNA 0 63100 82771 7 08OC29 375 g
41825 Maple Leaf SLICED LOUISIANA BLACKENED BEEF 0 63100 41825 07DE12 500 g
21440 Maple Leaf SURE SLICE BLACK FOREST HAM 100 63100 21440 8 08OC22 1 kg
21388 Maple Leaf SURE SLICE COMBO PACK 100 63100 21388 3 08OC01 1 kg
21444 Maple Leaf SURE SLICE CORNED BEEF 100 63100 21444 6 08OC15 1 kg
21333 Maple Leaf SURE SLICE ROAST BEEF 100 63100 21333 3 08OC01 1 kg
21447 Maple Leaf SURE SLICE SALAMI 100 63100 21447 7 08OC22 1 kg
21449 Maple Leaf SURE SLICE SHAVED SMOKED TURKEY 100 63100 21449 1 08OC15 1 kg
21331 Maple Leaf SURE SLICE SMOKED HAM 100 63100 21331 9 08OC22 1 kg
21334 Maple Leaf SURE SLICE TURKEY BREAST 100 63100 21334 0 08OC15 1 kg
82756 Maple Leaf THICK BOLOGNA Bologne Tranche epais 0 63100 82756 4 08OC22 375 g
22882 Maple Leaf WAX BOLOGNA CHUNKS 900 63100 22882 1 08OC22 1 kg
82151 Maple Leaf WISE CHOICE WAX BOLOGNA 900 63100 82151 0 08DE18 4 kg
22507 Maple Leaf DELI BOLOGNA 900 63100 22507 3 09FE16 4.5 kg
22766 Maple Leaf HEADCHEESE 900 63100 22766 4 08OC22 1.5 kg
22555 Maple Leaf LARGE WAX BOLOGNA 900 63100 22555 4 09FE16 4.4 kg
22388 Maple Leaf WAX BOLOGNA BAG 900 63100 22388 8 08DE18 1 kg
82015 Mayfair/Marque COOKED HAM 0 59620 28662 08OC22 375 g
26365 McDonald's TURKEY 100 63100 26365 9 08OC01 473 g
24355 Mitchell's CHEDDAR SAUSAGE 0 59620 74241 8 08OC22 600 g
60402 Mitchell's DOUBLE SMOKED SAUSAGE 0 59620 82716 0 08OC22 600 g
60674 Mitchell's MOZZARELLA SMOKED SAUSAGE 0 59620 74527 3 08OC22 600 g
02356 Mr. Sub SEASONED COOKED ROAST BEEF 100 63100 02356 7 08OC08 500 g
39144 No Name GARLIC COIL SINGLES 900 60383 39144 0 08OC22 7.5 kg
67776 No Name TURKEY 0 60383 36878 08OC15 375 g
67768 No Name TURKEY & HAM 0 60383 36876 0 08OC15 375 g
82023 Olympic COOKED HAM 0 59620 13439 8 08OC22 175 g
55308 Overlander DOUBLE SMOKED GARLIC SAUSAGE 0 693081 3 08NO05 300 g
55307 Overlander DOUBLE SMOKED UKRAINIAN 0 693071 6 08NO19 300 g
55372 Overlander GARLIC SAUSAGE 0 693521 6 08NO05 300 g
55355 Overlander HAM SAUSAGE 0 693551 7 08NO19 300 g
55353 Overlander KOLBASSA SAUSAGE 0 693531 3 08NO19 300 g
55559 Overlander PEPPERONI 0 695591 9 08NO05 250 g
55863 Overlander PEPPERONI HOT 0 698631 7 09MA17 200 g
55867 Overlander PEPPERONI MILD 0 698671 5 09MA17 200 g
55114 Overlander PIZZA PEPPERONI 100 69100 55114 7 08OC22 3.2 kg
55558 Overlander PIZZA SALAMI 0 695581 2 08NO05 250 g
55351 Overlander POLISH SAUSAGE 0 693511 9 08NO05 300 g
55551 Overlander SUMMER SAUSAGE 0 695511 3 08NO05 250 g
