EJToday: Top Headlines
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"The CIA organised a fake vaccination programme in the town where it believed Osama bin Laden was hiding in an elaborate attempt to obtain DNA from the fugitive al-Qaida leader's family, a Guardian investigation has found." The ploy may have damaged the confidence of the Pakistani public in vaccine programs -- at a time when vaccinations against diseases like polio are needed.
"The terrifying E. coli outbreak in Europe appears to have been caused by vegetable sprouts grown on an organic farm in Germany, an agriculture official said Sunday as the toll climbed to at least 22 dead and more than 2,200 sickened."
"The bacterium that has killed more than a dozen Europeans, sickened nearly 2,000 more and raised international alarms would be legal if it were found on meat or poultry in the United States."
"The foodborne bacterial outbreak that has hit Germany and other European nations is unlike anything Western experts have seen: 16 dead and more than 1,000 sick, including nearly 400 suffering severe and potentially fatal symptoms. But several days into the health threat, scientists remain unsure what produce — and what country — is responsible."
"Budget cuts proposed by House Republicans to the Food and Drug Administration would undermine the agency’s ability to carry out a historic food-safety law passed by Congress just five months ago, food safety advocates say."
"Several environmental and public health groups filed suit against the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday to try to force the government to stop farmers from routinely adding antibiotics to livestock feed to help animals grow faster."
"Of the food pathogens that cost society the most money — in terms of medical care, lost days of work, long-term chronic health problems or deaths — half are found in poultry, pork, beef and other meat products, according to a study due for release Thursday."
If Robert Lustig is right, in a lecture that has gone viral on YouTube, "then our excessive consumption of sugar is the primary reason that the numbers of obese and diabetic Americans have skyrocketed in the past 30 years. But his argument implies more than that. If Lustig is right, it would mean that sugar is also the likely dietary cause of several other chronic ailments widely considered to be diseases of Western lifestyles — heart disease, hypertension and many common cancers among them."
"Maryland's health secretary said Friday that his department's laboratory has destroyed test results dating to the 1980s documenting lead poisoning of Maryland children - potentially thousands of records that plaintiffs' lawyers say are crucial to pursuing lawsuits seeking damages on behalf of poisoned children and their families."
The mysterious "sudden aspen decline" that is decimating many western forests also seems responsible for a spike in deer mouse populations that is hastening spread of the sin nombre virus, a still-rare hantavirus that kills some 40 % of the humans it infects.
NDM-1, a gene that gives most gram-negative bacteria a resistance to almost all drugs used to treat them, has been spreading across the globe rapidly since it was discovered in 2008. It has been found in hospital-acquired infections in the U.S. It is bad news.
"At the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, the justices heard arguments in a case that drug manufacturers say could open the floodgates to thousands of lawsuits — mainly from parents who contend that vaccinations caused their children's autism. At issue is how far a federal law reaches in barring state lawsuits over vaccines."
"More than 2 million cases of malaria are expected in Pakistan in the coming months in the wake of the country's devastating floods, aid workers have warned."
"A Colorado grandmother hospitalized for five days after eating an appetizer made with salmonella-tainted eggs urged Congress to pass food safety laws that might have prevented her suffering."