Johnson & Johnson on Friday recalled a single batch of its baby powder as a precaution after government testing found trace amounts of asbestos in one bottle bought online.
The regulator found trace levels of chrysotile asbestos in samples taken from a bottle of baby powder purchased from an online retailer,Johnson & Johnsonsaid. The company has, for years, denied that the carcinogen is, or ever was, present in its talc-based products.
This is the first time Johnson & Johnson has ever pulled baby powder from the market over asbestos concerns, a spokesman for the company said, and comes as Johnson & Johnson is battling thousands of lawsuits brought by people who say that baby powder and other talc-based products caused them to develop cancer. Some have mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer that is considered the signature disease of asbestos exposure, while others have ovarian cancer, which has also been linked to asbestos.
The recall will undermine defense claims against those suits, and could lead to the company having to pay more or to settle cases, said Erik Gordon, a University of Michigan business professor who studies corporate governance. Shares of the company fell 5 percent in early afternoon trading on Friday.
But in announcing the recall, the company also repeated part of its long-running defense against cancer claims, saying that “thousands of tests over the past 40 years repeatedly confirm that our consumer talc products do not contain asbestos.” The company said it was recalling the shipment out of an “abundance of caution.”
Though Johnson & Johnson said it has started “a rigorous, thorough investigation into the matter” it also appeared to question the testing process, saying in a statement that it is working with the F.D.A. to “determine the integrity of the tested sample and the validity of the test results.”
The recalled baby powder was produced and shipped last year. The recalled lot, #22318RB, involves 33,000 bottles sold by a retailer, which sold products online but may have shipped powder to stores, the spokesman, Ernie Knewitz, said. The F.D.A. has not responded to questions about the identity of the retailer.
A New York Times investigation last year found that Johnson & Johnson executives were aware for decades of the risks of asbestos contamination in talc but did not warn consumers. Internal memos and reports made public during litigation against the company document executives’ concerns about potential contamination that date back 50 years.
Earlier this year, Johnson & Johnson disclosed that it isbeing investigatedby the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission over concerns about possible asbestos contamination of its talc-based products.
The company is now entangled in litigation on multiple fronts. On Thursday, it agreed to pay$117 millionto settle claims that it deceptively marketed transvaginal pelvic mesh implants. Earlier this month, a jury in Philadelphia ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay$8 billionto a Maryland man who accused the company of downplaying the risks associated with the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal. The company has also agreed tosettleclaimsinvolving its role in the nationwide opioid crisis.
Lee Hambright, an analyst with Bernstein, wrote in a note to clients last week that Johnson & Johnson could face $5 billion in legal liability over the talc litigation. Of the 15,500 talc lawsuits the company has disclosed, Mr. Hambright estimated that 1,000 involved mesothelioma cases.
Talc is a natural mineral that is mined from underground deposits, but asbestos can form under the same geological conditions that form talc, and geologists say veins of asbestos can intermingle with talc in underground mines.Johnson & Johnson officials emphasized that the level of asbestos detected was very low, the amount being “two ten-thousands of a percent” of the sample. U.S. health agencies, however, say there is no known safe level of exposure when it comes to asbestos.
While health risks increase with heavier and longer exposure times to asbestos, the overall evidence suggests no level of asbestos exposure is safe, and disease has been found in people with only brief exposures, according to theNational Cancer Institute.
For generations, urinary tract infections, one of the world’s most common ailments, have been easily and quickly cured with a simple course of antibiotics. But there is growing evidence that the infections, which afflict millions of Americans a year, mostly women, are increasingly resistant to these medicines, turning a once-routine diagnosis into one that is leading to more hospitalizations, graver illnesses and prolonged discomfort from the excruciating burning sensation that the infection brings.
The New York City Department of Health has become so concerned about drug-resistant U.T.I.s, as they are widely known, that it introduced a new mobile phone app this month that gives doctors and nurses access to a list of strains of urinary tract infections and which drugs they are resistant to. The department’s research found that a third of uncomplicated urinary tract infections caused by E. coli — the most common type now — were resistant to Bactrim, one of the most widely used drugs, and at least one fifth of them were resistant to five other common treatments. “This is crazy. This is shocking,” said Lance Price, director of the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center at George Washington University, who was not involved in the research.
The drug ampicillin, once a mainstay for treating the infections, has been abandoned as a gold standard because multiple strains of U.T.I.s are resistant to it. Some urinary tract infections now require treatment with heavy-duty intravenous antibiotics. Researchers last year reported in astudythat a third of all U.T.I.s in Britain are resistant to “key antibiotics.” Certainly, the day-to-day experience of having a U.T.I. is growing less routine for many women. Carolina Barcelos, 38, a postdoctoral researcher in Berkeley, Calif., said she had several U.T.I.s as a teenager, all successfully treated with Bactrim. When she got one in February, her doctor also prescribed Bactrim, but this time it didn’t work.
