Author Topic: a different take on bromate  (Read 6262 times)

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Offline scott r

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a different take on bromate
« on: March 19, 2007, 02:09:10 AM »
I have no idea who this guy is, or if he has any credibility, but I found it interesting.

AFAIK, the USA is the only country that allows bromated flour to be
sold. While the baked bread is safe, the chemicals are not safe for
bakers, leading to a higher level of various cancers, if memory serves.

Dunno mike..... but there is is not enough evidence to prove the such
infinitesimal amount of potassium bromate could led to cancer in
humans; even from the results extensive animal feeding studies done
for several years. They could not induce cancer or any kind of tumor
to be formed by if they are using the normal to even maximum suggested
level in the baking industry.
It is only when they use (extremely high dosage that even by
imagination cannot be used in flour )would such malignant effect
could occur.
I think any kind of food grade chemical can behave the same if used in
extremely high levels but that defies common sense and forgetting the
tenets of good manufacturing practice..
Besides there was no evidence that proves that potassium bromate will
accumulate in the animal body, unlike organochlorine pesticides like
DDT, heavy metals like mercury ,cadmium lead etc.
Potassium bromate is converted to harmless potassium bromide in the
flour and ( due to its solubility) is just excreted in the urine..
Although extremely sensitive analytical instruments can detect parts
per billion but that is still excreted from the body and never
accumulated.
The fear of potassium bromate use is more related to politics clever
media manipulation by parties/businesses with vested interests on
alternative but expensive dough conditioners. in order to gain a
better market share. They know that
Unless potassium bromate is not removed from the market they will have
difficulty competing with it ,.ITS DIRT CHEAP , EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE
and UNPARELLED DOUGH PERFORMANCE in weight for weight basis as a
bread enhancer.
In my observation most individuals who opposed its use, they are less
informed or knowledgeable about its interaction and related chemistry
of bromate in the dough human physiology.
The few knowledgeable ones who happen to be anti- bromate side was just
being swayed, or 'paid for ' being used by those kinds of people.


Offline November

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Re: a different take on bromate
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2007, 02:32:14 AM »
Potassium bromate is such a strong oxidizer that it will react with iron on contact to form iron rust.  So it really has no way of accumulating in the body because it would simply react with any iron or manganese which our bodies have plenty of.  With that said, it is a powerful oxidizer!  Oxidizers are notorious for causing cancer.  That's what they do, and why antioxidants are so important.

"The fear of potassium bromate use is more related to politics"  What ignorance.  It's politics that keep it legal in the United States.  That has nothing to do with the fear.  The fear is based on what we know about oxidizers and what destructive forces they are in the human body, and I'm not being paid to say that.

- red.november

Offline doctor_pepperoni

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Re: a different take on bromate
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2007, 08:26:15 PM »
November,

How about bringing some data to your argument?

I'll start by bringing the following article for discussion:

OOO.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1567851

Replace "OOO" with "www"

According to this article there has been no link to KBrO3 when found in bread, and adverse events in any animal model.

Do you have any data to counter this?

Think carefully before you respond, as you're responding to an engineer and a medical doctor.  I'm convinced by data and not swayed by hysterics.

And like you, I'm not being paid for my point of view.

Regards, Ed.


Offline November

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Re: a different take on bromate
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2007, 08:50:04 PM »
Ed,

Hysterics?  I actually work with the chemical and can read the MSDS [ http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/p5576.htm ] which states: "DANGER! STRONG OXIDIZER. CONTACT WITH OTHER MATERIAL MAY CAUSE FIRE OR FORM SHOCK SENSITIVE MATERIALS. MAY BE FATAL IF SWALLOWED. HARMFUL IF INHALED OR ABSORBED THROUGH SKIN." with a health rating of 2.  A health rating of 2 is only assigned to a chemical if it is known to cause cancer.

The NIH abstract that you are referencing uses very specific language when describing it's mammalian toxicological effects.  Read carefully:

"Although adverse effects are not evident in animals fed bread-based diets made from flour treated with KBrO3, the agent is carcinogenic in rats and nephrotoxic in both man and experimental animals when given orally."

In other words, they couldn't find evidence of adverse effects in this particular study, but they know it's a nephrotoxic carcinogen.  Also note that they are talking about bread, not pizza.  Because of how a pizza bakes, some areas of the crust, such as just under the sauce, do not always fully bake.  Anytime you see a gummy region of the crust, that will almost certainly contain unreacted bromate.

If the warning labels on the substance does not deter you from putting it in your mouth, that is your prerogative, but heeding these warnings is not hysterics by any stretch of the imagination.

