Carcinogen In Colas Has FDA Reviewing Data

Potential Carcinogen In Colas Has FDA Reviewing Data
January 23, 2014
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/01/23/265245172/potential-carcinogen-in-colas-has-fda-reviewing-data

A new study from Consumer Reports finds varying levels of a chemical compound classified as a possible human carcinogen in many popular brands of soda.

The findings have prompted the Food and Drug Administration to take a new look at the compound, 4-methylimidazole — or 4-MEI for short. It is found in the caramel color that soda makers use to dye the drinks brown.

Under California’s Prop 65, the chemical is included on a state list of substances that can cause cancer. An arm of the World Health Organization has classified 4-MEI as a possible carcinogen.

Testing by Consumer Reports found very low levels of 4-MEI in Coca-Cola, Coke Zero and Diet Coke.
As we’ve reported, 4-MEI was greatly reduced in Coke products after Coke worked with its supplier to reformulate the caramel manufacturing process.

But the study did find higher levels of the compound in some Pepsi products, particularly in Pepsi One. During an eight-month period, the researchers purchased a dozen 12-ounce servings of Pepsi One from different batches at stores in California.

Trans Fats Linger In Food

When Zero Doesn’t Mean Zero: Trans Fats Linger In Food
August 28, 2014
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/08/28/343971652/trans-fats-linger-stubbornly-in-the-food-supply

back in November 2013, the Food and Drug Administration announced it was intending to ban partially hydrogenated vegetable oils from all food products. The proposed ban seemed prudent, since eating foods with trans fats has been linked to heart disease, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that an FDA ban could prevent an additional 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year and as many as 20,000 heart attacks in that period.

But the FDA has yet to issue a final rule requiring food companies to eliminate trans fats entirely.

While many food companies have found affordable alternatives to partially hydrogenated oil, 1 in 10 packaged foods still contain it, according to researchers at the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

“A lot people think it’s out of the food supply, but it’s still in a lot of places,”

Gluten free: new labeling standard

Truth In Labeling: Celiac Community Cheers FDA Rule For Gluten Free
August 06, 2014
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/08/06/338306544/truth-in-gluten-free-labeling-celiac-community-cheers-fda-rule

As of Aug. 5, all food manufacturers must be in compliance with a new labeling standard set by the Food and Drug Administration.

The rule states that foods may be labeled “gluten free” only if there’s less than 20 parts per million of the protein.

related:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/07/23/334073167/can-you-trust-that-organic-label-on-imported-food

 

AquAdvantage salmon: genetically altered

Biotech Battle: Are Genetically Engineered Fish Safe?
September 20, 2010
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129939819

A battle is expected to be brewing in a hotel ballroom in suburban Washington, D.C., on Monday, over whether the Food and Drug Administration should approve the first genetically engineered animal for human consumption — a fast-growing Atlantic salmon.

The salmon is being developed by a small biotech company from Massachusetts, AquaBounty Technologies http://aquabounty.com, and contains an extra growth gene that makes it grow twice as fast as conventional farm-raised salmon.

Chinook salmon growth hormone genes

Status (as of July 13, 2014): Still waiting FDA decision

Menthol’s cooling sensation makes smoking more appealing for kids

Menthol receptors are also activated by cold, which explains the icy-cool sensation of mint.

FDA Weighs Restrictions, Possible Ban On Menthol Cigarettes
December 31, 2013
http://www.npr.org/2014/01/01/258671720/fda-weighs-restrictions-possible-ban-on-menthol-cigarettes

The Food and Drug Administration is considering restricting or even possibly banning menthol cigarettes.
Public health advocates are pushing for this, saying menthol makes cigarettes more addictive and makes it easier for young people to start smoking.

menthol makes smoking much more appealing for kids: the experience of the cigarette can be very harsh on the throat, but menthol* anesthetizes the throat

* Menthol is a highly lipid-soluble cyclic terpene alcohol, derived from naturally occurring plant oils or prepared synthetically.
Menthol is a counterirritant that, by induction of a cool sensation, “crowds out” the sensation of itch.
The cooling sensation may be the result of a direct interaction of menthol with cold receptors and/or nerve fibers.
Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=56097871

related:
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/WellnessNews/clove-flavored-cigarettes-dangerous/story?id=8780899

With Rise Of Painkiller Abuse, A Closer Look At Heroin

With Rise Of Painkiller Abuse, A Closer Look At Heroin
November 02, 2013
http://www.npr.org/2013/11/02/242594489/with-rise-of-painkiller-abuse-a-closer-look-at-heroin

On Oct. 24, the Food and Drug Administration recommended putting new restrictions on hydrocodone, sold as Vicodin and other brand names.

federal data from 2011 finds that nearly 80 percent of people who had used heroin in the past year had also previously abused prescription painkillers classified as opioids.

Opioids — derived from opium — include morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone as well as heroin, says Kolodny, who is the chief medical officer for the national drug treatment network, Phoenix House, and president of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing.

DR. ANDREW KOLODNY: opioids produce a euphoria, but when you get used to taking them on a regular basis, in order to get that euphoria, you need to continue taking higher and higher doses.
And once your body is used to the drug, without the drug, you begin to feel very sick. You feel this flu-like illness and literally feel sometimes like they’re going to die. It’s like having a panic attack.

They give “both a positive reinforcement — the effect when you take the drug — but also very strong negative reinforcer, which is that you’ll feel very sick when you don’t have the drug,” he says.
“Those two factors together make opioids extremely addictive.”

the CDC is now telling us there are more people in the United States dying each year from drug overdoses than car crashes.”

The United States is completely alone in this trend, Dr. Kolodny says.
“The United States has about 4 percent of the world’s population, and we’re consuming more than 80 percent of the world’s oxycodone supply.
We’re also consuming more than 99 percent of the world’s hydrocodone,” he says.

================

White House Plan To Tackle Heroin Abuse Focuses On Treatment
August 17, 2015
http://www.npr.org/2015/08/17/432619111/white-house-plan-to-tackle-heroin-abuse-focuses-on-treatment

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/08/16/430437514/when-rehab-might-help-an-addict-but-insurance-wont-cover-it

FDA Approves Zohydro ER
October 25, 2013
http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/informationbydrugclass/ucm369273.htm

krokodil
Oct 30, 2013
http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=225404

related:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/08/10/332352845/recovery-coach-helps-an-addict-resist-heroins-lure
Of patients addicted to heroin who are able to quit their habit, 40 to 60 percent relapse within the first year — often within the first weeks of finishing a treatment program

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/03/12/469954366/a-small-town-wonders-what-to-do-when-heroin-is-everywhere
naloxone
Narcan