Four days later, she returned and got a new prescription, for a drug called nitrofurantoin. It didn’t work either. Her pain worsened, and several days later, there was blood in her urine. Her doctor prescribed a third drug, ciproflaxacin, the last of the three major front-line medicines, and cultured her urine. The culture showed her infection was susceptible to the new drug, but not the other two. “Next time,” Dr. Barcelos said, “I’m going to ask them to do a culture right away. For eight days I was taking antibiotics that weren’t working for me.” Usually, it is people with weakened immune systems or chronic medical conditions who are most vulnerable to drug-resistant infections, but U.T.I.s have a dubious distinction: They are the single biggest risk to healthy people from drug-resistant germs.
Resistance to antibiotics has become one of the world’s most pressing health issues. Overuse of the drugs in humans and livestock has caused germs to develop defenses to survive, rendering a growing number of medicines ineffective in treating a wide range of illnesses — a phenomenon that is playing out worldwide with U.T.I.s.
The World Health Organization, while noting that data on urinary tract infections and drug resistance is “scarce,” said the fact the infections were so common strongly suggested that increasing resistance would lead to more severe illnesses and fatalities. The solution, researchers and clinicians say, includes a continued push for more judicious use of antibiotics worldwide. But more immediately, a partial solution would be the development of quick, cheap diagnostic tools that would allow an instant urine culture so that a doctor could prescribe the right drug for U.T.I.s.
But whether to wait the several days it usually takes to get lab results before prescribing presents a tough dilemma for doctors and patients, who frequently are desperate for relief. Plus, depending on a person’s insurance, getting a culture can be expensive. Generally doctors still do not order a urine culture before prescribing an antibiotic.
“In the old days, the list of antibiotic options was short but by and large they would all work,” said Dr. James Johnson, an infectious disease professor and leading researcher on urinary tract infections at the University of Minnesota. Some women have U.T.I.s that the body fights off on its own without using antibiotics, while other women may have a different low-level ailment that feels like a U.T.I., but isn’t. The safest course is to see a doctor and make an informed decision that includes a judicious determination of whether antibiotics are warranted. The science does not support the efficacy of some popular remedies like cranberry juice or cranberry pills.
Officials from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that U.T.I.s acquired by otherwise healthy people were a growing concern and one poorly studied. They are not tracked nationally. In older people, urinary tract infections can be deadly, but tracking in the United States is so weak that there are no reliable estimates on the numbers of deaths related to the infections. The C.D.C. published an estimate of 13,000 per year, but that figure comes froma paper looking at 2002 dataand refers only to U.T.I.s acquired in hospitals. Dr. Clifford McDonald, associate director for science in the division of health care quality promotion at the C.D.C., said the government planned to expand its research.
“If we don’t do something soon,” Dr. McDonald said, “it’s going to push all our treatments to more advanced antibiotics that finally put a lot of pressure on the last-line treatments.”
What makes these infections so dangerous, and commonplace, is human anatomy. In women, the urethra — the gateway to the urinary tract — is in proximity to the rectum. This can lead to easy transfer of bacteria in fecal residue that otherwise resides harmlessly in the gut.
In reproductive years, women are 50 times for likely than men to have a urinary tract infection; later in life, the ratio drops to 2 to 1, as men wind up having surgical procedures on their prostate, or catheters, that more easily expose their urinary tracts to infection.
There are multiple germs that cause U.T.I.s, and their resistance levels to drugs vary both by strain and by where a patient lives. By far the most common cause of U.T.I.s today is E. coli, and, in general, those infections have seensharp rises in resistanceto gold standard treatments over the past decade and a half.
New research shows that one crucial path of transfer of germs that cause U.T.I.s is food, most often poultry. The consumed poultry winds up in a person’s gut and can get transferred through fecal residue to the urethra.
A study published last year by the American Society of Microbiology, funded partly by the C.D.C., found 12 strains of E. coli in poultry that matched widely circulating urinary tract infection strains. One of the study’s authors, Dr. Lee Riley, a professor of epidemiology and infectious diseases at the University of California, Berkeley, said he was working on a C.D.C.-funded project to determine whether the urinary tract infection needs to be classified and reported as a food-borne illness.
