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New Rules From FDA Seek To Improve Infant Formula Safety

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on February 6, 2014

The Food and Drug Administration wants to ensure that infant formulas are as safe as they could possibly be, and to that end, they have come out with a regulation that enacts rigorous standards related to such products.  There are three chief aims of the recently released rule.  First, any product classified as infant formula would have to go through the proper testing procedures so that any potential contaminants could be identified prior to the product coming to the market.  The production of the formula must also be carried out in a way that emphasizes cleanliness and safety.  Finally, the FDA establishes benchmarks for the types of nutrients that must be contained within a product.

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FDA Explains Why The Time Is Still Ripe For A Flu Shot

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on February 5, 2014

We always hope that citizens do whatever they can to protect themselves from the various dangers that are out there in the world.  One of the ways that people can take an interest in their own safety is by getting a flu vaccine, and even though we’re well into February, there are still some who may not have sought out such a thing yet.

Don’t delay any longer.  Lest you think it’s not worth it this late in the game, the Food and Drug Administration has come out with a consumer update focused on the importance of getting a flu shot even now.  The season doesn’t actually end until May, so you’ve still got plenty of time to reap the health benefits.

One of the reasons that a lot of people forego flu shots is because they don’t think they’re in the most susceptible demographics, namely the very young and the very old.  But this year, it would appear that your age wouldn’t be much protection if you’re in the young or middle aged demographics.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention keep track of flu-related statistics, and this year, they’ve noted a spike in the number of people from those demos who have contracted the flu.

That means that this is the perfect time to get a flu shot if you have yet to do so.  And to further limit your exposure, make sure you’re sneezing into tissues, washing your hands, and taking antiviral medications should you contract influenza.

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FDA Campaign Takes Aim At Youth Smoking

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on February 4, 2014

For most people that find themselves with a smoking habit that’s hard to kick, their exposure to the addictive substance began when they were young, likely due to peer pressure and a desire to fit in.  Because of this, it’s important to emphasize early on how important it is to stay clear of the deleterious effects of tobacco.

The Food and Drug Administration has unveiled a new campaign with the admirable goal of protecting children from the dangerous effects of a tobacco habit.  In a news release touting the potential of the new campaign, the agency points out that each day sees an estimated 3,200 kids and teens try a cigarette for the first time, and nearly a fourth of those may become habitual smokers.

That’s why the FDA will unfurl an ad campaign next week that attempts to get across a message called “The Real Cost.”  Over the coming year, you are likely to see this ad campaign implemented across a number of mediums.  Print, internet, and television ads will focus on trying to get the most at-risk demographics to understand the dangers of tobacco.

Over the next couple years, the FDA will study how well the ongoing effort is working.  8,000 teens have been picked out to supply information about their tobacco usage, and the hope is that teens privy to the message will be less inclined to try and/or stick with tobacco.

FDA’s Approach To Livestock Antibiotics Questioned

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on January 28, 2014

The debate continues to rage over whether or not the Food and Drug Administration is doing enough to curtail the usage of antibiotics in feed for livestock intended for the food supply.  The concern is that providing these antibiotics to animals could lead them to develop resistances that could then be passed on to humans, leading citizens to be more susceptible to illnesses from super-viruses.

The National Resources Defense Council has come out with a report based on the findings that resulted from a Freedom of Information Act request.  They discovered that the FDA reviewed 30 additives over the course of a decade starting in 2001, and of those, only four met standards that have been around for four decades.  Those standards require studies to be carried out in order to ensure the safety of the products.

These items continued to be allowed as additives in animal feed despite concerns about safety, and the NRDC says nine such additives are still marketed.  In response to the NRDC’s critique of their practices, the FDA has emphasized that it is taking a more blanketed approach to addressing the issue.

Toward the end of last year, the FDA announced that it would be working even harder to reduce antibiotic usage for any means other than to correct a medical issue.  Those recommendations would require vet approval for antibiotic administration and a ban on antibiotic-assisted growth enhancement.

FDA Relates How To Protect Your Kids From Head Lice

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on January 23, 2014

The Food and Drug Administration is attempting to help parents protect their children from head lice.  In a new consumer health update, the agency has outlined some of the myths surrounding head lice as well as those ways parents can protect their young ones, especially at the start of winter break when the risk of contracting the lice will increase.  With the CDC figuring that up to 12 million kids will incur head lice at some point this year, it’s important for parents to understand the malady and what to do to prevent it from affecting their kids.

As explained by a dermatologist with the FDA, some of the things that parents may believe about head lice simply are not true.  Because they only attach themselves to humans, there’s no worry that they can be contracted from a dog or a cat.  Your kids also won’t be more susceptible to lice if they suffer from poor hygiene or hang out with someone who suffers from the same.

Instead, lice are able to move between children when the kids come into direct contact with each other.  Because the lice will burrow into the scalp, another child’s head coming near an affected child’s will cause the lice to spread.  Young kids are more inclined to be playing in close proximity, which is what makes them more inclined to contract the lice.

If you as a parent are concerned that your kid may have head lice (they’re scratching their heads excessively, for instance), you’ll want to comb through their hair to determine if that’s the case.  You will need to keep an eye out for dandruff-esque nits that refuse to move when you move your fingernail across them.  This is a sign that head lice has set in.

