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Olympic Toothpaste Terror Threat?; Storm Knocks Out Power In Northeast; Slopestyle In Sochi; McDonalds Unlocks McNugget Mysteries

Aired February 6, 2014 - 07:30   ET



MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Half past 7:00 in the east. Let's take a look at your headlines. A new terror threat hanging over Sochi as preliminary competition begins at the Winter Olympics this morning. Homeland security officials warning airlines that terrorists could conceal bomb making materials in toothpaste tubes or other containers on planes that are headed to Russia for those Sochi games.

More than a million people in the northeast, most of them in Pennsylvania, without power this morning, heavy snow and ice taking out tree limbs and electric lines. Utility officials are cautioning that ot could take days to get everybody back online. Another winter storm is bearing down on the region and that is expected to hit late Sunday.

A retired police captain accused of a deadly shooting in a Florida movie theater is back in court this Friday. The 71-year-old Curtis Reeves made an emotional appearance Wednesday breaking down in tears as character witnesses came to his defense. But prosecutors described a cold-blooded killing that began as a dispute over text messaging and ended with another man, Chad Olson dead. Reeves says he acted in self defense while witnesses say the victim simply threw popcorn at him.

Got to show you this new video, a Spanish cargo ship slammed into a sea wall and then snapped in half out of the south western coast of France. Apparently the engines failed, all 12 crew members were rescued by helicopters. We're told one person reportedly suffered some sort of nose injury. A pollution alert has been issued in the area because of a fuel leak. It snapped in half, crazy.

And then we have a bit of a crime that we need to tell you about, a burglary that has very interesting occurrence. This is Big Mouth Billy Bash. You guys know it, the singing fish. I parentally it was near the door of a fishing bait store. The owner thinks the noise scared off a would-be burglar. So now add to Big Mouth Billy Bass, crime fighter.

CUOMO: So annoying, a burglar would rather leave than have to listen to it and rob your store.

PEREIRA: An annoyance factor that what they say often?

CUOMO: My wife has thrown out like three of those.


CUOMO: This one's hilarious. Where is it?

BOLDUAN: Christina's going to love it.

CUOMO: She doesn't.

BOLDUAN: Some big changes for the world's largest sandwich chain this morning. This is a wild story. Subway announced it's removing a controversial chemical from its bread. An additive that is found in shoe souls and yoga mats to add elasticity. The ingredient which is banned in Europe and Australia, it was first called into a question by a popular food blogger who had pushed to have it removed.

Senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen is at the CNN Center with much more on this. Elizabeth, what is this chemical we are talking about?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Kate, the chemical is called azodi-carbonamide and it's used to make the bread stronger to strengthen the bread. Subway says, it's safe and they point out that Food and Drug Administration says that it's safe. But Subway says that they are removing it as part of their "bread improvement process," quote/end quote.

BOLDUAN: End quote. Is this a very unusual case that this chemical is found in this bread? Is it found in other foods? I've never heard of it before.

COHEN: Right. You probably haven't heard of it because you don't sit and read the whole ingredients listing like most people. It's found in all sorts of breads. It's very hard to say is it bad for you, isn't it bad for you? They took a look and said, in mice, it appears to be a carcinogen. In humans the increased risk is slight, so they don't seem terribly worried about this. But they do say, let's get it out of bread, you don't need it, even if the increased chance of cancer is negative.

BOLDUAN: I would prefer it not in the bread. I'll just have my bread additive free.

CUOMO: What the hell? It's in a yoga mat to make it stretchy? It's just crazy.

COHEN: I think what the FDA would say is, look, there's no proof it does anything bad. I'm sure they do.

CUOMO: I know.

BALDWIN: Thank you, Elizabeth.

CUOMO: It makes it stretch and it's in yoga mats. The risk is slight.

BOLDUAN: Half the stuff we eat, we don't even know what's in it. That's our problem. CUOMO: If you can catch it and it in the bread improvement process. Holy cow.