- red.november

Offline November

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Re: a different take on bromate
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2007, 08:55:30 PM »
Ed,

I feel I should also point out that pre-baked bread was used in the study, and was not testing the effects of brominated flour on the baker of the bread, who could be unwittingly inhaling this as he prepares the dough.

- red.november

Offline doctor_pepperoni

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Re: a different take on bromate
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2007, 09:57:59 PM »
November,

Read the article, not just the abstract.  Focus on pg. 313.  Then let's discuss.

Ed.

Offline November

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Re: a different take on bromate
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2007, 10:04:27 PM »
Ed,

The study you referenced is also from 1990.  Since 1990, a lot more data has surfaced, which has led many countries to ban its use in food.  The International Programme on Chemical Safety, which is operated by several branches of the United Nations: United Nations Environmental Programme and Food and Agriculture Organization to name two, has had an ongoing research program dedicated to this issue.  Here is the final word from the commission handed down in 1992 and reconfirmed in 1995: "USE AS A FLOUR TREATMENT AGENT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE" - http://www.inchem.org/documents/jecfa/jeceval/jec_1969.htm

Also important to realize are the dangers involved with processing mistakes.  Where any other kind of errantly processed flour might result in a poor performing flour, a brominated flour might in fact cause illness.  The levels of potassium bromate are very sensitive to change, so a minor error at the manufacture could send you to the hospital.  Occurrences like this are not unheard of as reported in 2003 and 2004 by the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5501a3.htm

What is most applicable to pizza making is the following quote which falls in line what I said earlier about being fully cooked:

"Under proper baking conditions, potassium bromate levels are <20 g/kg in finished bread products. However, if too much potassium bromate is added, or if the product is not cooked long enough or at adequate temperatures (tortillas are baked for a short period of time at temperatures lower than other baking products), more residual additive might remain."

"Cooked long enough" described by some of the studies indicate 20 minutes.  I'm afraid a sauce and cheese laden pizza does not fit that description.  In the end, I would have hoped that the fact that just about every government health organization, except for the FDA which has recommended its disuse, has banned it; or that it is actually known to cause cancer and kidney disease would be enough, but do whatever you like.  Nothing surprises me after I've seen doctors smoke cigarettes.

- red.november
« Last Edit: March 23, 2007, 10:13:08 PM by November »

Offline November

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Re: a different take on bromate
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2007, 10:11:11 PM »
Read the article, not just the abstract.  Focus on pg. 313.  Then let's discuss.

I have already read the entire article from another source.  (It is a rather old article after all.)  You apparently didn't grasp my couple of posts, so I don't think there is anything to discuss.  Your sentiments are identical to those expressed by the tobacco studies decades ago.  You're taking chances with a known carcinogen and that's the bottom line.  No hysterics, just common sense.

- red.november

Offline doctor_pepperoni

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Re: a different take on bromate
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2007, 08:52:14 AM »
November,

Despite your contention that the article I cite is "old," nothing you have put forward disputes its findings.  In fact the committee you use as evidence to support your point states:

OOO.inchem.org/documents/jecfa/jecmono/v024je03.htm (dated 12/20/2006)

"However, as levels of treatment of 75 mg/kg resulted in detectable residues of bromate in
    bread, the Committee reduced the previous acceptable level of
    treatment for flour for bread-making to 0-60 mg potassium
    bromate/kg flour. In arriving at this conclusion, the Committee
    took cognizance of earlier long-term studies in mice and rats which
    showed that products made from flour treated with bromate produced
    no adverse effects.
" (boldface for emphasis)

From the same source:

"EVALUATION

    Level resulting in no detectable residues of bromate

         For flour used in bread making 0 - 62.5 mg/kg.

    Estimate of acceptable level of treatment of food to be
    consumed by man

         For flour:     0 - 60 mg/kg flour (providing that bakery
                        products prepared from such treated flour
                        contains negligible residues of potassium
                        bromate)

    For other foods: No acceptable level of treatment allocated."


Also, from the CDC reference you use to support your point:  "Testing did reveal elevated levels of calcium propionate and potassium bromate in the implicated tortillas. However, these findings do not establish that potassium bromate and calcium propionate were factors in the etiology of these outbreaks." (boldface for emphasis)

I have already read the entire article from another source.  (It is a rather old article after all.)  You apparently didn't grasp my couple of posts, so I don't think there is anything to discuss.  Your sentiments are identical to those expressed by the tobacco studies decades ago.  You're taking chances with a known carcinogen and that's the bottom line.  No hysterics, just common sense.

