Tag Archives: Health

FDA slaps warning labels on tanning beds

FDA slaps warning labels on tanning beds

By Benjamin Goad, The Hill

Law stops short of restricting the use of the products to adults

tanning bed

The Food and Drug Administration moved Thursday to strengthen regulations on tanning beds and other sunlamp products linked to skin cancer, for the first time requiring that they carry labels declaring them unfit for anyone under 18 years of age.

The FDA’s final order stops short of restricting the use of the products to adults, but officials said additional actions remain on the table.

Under the order, the agency is reclassifying sunlamp products and certain ultraviolet lamps from low-risk to moderate-risk devices. The elevation means manufacturers will be required to obtained pre-clearance before marketing their products.

The FDA is also requiring a “prominent, visible” warning label on tanning beds and booths stating that they should not be used by people under 18, said Nancy Stade, deputy director for policy at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

“This reflects FDA’s medical judgment that it shouldn’t be used [by] individuals under 18,” Stade said. “It’s a very strong statement.”

She cited research from the American Academy of Dermatology, which found people who have been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning experience a 59 percent increase in the risk of melanoma.

Public health advocates heralded the FDA’s action as long overdue.

“Like the tobacco industry, tanning salons market an addictive product disproportionately to teenagers and young women, playing on common insecurities,” said Tim Turnham, executive director of the Melanoma Research Foundation.

According to the FDA, roughly a third of girls have tried indoor tanning by the 12th grade.

The American Cancer Society also cheered the move, lamenting that tanning beds were previously classified in the same risk category as tongue depressors.

“Because the tanning industry continues to disregard the harmful effects of its products, it is imperative that we protect public health and educate youth about the carcinogenic hazards of indoor tanning,” a statement from the society’s Cancer Action Network reads.

The new rules will take effect in 90 days for new tanning beds and sunlamps, but manufacturers of products already on the market will have 450 days to submit compliance plans.

Stade said the FDA has authority to take stronger action to altogether prohibit the use of sunlamps by teens or children.

“We’re certainly willing to consider other options we could take in the interest of the public health,” she said.

Who’s afraid of GMOs? Scare Stories and Fear

Who’s afraid of GMOs? Let’s serve up science without scare stories and eat without fear



It’s easy to scare people about what’s in their food, but the danger is almost never real. And the fear itself kills.

No GMOsTake the panic over genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Ninety percent of all corn grown in America is genetically modified now. That means it grew from a seed that scientists altered by playing with its genes. The new genes may make corn grow faster, or they may make it less appetizing to bugs so farmers can use fewer pesticides.

We didn’t even know what genes were when we first created new strains of plants and animals. There’s no reason to believe modern methods of altering genes are any more dangerous.

This upsets some people. GMOs are “unnatural,” they say. A scene from the movie “Seeds of Death” warns that eating GMOs “causes holes in the GI tract” and “causes multiple organ system failure.”

The restaurant chain Chipotle, which prides itself on using organic ingredients, produces videos suggesting that industrial agriculture is evil, including a comedic Web series called “Farmed and Dangerous” about an evil agricultural feed company that threatens to kill its opponents and whose products cause cows to explode.

Michael Hansen of Consumer Reports sounds almost as frightening when he talks about GMOs. On my Fox Business show, “Stossel,” he says, “It’s called insertional mutagenesis … you can’t control where you’re inserting that genetic information; it can have different effects depending on the location.”

Jon Entine of the Genetic Literacy Project responds: “We’ve eaten about 7 trillion meals in the 18 years since GMOs first came on the market. There’s not one documented instance of someone getting so much as a sniffle.”

Given all the fear from media and activists, you might be surprised to learn that most serious scientists agree with him. “There have been about 2,000 studies,” says Entine, and “there is no evidence of human harm in a major peer-reviewed journal.”

Researchers with Genetically Modified That might be enough to reassure people if they knew how widespread and familiar GMOs really are — but as long as they think of GMOs as something strange and new, they think more tests are needed, more warnings, more precaution.

Yet people don’t panic over ruby red grapefruits, which were first created in laboratories by bombarding strains of grapefruit with radiation. People don’t worry about corn and other crops bred in random varieties for centuries without farmers having any idea exactly what genetic changes occurred.

We didn’t even know what genes were when we first created new strains of plants and animals. There’s no reason to believe modern methods of altering genes are any more dangerous.

In fact, because they’re far more precise, they’re safer.

And since genetic modification can make crops more abundant and easier to grow, it makes food cheaper. That’s especially good for the poor. Another life-changer is a new strain of vitamin A-enriched rice that has the potential to decrease the frequency of blindness that now afflicts about a half-million people a year, mostly children.

But activists — who tend to be rich and well-fed — are pressuring countries in Asia and Africa into rejecting GMO rice.

Crusades against food are endless. First Lady Michelle Obama urges students to eat organic, even though that term has no real meaning in science besides “partly composed of carbon.”

My nonprofit for schoolteachers, Stossel in the Classroom, offers free videos that introduce students to economics. This year, we ran an essay contest inviting students to write on the topic “Food Nannies: Who Decides What You Eat?”

I was happy to see that many students understood that this debate is about more than safety. It’s really about freedom. Sixteen-year-old Caroline Clausen won $1,000 for her essay, which contained this sarcastic passage: “Congress shall have the power to regulate the mixing, baking, serving, labeling, selling and consumption of food. Did James Madison’s secretary forget to copy this provision into the Constitution?”

Rising generations will have more food options than ever before. They face less risk of starvation or disease than any humans who have ever lived. Let’s give them science instead of scare stories.
John Stossel joined Fox Business Network (FBN) in 2009. He is the host of “Stossel” (Thursdays at 9 PM/ET), a weekly program highlighting current consumer issues with a libertarian viewpoint. Stossel also appears regularly on Fox News Channel (FNC) providing signature analysis.

ObamaCare Premiums to Skyrocket

Obamacare Affordable Care Act
Affordable Care Act

Health industry officials say ObamaCare-related premiums will double in some parts of the country, countering claims recently made by the administration.

The expected rate hikes will be announced in the coming months amid an intense election year, when control of the Senate is up for grabs. The sticker shock would likely bolster the GOP’s prospects in November and hamper ObamaCare insurance enrollment efforts in 2015.  Read More:

Source: The Hill

Contributor: Joseph St. John

News Tracker:   US Politics

Company will provide medication for dying 7-year-old Josh Hardy

Josh Hardy

A pharmaceutical company that produces medication needed to save a dying 7-year-old boy will begin a pilot trial for the drug – with the child to be the program’s first patient beginning on Wednesday, the firm said Tuesday night.

The announcement comes after the company, Chimerix, faced intense media scrutiny after it reportedly denied the medication brincidofovir to Josh Hardy, a Fredericksburg, Va. boy who developed a bone marrow disorder as a result of his cancer treatments late last year.

Source: Fox News            Contributor: Joseph St. John
News Tracker:  Health