Anyway, let's stay on some food news for you. As if the Russians didn't have enough to worry about, you have terrorists, venues, dangerous ski slopes. They now decided to go after the Chobani.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: This is right. The food fight is on. Right now, Russia is getting a gold medal in meddling. Russia's version of the fda says the U.S. Olympic committee can't import thousands of cartons of Chobani yogurt into the Olympics. Russia says the official reason is safety.

Right now, 5,000 -- 5,000 single seven cups of this yogurt, some big tubs as well, are sitting in a refrigerated storage. It's normal, by the way, for teams to import their own food. In China, they imported chicken and cereal. Chicken because of safety concerns of the stuff that was in China.

Now meanwhile, the cold war playing out in Washington, Senator Chuck Schumer insisting to the Russian ambassador that sanitary standards have been met to ensure that this yogurt will be safe for consumption. The Obama administration seeking a special one-time approval for our Olympic yogurt that is, by the way, Greek.

Now for his own part, you have got Chobani's marketing officer said you'd like to think his yogurt could get diplomatic immunity. Athletes standard their competition. They are encouraged to sample local food after they actually compete, not before.

BOLDUAN: The yogurt can't get in.

ROMANS: There's nothing more Olympic than Greek yogurt.


CUOMO: Nothing says the Olympics like Greek yogurt.

ROMANS: I will follow this every minute of the day until we get a conclusion.

BOLDUAN: You must. Accountability demands. Christine, thank you so much.

Let's take another break. Coming up next on NEW DAY, is this slope -- is this slope too slippery in Sochi. The slope style event already under fire after several athletes were hurt. We're going to be asking the Olympics.

I'm staying on the food news. Some includes into a great food mystery. Where does the chicken McNugget come from? Here's a hint. The first word is more important than the second.


PEREIRA: And welcome back to NEW DAY. The Olympics ceremony is tomorrow. Some events started today, including the snowboard slope- style. Look at this amazing video. This event has drawn controversy with many calling those jumps too dangerous. Shaun white in fact dropped out of the event after he jammed his wrist on it. Two other athletes were also seriously hurt during practice runs.

One man who will take us to the slope-style course is Olympic skier, Bobby Brown, I'm sure there's a prerogative joke in there somewhere. He joins us live from Sochi via Skype. I'm sure you want to say hello to Denver.


PEREIRA: Good to talk to you. You've been hearing a lot of buzz. A lot of people a lot about the danger of this slope-style course. You had a chance to be on it. How are you feeling about it?

BROWN: It's definitely hard to get used to. We had our third day of practice yesterday, it was one of the best practices I ever had. I think my fellow competitors were pretty excited about it too. You have to work out the kinks and get the dialed and then it starts to feel pretty comfortable. So for us skiers, we still have three more days of practice.

PEREIRA: We understand they made modifications to the course after there was concern from skiers and snowboarders about the course itself. Even after that, a couple people were injured. Why is it? Is it the course itself or the conditions that are more dangerous?

BROWN: Definitely think it's the conditions. There hasn't been the most snow here, so they've had to use a lot of manmade snow. The consistency of the snow is a lot different than what we're used to. The snow is harder, it's a little icier. It's harder to room and maintain. It looked like it was slushy out there today. As far as the course, I think the builders actually did a really good job. They met with the riders and made the tweaks that were necessary.

PEREIRA: You make too and you take the ooh-ah factor out of it. What you guys do is incredibly dangerous.

BROWN: Sure. Everything is a progression. You're climbing a ladder moving step by step and getting everything dialed. Yes, I mean, they've been doing a good job keeping the course running smoothly. I'm stoked for a few more days of practice.

PEREIRA: It's also your first Olympic games. Tell us how the experience has been for you so far.

BROWN: Yes, it's been unreal. We've been out here since January 31st. It's been nothing but fun. The Olympic village is pretty cool. They've got the ding hall, so you run into everyone there. The snow's been great. It's just been really fun for sure.

PEREIRA: Are you hearing much about security over there? Is there a concern among the athletes?

BROWN: No, not at all. They've done a really good job of just teaching us and telling us what we should be doing and looking out for. In the athlete village there's a lot of security and they're taking a lot of security measures to make sure we're safe up here. I went down to the village yesterday and looked around and I felt very comfortable down there. To this point so far, I think it's been awesome and really safe.

