Health

ConAgra Foods Recalls All Banquet Pot Pies and Store Brand Pot Pies
October 12, 2007 10:59 AM -

OMAHA, Neb.- ConAgra Foods announced today that it is continuing its efforts to ensure consumer safety by voluntarily recalling all varieties of Banquet brand frozen pot pies and all varieties of store brand frozen pot pies sold under the names of Albertson's, Hill Country Fare, Food Lion, Great Value, Kirkwood, Kroger, Meijer and Western Family.

Earlier this week, ConAgra Foods was contacted by state health officials regarding concerns that some of its Banquet poultry pot pie products may be linked to an outbreak of salmonella. In cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), on Oct. 9, ConAgra Foods directed retailers to remove the poultry pot pies from shelves, suspended pot pie production in its Marshall, Mo., plant and advised consumers to not eat these products and discard these products while an investigation was conducted.

New Research: Pollutant linked to bronchitis in toddlers
October 12, 2007 09:51 AM -

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Toddlers who breathe polluted air are far more likely to be diagnosed with bronchitis than children living in cleaner environments, U.S. and Czech researchers reported on Thursday.

They found a component of pollution known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, was strongly linked with cases of bronchitis among children aged 2 to 4 and a half.

The study is one of the first to look at PAHs, which are produced when fuels that contain carbon such as wood, coal, diesel or tobacco are burned.

Most environmental regulations in the United States and Europe focus on controlling particulate emissions -- tiny particles in the air -- as well as sulfur dioxide and ozone.

Statins reduce loss of function, keeping old lungs young - even in smokers
October 12, 2007 08:14 AM - American Thoracic Society

Statins are known to be good for lowering cholesterol and maybe even fighting dementia, and now they have another reported benefit: they appear to slow decline in lung function in the elderly— even in those who smoke. According to researchers in Boston, it may be statins’ anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help achieve this effect.

Lipsticks Contain Excessive Lead, Tests Reveal
October 11, 2007 07:12 PM - Karen Jacobs, Reuters

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Lipsticks tested by a U.S. consumer rights group found that more than half contained lead and some popular brands including Cover Girl, L'Oreal and Christian Dior had more lead than others, the group said on Thursday.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics said tests on 33 brand-name red lipsticks by the Bodycote Testing Group in Santa Fe Spring, California, found that 61 percent had detectable lead levels of 0.03 to 0.65 parts per million (ppm). One-third of the lipsticks tested contained an amount of lead that exceeded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's 0.1 ppm limit for lead in candy -- a standard established to protect children from ingesting lead, the group said. Thirty-nine percent of the lipsticks tested had no discernible lead, it said.

EPA to develop rules for storing CO2 emissions
October 11, 2007 05:30 PM -

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday said it will develop new rules governing how coal-fired power plants and other industrial facilities sock away heat-trapping carbon dioxide gas in underground reservoirs.

Burying CO2 in underground reservoirs is not commercially available yet, but has emerged as one possible way to slow global warming's potentially catastrophic results including flooding, heat waves and severe storms.

The EPA said in a statement it will propose regulations next summer to "ensure there is a consistent and effective permit system under the Safe Drinking Water Act for commercial-scale geologic sequestration programs to help reduce the effects of climate change."

Survey: San Francisco, Seattle Tops For Organics Consumers; Wal-Mart, Costco #1 Organic Grocery Stores
October 11, 2007 05:20 PM -

New York – The West Coast is a stronghold for organics consumers, with 35 percent of San Francisco adults using organic foods during the past month, making it the top U.S. city for organics users. In Seattle (32 percent of Seattle adults used organic foods during the past month), Portland, OR (27 percent), Washington D.C. and Denver (26 percent, each) and San Diego (24 percent) round out the top markets for organics consumers. In the total US.,17 percent of all adults are organics users.

Unprecedented Muslim call for peace with Christians
October 11, 2007 04:15 PM - Peter Graff, Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - More than 130 Muslim scholars from around the globe called on Thursday for peace and understanding between Islam and Christianity, saying "the very survival of the world itself is perhaps at stake".

In an unprecedented letter to Pope Benedict and other Christian leaders, 138 Muslim scholars said finding common ground between the world's biggest faiths was not simply a matter for polite dialogue between religious leaders.

"If Muslims and Christians are not at peace, the world cannot be at peace. With the terrible weaponry of the modern world; with Muslims and Christians intertwined everywhere as never before, no side can unilaterally win a conflict between more than half of the world's inhabitants," the scholars wrote.

Drugmakers recall infant cold medicine
October 11, 2007 12:26 PM - Debra Sherman, Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson Wyeth and other makers of infants' nonprescription cough and cold products are recalling certain medicines in the United States because of the danger of overdose, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association said on Thursday.

Novartis and Prestige Brands Holdings are recalling their oral infant cough and cold medicines, as well, because data show that when the medicines are misused, it can lead to overdose, especially in children under 2 years old.

At least one U.S. pharmacy pulled the products from its shelves. CVS Pharmacy said it will immediately remove those recalled medicines and store-brand equivalents.

A spokeswoman for Consumer Healthcare, a trade association representing the makers of over-the-counter medicines, said overdoses have led to death and serious injury in rare instances, but stressed that the medications are safe when used as directed.

Nintendo to launch Wii Fit game
October 10, 2007 05:01 PM -

CHIBA, Japan (Reuters) - Nintendo Co Ltd said on Wednesday it would start selling its "Wii Fit" home fitness game in Japan in time for the critical year-end shopping season, sending its shares to a record high.

Nintendo's announcement comes just a day after Sony Corp said it would cut the price of its PlayStation 3 by 10 percent in Japan and launch a new, lower-priced PS3 model, to battle Nintendo's dominance.

The new game, which goes on sale on December 1 for 8,800 yen ($75), features a pressure-sensing mat called the "Wii Balance Board", which looks like a set of bathroom scales and can sense when a person moves and leans, enabling players to "head" virtual soccer balls and experience ski jumping on a TV screen.

The board can also be used for such activities as yoga and aerobics.

Many French rivers polluted by banned chemical
October 10, 2007 04:08 PM -

PARIS (Reuters) - Rivers in eastern and northern France are contaminated with chemicals that have been outlawed since 1987 and are proving very hard to eliminate, a government report said on Wednesday.

Earlier this year fishing was banned in much of the River Rhone which runs through the southeastern corner of France because scientists said it contained dangerous levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB).

The latest report said other rivers were in an even worse condition because of industrial dumping dating back decades, including the Seine which runs through Paris.

"It's a huge clean-up job," Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, the secretary of state for ecology, told a news conference. Other big rivers in Europe are affected by the same problem, she said.

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