Health Updates 14 September 2011

  • Michele Bachmann under fire for spreading misinformation on HPV vaccine: “About the only think that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R. Minn.) gets right when she talks about the HPV vaccine is that she’s not a scientist or a doctor.  That lack of credentials, though, can’t excuse the breathtaking ignorance that suffuses her comments about this critical health issue.  Nor can it justify her demagoguery about a scientific advance that has the potential to protect thousands of women a year from contracting – and perhaps dying from – cancer.” (Washington Post Editorial)
  • Pediatricians fact check Michele Bachmann’s statement on HPV vaccinations: “The American Academy of Pediatrics would like to correct false statements made in the  Republican presidential campaign that HPV vaccine is dangerous and can cause mental retardation.  There is absolutely no scientific validity to this statement.  Since the vaccine has been introduced, more than 35 million doses have been administered, and it has an excellent safety record.” (NPR)
  • Ban on E. coli in ground beef is to extend to 6 more strains: “The federal government will ban the sale of ground beef tainted with six toxic strains of E. coli bacteria that are increasingly showing up as the cause of severe illness from food.  Officials have been under pressure from food safety advocates and some elected officials to do more to keep the potentially deadly bacteria out of meat, but the beef industry said the move was not needed and could force the price of ground beef to rise.  ‘We’re doing this to prevent illness and to save lives,’ said Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, the head of food safety for the Agriculture Department, which regulates meat.  ‘This is one of the biggest steps forward in the protection of the beef supply in some time’.” (William Newman, NY Times)
  • Focus of global killers shifts to chronic diseases from contagious diseases: “Next week, the UN General Assembly will hold its first summit on chronic diseases – cancer, diabetes and heart and lung disease.  Those account for nearly two-thirds of deaths worldwide, or about 36 million.  In the United States, they kill nearly 9 out of 10 people.  They have common risk factors, such as smoking and sedentary lifestyles, and many are preventable.” (Associated Press)

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