You may want to speak with a doctor to determine the best course of action.  He or she will likely set you up with a prescription for a shampoo that can be washed in to the child’s hair to remove the head lice.  Ask for instructions from the doctor or the pharmacist, and be sure to follow the label.

Of course, you probably want to know how to keep your child from going through such a situation in the first place.  This can prove difficult, as you may not have control over a young child’s actions at school.  You can, however, talk to them about coming into contact with kids’ heads or other items that may themselves contact their heads, like hats, headphones, and various other accessories.

Safety Of Soda’s Caramel Coloring Called Into Question

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on January 23, 2014

Are you drinking a Coke, a Pepsi, or any other type of dark soft drink while you’re reading this story?  Then you may want to put that soda down for the moment as we explore the revelations of a new report.

The safety of the caramel coloring found in these and many other types of sodas has been called into question by new findings from Consumer Reports.  Their research uncovered instances where an impurity called 4-methylimidazole can occur at various levels within the soda.  Though not currently limited at the national level, the state of California has gone so far as to call this substance carcinogenic, and if levels are sufficient, a cancer warning must be affixed to the label of a given product.

The attorney general of California is currently looking into Consumer Reports’s findings to determine if action needs to be taken against any companies breaching this law in the state.  A Pepsi spokeperson called into question the veracity of the study’s findings.

The Food and Drug Administration is taking this latest development seriously.  Despite decades of research into caramel coloring that have yet to turn up any kind of safety issue, the agency intends to revisit the matter to determine whether they may have missed something or if caramel coloring could pose a hazard to beverage drinkers.

FDA Urges Caution When Removing Warts

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on January 16, 2014

Have you had a pesky wart that you wanted to remove but didn’t want to have to go in to the doctor to do so?  If so, then you might set your sights on the kind of over the counter products that are readily available in stores around the country.  Unfortunately, these items could prove hazardous under the right circumstances.

Such is the takeaway from a new consumer health update put out by the Food and Drug Administration.  In it, the agency delves into how wart removers available for use in an at-home setting can actually prompt a fire under the right circumstances.

Many people may not realize that these products are flammable, but indeed they are, as a quick check of the labels should be able to confirm.  The items consist of a dispenser  containing a substance that may be applied to the wart at regular intervals until that wart disappears.

The nature of this substance is such that it could catch fire when exposed to some type of open flame.  This would pose an injury hazard to the user.

14 reports have been sent to the FDA relating instances of adversity in the past five years, allegedly leading to minor injuries and fires affecting property in the vicinity.  If you’re ever using one of the aforementioned products, please make sure that you’re following the label instructions and staying clear of open flames during usage.

Officials Seek Reports Of Tobacco-Related Adversity

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on January 10, 2014

If an individual suffers adversity related to a medical device or a drug, the Food and Drug Administration hopes that he or she or their doctor files a report on that product through the MedWatch system.  This allows the agency to keep track of hazards that could be indicative of serious and widespread problems, and the more people who relate their issues, the safer the country can be.

Now, the FDA has announced a similar system related to any adversity suffered in conjunction with a tobacco product.  Previously, persons were able to report tobacco issues, but the platform to do so may have been confusing, as there wasn’t a dedicated portal for tobacco.

That has changed now, and the hope is that this could create uniformity in the way that people report health issues or potential defects related to the products.  Tobacco is within the purview of the FDA, and widespread knowledge about how to report danger can help the agency improve safety and crack down on those products that could be harmful (in ways that go beyond how tobacco is already known to be harmful).

The FDA has provided a convenient list of the types of things that should warrant a report through the new system.  Labeling issues are grounds for a report, as are issues with product quality and unexpected side effects.

Registration Rule Gets Early Response From Compounders

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on January 10, 2014

Two years ago, compounding pharmacies were in the spotlight after an outbreak of fungal meningitis claimed the lives of 64 people and sickened hundreds more.  Officials were able to trace the contamination back to the Framingham, Massachusetts-based New England Compounding Center.

The issue brought to light a serious problem with compounders, pharmacies that formulate medications in ways that satisfy the unique needs of specific individuals.  But as such facilities expanded from their traditional local-centric role to shipping products across the country instead, they entered a regulatory gray area where neither the state or the federal level (as represented by the Food and Drug Administration) was sure that they had authority over the compounders.

This incident has prompted lawmakers to issue sweeping new regulations that would seek to keep dangerous outbreaks related to compounders from happening again.  One such rule would see compounders needing to register with the FDA if they want to ship products in bulk.  This allows them to be classified as an outsourcing facility, and with that status comes regular inspections, adversity reporting, safety benchmarks, and a fee that must be paid to the FDA.

A new report in Reuters relates this new rule and notes that 11 compounders have already registered in this manner.  If a compounder chooses not to take this step, there will be certain limits placed on them and they will exist within the scope of state regulators.

Editorial Calls Upon FDA To Regulate Electronic Cigarettes

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on January 7, 2014

In the recent past, the Food and Drug Administration and federal officials have clamped down on the tobacco industry marketing its products.  However, the advent of electronic cigarettes has proved an impediment to such regulatory efforts, as in their current form, these product actually exist outside the purview of the agency.  A new editorial from the American Lung Association’s president calls for a change to this current dilemma.  He wants the FDA to be able to regulate electronic cigarettes, and doing so could hinge on a proposal that is currently under review by the White House Office of Management and Budget.  He further relates that one particular claim about e-cigarettes, that they can help a person quit smoking, has yet to be approved by the FDA.

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