Health

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.

Lead found in toys, backpacks in U.S. stores:
October 10, 2007 12:44 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Curious George doll bought at Toys "R" Us was found to be tainted with 10 times the legally-allowed lead level, and vinyl lunch boxes and backpacks also had high amounts of lead, the nonprofit group Center for Environmental Health said on Wednesday.

The Curious George doll found with high amounts of lead was made by Marvel Entertainment Group Inc, the Oakland, California-based group said in a statement. A Marvel spokesman said he was unaware of the advocacy group's finding and had no immediate comment.

Millions of toys made in China have been recalled over the last three months due to unsafe levels of lead paint, which is toxic and can pose serious health risks, including brain damage, in children.

The Center for Environmental Health also said it found high lead levels in vinyl lunch boxes and backpacks made by Sassafras Enterprises of Chicago.

Nuclear medicine now safer than ever
October 10, 2007 10:06 AM - National Physical Laboratory

Hospitals are now able to ensure that the correct dose is administered to the 670,000 patients that undergo nuclear medicine procedures every year due to a new device developed by scientists at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

Laborers happily scrap "toxic" ship
October 10, 2007 09:45 AM - Rupam Jain Nair -Reuters

After over a year of protests by environmentalists, poor workers in west India have happily begun dismantling a controversial cruise liner, ignoring potentially serious risks to their health. The breaking of the 46,000-ton Blue Lady was given the go-ahead by India's Supreme Court last month after a long-running legal battle led by environmentalists, who said the Norwegian ship contained 900 tons of toxic waste like asbestos.

Rapid analysis could cut health risks of volcanic ash
October 10, 2007 09:42 AM - Durham University

A new, rapid and cheap way of estimating the potential risk posed to human health by volcanic ash has been devised by a Durham University expert.

USDA Salmonella Alert On Some Turkey, Chicken Pot Pies
October 9, 2007 08:54 PM -

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans should refrain from eating some turkey and chicken pot pies because they may be linked to reported cases of salmonella, a food-borne illness, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Tuesday.

The USDA's public health alert applied to Banquet brand turkey and chicken pot pies and store-brand not-ready-to-eat pot pies with "P-9" printed on the side of the package, said USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service.

FSIS said it was investigating a Missouri establishment that voluntarily ceased operations on Tuesday "due to reported illnesses linked to their products." FSIS said it conferred over the weekend with public health officials, who said their work suggested a meat product was a potential source of contamination. FSIS sent investigators to the plant on Monday.

Low-fat diet cuts ovarian cancer risk: study
October 9, 2007 06:25 PM - Will Dunham, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A low-fat diet may protect women from ovarian cancer, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.

Researchers tracked about 49,000 post-menopausal women from around the United States for about eight years. About 40 percent of them were asked to cut nearly in half the amount of fat in their diet. The others were asked to eat their usual diet.

No difference was seen in ovarian cancer risk in the first four years of the study. But in the final four years, the women who ate a diet lower in fat were 40 percent less likely to develop this cancer than the other women, the study found.

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