PEREIRA: Does that kind of stuff get in your head or are you able to compartmentalize it, if you will?

BROWN: You have to just let that go and leave the professionals up to it. You just have to really focus on what you're doing and focus on why we're here. It's for the Olympics and to compete at the highest level you possibly can. You kind of got to block that out and let everyone that knows what they're doing deal with that.

PEREIRA: We hope that you have the best time. You're first Olympics. We hope it's one of many. A lot of folks cheering for you back home.

BROWN: Awesome.

PEREIRA: That's Bobby Brown, free slope skier. It's going to be amazing to watch. Chris, Kate, can't wait to see it.

CUOMO: Always great to hear just how much simple, pure fun it is for the Olympians. We are going to take a hear, when we come back on NEW DAY, it's something many of us have wondered. What exactly is in a McDonald's chicken McNugget. Secrets revealed just ahead.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. The answer now to the age-old mystery, what's in a chicken McNugget? Here you go. McDonald's is pulling back the curtain on the nugget-making process. And CNN's Jeanne Moos has more on that, so much more.


JEANNIE MOOS, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): How do we get from this to this? Irresistible little asteroids of battered chicken, mysterious in their origin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do they just throw a whole chicken in a blender and make a McNugget?

MOOS: Even more disturbing, the pink elephant in the room.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are legitimately in McNuggets. Is there pink goo?

This photograph that's snaked around the internet with the caption, can you guess what McDonald's food item this is? It's said to be the entire chicken, eyes, guts, bones, ground up into something called mechanically separated poultry. Not us, says McDonald's. Photo hoax. But pink goo won't go away. For years, McDonald's has been trying to kill this photo. And now McDonald's of Canada has taken the goo by the horns, directly addressing the question of the Super Bowl commercial seen only in Canada.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's actually in nuggets?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there any pink goop?

MOOS: Nope, nada, none. McDonald's wants you to see what's in their McNuggets so they've released a video tour starting with whole chickens. The breast meat is set aside to make McNuggets.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dumping it into the grinder and adding the ground chicken breast meat to the blender with some seasonings and chicken skin.

MOOS: That's pretty much it. Ground up breast meat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's the pink goo image. Here's what we actually have. So it's very different.

MOOS: Yes, beige goo. Just kidding. Two independent food science experts told CNN that McDonald's seems to be giving the straight scoop. Of course, there's nothing healthy about all the fat and salt in McNuggets. There is one other secret revealed on the tour.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The four nuggets shapes, the ball, the boot, the bell, the bow tie.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe that's a bow tie.

MOOS: No, that's a boot. Does this look like a bow tie to you? One thing they are not making McNuggets into is the shape of a snake.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Turn it into a bow tie.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BOLDUAN: Now we can all feel better.

CUOMO: I didn't know about the shapes.

BOLDUAN: Did not know about the shapes at all.

CUOMO: What does it mean when you are like OK that you only have to worry about incredible amounts of salt for food?

BOLDUAN: That's a whole other thing.

CUOMO: What does that say when like great it's just all the salt and fat to worry about. At least it's actual chicken.

BOLDUAN: One thing off the list. Exactly.

CUOMO: They're tasty. They're tasty. I'm not going to lie. The question is -- put an addictive chemical in a chicken that makes you crave them. Let's take a break on NEW DAY, breaking news out of Sochi for you. The threat may come in toothpaste tubes. A startling warning going out to the airlines. Can the games be kept safe is a nagging question. You have the story covered from so Sochi to the Pentagon.

BOLDUAN: Plus the so-called affluenza teen dodges jailtime again after killing four people in a drunk driving crash. His attorney will be joining us live exclusively in the next hour.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it will be as safe as you can make any large public event.


CUOMO: Game on. The first competitions of the Winter Olympics have finally begun. So has the race to prevent attacks. The U.S. gives a new warning that terrorists may be using toothpaste tubes as bombs there. We're live with the latest.

BOLDUAN: Dark and cold, one million Americans waking up without electricity this morning after that ice and snowstorm took out power lines. Will power be restored before the next storm comes through?

PEREIRA: Getting off easy.