- red.november

Common sense to me is that the connection between KBrO3 in flour and people dying from cancer because of pizza consumption is not rooted in reality.  I'm not making any of this up.  It's all in the references you forward.  With all due respect it is you that appears unable to grasp what I post.

Ed.




Offline November

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Re: a different take on bromate
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2007, 02:13:31 PM »
Despite your contention that the article I cite is "old," nothing you have put forward disputes its findings.  In fact the committee you use as evidence to support your point states:

OOO.inchem.org/documents/jecfa/jecmono/v024je03.htm (dated 12/20/2006)


I'm sorry you just wasted all that time, but that World Health Organization (WHO) report was from series 24.  It is not dated 12/20/2006.  I don't know where you got that date from but I suspect it was a citation date in a recent publication.  Here is a list of all the WHO/JECFA Food Additive monographs: http://www.inchem.org/pages/jecfa.html  If you're paying attention this time, you will notice that the WHO's final evaluation I linked to referenced food additive series 30, "Tox monograph: FAS 30-JECFA 39/285 (1992)" (that's the part that states FAS 30), and as you can clearly see, that toxicology report was from 1992.  Unless the World Health Organization has time travel perfected, series 24 was not released by the WHO in 12/20/2006.  Here is the summary conclusion from that report since you didn't bother to look at it:

"On the basis of the new safety data and the new data on
    residual bromate in bread, the Committee concluded that the use of
    postassium bromate as a flour-treatment agent was not appropriate.
    The previous acceptable level of treatment of flours for
    bread-making was therefore withdrawn. The Committee was aware that
    alternatives were available."


Also, from the CDC reference you use to support your point:  "Testing did reveal elevated levels of calcium propionate and potassium bromate in the implicated tortillas. However, these findings do not establish that potassium bromate and calcium propionate were factors in the etiology of these outbreaks." (boldface for emphasis)


I said, and I quote, "Occurrences like this are not unheard of", meaning that bromate was implicated in this case.  I didn't say anything about it being proof positive.  From the CDC's editor's note:

"Bromides were not identified in urine specimens from students involved in these outbreaks, although the results might have been affected by delayed collection of specimens or poor correlation between urine bromides and ingested bromate dose (4). Manufacturer A was alerted by FDA that calcium propionate and potassium bromate were present in the tortillas at higher than typical use levels and was advised to reduce the amounts used in the manufacture of these products. Manufacturer A changed the recipe and lowered the amount of calcium propionate and potassium bromate used in its product."

There's that "although" word again.  The editor understands that regardless of hard evidence (because he recognizes what might have affected the tests) it was still suspected that calcium propionate and potassium bromate were to blame.  The action item suggests this.

Common sense to me is that the connection between KBrO3 in flour and people dying from cancer because of pizza consumption is not rooted in reality.


It's funny you say that because you haven't provided a single source of evidence that eating pizza made with brominated flour is safe.  You've only provided old studies, that have since been reevaluated with overturned conclusions, concerning commercial bread; not home baked pizza.  Even when potassium bromate was allowed in commercial baking around the world years ago, the bakeries had to show proof that the levels of bromate in their finished product were at safe levels.  Do you have that ability?

I'm not making any of this up.  It's all in the references you forward.  With all due respect it is you that appears unable to grasp what I post.


With all due respect, wow.

- red.november


Offline doctor_pepperoni

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Re: a different take on bromate
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2007, 06:54:27 PM »

It's funny you say that because you haven't provided a single source of evidence that eating pizza made with brominated flour is safe.

November,

You have brought significant evidence to show that as an industrial chemical, KBrO3 has adverse effects.   This was never in dispute.  However, on the subject of brominated flour, you have brought nothing but Level III medical evidence to the table.  From "Evidence Based Medicine" on Wikipedia:  "Level III: Opinions of respected authorities, based on clinical experience, descriptive studies, or reports of expert committees."  This is the lowest level of evidence, as it is opinion.

Hence, I stand by my position.

The burden of proof is on you.  Find me a scientific article (peer-reviewed) that clearly concludes that eating pizza made with brominated flour is unsafe.  After all, baked goods with brominated flour has been standard practice in the US for decades.

By the way, this exchange has been thoroughly entertaining.  With each post you become increasingly condescending, belittling and arrogant toward me.  I look forward to your next post.

Ed.

Offline November

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Re: a different take on bromate
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2007, 07:36:30 PM »
Quote
How about bringing some data to your argument?

I did.

