OPEC Must Tackle Climate Change: U.N. Official
November 15, 2007 09:20 AM - Reuters

RIYADH (Reuters) - OPEC oil exporters must take climate change seriously at a summit meeting this week, ahead of a key meeting to tackle global warming in Bali next month. a leading U.N. climate change official said on Thursday.

"I encourage OPEC to contribute to climate change abatement and to play an important role in history to drive forward sound solutions to a global problem," Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, told an OPEC forum in the Saudi capital.

Over 35 million Americans Faced Hunger in 2006: USDA
November 15, 2007 09:09 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government said the number of Americans who went hungry in 2006 was held in check at 35 million people from the prior year, but food advocacy groups said on Wednesday more needs to be done.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said a total of 12.65 million households were "food insecure," or 10.9 percent of U.S. homes, up from 12.59 million a year ago.

The USDA defines food insecurity - its metric for measuring hunger - as having difficulty acquiring enough food for the household throughout the year.

China Says Key Pollution Levels Nudge Down
November 15, 2007 08:29 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - Two key measures of pollution in China have fallen slightly in what the country's environmental regulator claimed was a victory for its clean-up procedures, state media reported on Thursday.

Emissions of sulphur dioxide, which belches from smokestacks and causes acid rain, fell by 1.81 percent in the first nine months of 2007 compared with the same period last year, the China Daily reported.

COD, or chemical oxygen demand, a measure of water pollution, dropped by 0.28 percent, the paper said.

Many Chinese cities are enveloped in choking smog, including 2008 Olympic host Beijing. The level of air pollution in the capital and its possible effects on athletes' health has been one of the biggest issues facing organizers of next year's Games.

Kids With Sensitive Skin May be Allergic to Oats
November 14, 2007 05:10 PM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Children with skin allergies may be allergic to oat proteins commonly found in skin products, study findings suggest.

Of 302 children seen at a pediatric dermatology unit in Bordeaux, France, nearly one third had a positive skin reaction to oats, report Dr. Franck Boralevi, at the Hopital Pelligrin-Enfants, and colleagues.

Breast Milk Content May Affect Child's Obesity Risk
November 14, 2007 05:10 PM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Mothers who breast feed and have high levels of a protein secreted by lipids in their milk may be increasing the risk that their child will be overweight, German researchers report.




Dr. Maria Weyermann of The German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg and her colleagues found that a child's likelihood of being overweight by age 2 rose with the amount of adiponectin in his or her mother's milk.

FDA Adds Heart Warning to Diabetes Drug Avandia
November 14, 2007 05:04 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline's Avandia will carry a "black box" warning that says the diabetes drug could cause chest pain or heart attacks, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday.

Ice age imprint found on cod DNA
November 14, 2007 07:45 AM - University of Sheffield

An international team of researchers, led by the University of Sheffield, has demonstrated how Atlantic cod responded to past natural climate extremes. The new research could help in determining cods vulnerability to future global warming.

Nicotine addiction slashed in test of new cigarette smoking strategy
November 14, 2007 07:43 AM - University of California - San Francisco

Scientists are reporting the first successful strategy to reduce smokers’ nicotine dependence while allowing them to continue smoking. The study provides strong support for proposals now being considered in Congress to authorize FDA regulation of cigarette smoking, according to the research team.

Two large meat processors defend carbon monoxide use despite risks
November 13, 2007 08:09 PM - By Christopher Doering

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two of the biggest U.S. meat processors on Tuesday defended a packaging technique designed to keep meat looking fresh at grocery stores even as U.S. lawmakers criticized it as unsafe and misleading.

Packers use carbon monoxide to stabilize the color of meat, but some Democrats said the process misleads consumers by making the products look safer than they really are, and puts the public at risk of eating spoiled meat.

Rep. Bart Stupak, Michigan Democrat and chairman of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, called the practice deceptive and "a potential health threat," and accused U.S. regulators of "turning a blind eye" toward health dangers.

Merck tells AIDS vaccine volunteers who got jab
November 13, 2007 07:43 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Thousands of people who volunteered to test an experimental AIDS vaccine that may have actually raised the risk of infection will be told if they got the actual shot, researchers said on Tuesday.

Merck & Co. Inc. and academic researchers said they would "unblind" the study, meaning everyone would find out who got the active shot and who got a dummy injection.

Two international trials of the experimental vaccine were stopped in September after it became clear the vaccine did not prevent infection with the AIDS virus.

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