• Human & Animal Chip Implants Linked to Tumors

    When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved implanting microchips in humans, the manufacturer said it would save lives, letting doctors scan the tiny transponders to access patients' medical records almost instantly. The FDA found "reasonable assurance" the device was safe, and a sub-agency even called it one of 2005's top "innovative technologies." Although the government approved the use of microchips in humans in 2005, the Associated Press reports that studies dating back to the mid-1990s showed they "induced" malignant tumors in some lab mice and rats. >> Read the Full Article
  • Crop Yields Expand, but Nutrition Is Left Behind

    Farmers today can grow two to three times as much grain, fruit, and vegetables on a plot of land as they could 50 years ago, but the nutritional quality of many crops has declined, according to a new report from The Organic Center, a group based in Boulder, Colorado. “To get our recommended daily allowance of nutrients, we have to eat many more slices of bread today than people had to eat in the past,” >> Read the Full Article
  • Enforce Fertilizer Runoff Laws: Report

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. farmers should be required to control soil erosion and fertilizer runoff from all land eligible for crop subsidies -- which would be a major expansion of "conservation compliance" rules now in place, an environmental group said on Monday. In the report, the Environmental Working Group also advocated stricter enforcement of conservation compliance. Created in 1985, the rule requires farmers to control erosion on highly erodible land in exchange for crop supports and other federal farm benefits. >> Read the Full Article
  • Health Insurer Pays $20 Million For Claims Hassles

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - UnitedHealth Group Inc., one of the largest providers of health insurance in the United States, has paid $20 million to 37 states in order to settle claims processing problems, according to the New York State Department of Insurance. >> Read the Full Article
  • Major Study Links Hyperactivity and Food Additives

    Southampton, UK - A new study at the University of Southampton shows evidence of increased levels of hyperactivity in young children eating mixtures of some artificial food colors and the preservative sodium benzoate. The possibility of food colors and preservatives affecting children’s behavior has long been an unresolved question for parents. This significant new research by a team from the University of Southampton’s Schools of Psychology and Medicine provides a clear demonstration that changes in behavior can be detected in three-year-old and eight-year-old children. >> Read the Full Article
  • Toys "R" Us Steps Up Toxins Testing

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Retailer Toys "R" Us is increasing the frequency of safety checks conducted on products sold in its stores after a slew of Chinese-made toys were recalled this summer due to unsafe levels of lead paint. "Earlier this year we began spot checking of products on our store shelves as part of our increased efforts for quality assurance," said Toys "R" Us spokeswoman Kathleen Waugh. "But in light of recent recalls we have begun a systematic recheck of all products on our store shelves." Lead paint has been linked to health problems in children, including brain damage. >> Read the Full Article
  • New Cause Of Blindness Discovered

    The scientific community is just starting to appreciate the importance of pH regulation in normal vision, according to researchers. Drs Joe Casey and Yves Sauvé found evidence for blindness associated with a gene involved in retinal pH regulation. Their characterization of a mouse model with a targeted disruption of the Slc4a3 gene has revealed a new cause of blindness. Identification of Slc4a3 as underlying a previously unrecognized cause of blindness has direct clinical implications: it opens the door to a new diagnostic possibility for many yet unknown causes of blindness, including hereditary vitreoretinal degenerations (HVDs). No link has been established between Slc4a3 and HVDs. >> Read the Full Article
  • Antidepressant shows early promise in treating agitation and psychotic symptoms of dementia

    Researchers have found surprising evidence that an antidepressant (citalopram) may perform as well as a commonly-prescribed antipsychotic (risperidone) in the alleviation of severe agitation and psychotic symptoms of dementia. Researchers also found that the antidepressant was associated with “significantly lower” adverse side effects. >> Read the Full Article
  • Antidepressant Dangers Scaring Parents, Doctors

    CHICAGO (Reuters) - Highly publicized government warnings that antidepressants could cause suicidal thoughts in adolescents may have scared off parents and doctors alike, meaning fewer depressed children are being diagnosed, U.S. psychiatrists say. The warnings, starting in 2003, were followed by the biggest one-year spike in suicide rates in 15 years among U.S. children and young adults, according to figures released last week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. >> Read the Full Article
  • Beyond 2 Hours Of TV, Kids' Risk Attention Problems

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Young children who watch more than a couple of hours of television a day are more likely to have attention problems as adolescents, researchers from New Zealand have found. "The two-hour point is very, very clear with our data, very consistent with what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends," Carl Erik Landhuis of the Dunedin School of Medicine at the University of Otago, the study's first author, told Reuters Health. "We're not saying don't watch TV, just don't watch too much TV," he added. >> Read the Full Article