Dr. Brad Frazee, an emergency room doctor at Highland Hospital in Oakland, Calif., has been a co-author ofresearchthat adds another troubling wrinkle: Increasingly, E. coli is proving resistant not just to individual antibiotics, but also to a broad group of drugs known as beta-lactam antibiotics. These drugs share a way of attacking infection, and when a germ develops resistance to this method of attack, it eliminates several key treatment options all at once.
Recently, a woman carrying such resistance showed up at Dr. Frazee’s hospital, he said. She wound up with pyelonephritis, an infection in the kidney, and had to be treated in the hospital intravenously with a drug called ertapenem that can cost $1,000 a dose. A study found that around 5 percent of U.T.I.s at the hospital carried this resistance.
Doctors are now confronting cases of resistant urinary tract infections in their practices. Dr. Eva Raphael, a primary care physician in San Francisco, recently received notice that one of her patients, a healthy woman in her mid-30s, was back in the emergency room with another U.T.I. that was resistant to multiple antibiotics.
One of her prior U.T.I.s had failed to respond to two commonly used treatments and had spread to her kidney, requiring hospitalization to receive intravenous antibiotics. This time Dr. Raphael consulted with infectious disease specialists. “It can be quite dangerous in this age where there is more and more resistance,” she said, noting that without effective treatment the infection can get into the blood. “It can be fatal.”
Parkinson’sisthe second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s. Each year in the United States, approximately 60,000 new cases are diagnosed, bringing the total number of current cases up to about a million, with tens of thousands of people dying from the disease every year. The dietary component most often implicated is milk, as I discuss in my videoCould Lactose Explain the Milk and Parkinson’s Disease Link?, and contamination of milk by neurotoxins has been considered the “only possible explanation.” High levels of organochlorine pesticide residues have beenfoundin milk, as well as in the most affected areas in the brains of Parkinson’s victims on autopsy. Pesticides in milk have been found around the world, so perhaps the dairy industry should require toxin screenings of milk. In fact, inexpensive, sensitive, portable testsarenow available with no false positives and no false negatives, providing rapid detection of highly toxic pesticides in milk. Now, we just have to convince the dairy industry to actually do it.
Others are not as convinced of the pesticide link. “Despite clear-cut associations between milk intake and PD [Parkinson’s disease] incidence, there is no rational explanation for milkbeinga risk factor for PD.” If it were the pesticides present in milk that could accumulate in the brain, we would assume that the pesticides would build up in the fat. However, the link between skimmed milk and Parkinson’s is just as strong. So, researchers have suggested reverse causation: The milk didn’t cause Parkinson’s; the Parkinson’s caused the milk. Parkinson’s makes some people depressed, they reasoned, and depressed people may drink more milk. As such, they suggested we shouldn’t limit dairy intake for people with Parkinson’s, especially because they are so susceptible to hip fractures. But we now know that milk doesn’t appear toprotectagainst hip fractures after all and may actuallyincrease the risk of both bone fractures and death. (For more on this, see my videoIs Milk Good for Our Bones?.) Ironically, this may offer a clue as to what’s going on in Parkinson’s, but first, let’slookat this reverse causation argument: Did milk lead to Parkinson’s, or did Parkinson’s lead to milk?
What are needed are prospective cohort studies in which milk consumption is measured first and people are followed over time, and such studies stillfounda significant increase in risk associated with dairy intake. The risk increased by 17 percent for every small glass of milk a day and 13 percent for every daily half slice of cheese. Again, the standard explanation is that the risk is from all the pesticides and other neurotoxins in dairy, but that doesn’t explain why there’s more risk attached to some dairy products than others. Pesticide residues are found in all dairy products, so why should milk be associated with Parkinson’s more than cheese is? Besides the pesticides themselves, thereareother neurotoxic contaminants in milk, like tetrahydroisoquinolines,foundin the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease, but there are higher levels of these in cheese than in milk, though people maydrinkmore milk than eat cheese.
The relationship between dairy and Huntington’s diseaseappearssimilar. Huntington’s is a horrible degenerative brain disease that runs in families and whose early onset may be doubled by dairy consumption, but again, this maybemore milk consumption than cheese consumption, whichbringsus back to the clue in the more-milk-more-mortality study.
Anytime we hear disease risks associated with more milk than cheese—more oxidative stress and inflammation—we shouldthinkgalactose, the milk sugar rather than the milk fat, protein, or pesticides. That’s why we think milk drinkers specifically appeared to have a higher risk of bone fractures and death, which may explain the neurodegeneration findings, too. Not only do rare individuals with an inability todetoxifythe galactose found in milk suffer damage to their bones, but they alsoexhibitdamage to their brains.
