November 11, 2009 |
Louisiana lawmakers Tuesday threatened the Food and Drug Administration with budget consequences if the agency followed through on a plan to ban Gulf Coast oysters harvested during warm weather that are not treated with antibacterial technology. Industry advocates said that the FDA's plan would imperil 3,500 Gulf Coast oystering jobs by imposing heavy technology costs, and that the 15 annual deaths attributed to eating untreated raw oysters were not excessive considering the volume consumed.
November 5, 2009 |
In an attempt to reduce the deaths and serious health problems caused by misuse of medication, the Food and Drug Administration is trying to identify the most serious threats and find ways to avoid them. About 1.5 million preventable "adverse drug events" occur in the United States every year, according to a 2007 study by the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences. Aside from the toll on health, the errors cost an estimated $4 billion a year, the study found.
October 31, 2009 |
A fight is brewing over the practice of feeding chicken feces and other poultry farm waste to cattle. A coalition of food and consumer groups that includes Consumers Union and the Center for Science in the Public Interest has asked the Food and Drug Administration to ban the practice. McDonald's Corp., the nation's largest restaurant user of beef, also wants the FDA to prohibit the feeding of so-called poultry litter to cattle. Members of the coalition are threatening to file a lawsuit or to push for federal legislation establishing such a ban if the FDA doesn't act to do so in the coming months.
October 3, 2009 |
Allergan Inc., maker of wrinkle treatment Botox, is challenging the government's ban on marketing off-label uses for pharmaceuticals. In a lawsuit filed Thursday, the Irvine company argued that it should be allowed to give doctors information about using Botox for treatments not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, including bladder problems, muscle spasms and headaches. Botox is approved by the FDA for use cosmetically as a wrinkle treatment and medically for eye-muscle disorders, excessive underarm sweating and cervical dystonia in adults, which causes abnormal head positions and neck pain.
September 1, 2009 |
Two of the three largest U.S. tobacco companies sued Monday to block marketing restrictions in a law that gives the Food and Drug Administration authority over tobacco, alleging the provisions violate their right to free speech. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., maker of Camel cigarettes, and Lorillard Inc., which sells the Newport menthol brand, filed the suit in District Court in Bowling Green, Ky., with several other tobacco companies. It is the first major challenge of the legislation, which was enacted in June.
July 17, 2009 |
Farming and ranching representatives appeared before a congressional panel Thursday to express concern that a major bill pending in the House could unnecessarily complicate the marketplace without improving food safety. Amid recent health scares involving cookie dough and pistachios, the Obama administration has pledged to modernize the food safety system. Lawmakers are considering the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, aimed at broadening the Food and Drug Administration's powers.