Canoeist bitten by shark while paddling in Hawaii

A 75-year old man paddling an outrigger canoe in the waters off of Honolulu was knocked into the water by a shark and bitten. The man reports that the shark first bit the hull of his canoe, sending him into the water where he fought the animal off with his paddle. He received wounds to his legs, and his fellow paddlers helped him back to shore and transported him to the hospital. The man could not identify the type of shark responsible for the attack but said it was about as long as his 12-foot canoe. The fire department conducted a fly-over of the area where the man was attacked but no sharks were spotted.

New report finds over 2,000 suspicious additives in packaged foods

A new report by Environmental Working Group, a consumer health watchdog, estimates that packaged foods contain over 2,000 additives that have not been adequately studied for safety. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for reviewing substances in our food supply, but an exemption allows food companies to add common ingredients to their products that are generally believed to be safe, without undergoing extensive testing by the FDA. The exemption, called Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS), allows a manufacturer to test and analyze additives and then self-affirm that they are safe or file a voluntary GRAS notification with the FDA, which then decides if the additive should be added to the GRAS list.

This self-policing has led to some troublesome additives in our food. The report states that some items on the GRAS list include Butylated Hydroxyanisole, a preservative in frozen pizza and processed meats that is listed as a carcinogen by the state of California; Butylated Hydroxytoluene, a derivative of tar and petroleum found in some cereals, which causes lung tumors in animals; and sodium nitrate, a processed meat preservative, which has been associated with elevated cancer risks and cardiovascular issues.

Ski & snowboard team riders from Massanutten, VA head to USASA Nationals

More than 20 competitive ski and snowboarders from the Massanutten, Va. Ski & Snowboard Team (MSST) have qualified for the USASA National Championship taking place on March 29- April 11 at Copper Mountain, CO. The USASA National Championship is a two-week event where the nation’s top young skiing and snowboarding athletes compete. Of the 15 current and former MSST members who qualified for the event last year, two took home medals. The MSST is comprised of nearly 100 young athletes from across the state of Virginia ranging in age from seven to 19 years old.