55350 Overlander UKRAINIAN SAUSAGE 0 693501 2 08NO18 300 g
01742 Parma CDN STYLE PEPPERONI 900 55900 01742 2 08OC29 2.5 kg"
01750 Parma LARGE SLICED PEPPERONI BAGS 100 63100 01750 4 08OC29 2.5 kg
01745 Parma PEPPERONI 900 55900 01745 3 08NO05 4.5 kg
01740 Parma SL PEPPERONI BAGS SM 100 63100 01740 5 08OC29 2.5 kg
01741 Pizza Nova PEPPERONI 100 63100 01741 2 08OC29 2.5 kg
88404 Safeway 3 VARIETY SUPER PACK - SALAMI, PEPPERONI, SUMMER SAUSAGE 900 00000 88404 7 08OC22 9.42 kg
81795 Safeway PEPPERONI DOUBLES 900 00000 81795 3 08OC22 4.07 kg
81809 Safeway SALAMI DOUBLE 900 00000 81809 7 08OC22 4.07 kg
02106 Schneiders BAVARIAN SMOKIES 0 64844 02105 8 08OC29 1 kg
02126 Schneiders CHEDDAR SMOKIES 0 64844 02124 9 08OC29 1 kg
24796 Schneiders CORNED BEEF 900 64844 24796 3 08OC15 3.75 kg
09628 Schneiders DELI BEST SEASONED COOKED ROAST BEEF 900 64844 09628 8 08OC15 2.5 kg
24802 Schneiders DELI BEST SEASONED COOKED ROAST BEEF 900 64844 24802 1 08OC15 5.75 kg
48019 Schneiders DELI SHAVED CORNED BEEF 0 62000 48019 0 08OC22 200 g
48017 Schneiders DELI SHAVED HONEY HAM 0 62000 48017 6 08OC22 200 g
48016 Schneiders DELI SHAVED SMOKED HAM 0 62000 48016 9 08OC22 200 g
48020 Schneiders DELI SHAVED SMOKED MEAT 0 62000 48020 6 08OC22 200 g
48018 Schneiders DELI SHAVED SMOKED TURKEY 0 62000 48018 3 08OC22 150 g
89461 Schneiders ITALIAN STYLE SALAMI 100 62000 89461 1 08OC29 100 g
60167 Schneiders LIVERWURST CREAMY CHUBS 0 62000 60167 0 08DE18 175 g
60165 Schneiders LIVERWURST FINE CHUBS 0 62000 60165 6 08DE18 175 g
60166 Schneiders LIVERWURST W/HERBS CHUBS 0 62000 60166 3 08DE18 175 g
09679 Schneiders MONTREAL CORNED BEEF 900 64844 09679 0 08OC15 2.5 kg
89455 Schneiders SMOKED BLACK FOREST HAM LOAF 0 62000 89455 08OC22 425 g
89456 Schneiders SMOKED BLACK FOREST HAM LOAF 100 62000 89456 7 08OC22 100 g
89458 Schneiders SMOKED TURKEY BREAST 0 62000 89458 08OC15 345 g
89460 Schneiders SPICY PEPPERONI 100 62000 89460 4 08OC29 100 g
21093 Shopsys CORNED BEEF 0 64875 21093 3 08OC22 200 g
27080 Shopsys CORNED BEEF 900 64875 27080 0 08OC15 2.5 kg
27118 Shopsys MONTREAL SMOKED MEAT 900 64875 27118 0 08OC15 2.5 kg
20080 Shopsys OLD VIENNA ALL BEEF SALAMI 0 64875 20080 4 08OC22 500 g
20085 Shopsys PEPPERONI STICKS 0 64875 20085 9 09MA17 25 g
21760 Shopsys ROAST BEEF SQUARE 900 64875 21760 7 08OC15 2.57 kg
07711 Swift DELI REG BOLOGNA 900 00000 07711 1 08DE18 4.15 kg
88013 The Butcher's Cut SAFEWAY COOKED HAM 0 58200 67415 6 08OC22 375 g
