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The FDA announced yesterday that new warning labels about liver injury will be placed on two market leading weight loss drugs, prescription strength Xenical and the-over-the counter Alli. The decision was based on just 13 reports of liver injury over the pas decade 12 reports of liver damage associated with Xenical outside the U.S., and a single case in the U.S. from Alli. An estimated 40 million people worldwide have taken either Xenical or Alli, manufactured by Roche and GlaxoSmithKline.

The FDA does note that, At this time, a cause-and-effect relationship of severe liver injury with [Xenical or Alli] use has not been established. This over-reaction again highlights the FDA s...

Times they are a-changin and the FDA is becoming more aware of this as they reconsider a rule implemented in 1983 that prohibits men who have had sex even once with another man since 1977 from donating blood. Originally put into practice due to fears that HIV would contaminate the blood supply, the rule now seems outdated with the current availability of more accurate testing to screen for HIV.

ACSH s Jeff Stier, one of the first to openly discuss and critique the FDA on this matter, in an 2007 article in The Huffington Post says,The only thing this policy does is make it harder to...

CBS News reported yesterday morning that plastic and wooden pallets used for transporting food are deemed unsanitary and implicated in the contamination of food by the E. coli and Listeria bacteria.

This is ironic, says ACSH's Jeff Stier, after watching the CBS News video. The anti-plastics activists make a living scaring us about hypothetical -- as opposed to real -- risks. So here we've got what appears to be a small, but real risk, and they say it is nothing to worry about. (Even though the report seemed to criticize both wood and plastic pallets.)

If anything, the plastic pallets seem easier to scrub than the wood ones. And surely, they have a long shelf...

It seems that neither advanced video games nor the allure of Facebook are capable of satiating teenage boredom any longer, which explains why some have found alternative and novel forms of amusement. For instance, 19-year-old Melissa Fontaine chooses to entertain her and a group of rambunctious rugby players by pulling her eyelids open and allowing shots of vodka to be poured into her left eye.

Termed vodka eyeballing, this trend has gained notoriety in student circles as the latest drinking craze. Unfortunately, the devastating long-term damage associated with this activity, including deteriorating eyesight, are not emphasized when inebriated frat boys goad one...

Millions of vacationers will pack a picnic basket and head to the parks and beaches this Memorial Day weekend we hope you re among them and we here at ACSH urge everyone to eat their potato salad till to their heart s content.

As discussed in the newly-revised ACSH publication Health and Safety Tips for Your Summer Vacation , many people are scared of eating potato and chicken salads at summer picnics because they ve heard mayonnaise-laden dishes are the ones most likely to cause food poisoning. Somehow mayo has taken the blame but ACSH is here to tell you that that s a bad rap. The mayonnaise is innocent!

Everyone I know thinks mayonnaise causes food poisoning, says ACSH s Dr....

A coveted seat at the ACSH Dispatch table for Cas Holloway, commissioner of the New York City s Department of Environmental Protection. His agency spent $81,000 to study the city s water supply after a scaremongering pharmawater investigation by The Associated Press in 2008 found traces of pharmaceuticals in municipal drinking water around the nation.

The conclusion of the study? It turns out New York City s water supply isn t going to cure your headaches, change your hormones or lower your cholesterol after all. (Not that we at ACSH ever thought it would.)

The official press release says it all :

Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway today announced...

The food industry has been substituting trans-fat with better-for-you fats, HealthDay reports , picking up an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found most manufacturers and restaurants weren t simply replacing trans-fat with saturated fat, as some had feared they would.

But, since we know trans fats don t pose a significant threat, ACSH s Jeff Stier worries that the reformulation will not actually make the public any healthier and may have unintended consequences.

People will say, Well, the french fries are healthy now, so why not...

The tobacco industry is shifting its focus to courting new female customers in developing countries, according to the Centers for Disease Control s Global Adult Tobacco Survey. The AP reports that while 80 percent of the world's estimated 1 billion smokers are men ¦ more women are picking up the habit in some countries as flavored products and glossy feminine packaging cater to them.

While we re making slow but steady progress reducing smoking in Europe and North America, the Asian market for cigarettes is exploding, says Dr. Ross sadly. Obviously we have no regulatory reach over there, and with the cigarette makers sensing that the markets in North America and Europe are...

The British Medical Journal reports that people who do not practice good dental hygiene are at increased risk for heart disease. Gum infections seem to add to the inflammatory burden on individuals, increasing cardiovascular risk, the researchers say, Webmd reports.

This BMJ study is now part of a growing body of evidence linking poor dental hygiene with increased risk of systemic disease, says Dr. Whelan.

Stier adds, "This study is far from conclusive as to cause-and-effect but it's still good advice: Like your mom said, brush your teeth after every meal, and don't forget to floss."

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that normal dietary amounts of omega-3 fatty acids especially from fish are sufficient for reducing the risk of heart disease, and additional supplementation is not likely to provide additional benefit.

These researchers studied more than 2,400 Norwegians being treated for heart disease, says ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross. They found based on dietary data collected that only patients who consume the lowest level of omega-3s had any beneficial effect from supplementing omega-3 intake, which would suggest that the fish oil supplements so popular right now are probably unnecessary for the large majority...