FDA

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During the George W. Bush Administration, one of the prime examples of politics trumping science was the FDA’s refusal to approve the emergency contraceptive Plan B (levonorgestrel) for over-the-counter sale without age restrictions. Now, during the Barack Obama Administration, history seems to be repeating itself.

In Germany, 17 people have died and more than 1,500 sickened by a particularly virulent strain of E. coli. Der Spiegel explains that this rare E. coli serotype, O104:H4, is especially virulent; after infection by as few as 100 bacteria, many patients develop hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can result in kidney failure and even death.…

We’re hearing a lot of rhetoric about the need to slash government spending, so it’s a good time to remind everyone that there’s no such thing as a free lunch – and if you think you’re getting a free lunch, it might be loaded with pathogens. Maryn McKenna, writing at Superbug about a New England…

Here at George Washington University this morning, Department of Health and Human Services officials unveiled a new strategy aimed at preventing new smoking habits and helping current smokers quit. One major component is the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed rule requiring that all cigarette packages and advertising include one of nine health warnings (which will…

The Iowa-based company Wright County Egg is recalling 380 million eggs, which were sold to distributors and wholesalers in 22 states and Mexico, due to concerns about salmonella contamination. The eggs have been sold under several different brand names, so if you’ve got eggs in your fridge you can check FDA’s page for info. Salmonella-infected…

By Elizabeth Grossman In mid-June most of the seafood shacks along the bayou roads between New Orleans and Grand Isle were closed. A seafood market that I stopped by on the western edge of New Orleans was virtually devoid of customers despite bins brimming with bright blue crab and tawny shrimp. Business was so slim…

The ScienceBlogs Book Club continues the discussion on Mark Pendergrast’s Inside the Outbreaks: The Elite Medical Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service. In my post this week, I look at how Congress influences federal agencies’ work on public health – an issue that crops up throughout the book. Here’s an excerpt: Congress’s creation of federal…