88331 The Butcher's Cut SAFEWAY COOKED HAM 0 58200 15184 8 08OC22 175 g
33540 Tim Horton SLICED BEEF IN GRAVY FROZEN 0 63100 33540 09FE16 1.25 kg
33544 Tim Horton SLOW ROAST BEEF, WIP 09FE16 275 kg
22357 Western Family COOKED HAM 0 62639 18159 8 08OC22 175 g
22365 Western Family COOKED HAM 0 62639 18159 8 08OC22 375 g
53635 Westfair PEPPERONI DOUBLE 900 60383 53635 3 08OC22 3.98 kg
53627 Westfair SALAMI DOUBLE 900 60383 53627 8 08OC22 3.98 kg
53619 Westfair SUMMER DOUBLE 900 60383 53619 3 08OC22 3.98 kg
78010 Maple Leaf BAVARIAN SMOKIES FROZEN 100 63100 78010 1 08AU20 4 kg
78023 Maple Leaf DEBREZINER SAUSAGE FROZEN 100 63100 78023 1 08AU20 4 kg
78016 Maple Leaf GERMAN BRATWURST SAUSAGE FROZEN 100 63100 78016 3 08AU20 4 kg
55357 Maple Leaf HAM SAUSAGE FROZEN 100 00000 55357 0 08AU20 1.5 kg
78017 Maple Leaf HOT ITALIAN SAUSAGE FROZEN 100 63100 78017 9 08AU20 4 kg
50583 Maple Leaf PG BEEF TOPPING FROZEN 100 63100 50583 4 08AU20 1 kg
50579 Maple Leaf PG COOKED ITALIAN SAUSAGE TOP FROZEN 100 63100 50579 7 08AU20 1 kg
50624 Maple Leaf SLICED PEPPERONI FROZEN 100 63100 50624 4 08AU20 5 kg
50638 Maple Leaf TENDER RINGS PEPPERONI FROZEN 900 00000 50638 3 08AU20 24 kg
50652 Rouyn LARGE PEPPERONI FROZEN 900 00000 50652 9 08AU20 24 kg
71350 Shopsys FOODSERVICE PEPPERONI FROZEN 100 63100 71350 5 08AU20 5kg
71352 Shopsys FOODSERVICE PEPPERONI FROZEN 100 64875 71352 3 08AU20 2.5 kg
Irving Roast Beef with Cheddar Cheese Sandwich 0 50365 01013 8 08AU22 200g
Irving 1/4 Lb King Roast Beef Sub 0 50365 01037 4 08AU22 194g
Irving Lb King Roast Beef Sub 0 50365 01034 3 08AU22 388g
Irving Roast Beef and Cheese Wrap with Chipotle Sauce 0 50365 01018 3 08AU22 230g
Sub Delicious Meat Pita Sandwich twist 0 55742 98003 5 08SE3 165g
Sub Delicious Deli Meat Clubhouse Sub 0 55742 98018 9 08SE3 210g
Sub Delicious Beef & Cheese Sub 0 55742 98012 7 08SE3 190g
Sub Delicious Belly Buster Club Sub 0 55742 98105 6 08SE3 274g
Sub Delicious Belly Buster Roast Beef Sub 0 55742 98107 0 08SE3 258g
Sub Delicious Clubhouse Sandwich 0 55742 98020 2 08SE3 210g
Needs Clubhouse Sandwich on Ciabatta 0 55742 98080 3 08AU26 209g
Fresh 2 Go Roast Turkey Club Ciabatta - 223978 804883 - 265 g - 08.AU.24
Fresh 2 Go Roast Turkey & Spinach Wrap - 223977 804351 - 215 g - 08.AU.24
Fresh 2 Go Roast Turkey & Swiss Cheese Ciabatta - 223984 804884 - 265 g - 08.AU.24
(SOURCE: Maple Leaf Foods and Canadian Food Inspection Agency)


