The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandate to protect public health includes assuring the safety of the food supply. But according to the agency’s own database, 93 percent of food additives do not have reproductive or developmental toxicity data.
Many food additives can have dire health consequences, according to the web site Global Research. Continue reading
In an effort to avert lawsuits filed over injuries attributed to its InFuse bone growth device, device maker, Medtronic Inc., has tried to convince courts that the federal preemption clause of the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act preempts the lawsuits.
Recently, a split 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the plaintiff’s arguments that her injury claims were not preempted. The dissenting judge on the three-judge panel noted that the majority opinion discarded state claims protecting citizens against adulterated medical devices in the marketplace under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which was actually supposed to “promote the safety of medical devices through honest labeling and promotion.” Judge Carlos F. Lucero found that the majority was wrong in finding that Medtronic’s misrepresentations to the plaintiff, her doctor and others, were irrelevant. Judge Lucero said the plaintiff “incorporated allegations, supported by facts, that Medtronic misbranded Infuse in violation of federal law because it sold InFuse for an intended use not approved by the FDA. This would render its labeling no longer necessarily “adequate” under federal law. The other two judges held that Medtronic’s actions were preempted by federal law, but Judge Lucero found that federal law offered no protection to a manufacturer who promoted its product outside of that law. Those types of acts were always in violation of state law and were parallel with existing Oklahoma law, which is where the original action had been brought. In another Medtronic case, Medtronic v. Lohr, 518 U.S. 470 (1996), the United States Supreme Court held that parallel claims such as these are not preempted under federal law. Continue reading
The tragic death of a 21-year-old college student in the U.K. highlights the dangers of buying quick-fix weight loss products online and raises further concerns about the lax regulations surrounding the supplement industry. CBS News reports that Eloise Aimee Parry died on April 12, 2015, hours after taking tablets believed to contain a “highly toxic and very dangerous” substance known as dinitrophenol (DNP).
DNP causes extreme spikes in metabolism, resulting in hyperthermia, rapid breathing and heartbeat, cardiovacular collapse and death. Eloise’s mother, Fiona Parry, stated “She was literally burning up from within,” according to CBS News. Over the past several decades, DNP has been linked to at least 62 deaths. Continue reading
Queseria La Poblanita Queso Fresco Cheese Recalled Due to Possible Staphylococcus Aureus Contamination
On Monday, New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball warned consumers not to eat La Clarita Queseria Queso Fresco “Fresh Cheese,” due to possible Staphylococcus aureus contamination.
The cheese is made by Queseria La Poblanita, Inc., 216 E. 117th St., New York, NY. The Department of Agriculture and Markets said that to date it knows of no illnesses are with this product. Continue reading
On Tuesday, Oklahoma’s government acknowledged that earthquakes throughout the state have mostly been caused by wastewater-injection wells, which are often used to dispose of fracking waste products. The New York Times reports that previously, the state government has hesitated to embrace the association between drilling and seismic activity. Now, a new website introduced by the state’s energy and environment cabinet details evidence showing that drilling has contributed to the rising number of earthquakes in the state. In addition to providing links to expert studies, the website features an interactive map showing the location of active wastewater-injection wells and earthquake sites.
NYT reports that the state-run Oklahoma Geological Survey released a statement that “considers it very likely” that most of the earthquakes in the state are caused by wastewater wells; the website agrees with this statement. The statement also pointed out that seismic activity “is occurring over a large area, about 15 percent of the area of Oklahoma, that has experienced significant increase in wastewater disposal volumes over the last several years.” Continue reading
Trek Bicycle Corp is recalling about 900,000 bicycles in the United States and 98,000 in Canada due to a crash hazard. The recall was prompted by reports of three injuries, including one rider who was paralyzed. The recall includes models that have front disc brakes from model years 2000 through 2015 and a black or silver quick release lever on the front wheel hub that opens far enough to touch the disc brake. Models with front quick release levers that do not open a full 180 degrees are not affected by the recall.
The CPSC alert said the issue is that “An open quick release lever on the bicycle’s front wheel hub can come into contact with the front disc brake assembly, causing the front wheel to come to a sudden stop or separate from the bicycle, posing a risk of injury to the rider.” Trek Bicycle Corp. reported three incidents, all of which resulted in injuries, related to the issue. One rider became a quadriplegic. The other cases included a fractured wrist and facial injuries. Continue reading
Though the acting head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Monday that the agency is moving “full speed ahead” with its efforts to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, on Friday, it will be a year since the FDA proposed regulating the devices.
Dr. Stephen Ostroff said strengthening tobacco regulations is one of his top priorities. The FDA originally suggested regulating e-cigarettes four years ago, but did not formally propose rules until April 2014, according to the web site The Hill. Under the proposed regulations, e-cigarettes could not be sold to anyone under the age of 18, but the proposal does not address e-cigarette marketing or advertisements that appeal to children. Public health advocates hope the final rule will address these concerns. Continue reading
Blue Bell Creameries has voluntarily recalled all of its products due to a listeria outbreak, which has been linked to five infections, including three deaths. The New York Times reports that Blue Bell, which distributes frozen deserts to about half the country, discovered last month that two half-gallon containers of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. Infection with listeria bacteria, which can be found in raw milk, can be dangerous in pregnant women, children, the elderly and other with compromised immune systems.
On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the source of the outbreak stems from plants in Texas and Oklahoma. A total of five adults in Kansas were infected, and three of them died. These individuals were hospitalized for unrelated conditions and appear to have been ill from January 2014 through January 2015, according to the CDC. Four of the five patients were exposed to listeria through milkshakes at the hospital made with a Blue Bell ice cream called Scoops and other products made at Blue Bell’s plant in Brenham, Texas. Continue reading
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s annual youth tobacco survey shows that e-cigarette use among middle school and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014.
Thirteen percent of high school students use the devices, more than smoke traditional cigarettes, the New York Times reports. About a quarter of the country’s high school students and 8 percent of middle school students (4.6 million total) used tobacco in some form last year. Four hundred thousand more young people used a tobacco product last year. This increase was the first in many years, and is attributed in part to the increased use of e-cigarettes and hookah pipes. Continue reading