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FDA removes breast cancer indication for Avastin

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ruled to remove the breast cancer indication for Avastin (bevacizumab) because the drug has not proved safe and effective in studies among patients with breast cancer. The drug itself is not being removed from the market, and the FDA’s action will not immediately impact its use in treating breast cancer. The action also will not affect the approvals already in place for the drug in the treatment of colon, kidney, brain and lung cancers. The FDA recommendation is based on the results of four clinical studies of Avastin in women with breast cancer. ... Read More

Florida Beach Walk images aim to swap beauty for BP in public’s mind

Florida residents have photographed nearly every mile of the state’s 825 miles of beaches, part of a campaign launched by Florida’s tourism officials to show the world that its beaches are as clean and beautiful as they were before BP’s disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The results of the “Beach Walk” campaign, heralded by Florida as the largest beach walk of its kind in the world, are now visible on the state’s tourism website The interactive 4,500-image gallery consists of a state map with clickable miles along the coast. Clicking on a mile reveals a small ... Read More

Fifteen symptoms of Darvocet withdrawal

Hundreds of millions of people have taken the prescription painkillers Darvocet (propoxyphene / acetaminophen) and Darvon (propoxyphene only) since 1957, when the federal government first approved it for use to fight cases of mild to moderate pain. In fact, approximately 10 million Americans were taking the drugs when the FDA banned them last month for their potential to cause fatal heart problems, leaving doctors and patients seeking alternatives. If you are one of the many patients who have been taking Darvocet or one of its generic equivalents, whether for weeks, months, or years, you may experience withdrawal symptoms when you ... Read More

Two years after spill EPA unsure how to classify toxic coal ash

Two years after an impoundment pond containing toxic coal ash at a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) fossil fuel plant broke, spilling a billion gallons of sludge onto 300 acres of rural east Tennessee, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) still isn’t sure whether to recommend that coal ash be classified as a hazardous material. Shortly after the spill, the agency was charged with recommending a classification for the material as part of a federal investigation into the environmental disaster. More than 400 people have filed a total of 55 lawsuits against the TVA. Several hundred more people are said to be ... Read More

BBB warns parents to monitor children’s Santa websites

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning the public to keep an eye on the Santa Claus websites their children are visiting as some may not have the best interest of the children or their families in mind. More than 60 domain names have been registered in the name of “Santa Claus,” and each offers children a wide range of opportunities to tell Santa that they have not been naughty this year. The BBB Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) is advising parents, before they allow their children to share personal information with a “Letter to Santa” site, to carefully review ... Read More

FMCSA closes busing company over serious safety violations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered a Pennsylvania-based commercial busing company to cease its operations entirely over serious violations uncovered by a comprehensive safety compliance review. Authorities found RLT Tours of Lake Pond, Pennsylvania, in violation of multiple safety regulations, including hours-of-service requirements, mandatory insurance requirements, vehicle maintenance standards, and compliance with drug and alcohol testing. While the vast majority of bus charter companies takes safety seriously, every now and then inspections turn up a company that operates with little regard for the law and the safety of its passengers, its drivers, and other motorists. Too often, ... Read More

Kroger recalling pet foods due to mold

The Kroger Co. announced today it is recalling select packages of pet food sold in some of its retail stores because the product may contain aflatoxin, which poses a health risk to pets. The recall includes products sold in Kroger stores in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. ... Read More

Panel recommends FDA re-examine ruling on safety of mercury fillings

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel has recommended that the agency re-examine all relevant evidence that mercury-containing dental fillings, known as dental amalgams, are safe and do not put people at risk for mercury poisoning. In 2009, the FDA ruled the fillings were safe, but the panel recommended that the agency look at “not just certain studies, but all scientifically sound studies.” During a two-day meeting with the panel, consumer and dental groups argued that the FDA had based its ruling on flawed and insufficient data. They claim there is compelling evidence that the fillings may be toxic ... Read More

FDA working to develop registry for medical devices

When medical devices are recalled by the manufacturer, often times the news never reaches the patients who received the defective devices. Or it arrives too late. Richard Stone, 49, of Palm Beach, Fla., was in constant pain since receiving an artificial hip. It took months for doctors to discover that a piece of metal on the implant had broken and was scraping the inside of his femur. But it wasn’t until sometime after Stone’s surgery to replace the broken part that doctors realized that several batches of the same hip replacement system had been recalled months earlier because of similar ... Read More

New Compliance Safety Accountability model goes nationwide

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) this week announced it had taken a major step toward improving commercial truck and bus safety with the launch of its Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) program nationwide. FMCSA first launched a field test of CSA in Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, and New Jersey in February 2008. Last year, the agency added Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, and Montana to the test group. The program was then modified according to testing results and feedback provided by industry partners. The goal of the CSA (or CSA 2010 as it is commonly called) operational model is to reduce commercial ... Read More