Sniffing out radioactive gases in your kitchen & basement

Q: I heard that radioactive radon gas could be coming from my granite counters as well as my basement. Should I ­worry?

A: Last time we were fretting about this odourless, tasteless vapour en masse, you were probably rockin’ an A-ha/Tears for Fears mixed tape. But as quick as you can say jumpin’ Jack Flash, radon gas is back, and it’s freaking out homeowners continent-wide, especially those installing fancy stone slabs in their kitchens and bathrooms.

What the hell is radon anyway? It’s a gas that comes from decaying uranium in the soil and rock under your feet. Yep, uranium isn’t just found in massive deposits in northern Saskatche­wan; it’s scattered pretty much everywhere, just in smaller quantities. Outside, not a big deal, but trapped in your house? Well, it depends.

We all have a little gas floating around the recesses of our homes, especially the basement (it seeps up through cracks in concrete, basement drains and piping gaps). It’s just that some of us have more than others. And when we start bringing great hunks of rock into our pads to tart up our counters, we’re potential­ly carting in even more radiation.

One physics prof at Rice University in Houston found that all 55 granite slabs he sampled had higher-than-background levels of radiation. Most were still considered “safe,” but a few were 100 times above background! The worst offenders included striated granites from Brazil and Namibia.

But there are a whopping 1,600 varieties of granite on the market from 64 different countries. Even if 85 per cent are safe, as the Marble Institute of America points out, what about the rest? The only way to know whether your counters are hot is to get them tested. (FYI, the Marble Institute is supposedly setting up a testing protocol as we speak. Renovators should start pressing their suppliers for certified proof that their slab isn’t hot.)

If I found high levels, personally, I’d rip it out. Better safe than sorry. Still, in a well-ventilated kitchen, you’re generally exposed to less ra­don and radiation than many basement dwellers.

Since last year, when Health Ca­na­da finally boosted its safety stan­dards to bring them closer to the U.S.’s (yes, they’re still ahead of us on this one), more homes have fallen into HC’s “action needed” zone (200 Bq/m³ vs. 150 in the U.S.). According to Mr. Radon himself, Bob Wood (one of the province’s only certified radon home inspectors and mitigation experts), one in eight of the GTA homes his company has tested exceeds those levels (see mr-radon.ca). No way to know if your home is gassy but to test it.

The biggest problem is that the gas decays and produces solid radioactive particles called “radon daughters” – or, since women’s libbers cleaned up the dictionary, “radon progeny.” Inhale these and they em­bed themselves in your lung tissue. When these devilish offspring in turn start decaying, they emit a little radiation into your lungs.

Just last week, Danish researchers released a study linking homes high in radon to acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children. Radon is also the second-biggest cause of lung can­­cer, next to sucking on nicotine, with radon killing over 22,000 every year in North America.

And if you’re a pack-a-dayer living in a radon-heavy basement apartment with poor ventilation? Let’s just say you might want to take out some life insurance. You know, for the sake of the family. Or try something less morbid, like, I don’t know, maybe quitting smoking? Easier still, reduce your radon exposure.

First of all, if you’ve bought one of those home radon testing kits (from Zellers or Mr. Radon) and found radon below the action level, there are a couple DIY remedies you can take on. Open windows whenever you can. Seal cracks in the foundation or at wall/slab joints. Seal raw cement floors with low-VOC epoxy paint. Track down openings around pipes and cables.

The Radiation Safety Institute of Canada also says you should make sure there’s water in the floor drain at all times and that any sump is covered and vented to the outside.

But really, if you turn up a readings of 200 (or even 150, if you follow the U.S. standard), you’ll need to call in a pro for remediation. Depressurizing the soil under your house and venting it to the outside should set you back $2,000. Renters stuck with high levels and cheap landlords can call the Board of Health on their ass.

Ecoholic: Sniffing out radioactive gases in your kitchen & basement
Adria Vasil
NOW July 30-August 6, 2008 VOL 27 NO 48
Got a question? Send your green queries to ecoholic@nowtoronto.com


Hammer Time!


Already worth a staggering $30bn a year, growth in the global contemporary art market is accelerating rapidly. Johnny Davis shadows Sotheby's super-auctioneer Oliver Barker to find out how the industry is defying worldwide economic downturn, who's fuelling the boom & whether a bust is around the corner.

Sotheby's was wising up to contemporary art's potential. The previous decade (90s) had seen museums all over the world begin aggressive trawls to bolster their collections. In 1997, it tested the water with a contemporary-heavy New York sale for the Children's Heart Foundation. Pooling $15m, it toppled all expectations & confirmed contemporary's potential.
Sotheby's, along with the almost-as-venerable Christie's, hasn't looked back.

Next came a wave of young, moneyed collectors - often hedge-fund managers - hip to contemporary art's brash aesthetic, happy to push prices to staggering, scarcely believable levels.

At consecutive evening sales last year, Sotheby's, Christie's & Phillips de Pury sold a total of $837m worth of art in 24 hours, breaking more than 120 artists' records.

"Until about 1980," says David Nash, for many years Sotheby's director of impressionist & modern art worldwide, "if you bought a work of contemporary art by a major artist from a major gallery & tried to resell it immediately, you would get about half what you paid for it."

The market is now worth $30bn a year, the world's largest legal economy to go virtually unregulated. According to Ed Dolman, Christie's CEO, the Christie's-Sotheby's duopoly controls 70% of that market. (Others put the figure nearer to 90%.)

