Food Safety Updates, July 9

July 9, 2010 by  
Filed under HEALTHCARE

California Assembly passes bill banning BPA in baby bottles
The anti-BPA movement has gained another victory. The Toxin-Free Babies and Toddlers Act passed the California State Assembly earlier this week. The act would ban the ban the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles, baby formula packaging and other baby feeding products for children 3 years old and younger.
“BPA has been linked with health problems such as infertility, autism, asthma, hyperactivity and breast cancer. In January, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reversed its long-held position that BPA posed no concern, calling for more studies of the artificial hormone that often is used in shatter-proof plastic baby bottles, sippy cups and linings of cans, including those containing baby formula.”

Melamine limits set by world food group
Another nasty in the food industry – melamine – is also under scrutiny. Like BPA, melamine is also used in plastic manufacturing and was responsible for deaths and illnesses in Chinese babies a couple of years ago after drinking melamine-tainted power milk products. A recent meeting on food safety in Geneva has finally set the limits for melamine contamination in food products. The new limits for melamine is 2.5 mg per kg with some exceptions, e.g. 1 mg per kg in baby formulas,  equivalent to the U.S. limit of one part per million.

NOAA, FDA, and Gulf Coast State Officials Affirm Commitment to Ensuring Safety of Gulf Coast Seafood
And what about the safety of the seafood coming from the Gulf of Mexico? Several government agencies in the US are working together to address the issue.
According to Eric Schwaab, Assistant Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service:

“No single agency could adequately ensure the safety of seafood coming from the Gulf following this tragedy, but in working together, we can be sure that tainted waters are closed as appropriate, contaminated seafood is not allowed to make it to market, and that closed waters can be reopened to fishing as soon as is safe.”

FDA: New Final Rule to Ensure Egg Safety, Reduce Salmonella Illnesses Goes Into Effect
The new safety requirements set by the US FDA to prevent Salmonella contamination of eggs took effect today, July 9. The requirements include appropriate storage, refrigeration and transportation of the eggs.
“Egg-associated illness caused by Salmonella is a serious public health problem. Infected individuals may suffer mild to severe gastrointestinal illness, short-term or chronic arthritis, or even death. Implementing the preventive measures would reduce the number of Salmonella enteritidis infections from eggs by nearly 60 percent.
Salmonella enteritidis can be found inside eggs that appear normal. If the eggs are eaten raw or undercooked, the bacterium can cause illness. Eggs in the shell become contaminated on the farm, primarily because of infection in the laying hens.”

News from the cancer side, February 27

February 27, 2009 by  
Filed under CANCER

Friday morning, time for your weekend cancer news round up.

News from the legislators

Medical research scores big in US stimulus bill
There have been fears that medical and scientific research will suffer setbacks due to the recession. It seems that the stimulus package set up by the new US administration has allayed some of these fears. This is partly thanks to Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvsania, a moderate Republican and cancer survivor who proposed an extra $10 billion for the National Institutes for Health (NIH) over the next two years. “The stimulus package is a singular event in the history of science funding,” says John Marburger, former presidential science adviser and head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy under George W. Bush.

News from the pharma industry

Merck Hopes To Extend Gardasil Vaccine to Men
Gardasil is the vaccine that protects women from the strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) that could eventually lead to about 70% of cervical cancers. In men, HPV can also cause genital cancers. The manufacturer of Gardasil, Merck, has been testing the vaccine also in men and reports 90% efficacy. The next challenge is to convince the health authorities and the male population that the vaccine is necessary.

News from the advocacy groups

Gwyneth Paltrow, Courteney Cox Honored At 14th Annual Saks Fifth Avenue’s Unforgettable Evening Benefiting Eif’s Women’s Cancer Research Fund
Gwyneth Paltrow and Courteney Cox were the honorees at the annual Saks Fifth Avenue’s Unforgettable Evening, an event benefiting the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Women’s Cancer Research Fund (EIF’s WCRF). This is the 14th anniversary of the event. Cox received the Nat King Cole Award for her work with people battling cancer. Paltrow received the Courage Award for her work on cancer prevention.

News from the funding agencies

Komen/ASCO Program Aims To Swell Ranks of Minority Oncologists
The largest breast cancer advocacy group Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) joined forces on an initiative that will hopefully combat the rather clear disparities in cancer care in the US. The ethnic gap have been reported before and is based largely on two issues: some ethic minorities have higher genetic predisposition to certain cancers, yet there are very few minority oncologists around that can help understand the social and cultural needs of minority patients. The $4 million dollar Onoclogy Initiative hopes to increase the number of minorities in the US oncology workforce, thereby helping close the ethnic gap.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.