Harvard University child obesity expert Dr. David Ludwig’s recent claim that some parents should lose custody of their severely obese children has sparked outrage among families and professionals across the country. The national outcry led one family to share how its personal experience with the matter damaged their lives. Ludwig, an obesity expert at Children’s Hospital Boston and associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, shared his divisive idea in an opinion piece that ran in the Journal of the American Medical Association
Federal health officials have confirmed that the death of an Arizona man and five other U.S. cases of severe E. coli infection were caused by the food poisoning outbreak that has recently spread throughout Europe. Marking the first U.S. casualty from the E.coli superbug, the Arizonan had recently visited Germany, and was older than 65 years of age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the outbreak has already killed 50 in Europe, though the number of infected continues to grow.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), the world’s second-largest maker of health-care products, was sued for at least $70 million by a company that claims it interfered in a contract over distribution of an oral cancer test. Oral Cancer Prevention International Inc., a private company based in Suffern, New York, sued over a contract it signed in February 2010 with OraPharma Inc., then a J&J unit. OraPharma agreed to distribute OCPI’s Oral CDx Brush Test, which identifies precancerous cells in the mouth, according to the complaint filed in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey.
The federal government officially declared that marijuana has no accepted medical use and should remain classified as a dangerous and addictive drug. It will remain in the same class of drugs as heroin. The Department of Justice declared Friday: “DHHS concluded that marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no accepted medical use in the United States, and lacks an acceptable level of safety for use even under medical supervision.”
Health officials in the Indian state of Rajasthan are launching a new campaign to try reduce the high population growth in the area. They are encouraging men and women to volunteer for sterilisation, and in return are offering a car and other prizes for those who come forward. Among the rewards on offer is the Indian-made Tata Nano – the world’s cheapest car. Many in the government are worried about the size of India’s population. It is expected to overtake that of China by 2030.
A week after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned of a possible link between salmonella and sprouts from Evergreen Produce of Moyie Springs, the company is now issuing a recall of its alfalfa and spicy sprouts. Evergreen initially refused a recall, but the company stated Friday that it is responding to agency pressure. At least 21 cases of salmonella have been reported in Idaho, Montana, Washington, North Dakota and New Jersey.
The Obama administration on Wednesday prevailed in the first appellate review of the 2010 health care law as a three-judge panel from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that it was constitutional for Congress to require that Americans buy health insurance. The ruling by the Cincinnati court is the first of three opinions to be delivered by separate courts of appeal that heard arguments in the health care litigation in May and June.
A panel of cancer experts has ruled for a second time that Avastin, the world’s best-selling cancer drug, should no longer be used in breast cancer patients, clearing the way for the government to remove its endorsement from the drug. The unprecedented vote yesterday by a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel comes less than a year after the same panel reached the same conclusion.
A menthol cigarette independent review is part of the Food and Drug Administration’s latest investigation into the public health impact of cigarettes. The FDA said Monday that members of its Center for Tobacco Products will gather menthol studies and then submit its review to an external peer review panel next month. The cycle should be completed by fall of 2011, at which point the results of the review will be available for public comment.
Experts are warning the 75 percent of Americans who take generic prescription medication to carefully review usage and risks with pharmacists following a Supreme Court ruling this week that limits the liability of generic drugmakers. The court ruled Thursday that since generics are copies of name-brand drugs, generic drugmakers can’t be sued for not listing risks if those risks are not on brand-name labels.
In an act of defiance against bloated biotech companies like Monsanto, Peru has officially passed a law banning genetically modified ingredients within the nation for a period of 10 years. Peru’s Plenary Session of the Congress made the decision despite previous governmental pushes for GM legalization. Anibal Huerta, President of Peru’s Agrarian Commission, said the ban was needed to prevent the “danger that can arise from the use of biotechnology.”
Chrysotile asbestos will not be listed as a hazardous industrial chemical that can be banned from import after countries including Canada and Ukraine blocked consensus, a United Nations spokesman said Friday. The decision was taken at a meeting of states that have ratified the Rotterdam Convention despite the treaty’s scientific review body having recommended the inclusion of “white” asbestos on health grounds, a U.N. spokesman said.
Irradiated herbs, seasonings and spices are exposed to HALF A BILLION chest X-ray’s worth of gamma radiation. This information is clearly publicized by the USDA and FDA. The FDA presently supports the use of Cobalt-60 culled from nuclear reactors on all domestically produced conventional food. The level of gamma-radiation used starts at 1 KiloGray — equivalent to 16,700,000 chest x-rays — and goes all the way up to 30KiloGray (500,000,000 chest x-rays or 10,000 times a human lethal dose).
Japanese scientists have found a way to create artificial meat using sewage containing human feces. The scientists claim that they have even created edible steaks from the biological concoction. Mitsuyuki Ikeda, a researcher from the Okayama Laboratory, lead the discovery after Tokyo Sewage approached him regarding an overabundance of sewage mud. Asked to explore the possible uses for the waste, Ikeda found that the mud contained a great deal of protein due to the high bacteria content.
Remember your first lemonade stand? If you do, it most likely didn’t involve a $500 fine. For two Maryland families, their children’s lemonade stand lead to a $500 fine issued by the county.
Pfizer Inc’s (PFE.N) stop-smoking drug Chantix can lead to a small increase in cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks for patients who already have cardiovascular disease, U.S. drug regulators said on Thursday. The Food and Drug Administration is changing the label for Chantix after reviewing the results of a clinical trial. An independent randomized trial of 700 smokers with cardiovascular disease who were treated with Chantix or a placebo showed that Chantix was effective in helping paients quit smoking for as long as one year.
Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) called Wednesday on the U.S. House floor for an end to the 40-year war on drugs, which Cohen said had spent trillions of dollars to incarcerate millions of people for non-violent crimes. “Now don’t get the wrong impression; I’m not suggesting that drug abuse and drug addiction is not a great problem that we must deal with,” he said.