However, on the subject of brominated flour, you have brought nothing but Level III medical evidence to the table.  From "Evidence Based Medicine" on Wikipedia:  "Level III: Opinions of respected authorities, based on clinical experience, descriptive studies, or reports of expert committees."  This is the lowest level of evidence, as it is opinion.

So says you.

The burden of proof is on you. 

No, the burden of proof isn't on me just because you want it to be.  The World Health Organization deems potassium bromate unsafe for use in baking.  Just about every national health organization in the world, save for the FDA, has banned its use in flour, and even the FDA encourages manufacturers to discontinue its use.  Nobody within these organizations threw darts to see if it should be banned.  They conducted study after study to come to the current conclusion.  You, who are opposing the conclusion of said world health organizations, should be the one to prove them wrong.  I don't have to do anything.

Find me a scientific article (peer-reviewed) that clearly concludes that eating pizza made with brominated flour is unsafe. 

I already provided you with one massively peer reviewed study from the WHO, and their later reaffirmation.  If you have a beef with them, take it up with them, not me.  Also, turning the quality of proof around on me based on my objections is not going to work.  You're the one that started this with a study based on commercial bread.  One should be able to logically conclude that if bread is ever deemed unsafe due to the presence of potassium bromate, a pizza would be a worse case scenario.

After all, baked goods with brominated flour has been standard practice in the US for decades.

Not so standard anymore since the 1992 and 1998 FDA findings.

By the way, this exchange has been thoroughly entertaining.  With each post you become increasingly condescending, belittling and arrogant toward me.  I look forward to your next post.

I'm glad you were being entertained, but I thought you were here to listen to evidence.  Condescending maybe, but only as it pertains to getting your attention.  It seems you spent a lot of time going down an argumentative path with a dead end because you didn't pay attention to what I was saying.  I don't like having my time wasted with idle arguments.  You asked for evidence, I provided it.  I can't help it if you don't like the evidence.  It's more recent than yours and it had a global impact.  Even Japan (where your 1990 evidence comes from) eventually banned it.  Belittling, no.  As far as arrogance goes, this is arrogance: "Think carefully before you respond, as you're responding to an engineer and a medical doctor."  As if I needed to know about your intellectual prowess to give a worthy response.

- red.november

Offline doctor_pepperoni

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Re: a different take on bromate
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2007, 06:00:31 AM »
November,

This will be my last post on the subject so allow me to articulate my point.

A large part of your argument is based on "WHO Food Additives Series 30," so I focus there.

I have been exceedingly careful to separate the substance KBrO3 with the entity of brominated (bromated) flour.  The main body of "new" evidence from the Series 30 monograph supporting the banning of KBrO3 in flour is derived from toxicology of the substance itself using animal models, in doses higher than what is normally encountered in flour and tested in baked goods.

The WHO monographs do not offer any additional toxicology studies on either the flour nor the finished baked goods.  Hence, the Kurosawa et. al. article while being "old" in your opinion was not disputed by anything from the WHO.  Also note that only one data set in monograph 30 was published after 1990, countering your argument that "...a lot more data have surfaced" since Kurosawa.

Bottom line is that despite your best attempt to diminish and discredit otherwise, all of the animal model data on ingestion of baked goods containing brominated (in the ppm range) flour do not show any increased risk of carcinoma.  The concern about cancer is what started this discussion.  To be fair, there is no epidemiology on the subject, which is what I was hoping for and to me is critical to support (or refute) this argument.

No disrespect to the moderators and webmasters, but I do not use "pizzamaking.com" as a source of scientific information.  Peer-reviewed journals are my primary source.  I come here to learn how to make a better pizza.  On a forum such as this, opinions, implications, theories and "logical conclusions" (as you like to forward) can be and are often mistaken for "proof."

My skepticism is based on the adage "In God we trust, all others must bring data."

The last word is yours.

Ed.


Offline doctor_pepperoni

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Re: a different take on bromate
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2007, 06:07:34 AM »
I spoke too soon...my bad...the author is Kurokawa, not Kurosawa.

Offline November

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Re: a different take on bromate
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2007, 02:46:27 PM »
Ed,

I have what I think is a better bottom line.  When there have been reported cases of people, not rats, dying with as small a dose as 5 mg kg-1; and the WHO, independent international cancer research centers, and the FDA establishing the fact that no matter what, there will always remain some level of potassium bromate in baked goods; and the FDA specifically recording unsafe levels in commercial bread in 1992 and 1998; and understanding that the virtually safe dose (VSD) for potassium bromate with a risk level assigned for genotoxic carcinogens in 1990 is around 1 ppm, and bromated flour has a concentration of up to 75 ppm; and people wear seatbelts even though they don't anticipate being in a vehicular accident, or don't stand near a tall tree during a thunderstorm even though few people are struck by lightning; it is quite reasonable and responsible behavior to frown upon adding a known deadly toxin to edible substances.

