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Sunday, Oct 26th

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Crest agrees to stop putting plastic microbeads in your toothpaste

microbeadsToothpaste is supposed to help clean your teeth and get rid of leftover food. But for some Crest toothpaste users, that leftover food is just being replaced with tiny microbeads -- making smiles look spotty and gums speckled, not sparkling white and debris-free.

Crest says that won't be the case for long, however, as the maker of Crest toothpastes, Procter & Gamble, announced today that it will cease including the microbeads in their products and that all toothpastes containing the tiny polyethylene plastic balls will be off the shelves within six months.

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USDA approves new modified corn, soybean seeds

genetically modified soybeanThe Agriculture Department has approved the use of genetically modified corn and soybean seeds that are resistant to a popular weed killer.

However, farmers won't be able to take full advantage of the seeds until the Environmental Protection Agency issues a second ruling allowing the use of Enlist, a new version of the 2,4-D weed killer that's been around since the 1940s. The EPA has said it will rule this fall on Dow AgroSciences' application to market the chemical.

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Are Routine Scans Causing Cancer?

ct scans. A recent article in the Journal of American Medical Association noted that “a sizeable proportion of patients with advanced cancer continue to undergo cancer screening tests that do not have a meaningful likelihood of providing benefit.” Another published in the September 28, 2010 issue of Health Imaging noted that “as many as 30 percent of diagnostic imaging procedures are inappropriate or contribute no useful information.”

Elsewhere, statistics cited by the American College of Radiology (ACR) estimate that “60 million CT scans and 20 million nuclear medicine scans annually in the US might cause up to 40,000 fatal cancers.”

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Philip Morris Sues Uruguay Over Graphic Cigarette Packaging

Philip Morris sues UruguayShopping for cigarettes in Uruguay isn't a pleasant experience. Photos of decaying teeth, premature babies and gruesome hospital scenes wrap around every pack. In fact, the country requires manufacturers to cover at least 80 percent of the packaging with medical warnings and graphic images.

Cigarette giant Philip Morris International sees this requirement as a violation of a treaty law. So it's suing the country of Uruguay for $25 million.

The lawsuit is based on a 1991 trade agreement between Uruguay and Switzerland, where the company is located. The cigarette manufacturer says Uruguay is violating its promise to respect intellectual property rights.

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Documents reveal how poultry firms systematically feed antibiotics to flocks

antibiotic use in chickensPervasive use fuels concerns about impact on human health, emergence of resistant superbugs

Major U.S. poultry firms are administering antibiotics to their flocks far more pervasively than regulators realize, posing a potential risk to human health.

Internal records examined by Reuters reveal that some of the nation’s largest poultry producers routinely feed chickens an array of antibiotics – not just when sickness strikes, but as a standard practice over most of the birds’ lives.

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Fourth doctor dies of Ebola in Sierra Leone

Ebola crisisSierra Leone has lost a fourth doctor to Ebola after a failed effort to transfer her abroad for medical treatment, a government official said Sunday, a huge setback to the impoverished country that is battling the virulent disease amid a shortage of health care workers.

Dr. Olivet Buck died late Saturday, hours after the World Health Organization said it could not help medically evacuate her to Germany, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brima Kargbo confirmed to The Associated Press.

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Enterovirus 68 now sickening children in Northeast

Enterovirus 68A virus hospitalizing children in the U.S. Midwest at an unprecedented rate has now made its way into the Northeast, with cases found in New York and Connecticut.

The virus, identified as EV-D68, comes from a family of diseases called enterovirus. Enteroviruses are fairly common and cause cold-like symptoms typically during the month of September.

EV-D68, though, has puzzled doctors with its severity and higher-than-normal hospitalizations of those who have contracted it.

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