Not long before Mihir Shah was to be married in 2007, his soon-to-be mother-in-law got a diagnosis of breast cancer. She underwent chemotherapy and survived, wearing a wig to the wedding. But while the women in Mr. Shah’s family — in both India and the United States — were able to get breast cancer screening, it made him think of the millions who weren’t as fortunate.
More than 90 percent of women in the developing world don’t have access to early detection of breast cancer. One reason is that mammograms, the gold-standard screening technique, are rarely used because of their high cost and a lack of trained radiologists. India has one radiologist for every 100,000 people; the United States has 12.
Then there are logistical challenges like a lack of electricity and poor roads. Many people are not aware of cancer, and the disease still carries a stigma.
Today, Saturday, April 22, 2017 is Earth Day. On this day we all should embrace our environment and take time out to do something for our environment. I’m not referring to the one in a shopping mall, nail salon, or in your bed. I’m referring to Mother Nature. Earth day is a special day too. The founder Gaylord Nelson, who was a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin got the idea after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. That catastrophe brought out many people, mostly students who supported the anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that same energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes from Harvard as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land. April 22, falling between Spring Break and Final Exams, was selected for Earth Day.
On April 22,1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. This is the day we honor our land, sea, and climate. Doing nothing is worst. Look at Earth Day like any other special day like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and even Christmas. We honor our love ones by doing something special for them. Well, on Earth Day do something special for the earth. Here are some great ideas:
A new study published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, suggest giving infants peanut power within the first 6 months of their lives. This early exposure can possibly prevent peanut allergy through introduction of peanut-containing foods beginning in infancy. Recorded data from 1999, peanut allergy was estimated to affect 0.4% of children and 0.7% of adults in the United States, and by 2010, peanut allergy prevalence had increased to approximately 2% among children in a national survey, with similar results reported in a regional cohort.
Peanut allergy is the leading cause of death related to food-induced anaphylaxis in the United States, and although overall mortality is low, the fear of life-threatening anaphylactic reactions contributes significantly to the medical and psychosocial burden of this disease. Many families who have a love one with a peanut allergy knows this onus personally. Simple family activities can be stressful, like eating out at a restaurant or going to a friends birthday party. As a parent you have to be extra careful at home and more importantly, in public. I’m so blessed none of my three children have food allergies. I know many families that endure a lot of heartache dealing with children with serious food allergies, and it can be extremely daunting.
“German chemicals giant Bayer has confirmed its record-breaking $66bn takeover of GM seeds business Monsanto – a deal that would create the world’s biggest seeds and pesticides company.” This doesn’t surprise me at all. By the way, genetically modified seeds are killing us, if you didn’t know. Bayer purchased of Monsanto might propell them in the number one spot for the biggest and most profitable pharmaceutical company. That just means more people will die from drugs and GMO products. Support the organic movement and buy organic and NonGMO foods.
In the United States, all drugs potentially destined for use have to undergo clinical trials for safety and efficacy. Now, the question here is, who is conducting those studies? Have you heard of the term, ‘Big Pharma‘? It means big pharmaceutical companies essentially like Merck & Co., Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer to name a few who have an enormous amount of monetary power to do as they please or manipulate outcomes. New data from the Johns Hopkins University suggests that the funding of clinical trials by corporations with vested interests is now the norm. These clinical trials are more than likely funded by the pharmaceutical industry. Third party testings are not required, so the drug industry is basically policing itself. Go figure! Clinical trials funded directly by the United States National Institute of Health (NIH) are considered independent, a large portion of trials conducted by the NIH are now funded by major pharmaceutical corporations.
The Johns Hopkins report showed that the number of independent NIH-funded trials fell by 24 peecent from 2006 to 2014, while pharmaceutical-funded NIH trails increased by 43 percent in the same time period. Fewer independent trials means that the FDA is not acting with impartiality. It is also worth noting that NIH has less money for running independent studies because Congress has cut its funding. Big Pharma is willing to fund the clinical trials, however, and is not held accountable for lack of transparency in drug testing.
The pharmaceutical industry have one goal, and that’s to make money. Not to cure people, to basically collect collateral, and be the first to put out that wonder drug that promises positive results. They hate everything natural, organic, homeopathic, alternative, or herbalist practices because they cannot make money from it. If doctors stop writing prescriptions for pain, what do you think will happen? Profits will fall dramatically. The marijuana industry is booming now, and that’s an herb. How do you think they feel about that? Marijuana takes away pain, period. There’s a new body of research showing that painkiller abuse and overdose are lower in states with medical marijuana laws. These studies have generally assumed that when medical marijuana is available, pain patients are increasingly choosing pot over powerful and deadly prescription narcotics. But that’s always been just an assumption. A new study conducted by Ashley B. Bradford and W. David Bradford found that the use of prescription drugs for which marijuana could serve as a clinical alternative fell significantly, once a medical marijuana law was implemented.
