Tag Archives: food and drug administration

FDA Targets Trans Fat in Processed Foods

>Last week the Food and Drug Administration has announced its plan to ban trans fat in processed foods.  The decision comes based on the research and evidence related to increased morbidity and mortality (additional 7,000 deaths related to cardiovascular events and 20,000 heart attacks per year.)  Trans fats are found in foods such as donuts, frozen pizza, frosting, microwaveable popcorn and other. It is important to remind patients that the removal of trans fats from these products does not produce foods that are superior to healthier, plant-based choices. How do you typically educate your patients on how to read and understand nutrition labels?

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Beauty over health? Decorative contact lenses

A consumer update provided by the FDA warns consumers to be cautious when purchasing decorative contact lenses. These contact lenses change how your eye appears with different colors and designs and are not meant to correct your vision. It may be surprising to some that contact lenses are considered medical devices per the FDA so selling them as cosmetics without a prescription is illegal. An eye specialist should measure your eyes so the contacts fit properly to prevent infections, decreased vision, and corneal scratches. The FDA warns to never buy lenses from street vendors, halloween shops, or beauty supply stores. How often do you see questionable uses of medical devices or cosmetics? What are some other potentially harmful use of medical devices or cosmetics?

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Breast Milk Bought Online Found to be Contaminated

A recent study performed at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio discovered high levels of harmful bacteria and contamination in breast milk purchased over the internet. The study analyzed 101 batches of milk that were purchased on milk sharing websites and found that 74% of the samples contained harmful disease-causing bacteria like E. coli, Streptococci and even Cytomegalovirus. Researchers determined those samples to be unsafe to give to infants, especially preemies. Although the FDA does not recommend feeding babies breast milk acquired via the Web, its sale is not regulated online.

How often do you counsel your patients who are new mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding? What are some safer alternatives to purchasing breast milk online?

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New Clinical Report on Medications and Breast-Feeding.

motherThe FDA has teamed up with the American Academy of Pediatrics to revise lactation information on drug labels. The “Nursing Mothers” section on drug labels will be replaced with a “Lactation” section which will include detailed information about the drug’s transfer to breast milk and its potential to harm to an infant. This will inform breast-feeding moms when they can safely take medications. Also, this would do-away with the blanket legal statement that cautions against taking nearly any medication while pregnant when in fact only a small proportion of medications are contraindicated. What are your current recommendations to women who breastfeed while on drug therapy? Are you excited about this new clinical report?

For more information, please click here.

Image courtesy of [Jomphong] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Imported Cucumbers

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention made an announcement yesterday of a recent Salmonella outbreak possibly caused by infected cucumbers supplied by Daniel Cardenas Izabal and Miracle Greenhouse of Culiacán, Mexico and distributed by Tricar Sales, Inc. of Rio Rico, Arizona. 73 cases have been reported across 18 states and of these identified cases, 27% have lead to hospitalization with no reported deaths. The CDC is working with the Food and Drug Administration as well as local state officials to identify additional cases and bring awareness to communities. The CDC strongly encourages consumers to take precaution to minimize the risk associated with infected produce. Further information regarding food safety and Salmonella information can be found on the CDC’s main website. What precautions do you advise to patients when they purchase produce? How do you keep patients informed on new infectious disease outbreaks?

For additional information, please go to CNN

Temporary Tattoos May Put You at Risk

FDA released a warning about temporary tattoos.  Temporary tattoos that use black pigment called “black henna” often utilize coal-tar hair dye with p-phenylenediamine (PPD) to extend the life of tattoo. PPD is known to cause skin reactions in people and by law is not allowed in cosmetic products that are applied to skin.  Have your patients ever consulted you about permanent or temporary tattoos? How often have you seen adverse effects related to body art?

For additional information, please see US Food and Drug Administration.