Talk of crash abounds. But even as some Western hedge-funders tighten their belts, a new wave of collectors has arrived from the Middle East, Russia & China.

"Nobody thinks these prices are sustainable," says Don Thompson, author of The $12 Million Stuffed Shark, a rollicking expose of the art world. "Can they keep going up 15% a year forever? Of course not. But the one thing I learned doing my book is just how much money there is out there. If you're a billionaire buying a picture, it really doesn't matter whether you spend $25m or $30m."

"We are the only publicly-listed auction house," Oliver Barker says. "Phillips de Pury & Christie's are both privately owned. Our principle objective is to get money for our shareholders."

Sotheby's was founded in 1744, Christie's in 1766. Rivalry between the two can be intense, a situation presumably not improved in 2000 when the houses were found guilty of running a price-fixing cartel & fined 260m pounds. While Sotheby's was ordered to pay an additional 70m pounds in criminal penalties & saw then chairman Alfred Taubman sent to prison for a year (a scandal that very nearly derailed the firm), Christie's escaped criminal charges by submitting evidence documenting its complicity.

Its a standing joke that an auction house's bread & butter is the three Ds: death, divorce & debt. "That paints us as real ambulance chasers," Barker smiles.

There are clients who couldn't care less about the art. They're buying it to "flip" - sell for a profit later. "There's a group of collectors who famously buy things so they can put them in a warehouse for six months. We have people come in all the time & say, "Look, I've got a million dollars to invest, what would you advise?"

People are still talking about the art market crash. But it hasn't happened. Barker, though, seems more cautious than before. "Since the financial crisis we've become a lot more obsevant as to what people's risk aversion is. It's too early to say. Unlike the stock market, where you can see what your shares are worth, the only way to see what a picture's really worth is at auction. That said, we've become a magnet for China & Russia & all these new world economies. There's no doubt that the recent success of our share price has been driven by that.
"The bottom line," he adds, "is there will always be a market for great art."

Hammer Time!
Johnny Davis
British GQ


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Murder by Injection: The Story of the Medical Conspiracy Against America

On the Take: How Medicine's Complicity with Big Business Can Endanger Your Health

Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American Medicine

Big Pharma: Exposing the Global Healthcare Agenda

Over Dose: The Case Against the Drug Companies

Selling Sickness: How the World's Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All Into Patients

The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About it

The Whistleblower: Confessions of a Healthcare Hitman

Den of Thieves

Liar's Poker: Rising Through the Wreckage on Wall Street

Ugly Americans: The True Story of the Ivy League Cowboys Who Raided the Asian Markets for Millions

Rigged: The True Story of an Ivy League Kid Who Changed the World of Oil

The Wolf of Wall Street

Chasing Cool

Raise the Floor: Wages and Policies That Work for All of Us

The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One: How Corporate Executives and Politicians Looted the S&L Industry

Hollywood Undercover

Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women

Shut Up & Smile: Supermodels, The Dark Side

King of Cons: Exposing the Dirty, Rotten Scandals of the Washington Elite and Hollywood Celebrities

Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins: The Autobiography

Cults in Our Midst

They Call Me Naughty Lola: Personal Ads from the London Review of Books

Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions

Eat to Live

Sick and Tired?: Reclaim Your Inner Terrain

Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets

Greens Cookbook

The Produce Bible: Essential Ingredient Information and More Than 200 Recipes for Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs and Nuts

Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet

Cooking With Coconut Flour: A Delicious Low-Carb, Gluten-Free Alternative to Wheat

What Your Doctor Doesn't Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You

Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill

Know Your Fats: The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils and Cholesterol

Your Body's Many Cries for Water

Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements

Special Diets for Special Kids

A Demon of Our Own Design: Markets, Hedge Funds and the Perils of Financial Innovation

