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Big Tobacco Sues FDA Over New Packaging Guidelines

big tobaccoThe nation's largest tobacco companies are suing the Food and Drug Administration over recent guidelines that they claim overstep the agency's authority over labeling and packaging for cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Units of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Altria Group Inc. and Lorillard Tobacco filed the lawsuit Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, claiming the FDA's guidance infringes on their commercial speech.


American Research University Intentionally Infected Orphans, Soldiers and Inmates With STDs, Lawsuit Alleges

Johns Hopkins University Johns Hopkins University intentionally infected Guatemalan orphans, soldiers and inmates with sexually transmitted diseases, 774 people claim, seeking $1 billion for the "crime against humanity."

Johns Hopkins researchers chose Guatemala as the site for its penicillin-based human experiments in the 1940s and 1950s because U.S. relations with the country were amicable and the militaries of both counties could "ensure secrecy and access to vulnerable, captive populations ... many drawn for socio-economically disadvantaged indigenous groups," the April 1 complaint states.


The dangerous Medicare loophole of 'observation status'

Medicare loopholeOn the morning of Sept. 23, 2014, Caroline Giada woke up in her home in coastal New Jersey. She rose from bed, walked over to the bathroom and fainted, hitting her back on the sink cabinet on the way down. When she came to, she couldn’t move. So she called 911.

The 76-year-old was taken to the emergency room, where the attending nurses looked her over and booked her into a bed. Over the next six days, she was given every kind of test imaginable: X-rays, electrocardiogram, CT scan, ultrasound, MRI. Nurses came and went. So did doctors. Finally, a week later, the problem was uncovered: a fracture in the L5 segment of Giada’s lower spine. They called in a specialist, but he said he couldn’t operate until the following Thursday.

Then the hospital kicked her out.


Influence Game: Meat industry fights new dietary proposal

Meat industry fights adviceThe meat industry is seeing red.  Meat companies have tried to rehabilitate an image tarnished in recent years by health and environmental concerns. Now the industry is swiftly and aggressively working to discredit a proposal for new dietary guidelines that recommends people eat less red and processed meat.

The proposal last month by a government advisory committee also relegates the health benefits of lean meat to a footnote to the main recommendations.


American Academy of Pediatrics says medical marijuana could be good for some kids

medical marijuanaThe American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which has the largest pediatric publishing program in the world, recommends decriminalizing marijuana and says it could be good for some kids in a new policy statement.

"The AAP opposes 'medical marijuana' outside the regulatory process of the US Food and Drug Administration," says the new statement. However, it recognizes certain situations could be benefitted by marijuana.


Antibiotic breakthrough could turn the tables in battle against superbugs

Antibiotic breakthroughScientists have discovered a new class of antibiotic using a revolutionary procedure hailed as a game changer in the hunt for medicines to fight drug-resistant infections. The antibiotic, called teixobactin, kills a wide range of drug-resistant bacteria, including MRSA and bugs that cause TB and a host of other life-threatening infections.

It could become a powerful weapon in the battle against antimicrobial resistance, because it kills microbes by blocking their capacity to build their cell walls, making it extremely difficult for bacteria to evolve resistance.


That Takeout Coffee Cup May Be Messing With Your Hormones

BPA free plastic also toxicMost people know that some plastics additives, such as bisphenol A (BPA), may be harmful to their health. But an upcoming study in the journal Environmental Health finds that entire classes of plastics—including the type commonly referred to as styrofoam and a type used in many baby products—may wreak havoc on your hormones regardless of what additives are in them.

The study's authors tested 14 different BPA-free plastic resins, the raw materials used to make plastic products, and found that four of them released chemicals that mimic the female hormone estrogen. That's not surprising.


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