Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Disease-Causing Bacteria Common in Pork: Study
New questions about the safety of pork are raised in a study by
Consumer Reports, an independent, nonprofit organization.
The group tested nearly 200 pork chop and ground pork samples
and found that many tested positive for potentially disease-causing
bacteria such as salmonella, listeria, staph, and yersinia,
More than 90 percent of the bacteria found in the pork samples
"All of these things paint a very concerning picture about this indiscriminate use of antibiotics in meat production in this country, and what we believe are the resulting consequences of that," said Urvashi Rangan, director of consumer safety and sustainability at Consumer Reports.
"You always expect to find some bacteria in any meat product. But those are usually harmless. I think the real surprise here was to find so many potentially disease-causing bacteria," Stephen Morse, of the Columbia University School of Public Health, told CBS News.
Pork is safe to eat, according to Scott Hurd of the Iowa State
University College of Veterinary Medicine. He's a former top U.S.
food safety official who has done consulting work for the pork
He said germs are found in nearly everything we eat and that
consumers should always be careful when handling meat, including
washing your hands and cooking meat thoroughly,
Nobel Prize-Winning Transplant Pioneer Dies
A Nobel Prize-winning American surgeon who conducted the first
successful human organ transplant died Monday.
Dr. Joseph E. Murray, 93, died from complications caused by a
stroke he suffered Nov. 22,
The New York Timesreported.
Murray died at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, where he
performed his first transplant, said hospital spokesman Tom
Langford. In the groundbreaking surgical procedure, conducted in
1954, Murray transplanted a healthy kidney from a 23-year-old man
into the man's ailing identical twin.
Throughout his career, Murray pioneered techniques that
benefited tens of thousands of patients who received new kidneys,
lungs, hearts, livers or other organs,
In 1990, Murray was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or
Operations Halted At Peanut Butter Plant: FDA
The Food and Drug Administration has used new powers to halt
operations at a New Mexico peanut butter plant linked to a
salmonella outbreak that sickened 41 people in 20 states.
Sunland Inc., the nation's largest organic peanut butter
processor, voluntarily shut down operations at its plant in
Portales, N.M. earlier this fall and had announced that it would
reopen the facility on Tuesday, the
However, the FDA on Monday suspended Sunland's registration.
This was done under new powers given to the FDA to stop production
at facilities that may be producing unsafe food.
The Sunland plant has had repeated food safety violations over
several years, the
It's the first time the FDA has used its new authority to
suspend a company's registration. That power was given to the
agency in food safety law enacted in early 2011.
Prior to the new law, the FDA would have had to go to court to
suspend a company's registration, explained Michael Taylor, the
FDA's deputy commissioner for foods.
"We would have had to go to court and build a case," Taylor told the AP. Now, the onus is on the company to prove that its food is safe.
Appeals Court Must Re-Examine Key Part of Health Care Law:
A U.S. federal appeals court must take another look at whether a
key requirement in the health care reform law violates religious
freedoms, the Supreme Court says.
In June, the Supreme Court upheld the overall law but left room
for legal challenges to certain aspects of the law's application,
CNNreported. On Monday, the high court told a three-judge
panel of the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to revisit its
unanimous 2011 decision that a lawsuit by Liberty University in
Virginia should be blocked on jurisdictional grounds.
The lawsuit by the private Christian evangelical college claimed
that the new federal law would lead to taxpayer dollars funding
abortions and contraception. The Obama administration says that's
The school, which re-filed its lawsuit after the Supreme Court's
June ruling, says people shouldn't be required to buy health
insurance, and employers shouldn't be forced to provide it, if they
have legitimate moral and religious objections to some parts of the
health care law.
There is no indication when the appeals court will revisit the
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