Common Wealth

Free Lunch

Perfectly Legal

Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives

Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse

Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism

The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

The Mind of the Market

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

Paint it Black by Janet Fitch

White Oleander by Janet Fitch

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen

In the Dark by Mark Billingham

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

The Wasted Vigil by Nadeem Aslam

The Naked Man: A Study of the Male Body

Woman: An Intimate Geography

The V Book

Bitter Pills

Death by Prescription: The Shocking Truth Behind an Overmedicated Nation

Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People by Toby Young

Goat: A Memoir by Brad Land MUSIC
The James Brown Reader

American Theocracy

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush

Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich

The Tyranny of Dead Ideas

The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook

Ice: Beauty, Danger, History

Sex Sex & More Sex

She Comes First: The Thinking Man's Guide to Pleasuring a Woman

The Multi-Orgasmic Couple: Sexual Secrets Every Couple Should Know

The Multi-Orgasmic Man: Sexual Secrets Every Man Should Know

Nerve's Guide to Sex Etiquette for Ladies and Gentlemen

The Great Warming

Heat: How to Stop the Planet From Burning

Ecoholic: Your Guide to the Most Environmentally Friendly Information, Products and Services in Canada

Mafiaboy: How I Cracked the Internet and Why It's Still Broken


Wipe That Smirk Off His Goddamn Face

Begging for More by Kono Matsu
Adbusters #79

Seven years of Bush policy has left America crushed by debt, stuck in Iraq & isolated from the rest of the world. Bush will undoubtedly be remembered by history as the straw that broke the empire's back.
And yet, despite it all, the man himself seems to be faring well. Displaying the unflinching gusto for which he's famous, Bush's inner fortitude is nothing short of phenomenal.

Despite his litany of flaws, I admire Bush for his unwavering sense of self-confidence. I am in awe of whatever force - be it will or ignorance - that shields him from the onslaught of public opinion. Still, sometime before the sun sets on his presidency, I'd like to see someone confront him for his crimes. I'd like to see a reporter, a citizen or a disillusioned war veteran hold him accountable for the destruction his administration has wrought. I'd like someone to make him answer for the million people who have died on his watch or the eco-crisis he has left woefully unaddressed. But most of all, in front of the blazing lights of the media cameras, I'd like to see someone wipe that smirk off his goddamn face.


Bring On the Crazy: Interview With Christian Bale


Christian Bale is an intensely private man. But when GQ's Jonathan Heaf sat down with the Welsh-born 34-yr-old in LA this spring, nothing was off limits:

JF- How do you prepare for a role? Do you have particular rituals?
CB-I never enjoy breaking down my methodology. Sometimes it starts with a voice or an accent, but not always.
The difference between a Werner Herzog shoot, A Terrence Malick shoot & a Chris Nolan shoot are vast, & so I've never had just one method that has worked for me consistently. I start from scratch with each movie; I wipe the slate & I certainly don't rely on some bag of acting tricks I've amassed over the years. Sometimes you get directors who love the rigorous research, while others simply say to you, "Hey, you'll be fine, just turn up on set & wing it." Sometimes you don't need to toil over the minutiae.

CB- For me, just because you finish filming & the sets are dismantled & you go home, it can be a difficult, long process to find your normal self again. Will some part of you be altered indefinitely? Sure. And that just comes down to a way of working. Not all actors have this problem. Look, if I could switch it on & off like a lamp, that would be phenomenal. But I can't, I have to dig my way out of it.

JF- The atmosphere on the set of Rescue Dawn was described by some crew members as "toxic".
CB- It depends who you talk to. Some people might have thought of it that way, but personally I loved it. If it was toxic, then I loved the toxicity, it didn't affect me in any way. I was laughing my ass off most of the time. We had half the crew quit at one point. One day we had these heavies with machine guns turn up, dragging people off to court & threatening crew members with jail time... In the middle of all this chaos we were trying to make this wonderful movie. Walking barefoot through the jungle for hours on end, people cutting themselves, covered in band aids or cuts held together with Sellotape - I had a terrific time.

CB- It was certainly apparent that he (my father) was battling on two fronts - his instincts & his responsibility. He was trying to do the stable, family-guy thing, but you could tell something was dying within. There was definitely a restlessness to him, which I share.
Not that it's anything I see as a negative, just a desire to search himself & the earth for something else.

JF- Wasn't it Viggo Mortensen who worked for a year preparing for the part of Sgt Elias Grodin in Platoon, only for Oliver Stone to then hand it to Willem Dafoe?
CB- It's a blow when that happens. So much in life, for me, is about having a sense of purpose &, when someone pulls that belief from under you, it can be just horrible. The problem comes when the mental rot sets in & you start thinking, "Well, maybe I shouldn't give that sort of commitment to a part again." Then you end up unhappy & mediocre. Although you don't get into acting if you can't deal with rejection, right?

