Globe and Mail
June 8, 2007
By Martin Mittelstaedt

Recommendation comes on heels of U.S. study suggesting supplement slashes risk of disease by as much as 60 per cent

TORONTO — The Canadian Cancer Society plans to announce Friday that all adults should start taking vitamin D, coinciding with the release of a groundbreaking U.S. study indicating the supplement cuts the risk of cancer by an astounding 60 per cent.

The move is believed to be the first time a major public-health organization has endorsed daily use of the sunshine vitamin as a cancer-prevention therapy for an entire population.

It follows a flurry of research suggesting the low-cost vitamin confers a high degree of protection against a wide variety of cancers. There are also striking study results suggesting that people who develop the disease often have low blood levels of vitamin D.

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The Independent
By Sadie Gray
07 June 2007

An HIV drug taken by 550 people in the UK was recalled last night over fears that it may be contaminated with a substance that could cause cancer.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said patients prescribed Viracept "should contact their doctor immediately".

The agency said in a statement that it was recalling the drug, manufactured by Roche, to minimise risk to patients. Production of all batches of Viracept was affected by contamination with a "genotoxic substance" - a substance that can affect the genes and trigger cancer, the agency said.

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RCRWireless News
By Jeffrey Silva
May 30, 2007

WASHINGTON—A federal judicial panel has conditionally remanded a brain cancer lawsuit and class action headset lawsuit against mobile phone companies to courts in Florida and Pennsylvania respectively.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake of Baltimore earlier this month recommended to the Judicial Panel on Mulitdistrict Litigation that the brain cancer lawsuit—Louther v. AT&T Inc.—return to federal court in Florida and the headset lawsuit—Farina v. Nokia Corp. et al.—be sent back to a federal court in Pennsylvania.

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The New York Times
June 7, 2007
By GARDINER HARRIS

WASHINGTON, June 6 — The Food and Drug Administration has called for the toughest safety warning on two diabetes drugs, Avandia and Actos, whose health risks have become a focus of Congressional concern.

That decision, disclosed on Wednesday by the F.D.A. commissioner at a packed House hearing, comes more than a year after the agency’s safety reviewers strongly recommended just such a step. And it occurs amid a Congressional investigation into why the agency delayed its warnings about Avandia for years.

In a written statement, the commissioner, Andrew C. von Eschenbach, said the agency has asked the makers of Actos and Avandia to carry the more prominent warning, a so-called black box warning, of its heart risks because “despite existing warnings, these drugs were being prescribed to patients with significant heart failure.”

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Science Daily
June 5, 2007

In head-to-head trials of two drugs, the one deemed better appears to depend largely on who is funding the study, according to an analysis of nearly 200 statin-drug comparisons carried out between 1999 and 2005.

UCSF researchers examined 192 published results of trials comparing one cholesterol-lowering statin drug to another, or to a non-statin drug.

Their findings found that two links stood out. If the reported results favored the test drug, the trial was about 20 times more likely to be funded by the maker of the statin rather than the comparison drug company. Even more striking, they say, if the conclusions or interpretation of the drug trial -- which reflect the impressions of the trial investigators -- favored the test drug, the trial was about 35 times more likely to be funded by the maker of that drug rather than the comparison drug.

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The New York Times
By STEPHANIE SAUL and GARDINER HARRIS
June 6, 2007

A medical study intended to demonstrate the heart safety of a well-known diabetes treatment seems, instead, to have added to the controversy over the drug.

Its manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, says preliminary results of the clinical trial provide reassurance that the drug, Avandia, an oral medication for Type 2 diabetes that has been used by an estimated seven million people worldwide, does not raise the risk of a heart attack or death from cardiovascular disease.

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Mexico: 'Light' products may cause abortion

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According to Guadalupe Garcia Alcacer, a researcher at the University of Queretaro, Mexico, chemicals contained in foods and drinks characterized as 'light' may cause spontaneous abortions.

QUERETARO, Mexico - Women who are regularly exposed to additives in foods, hormones, and environmental contaminants such as heavy metals, have an increased probability to experience spontaneous abortions.

According to Guadalupe Garcia Alcacer, a researcher at the University of Queretaro, Mexico, chemicals contained in foods and drinks characterized as 'light' may cause spontaneous abortions.

"The information coming out of our study is interesting for all those in reproductive age, as they can avoid consuming additives like phenilalanine (used in 'light' products) clenbuterol (a bronchodilator), as well as aspartame and serotonin, among other substances." Studies with rats and chickens reveal that they cause alterations in the offspring, that is: "alteration or resorption of brain vesicles, where the latter may lead to spontaneous abortion."

Source: Juan José Arreola El Universal Mexico

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ScienceDaily
By STEVE MITCHELL
June 4, 2007

WASHINGTON, June 4 (UPI) -- Both newer atypical antipsychotics and older conventional drugs in this class increase the risk of death when used in older adults with dementia, according to a study released Monday.

The Food and Drug Administration added a warning about the death risk to the labeling of atypical antipsychotics in 2005, but the researchers of the new study say the agency may want to consider a similar warning for conventional antipsychotics because the risk may be even greater with these medications.

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The New York Times
By GARDINER HARRIS and JANET ROBERTS
June 3, 2007

A decade ago the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice accused Dr. Faruk Abuzzahab of a “reckless, if not willful, disregard” for the welfare of 46 patients, 5 of whom died in his care or shortly afterward. The board suspended his license for seven months and restricted it for two years after that.

Dr. Faruk Abuzzahab
Dr. Faruk Abuzzahab

But Dr. Abuzzahab, a Minneapolis psychiatrist, is still overseeing the testing of drugs on patients and is being paid by pharmaceutical companies for the work. At least a dozen have paid him for research or marketing since he was disciplined.

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Health concerns urge Wi-Fi removal

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PhysOrg.com
June 4, 2007

After a warning from a government watchdog group, schools and families in Britain are scrambling to remove Wi-Fi systems.

In April, a chief health watchdog official called for a "timely" review of Wi-Fi technology and its possible radiation effects, the Independent on Sunday reported. Since then, the public reportedly has rushed to remove Wi-Fi systems, particularly from elementary schools.

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