July 5, 2011

Blame It on Budget Cuts

1 US May Stop Screening Veg for Deadly E. Coli

The House approved a bill that would end funding for the Microbiological Data Program (MDP) that routinely tests samples of fruits and vegetables for pathogens including salmonella and E.coli. Detractors say there are similar screening programs in place and call it duplicative in this era of necessary budget cuts. Defenders say other programs do not test fruits and vegetables to the same degree and cite the MDP as the only one to test for non-O157 strains of E. coli including the one that recently killed more than 40 and sickened 4100 in Europe. Dropping the MDP "may serve the interests of agribusiness, but it's a serious disservice to consumers and public health," says Ken Cook, president, Environmental Working Group, a consumer advocacy organization.

More at HealthKey.com | Posted 6 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: What You Need to Know About E. Coli

Tags: E. Coli, Environmental Working Group, Fruits, Vegetables, Government Screening for E. Coli, Microbiological Data Program, Ken Cook, Budget Cuts May Eliminate E. Coli Screening Program, Deadly Strain of E. Coli

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

Average Instead of Range?

2 Restaurants Want Flexible Menu Labeling

The restaurant industry wants more flexibility from the FDA when it comes to displaying calories counts on menus, reports Los Angeles Times. Instead of including a whole range of calories for different meal options like burgers that can be customized, restaurants would prefer to post just the average of possible calorie counts. The new FDA rules would also require pizza chains to inform customers of the calories in an entire pizza, even the large size. Pizza chains would prefer to post calories by the slice. Restaurant organizations would also like for the FDA to delay implementing the rules a year after they're finalized instead of the six months proposed.

More at Los Angeles Times | Posted 6 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Menu Labeling, National Restaurant Association, Calorie on Menu, New Menu Laws, Nutrition Info on Menu

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (51%) / No! (49%)

Betcha Can't Eat Just One

3 Winners Crowned in Hot Dog Eating Contest

Twenty-seven year old engineering student Joey Chestnut has won Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island for the fifth straight year. To win, the 220-pound California man had to down 62 hot dogs in 10 minutes. For this amazing achievement, he wins a mustard-yellow champion belt and a check for $10,000. Holding a bottle of Pepto-Bismol, he declared that his next task of the day would be a nap. The winner of the women’s division was Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas, a 42-year-old, 105-pound Virginia woman who ate 40 hot dogs – one shy of her personal record. She also won $10,000 and a trophy to display. The annual hot-dog eating contest has been held each July 4th since 1916, the year Nathan Handwerker opened his legendary restaurant.

More at Reuters/My Victoria Online | Hat tip to Nathan's Famous | Posted 6 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Barred Hot Dog Champ Competes via Satellite

Tags: Eating Contests, Hot Dog Eating Contest, Hot Dog

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (49%) / No! (51%)

Suspect First Trimester Exposure

4 SSRI Antidepressants May Up ASD Risk in Utero

A new study has found that 6.7 percent of 298 women with children who have autism spectrum disorder and 3.3 percent 1,507 women with healthy children received a prescription for an antidepressant a year before their child was born. Of the antidepressants prescribed in the ASD group, 65 percent were selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors compared to 50 percent in the control group. After accounting for other factors, the chance women with kids who have ASD had one or more prescriptions the year before giving birth was twice that of moms whose kids did not. A mother’s mental health status had no link to their kids’ risk of ASD and researchers hypothesize that in utero exposure to antidepressants, particularly SSRIs, in the first trimester of pregnancy may increase the risk.

More at Science Daily | Posted 6 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Twin Studies Show Womb May Affect Autism Risk, Autism Risk Raised by Living Near Highway

Tags: Autism, Autism Risk Factors, Autism Spectrum Disorders, SSRIs, In Utero Exposure to Antidepressants, Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy, Selective Serotonin Re-Uptake Inhibitors, SSRIs Use in Pregnant Women and Autism Risk in Kids, ASDs

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