JF- Is it true that after DiCaprio, Ewan McGregor was offered the part of Patrick Bateman & you phoned him up & told him in no uncertain terms not to take the part?
CB- Absolutely. I phoned a few people & let them know my commitment, let me tell you! I called them all & told them it was my role. Don't touch. Step away. Or if you're not going to step away, understand what you're up against.

JF- Another character somewhat unbalanced psychologically was the cop you played in Harsh Times. You were named as executive producer in the credits - what does that mean exactly?
CB- It doesn't mean shit. I'm still waiting for someone to tell me what a producer actually does. What is the difference between a great producer & an awful one?
Essentially, it was a phone call I made to David Ayer [director of Harsh Times] to say, "Let's just get it done, let's make it happen." He was then able to go to financiers & say, "Look, Christian is on board." It was something David & I had been talking about doing for years. I actually called him up when we were making the first Batman film & begged him to get it together. I needed it - 20 days of running around & shooting every day was a godsend after that long Batman shoot. Dave, being the generous character that he is, & in lieu of payment, gave me a nod on the crew credits. No idea what it means. I just thought it sounded good.

JF- And perhaps "Christian Bale,director" would sound even better one day?
CB- I'm not sure about my ability to converse, be patient, be interested in a lot of people at the same time - to handle a team, if you like. What I love about my job is being able to focus on one thing very intensely. I do love having conversations with directors, but you can come up with the most wonderful ideas when it's not your responsibility. No, no plans whatsoever to direct.

JF- What about acknowledgement from the industry - the Oscars, for example. Do you give a damn?
CB- Look, I'm human, & I guess I can't help but like it when someone says they like my work. If someone wanted to jump up & down & go, "You nailed that part. You. Are. Fucking. Fantastic," of course I'd be riding high on that. But before that happens, I'll just have a couple of drinks with my pals.

Bring On The Crazy: Interview with Christian Bale
Conducted by Jonathan Heaf
British GQ


Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization


We've reached a point in our civilization where counterculture has mutated into a self-obsessed aesthetic vacuum. So while hipsterdom is the end product of all prior countercultures, it's been stripped of its subversion & originality, & is leaving a generation pointlessly obsessing over fashion, faux individuality, cultural capital & the commodities of style.

An artificial appropriation of different styles from different eras, the hipster represents the end of Western civilization - a culture lost in the superficiality of its past & unable to create any new meaning. Not only is it unsustainable, it is suicidal. While previous youth movements have challenged the dysfunction & decadence of their elders, today we have the "hipster" - a youth subculture that mirrors the doomed shallowness of mainstream society.

Lovers of apathy & irony, hipsters are connected through a global network of blogs & shops that push forth a global vision of fashion-informed aesthetics. Loosely associated with some form of creative output, they attend art parties, take lo-fi pictures with analog cameras, ride their bikes to nightclubs & sweat it up at nouveau disco-coke parties. The hipster tends to religiously blog about their daily expolits, usually while leafing through generation-defining magazines like Vice, Another Magazine & Wallpaper. This cursory & stylized lifestyle has made the hipster almost universally loathed.

Gavin McInnes, one of the founders of Vice, who recently left the magazine, is considered to be one of hipsterdom's primary architects. But, in contrast to the majority of concerned media-types, McInnes, whose "Dos & Don'ts" commentary defined the rules of hipster fashion for over a decade, is more critical of those doing the criticizing.
"I've always found that word ["hipster"] is used with such disdain, like it's always used by chubby bloggers who aren't getting laid anymore & are bored, & they're just so mad at these kids for going out & getting wasted & having fun & being fashionable," he says.

It is rare, if not impossible, to find an individual who will proclaim themself a proud hipster. It's an odd dance of self-identity - adamantly denying your existence while wearing clearly defined symbols that proclaim it.

Marketers & promoters get paid to co-opt youth culture & then re-sell it back at a profit. In the end, hipsters are sold what they think they invent & are spoon-fed their pre-packaged cultural livelihood.
Hipsterdom is the first "counterculture" to be born under the advertising industry's microscope, leaving it open to constant manipulation but also forcing its paticipants to continually shift their interests & affiliations. Less a subculture, the hipster is a consumer group - using their capital to purchase empty authenticity & rebellion. But the moment a trend, band, sound, style or feeling gains too much exposure, it is suddenly looked upon with disdain. Hipsters cannot afford to maintain any cultural loyalties or affiliations for fear they will lose relevance.

