January 25, 2010

Smoke 'Em If You've Got 'Em

1 Government Frowns on Marijuana Research

The Drug Enforcement Administration is keeping at least one researcher from growing marijuana for research purposes. Lyle E. Cracker of the University of Massachusetts has been trying to get permission to grow marijuana for nine years but has been denied, even though a DEA judge ruled back in 2007 that he should be able to perform his research. Marijuana is the only drug the government completely controls the supply of, and even though the Obama administration has said the DEA shouldn't focus on busting up marijuana operations in states where medical marijuana is legal, it doesn't seem to be loosening its grip on the supply. That's bad news for advocates of medical marijuana, because so far there have been no good studies to show that it's more effective than other drugs for pain control.

More at New York Times | Posted 8 years ago by Sarah E. White

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

Pepper May Be Problem

2 More Than a Million Pounds of Salami Recalled

Daniele, Inc., has announced a recall of 1.24 million pounds of pepper-coated salami amid fears the product is contaminated with salmonella. The United States Department of Agriculture found one sample of the company's products to be tainted with salmonella, and the company says it thinks the pepper used to coat the meat could be the culprit. It has recalled all of its products containing pepper sold under various brands, including Boar's Head. The product was being tested in an effort to find what's been infecting people with the Montevideo strain of salmonella since July 2009. From that time through earlier this month, 184 people from 34 states have reportedly contracted that strain, 11 of whom were reported to have consumed salame products from a Daniele Italian Brand Gourmet Pack.

More at Reuters | Posted 8 years ago by Sarah E. White

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (44%) / No! (56%)

Delivery Big War Cost

3 Billions Spent to Feed Troops

One of the big rather hidden costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is the price of moving food into the war zones. The Defense Logistics Agency is looking for a company to deliver more than $10 billion in food, and the need is pretty specialized: the company "must be capable of supplying all chilled products, semi-perishable food stuffs, frozen fish, meat and poultry, other frozen foods (fruits, vegetables, prepared foods, etc.), dairy and ice cream products, fresh and frozen bakery products, beverage base & juices (for dispensers), beverages & juices (nondispenser), fresh fruits and vegetables" to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan. They'll also need to move and distribute government-provided food products and provide their own security to ensure the food gets where it needs to go.

More at Washington Post | Posted 8 years ago by Sarah E. White

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

Medical Grade Terrorism

4 Ingredient in Botox Sought by Terrorists

The key ingredient in Botox could become a new terrorism weapon, according to US officials. Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A, when purified, neutralized and diluted, is used to treat various ailments such as migraine headaches, muscle spasms and strabismus and is, of course, widely used as an anti-wrinkle drug. While Botox itself is not toxic, a tiny amount of pure botulinum toxin is potent enough to kill an adult. Al Queda and other terrorist groups are known to have sought botulinum toxin. US officials point to a surging black market for the drug and say they believe illegal factories used to manufacture botulinum toxin might exist in Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East, although no factories have yet been found.

More at The Washington Post | Posted 8 years ago by Melody Lesser

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Know Your Calorie Counts

5 Menu Labeling Leads to Wiser Food Choices

Parents who are aware of the amount of calories in certain foods make smarter meal choices for their children, according to a new study from the Seattle Children’s Research Institute. In the study, parents were asked to choose a hypothetical fast food meal for their children from a menu that clearly showed calorie counts of the menu items. On average, parents chose a meal containing 102 fewer calories than had the menu not been labeled. This new research indicates that parents, when armed with nutritional information, make smarter food choices for their families. "Even modest calorie adjustments on a regular basis can avert weight gain and lead to better health over time," said Dr. Pooja S. Tandon, who led the study.

More at EurekAlert | Posted 8 years ago by Melody Lesser

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (44%) / No! (56%)

Hello Carbon Monoxide

6 Traffic May Endanger Heart Health

Spending as little as a couple of hours in traffic may endanger one’s health, according to a new Environmental Protection Agency study. Inhaling ultrafine particulate from engine combustion can change one’s heart rhythm and increase the risk of serious cardiac events, found the research team that checked the hearts of 19 healthy 18 to 35 year old volunteers who were exposed to concentrated levels of ambient ultrafine particles. While the study found changes in the volunteers’ heart rhythms, no changes were found in their lungs or respiratory passages. Additional studies are underway.

More at Taragana.com | Posted 8 years ago by Melody Lesser

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (47%) / No! (53%)

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