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Cattle Crackdown

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The USDA has shut down the Westland Meat Company due to numerous egregious violations.  The Chino, California meat company was suspended from doing business after the Humane Society released a horrifying video of animal cruelty at the company. The USDA suspended inspection at Westland Meat Company based on the establishment’s clear violation of federal regulations and the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.

The video footage was obtained by an employee of the Humane Society who had gone  undercover at the company and recorded the tortuous acts committed on the animals.

Westland Meat Company and sister company Hallmark Meat are one of the largest suppliers of beef to the USDA.  The USDA distributes the meat to school lunch programs, the elderly and American Indians.

To view the video, please click here or hereWARNING: it is horrific and in my opinion, not appropriate for children to view.

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AIDS red ribbon

A new law was signed by Acting Governor Richard J. Codey last Wednesday in N.J. that will take effect in six months.  It requires that HIV testing become a part of routine prenatal care.  Some say this law will put New Jersey at the forefront of the national fight against HIV transmission to babies.

“We can significantly reduce the number of infections to newborns and help break down the stigma associated with the disease,” Codey said. “For newborns, early detection can be the ultimate lifesaving measure.”

The New Jersey bill will allow women to opt out of the routine testing, but newborns will be required to be tested when the mother has tested positive or her HIV status is unknown.

The American Civil Liberties Union and some women’s groups contend the bill deprives women of authority to make medical decisions.

According to the Kaiser Foundation, New Jersey is ranked third highest in the nation for female AIDS cases.

Dental Dork?

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I think my dentist may think I am a total weirdo. I hope not.

I had a routine check up/cleaning this morning, during which, she advised me to start using something called MI Paste. I have always had sensitive teeth. So I can’t bite right on into my popsicle. It’s OK. My quality of life is unhindered…

She really wanted me to start using it. She is all for my dental health. I am all for avoiding anything I can’t buy at Whole Foods or make myself. I never-the-less looked at the bottle. It looked natural-ish I guess. So I took the bottle and started to read the ingredients. Hmmm….

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Cold Conundrum

tylenol cold medicine

With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting that an estimated 7,000 children are sent to the E.R. each year, primarily because of overdose, it is surprising that 20% of parents still plan to give their children under 2 cold medication.

This comes after this month’s warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration against dispensing cold medicine to children. Evidence suggests parents want to give these drugs, including cough suppressants, antihistamines and decongestants, to their children, even though they have never been shown to benefit young children.

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starbucks

In the new “green” era where organic milk sales increased 25% to $2.67 billion in 2006, it is surprising that Starbucks is dropping the organic dairy option. As of February 26th, you will no longer be able to order your venti, quad, no foam, chai latte with organic milk.

The change comes with an across the board conversion to milk free of rBGH. Starbucks will no longer carry organic milk, but all milk will now be free of the controversial growth hormone.

Apparently, organic milk only made up 1% of beverage sales at the caffeine mecca. Starbucks has stocked organic milk since 2001 in an effort to provide customers with the option of milk free of rBGH. Now that the hormone free milk is widely available, the switch will be permanent. However, customers wishing to forgo the pesticides, fertilizers and antibiotics will have to deal. For the chemical weary java junkies, maybe soy is an option, as Starbucks does use organic soy milk.

For more information on the article reviewed and utilized for this post, please visit the Wall Street Journal.

dumped

If they are unfavorable, they probably won’t get a date with publication.  At least that’s what a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine states.

Apparently, selective publication has become a significant problem.  A team of researchers from the Oregon Health & Science University has discovered nearly a third of antidepressant drug studies are never published in medical literature and nearly all happen to show that the drug in question failed to work.

The research team also states that in some of the published studies, unfavorable results are recast to make the medicine appear more effective than it really is.

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mosquito

The sea cucumber- long believed to have healing properties– happens to produce a toxin that destroys malaria parasites. Researchers are hoping this toxin is the key to reducing the one to two million people, most of which are children, who die of malaria each year.

Scientists have inserted the genetic code for the sea cucumber toxin into mosquitoes and witnessed the toxin take out the parasite immediately. Scientists hope this new genetically modified malaria proof mosquito will halt the killer in its tracks.

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