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Tuesday, Sep 02nd

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Consumer Activists Put Pressure on Retailers to Drop Triclosan

TriclosanWal-Mart and other retailers are under mounting pressure to eliminate products with triclosan, an antibacterial chemical used in hand soaps and Colgate-Palmolive Co. (CL)’s Total toothpaste.

Mike Schade, who is running a retailer-focused Mind the Store campaign for a Washington-based consumer group called Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, said activists are increasing their efforts to get stores to remove potentially harmful ingredients from their shelves, including triclosan.

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Undercover Audio Reveals How Anti-Abortion Activists Pursue Patients, Providers

Anti-abortion tactics videoOn the same day that Texas abortion clinics fought in court to remain open, anti-abortion activists held a training session at the state's capitol on how to keep the facilities closed.

The meeting, held on Aug. 4 in Austin, was conducted as a network of abortion providers challenged the Texas legislature's HB 2 law, passed last year, that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at local hospitals and for clinics to become ambulatory surgical centers.

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Philip Morris prepared to sue UK over plain cigarette packaging

Philip Morris sues UKPhilip Morris International, the world's largest tobacco company, is prepared to sue the British government should it implement a law requiring plain packaging of cigarettes, a document seen by Reuters on Tuesday showed.

The UK government has conducted a consultation with its Department of Health on potential legislation which would force cigarette makers to sell their products in plain packages with graphic health warnings and no branding.

The maker of Marlboro cigarettes "is prepared to protect its rights in the courts and to seek fair compensation for the value of its property," the company has told the UK government in response to its consultation.

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New Medicaid enrollments top 7 million under Obamacare

Obama care enrollments riseMore than seven million Americans have gained health coverage through government programs including Medicaid since enrollment in Obamacare health insurance was launched October 1, the U.S. administration said on Friday.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said 7.2 million new participants in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program by June brought overall Medicaid enrollment to 66 million people.

The enrollees include uninsured Americans who gained coverage through traditional Medicaid, as well as a special Medicaid expansion in 26 of the 50 U.S. states under President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

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WHO declares Ebola epidemic an international health emergency

WHO declards Ebola epidemicWest Africa's Ebola epidemic is an "extraordinary event" and now constitutes an international health risk, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

The Geneva-based U.N. health agency said the possible consequences of a further international spread of the outbreak, which has killed almost 1,000 people in four West African countries, were "particularly serious" in view of the virulence of the virus.

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Costs, not science, have delayed Ebola vaccine for years

ebola virusSince March, the Ebola virus has killed at least 932 people in West Africa, the deadliest ever outbreak of the disease, and as the lethal hemorrhagic fever continues its spread, governments are taking drastic measures — from quarantining villages to closing schools — to stem the epidemic.

But perhaps there could have been another option to fight the virus. More than four years ago, a team of U.S. government scientists developed vaccine candidates that shielded monkeys from multiple strains of Ebola. Those vaccines, however, were never tested in human clinical trials — and not because the science wasn’t promising. One small trial on the monkeys, for example, had a 100 percent success rate of protecting the animals from the disease.

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Truth In Labeling: Celiac Community Cheers FDA Rule For Gluten Free

gluten free labelingIf you spot a food package label that says gluten free, you can now be pretty well assured that the label means what it says.

As of Aug. 5, all food manufacturers must be in compliance with a set by the Food and Drug Administration.  The rule states that foods may be labeled "gluten free" only if there's less than 20 parts per million of the protein.

The new regulation is aimed at protecting people with celiac disease, a chronic autoimmune disorder that can destroy the lining of the small intestine.

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