We are a lost genaration, desperately clinging to anything that feels real, but too afraid to become it ourselves. We are a defeated generation, resigned to the hypocrisy of those before us, who once sang songs of rebellion & now sell them back to us. We are the last generation, a culmination of all previous things, destroyed by the vapidity that surrounds us. The hipster represents the end of Western civilization - a culture so detached & disconnected that it has stopped giving birth to anything new.

Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization
Douglas Haddow
Adbusters #79

Comments (adbusters.org):

*It's a very hipster move to write a quasi-academic article for a hip magazine ain't it? So the author can get the street cred by writing about hipsters for adbusters, a pretty trendy publication in itself? But it's a little much and quite obnoxious to claim one vapid group of urban dwellers is the end of western civilization. For every hipster there are a number of people in my generation doing fantastic things to better society and the world. I don't think disco in the 70s or those craaazyy flappers of the roaring 20s made much of a dent on western civilization.

*I used to be a hipster but then I ran out of money...

*I'm reminded of 1999's Woodstock.
That, like hipsterdom, marks the difference between the genuine article and its manufactured counterpart.


Fear of Fake Breasts


Until a man has made love to a woman with fake breasts, he cannot really comprehend their true horror.

For no matter how good they look, the spell is broken the moment they are touched by human hands. The real things manage to be both firm & soft, they feel undeniably human, they move, they are alive.
In comparison, counterfeit breasts feel as though they have been stolen from the morgue.

They (fake breasts) are not there to be fondled, kissed or felt, they are there to be admired, discussed, lusted after & photographed.

Why aren't there armies of thinking women protesting about the grotesquely booming trade in bogus breasts? Why don't women's magazines stop slavishly printing pictures of pumped-up stars with their pathetic plastic tits sticking out?
Is it because to really & truly know how rotten fake breasts are, you have to be a heterosexual man?

I can understand a woman wanting breast augmentation if she has a genetic defect or if she has had a mastectomy. But the overwhelming majority of operations are done for vanity.

They all (the incisions) hurt like hell.
I have never met a woman who did not find breast enlargement the most painful experience of their life.
But this initial pain is likely to be just the start of her problems.
Those silicon shells can break, leak or slip.
Breast sensitivity often goes out the window. The pain she feels after the op can endure for years - perhaps forever. And breast implants can make the detection of cancer far harder.

But last year in America alone, nearly 400,000 women had breast-enlargement surgery.

And speaking from the male perspective - sex with a woman wearing replicant breasts is no fun. That's the murderous irony - there's this mirage of perfection, this pert promise of ultimate pleasure, & the vision fades the moment you reach out to touch it.
Fake breasts are the cock-tease from hell.

There is an old Zen puzzle. If you have a sword & you first replace the handle, & then replace the blade - is it still the same sword? A woman can have so much work done that she is no longer the same woman.

Don't do it, girls. It should not take a man to tell you: learn to love yourself. Love what God gave you, no matter how much or how double-A little. Little can be fun. Little can be lovely.

Fake breasts look bad, feel bad & will one day make you feel bad.
If a woman wants to keep her health, her man & her self-respect, then she should always keep them real.

Fear of Fake Breasts
Tony Parsons
British GQ


When it Comes to Courtesans it Pays to Be Cautious


According to sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh,there are clearly defined divisions within the world of paid-for sex. The price for tier-one girls ranges from 1,000-2,500 pounds per session. They might be any age and ethnicity. They should be clean, & most have a degree. They will be discreet but most work for escort agencies that are routinely under surveillance.

Tier-two whores cost up to 4,000 pnds a session. They tend to be white, well-educated & usually require a referral before they take on a new john. They have a small, exclusive clientele &, unlike tier-one workers, they do not rely on escort agencies, which means they keep all their money.

At tier three, prostitutes charge from 5,000 pnds per rendezvous. They may have only a handful of clients, & will charge them for rent, clothing etc. Habitually they'll set a private dick on new applicants to see if they measure up. Oddly, despite the hefty rates they charge, punters going to tier-three hookers often don't want sex. Up to 40% don't go beyond light petting.
Instead, super-rich men will set them up as a fake spouse. Latterday Masters of the Universe hire sophisticated skirt simply to converse intelligently, without edge, & be a good-looking distraction from real life.

Sex: Pros & Cons
Rebecca Newman
British GQ