The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, February 27, 1980, Image 12
Page 12 THE BATTALION
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 1980
Caffeine linked to defects
United Press International
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Caf
feine, one of the most widely con
sumed substances in the world, has
been positively linked to birth de
fects in animals by a Food and Drug
Administration scientist, the Morn
ing Union reported Tuesday.
In a copyright story, the newspap
er said Dr. Thomas Collins of the
FDA’s Division of Toxicology in
Washington, D.C., has confirmed
that defects in the offspring of labora
tory animals are directly related to
large doses of caffeine given by scien
The birth defects in animals
caused by caffeine in some of the
tests reviewed by Collins include
cleft palates, digital defects, joint de
fects, absence of a jaw, unusual
smallness of the lower jaw, blood
tumors and club feet.
added to other beverages and found
in many over-the-counter drugs, like
Caffeine stimulates brain and
heart activity and may produce ex
cessive gastric acidity and nervous
Collins’ previous research brought
the ban on the food coloring Red Dye
The paper said Collins’ study on
the effects of caffeine, a natural ing
redient of coffee and tea, will be re
leased in a month. Caffeine also is
It has been listed in the Code of
Federal Regulations as a multi
purpose food substance generally re
garded as safe.
FDA spokesmen have said the
agency is considering a proposal re
quiring caffeine products to carry a
warning to pregnant women, similar
to the one now mandated on all food
and drugs using saccharin, the paper
Beverage industry officials are
preparing their own studies and
trying to defuse the FDA report by
arguing that Collins study shows that
massive amounts of the substance
must be administered for any effects
to be noticeable.
“It’s going to be controversial, to
say the least,” said Collins, leader of
the division’s Mammalian Reproduc
tion and Teratology Team.
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4 At the Triangle’
United Press International
WASHINGTON — Every week
or two, the United States gets a mes
sage from Mars.
The Martian correspondent re
ports on the weather at its lonely
outpost called Chryse and sends
back a picture of the rocky, desert
The observer is the Viking 1 robot
that landed on Mars July 20, 1976.
The space agency has it programmed
to continue automatic operations
through 1990 and engineers expect
its nuclear generators to keep it
going even longer.
Viking 1 is just one of seven Amer
ican planetary spacecraft still in
operation. Some are working well
past their designed lifetimes, provid
ing the United States with valuable
The Viking 2 lander and one of two
Viking Mars satellites also are work
ing, but the satellite is expected to
run out of control gas around June
and when it dies, the Viking 2 lander
will be silenced because it relies on
the orbiter to relay communications
The major planetary project now
underway centers on two Voyagers
which made one discovery after
another when they photographed
Jupiter and its largest satellites last
Voyager 1 is expected to repeat its
spectacular performance in Novem
ber when it cruises past Saturn.
Voyager 2 will rendezvous with
Saturn in August 1981.
Dr. Thomas Mutch, associate
NASA administrator for space scien
ce, said it now appears that Voyager
2 will continue to work and become
the first manmade probe to explore
Uranus in 1986. He said there is a
possibility that Voyager 2 will last
long enough to reach Neptune in
Other planetary spacecraft still
working are the Pioneer-Venus
satellite around Venus, the Pioneer
10 spacecraft heading out of the solar
system and Pioneer 11 between the
orbits of Saturn and Uranus.
The next big planetary mission is
called Galileo. It consists of an
atmospheric probe and a surveill
ance satellite to be launched in Feb
ruary and March 1984 to follow up on
Voyager’s successes at Jupiter and
explore the giant planet and its big
moons in more detail.
Galileo is the last planetary mis
sion currently planned by the United
States and Mutch told a Senate sub
committee last week he was “very
concerned about the long-term fu
ture of planetary science.
NASA had asked President Carter
for funds in fiscal 1981 to begin work
on a satellite to survey Venus with a
powerful imaging radar system, and
money to start work on an solar-
electric rocket system that would en
able a spacecraft to rendezvous with
Halley’s comet in 1985 and the com
et Temple 2 in 1988.
Both requests were denieJ!|
hopes to try again on the Vena
sion next year with a laundiiil
but it will be too late to start*!
the comet explorer’s electrkq
to carry out the dual cometii|j»
Mutch said NASA hopeskH| ..
. , . , r P Unite
tunas next year to beginamt NEW YC
est comet mission to Halle)Y ce th e Ft
alone. Bexas /
But he said it takessevera Jl tfeam mi
preparation to begin a ms lt , 0 tinced ’
planetary exploration pro)« ^ n f erenC e
said NASA has little hope(' t 0 [the p
ing the go-ahead on suchpi n k e( l as tl
the near future. tion, acec
"We have, of course, lost J] e jr e coat
amount of momentum, hefflUMeyt
reply to Sen. Harrison Set ublsed 1
N.\i., who asked if NAS. »yola (Ill.)
able to capitalize on its rc ] jto 25-(
cesses. nice for tl
“1 think there is asuprenv gmons C'
this situation. Mutch saic i C e votes
Irk was n
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