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					HealthScene                                                                                                                                       Microwave popcorn
                                                                                                                                                                        Tulsa World • Page D3 • Thursday, August 30, 2007




                                                                                                                                                  maker changes ‘butter’
                                                                                                                                                  B Y T ED E VA NOF F                         or drinking products with
                                                                                                                                                  The Indianapolis Star                       diacetyl is dangerous. The
                                                                                                                                                                                              Environmental Protec-
                                                                                                                                                      INDIANAPOLIS – Weaver                   tion Agency studied the
                                                                                                                                                  Popcorn, which sells 600                    health effects on people
                                                                                                                                                  million bags of microwave                   who inhale as they open
                                                                                                                                                  popcorn a year, said Tuesday                bags of steaming popcorn,
                                                                                                                                                  it is the first popcorn maker                but the report hasn’t been
                                                                                                                                                  to develop an alternative                   made public, said David
                                                                                                                                                  to a chemical that provides                 Michaels, associate chair-
                                                                                                                                                  the buttery flavor but could                 man of George Washington
                                                                                                                                                  harm the lungs of workers                   University’s Department of
                                                                                                                                                  who breathe it in at popcorn-               Environmental and Occupa-
                                                                                                                                                  packaging plants.                           tional Health, in Washing-
                                                                                                                                                      Environmentalists say                   ton, D.C.
                                                                                                                                                  the move could push rival                       Over the past several
                                                                                                                                                  ConAgra, the Nebraska-based                 years, there have been a
                                                                                                                                                  food giant that owns the                    number of actions targeting
                                                                                                                                                  Orville Redenbacher brand,                  the chemical:
                                                                                                                                                  to find an alternative to the                    • Dozens of popcorn
                                                                                                            Photos by MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World
                                                                                                                                                  suspect chemical, diacetyl.                 workers have sued diacetyl
                                                                                                                                                  ConAgra and Weaver each                     manufacturers, claiming inju-
Marie Petty’s king-sized quilt is a blanket of eight-sided stars — made from green and white diamonds — sewn into pink squares.
                                                                                                                                                  claim to be the nation’s largest            ry from breathing the chemi-
                                                                                                                                                  supplier in the $1 billion mi-              cal, in states including Iowa,




     Peace by piece
                                                                                                                                                  crowave popcorn business.                   Illinois, Maryland, Missouri,
                                                                                                                                                      Weaver officials said the                Ohio and Wisconsin. The
                                                                                                                                                  company has nearly complet-                 suits have led to jury awards
                                                                                                                                                  ed the process of selling out               of up to $20 million.
                                                                                                                                                  the old popcorn coated with                     • A 2002 study by the
                                                                                                                                                  a diacetyl-based butter flavor               National Institute for Oc-
                                                                                                                                                  and restocking with the new                 cupational Safety and Health
                                                                                                                                                  product, flavored by a secret                (NIOSH) claims a connection
                                                                                                                                                  formula that maintains the                  between diacetyl and lung
                                                                                                                                                  buttery taste.                              disease. But federal regula-
A woman’s quilt will raise                                                                                                                            “We want to take our brand
                                                                                                                                                  out of any potential contro-
                                                                                                                                                                                              tors at the Occupational
                                                                                                                                                                                              Safety and Health Adminis-
                                                                                                                                                  versy,” president Michael                   tration call the link hazy and
money for Alzheimer’s group                                                                                                                       Weaver said. “We think con-
                                                                                                                                                  sumers want to buy products
                                                                                                                                                                                              say they prefer that the indus-
                                                                                                                                                                                              try take action on its own.
B M G                                                                                                                                             from companies that want to                     • California is consider-
 Y    ATT   LEASON
World Scene Writeron display                                                                                                                      do the right thing.”
                                                                                                                                                      Pop Weaver and Trail’s
                                                                                                                                                                                              ing a ban by 2010 on use of
                                                                                                                                                                                              diacetyl in the state.