On the other hand, to take your position would mean forming an opinion solely on the basis that you don't like the evidence.  That shows quite a lot of confidence in your opinion without ever having set up your own clinical trials, or conducting a single medical experiment.  The normal reaction for most people is not, "Oh, there is a deadly toxin of unknown proportion in my food (pizza), I think I'll eat it anyway until someone provides evidence that the unknown proportion is at a safe level to eat."

I'll go ahead and pass up the option of denial and stick with a simple understanding that potassium bromate is carcinogenic at levels found in raw bromated flour.

I take a lot of risks in my life, but almost never with my health.  In fact, I'm a doctor's worst nightmare because I have never smoked, consumed alcoholic beverages, taken prescription medications, taken non-prescription medications (e.g. aspirin, cough syrup), or engaged in risky physical activities my entire life.  I experience absolutely no downtime due to illness (e.g. viral infections, bacterial infections, diseases, disorders), and I haven't seen a doctor regarding any ailment in my entire adult life.  Before you conclude it has to do with genetics, both of my parents are obese, I am not; both of my parents wear glasses, I don't; my father started balding at an early age, my hairline hasn't moved since I was born; both of my parents have required surgery for various reasons; I have not.  I don't site this anecdote because I think it has anything to do with avoiding bromated flour or because I'm anyone special.  I site it to illustrate that the human body is capable of taking care of itself if you don't abuse it, and that most certainly includes consuming known toxins at unknown levels.  Of course, you're welcome to disapprove of my "apple", but in my case, it really does keep the doctor away and my life is by no means boring.

I have no interest in discussing this further either.

- red.november

Offline scott r

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Re: a different take on bromate
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2007, 03:28:26 PM »
sadly throwing out the all trumps right now.

Offline abatardi

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Re: a different take on bromate
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2007, 12:19:39 PM »
By the way, this exchange has been thoroughly entertaining.  With each post you become increasingly condescending, belittling and arrogant toward me.  I look forward to your next post.

heh  ;D
Make me a bicycle CLOWN!

Offline ratana

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Re: a different take on bromate
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2007, 04:20:05 PM »
sadly throwing out the all trumps right now.

I have also been using all trumps in a blend.  I just visited penn mac this weekend, and asked them if they could ever stock the non-bromated all trumps (gold medal does have a line of this!).  They told me to call the corporate buyer..  just tried today, but he is out for the rest of the day, will try again ...

I think as more people in the US become aware of bromate in their flour and the rest of the world's banning of it, there may be more of a demand for non-bromated flours.

Offline scott r

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Re: a different take on bromate
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2007, 01:08:21 AM »
Luckily penn mac is huge, but the bad news is that GM has admitted to me that the unbromated all trumps is almost nonexistent in the wholesale marketplace.  You will be very lucky if you find it.  In the entire New England area only one bakery supply company carries it, and they in Springfield MA.

Unfortunately I fear that what is so appealing about the All Trumps is how the bromate effects the final crust.  My guess is that non bromated all trumps will be just like KASL or maybe even inferior.  Let us know if Penn mac will get you a bag of it since I definitely want to put that flour through some testing.

Offline grovemonkey

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Re: a different take on bromate
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2007, 04:16:17 AM »
November wrote:

I take a lot of risks in my life, but almost never with my health.  In fact, I'm a doctor's worst nightmare because I have never smoked, consumed alcoholic beverages, taken prescription medications, taken non-prescription medications (e.g. aspirin, cough syrup), or engaged in risky physical activities my entire life.

I'm sorry November but your last post struck me as so utterly foreign to me that I can't help but write.  First, I've never met anyone who has not at least tried or engaged in some of the above activities, especially taking medicine.  However, I can understand that some people might have been able to avoid these activities, except for one.  You say you've never engaged in risky physical activities.  I was wondering what kind of risky physical activities you are avoiding that have contributed to your full head of hair and  excellent eyesight?   

In fact, when I first read that comment, it reminded me of my dog.  He has never had contact with a female dog, eats the same food day in and day out, only drinks water and I swear that dog is one of the healthiest animals I know, albeit he (my dog) is usually angry all the time.  I really believe he never gets sick because he never has a chance to mate, he eats the same crap day in and day out and he drinks lots of water. 

I don't know, your post just got me thinking about how healthy my chihuahua is and the lifestyle the dog is living.  It's almost monastic and a bit envious. 

grove





 

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