From Eva von Schaper and Phil Serafino on Bloomberg.com:
“Italy and Switzerland halted sales of Novartis AG’s (NOVN) flu vaccines after the company informed Italian authorities of a buildup of particles in the shots. Novartis said the products are safe.
Novartis didn’t provide enough information for officials to know the exact makeup of the proteins found in the Agrippal and Fluad shots, or their impact on the quality and safety of the vaccine, Italy’s Health Ministry said in a statement today. There have been no reports of illness because of the particles, officials said.
The vaccines present “quality defects that are potentially dangerous for public health,” the ministry said. Italy’s medicines agency AIFA “has established the need for further tests regarding the quality and security” of the vaccines, according to an earlier statement from the ministry. Continue reading
By Stephanie Armour, Bloomberg News
Photo via Bloomberg News
“WASHINGTON — One sun-drenched August morning, armed officers wearing sunglasses and bullet-proof vests descended on a market in Venice, Calif., searching for illegally sold goods. It marked the end of a year-long investigation where undercover agents posed as customers.
Their target: raw, unpasteurized milk.
Federal regulators say it’s a dangerous and unnecessary public threat, pointing to 143 cases of contamination linked to still births, miscarriages and kidney failure since 1987, the latest involving five California children. Grassroots, back-to-nature consumers say the product strengthens the immune system by keeping intact good bacteria that’s killed in pasteurized milk. The choice should be theirs, the activists say. Continue reading
From Robert Langreth and Duane D. Stanford on Bloomberg.com
Image via Technoccult blog. Click to go there.
“Cupcakes may be addictive, just like cocaine.
A growing body of medical research at leading universities and government laboratories suggests that processed foods and sugary drinks made by the likes of PepsiCo Inc. and Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT)aren’t simply unhealthy. They can hijack the brain in ways that resemble addictions to cocaine, nicotine and other drugs.
“The data is so overwhelming the field has to accept it,” said Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “We are finding tremendous overlap between drugs in the brain and food in the brain.”
The idea that food may be addictive was barely on scientists’ radar a decade ago. Now the field is heating up. Lab studies have found sugary drinks and fatty foods can produce addictive behavior in animals. Brain scans of obese people and compulsive eaters, meanwhile, reveal disturbances in brain reward circuits similar to those experienced by drug abusers. Continue reading
From Stephan Dinan in the Washington Times:
Photo via Bloomberg News The FDA headquarters stand in Silver Spring, Maryland.
“A yearlong sting operation, including aliases, a 5 a.m. surprise inspection and surreptitious purchases from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania, culminated in the federal government announcing this week that it has gone to court to stop Rainbow Acres Farm from selling its contraband to willing customers in the Washington area. Continue reading