L
               ike she did             Marie Petty’s quilt will be on                                                                             End, the company’s key                          • At a June congressional
               milking cows         display at Charles Faudree’s An-                                                                              popcorn brands, have no                     hearing, Rep. George Miller,
               so many sum-         tiques and Interiors, 1345 E. 15th                                                                            labels that say diacetyl has                R-Calif., slammed OSHA, say-
                                    St., through Saturday.                                                                                        been omitted. Weaver said                   ing dozens of popcorn plant
               mers ago on             It moves from there to Margo’s
               her parents’         Gift Shop, 2058 Utica Square,                                                                                 he thinks there’s enough                    workers have contracted lung
               160-acre farm        where it will be on display Sept.                                                                             consumer interest that word                 disease, several have died, and
               near Red Oak,        4-8.                                                                                                          will spread nationwide.                     several need lung transplants.
Marie Petty doesn’t rely on a          The quilt will conclude its tour                                                                               Diacetyl, a natural chemi-                  “Seven years after the first
machine to do the job of two        at Saks Fifth Avenue, 1780 Utica                                                                              cal, is commonly used to                    cases of popcorn lung were
knowing hands.                      Square, Sept. 10-15.                                                                                          give popcorn, Chardonnay                    identified, five years after
   See, when it comes time             The silent auction to bid on         Marie Petty listens as her husband Jack speaks in their               wine, bread, cookies and                    NIOSH published its first
to craft yet another quilt          the quilt is in progress. To place                                                                            snack treats a butter-like                  report, it is stunning that
                                    a bid, call 906-5089. A buy-now       Turley home.
made from bits of fabric and                                                                                                                      flavor. Some lawsuits have al-               OSHA has failed to issue a
                                    option is available
a whole lot of creativity, the                                            myself because I have             “Other than being slower              leged a connection between                  standard protecting Ameri-
69-year-old Turley woman                                                  Alzheimer’s.”                     — and maybe that’s age — it           the chemical and lung dis-                  can workers from exposure
hunkers down in her garage              The king-sized quilt is a            Petty explained that the in-   hasn’t affected our relation-         ease in factory workers who                 to this chemical,” Miller
and crafts those quilts one          blanket of eight-sided stars —       spiration for her memory quilt,   ship much.”                           handle the packaging.                       said, according to a hearing
hand-stitch at a time.               made from green and white            which includes a constellation      At that, his wife said, “It’s           No study has said eating                transcript.
   If her hands stumble along        diamonds — that Petty sewed          of stars, represents all those    not slowed me down much,
the way, Petty is not one to         into several pink squares.           searching for an Alzheimer’s      has it?”                               Local Parkinson’s Disease Study for Newly Diagnosed
stand for mistakes in her               Proceeds from the quilt           cure.                               Jack Petty simply said,             Tremors or shaking? Slowed movement? Poor balance? Rigid muscles?
stitching.                           willbenefit people just like             “I know there are a lot of     “Nuh-uh.”                                 All of these symptoms may be signs of Parkinson’s Disease.
   At those moments, Petty’s         Petty, who was diagnosed             people out there looking for        As for the future, well, the
husband, Jack, might tell            with early-onset Alzheimer’s         a cure, and somewhere along       Pettys don’t worry about                 If you are between the ages of 30 and 79, newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s
her, “Well, no one is going to       more than two years ago.             the way they’ll find it,” she      that.                                 disease or have experienced slowed movement and other symptoms, and are not
                                                                                                                                                  yet treating them with medication, you may be eligible to participate in a clinical
notice that.”                           Petty’s husband recalled          said. “I’m believing that.”         “We ain’t got no future,”              research study to compare the effectiveness of early versus later treatment
   However, she’ll tell him right    those early days of his wife’s          She hopes for a cure not       Jack Petty said. “We got now.”          with an investigational use of a marketed medication used to treat Parkinson’s
then and there, “Well, I will.”      disease.                             only for herself and those          His wife added, “Today.                   disease. Eligible participants may be compensated for travel expenses.
                                        “A couple of days she                                                                                           Study medication and study-related tests will be provided at no charge.
   After all, her father always                                           who have it now, she said,        Today is the day.”
told his tomboy daughte r,           couldn’tfind the keys to her          but for future generations,                                                                For more information, please contact:
“Anything worth doing is             car,” he said, “and she had          as well.                                                                                        Tulsa Clinical Research
worth doing right.”                  come home and told me she               “I hope and pray it’s not          Matt Gleason 581-8473                                  1705 East 19th Street, Suite 406
   Petty has crafted so many                       ff
                                     had to pull o the road to get        my children,” she said. “It        matt.gleason@tulsaworld.com                                918-743-4374 or 877-798-7425
quilts in her day that she’s         her focus. She didn’t know           could be hereditary.”
lost count, but she recalled         where she was.”                         Although Petty has
makingherfirst quilt back in             Last year, at the 2006            Alzheimer’s, her husband
the early ’60s.                      Memory Walk — this year’s            said his wife is still the same
   At the time, she and her          walk is Sept. 29 at Oral             woman who loves to quilt,
late husband lived in the            Roberts University — Petty           cook and give their home a
country, so Petty and her son        spoke in front of a crowd of         deep-down clean.
would often catch a school           more than 500 people.                   “As far as what this
bus into nearby Red Oak,                Shefinished her speech             diagnosis has done, it hasn’t
where she would quilt with           saying, “I am walking for            changed us a lot,” he said.
the other ladies from church.
   Between then and now,
Petty has made each of her
children quilts to keep them
warm at night. And she has
made others that, no doubt,
keep the chill off many
people who snuggle under
them in the dark of winter.
   Soon, another Petty-made
quilt will warm the person              To find the
who places the winning bid              Financial Advisor
for the Alzheimer’s Associ-             nearest you, call
ation’s 2007 Memory Walk
Quilt, “Heartprints.”                   1-800-ED-JONES



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