News Briefts

Today's top news stories for March 14, 2008.

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Battle for SOGS supremacy
The race is on to elect a new president for the Society of Graduate Students at Western.

Grad students have two choices for SOGS president, Kai Pisters and Rick Telfer.

Telfer, a PhD sociology student, is a former trustee with the Toronto District School Board who is campaigning on a five-plank platform that includes fighting tuition fee increases and preventing the renewal of the Grad Club contract with Coca-Cola, which is up for renewal in 2009.

Telfer said he convinced Western’s Senate to lower a proposed graduate tuition fee hike in 1999 from 4.8 per cent to 2 per cent, which is the same as for undergraduates.

Pisters, a PhD chemical engineering student, is campaigning on lobbying for increased government funding for graduate programs through the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario, of which SOGS is a member.

He said lowering tuition without increased government funding would lead to cutbacks for graduate programs.

Pisters said the SOGS election is not only important for graduate students, but also for the many upper-year undergraduate students who will be entering graduate studies next year.

Probiotic buzz leaves bitter taste in consumers’ mouths
Yogurt is a cheap and tasty breakfast, but health benefit claims made by some manufacturers may be exaggerated " leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of consumers.

The word probiotic, which describes beneficial bacteria with human health benefits, is the current buzzword used to describe many products, including yogurt.

According to Dr. Gregor Reid, a microbiology professor at Western, some manufacturers add lactic acid bacteria to yogurt and claim the product is probiotic.

While some products containing this bacteria may improve human health, manufacturers are not required to prove these enhancements.

By law, food labels must be true and not misleading, according to Marc Richard, media relations officer with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

“If we had a complaint [about probiotic claims] we would investigate,” Richard said.

Timothy Hill, a corporate social responsibility professor at King’s University College, said these claims are similar to saying hamburgers are 100 per cent beef when non-meat filler is clearly used.

Hill said manufacturers have a responsibility to properly declare how much of what beneficial microbes are in food.
"Jay LaRochelle

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette