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Basil seeds contaminated with Salmonella


L.A. Lucky Import & Export Inc., is recalling its L.A. Lucky Brand Basil Seeds in 2.1-ounce packages because laboratory testing found Salmonella in packets of the product. Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and those with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals who become infected with salmonella often experience symptoms such as fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., ... Read More

Do acid-reducing PPIs cause kidney damage?

PPI, kidney, chart - Shutterstock

Kaiser Health News reports on the growing body of research that has linked acid-reducing proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to kidney damage. Some popular brand names include Prevacid, Nexium and Prilosec. Particularly concerning were two very large studies published last year including data from hundreds of thousands of patients taking prescription PPIs. Kaiser Health News noted that these types of observational studies, as opposed to clinical trials, suggest associations, but were not designed to prove cause and effect. Both of these studies compared PPI users to those taking another type of heartburn medication, H2 blockers, which include Pepcid, Tagamet and Zantac. ... Read More

Heart device controller recalled after injury, death reports


Abbott-Thoratec is recalling the Pocket System Controller, a power supply that connects to its implanted HeartMate II LVAS pump through a lead under the skin, after receiving a total of 70 reports of incidents in which its heart device controller had malfunctioned including 19 injuries and 26 deaths. The controller helps power the LVAS system, a mechanical device that circulates blood throughout the body when the heart is too weak to pump blood adequately on its own. The controller is powered by batteries or connected to a main power supply. The HeartMate II LVAS Pocket System Controller is intended for ... Read More

AAP: take fruit juice off the table for babies

baby with bottle - FDA image

Fruit juice offers no nutritional benefit compared to whole fruit for infants and children, and should not be consumed by children younger than 1, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said in a policy statement. Additionally, the AAP warned fruit juice could pave the way for tooth decay and weight gain in babies. However, 100 percent fresh or reconstituted fruit juice can be healthy if it is part of a child’s well-balanced diet for children older than 1, the AAP said. The statement, published in the journal Pediatric, is the first change in recommendations on fruit juice consumption for children and ... Read More

Woman says Physiomesh stretched, hernia recurred


A Canada woman says the Physiomesh hernia repair mesh used to repair her hernia”stretched out,” resulting in her hernia recurring, more painful than before. Colleen Copeland is a 34-year-old Canadian who had hernia surgery in February 2016. Doctors repaired the hole in her abdomen left after the surgery with plastic hernia mesh, called Physiomesh, made by Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. She says the mesh has since stretched, leaving her in excruciating pain. “The pain is always there. It feels like my insides are going to explode,” Copland told CTV News. “If I cough or sneeze I have to hold my stomach. It is a ... Read More

MRI contrast agent not a risk FDA says


Gadolinium-based contrast Agents (GBCAs) used during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may leave deposits of gadolinium, a type of heavy metal, in the brain and other body tissues, but there is no evidence that gadolinium retention in the brain from any of the GBCAs is harmful, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in a Safety Communication. As a result, the agency said there is no evidence to suggest the use of GBCA should be restricted at this time. “We will continue to assess the safety of GBCAs and plan to have a public meeting to discuss this issue in the ... Read More

Father of Worker Killed in Louisiana Packaging Facility Explosion Files Lawsuit


Three workers were killed and several more were injured in an explosion at a Louisiana packaging facility two months ago. Joe Gooch, the father of one of the victims, has filed a lawsuit over his son’s death, KFDM News reports. The lawsuit has been filed against Packaging Corporation of America (PCA), where Jody Gooch was killed during an explosion ignited by “hot work” performed on a containment vessel. Combustible byproducts were still present in the tank, emanating flammable vapors, while a worker was welding on or near the vessel. The case also includes Elite Industrial Services of Pasadena, Jody’s employer at the time. “We ... Read More

False Claims Act Complaint Against DynCorp Over Iraq Billing Fraud Stands

whistleblower USA

Government contractor DynCorp International will have to face the bulk of allegations made in a False Claims Act lawsuit that accuses the company and a subcontractor of grossly and fraudulently overcharging the U.S. Department of State for security work performed in Iraq. While most False Act Claim lawsuits are filed by private parties under the Act’s whistleblower provisions, the complaint against DynCorp was initiated by the U.S government. Federal Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle in Washington D.C. trimmed some claims from the government’s $135 million complaint but allowed the bulk of them to move forward, Law360 reported. Judge Huvelle said May ... Read More

Holiday toys recalled; coin cell batteries pose hazard

Recall - toys, spinner, Easter, light up, Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), has issued a recall for certain holiday themed toys. The coin cell batteries inside the light-up spinning toy may become detached, posing an ingestion and choking hazard to young children. Hobby Lobby has received one report of a 14-month-old child who ingested a battery. The child was x-rayed and the battery passed through. The holiday themed toys feature a plastic handle and dome, and were sold in two designs, one for Easter and the other for Independence Day (July 4). The Easter-themed toys are either blue with a ... Read More

Pfizer seeks to expand Viagra sales to over-the-counter

Viagra single pack

According to the Pharmaceutical Journal, Pfizer, the manufacturer of erectile dysfunction (ED) drug Viagra (sildenafil) has set its sights on having the drug, which has been prescribed for more than 64 million men worldwide, available over-the-counter as well. Ten years ago Pfizer applied to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for non-prescription status of Viagra, but the agency had concerns that in bypassing the need for a prescription from a general practitioner (GP), men whose symptoms would have led to diagnosis of cardiovascular disease might self-diagnose and treat ED symptoms over-the-counter, missing the underlying more serious disease. The agency also expressed ... Read More