According to the Washington Post, the Bradfords took their analysis a step further by estimating the cost savings to Medicare from the decreased prescribing. They found that about $165 million was saved in the 17 medical marijuana states in 2013. In a back-of-the-envelope calculation, the estimated annual Medicare prescription savings would be nearly half a billion dollars if all 50 states were to implement similar programs. This is outstanding. Big Pharma is real and scary people. I’ve included these cartoon clippings below to describe the reality of our country’s situation. Choose your care wisely. I’m a huge advocate for eating a whole food plant-based diet. This diet has proven success for reducing, reversing, and even curing illnesses. For more information on nutritiously regaining your health back to normalcy, visit www.nutritionstudies.org.
Check these carrots out. I plucked them up earlier this week from my garden. My children thought it looked hysterical. Then my eldest son Justin asked, “what are you going to do with that?” My response was simple, “eat it!” My youngest Lily said, “let’s juice it mommy!” So, we did just that. I have a profound appreciation for these kinds of so-called “ugly” foods, and not because I grew these carrots, because it’s food not worth wasting. Huge problems exists in our food system today that we as consumers deal with on a daily basis. We have Big Agro over spraying pesticides and herbicides, Genetically Modifies Organisms (GMO) contaminating our foods, and so much more. One very important aspect that doesn’t get enough attention, is food waste. In America alone, about 25% of produce is wasted before it even reaches the grocery store, and that’s just based off of looks. The most notable new data showed that the United States waste $218 billion a year, or 1.3% of GDP, growing, processing, and transporting disposing food that is never eaten. Its food totaling 52 million tons sent to landfills annually. Those figures are disturbingly our reality. With high homelessness, starvation, and educational cut backs year after year, it’s disgraceful to know these staggering figures is due to food waste.
We live in a world that is constantly judging looks, our socioeconomic status, religion and race. You probably didn’t realize it but, food also is highly judged. Fruits and vegetables that are grown with disfigurations and scars are usually tossed to the side by retailers and consumers. They’re not considered edible by as many as 1:7 Americans. These foods end up as waste.
There’s nothing wrong with these foods and many consumers need to understand that. Picking out the most perfect apple or the brightest orange doesn’t make them healthier for you. They are just as nutritious and edible as their unmarred brethrens. Thanks to some amazing people over at the @UglyFruitAndVeg Campaign, change is slowly taking shape. They started petitions that targeted huge retailers that got amazing responses from people and organization who want to stop food waste. The support from other anti-food waste campaigners like Foodtank and EndFoodWaste.org also contributes to the awareness with programs and petitions. Today, relailers like Whole Foods Market and Walmart are selling “ugly” fruits and vegetables. Change is taking place slowly but consumers should support by buying these ugly fruits and vegetables. The next time you come across an apple with a dent or a conjoined carrot, buy it. Irwin Goldman, a professor of horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison said, these fruits and vegetables aren’t genetic mutants. “They’re totally edible and in some cases, quite beautiful.” Don’t discriminate against disfigured foods. Buy’em, eat’em, cook’em or even juice’em and enjoy🤗 Resources: ReFED – Rethinking Food Waste. Ugly Fruit – The 20 Billion Pound Elephant in the Room
Have you ever heard of the term “thin-fat syndrome?” Well, Dr. Mark Hayman says, “it means you are under lean but over fat – not enough muscle and too much fat (especially belly fat).” Diabetes does not discriminate. It doesn’t matter if you are skinny or obese, you could be at risk. Type 2 diabetes is growing rampant in the United States and you need to learn about the signs. Type II is called “adult onset diabetes” or “non-insulin dependent diabetes” because it most often affects people over forty years old.
See if you’re vulnerable and what to do next.
Waking up often during the night to pee
Feeling unusually thirsty
Unexplained weight loss or gain
Frequent yeast infections
Tingling in the hands and feet
Cuts that don’t heal well or infections that are difficult to get rid of
If you notice even one of these symptoms of diabetes, it’s worth bringing it up with your doctor and asking for a blood test (usually the A1C) to check your blood sugar levels. The best approach to avoid or reverse it is exercise and diet, which is key regardless of how much you weigh. Rochelle Naylor, MD, an endocrinologist of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center recommends cardio and strength training, which can both improve insulin sensitivity. Aiming for 30 minutes a day at five times a week is the minimum requirement. Curbing the processed foods and simple carbohydrates is important. Not to mention, adding more fiber-rich foods and vegetables into your diet will give you the right balance. I’m a huge advocate for a whole-food plant-based diet.