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Saturday, Dec 20th

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Where the Hell Is the Surgeon General?

Dr. Vivek MurthyWe’ve got an Ebola crisis on our hands—and no surgeon general to deal with it. Blame the NRA, but Obama and the Senate Democrats, too.

When the Sunday morning TV shows needed to talk to an official with the Obama administration about the deadly Ebola virus on American soil, longtime senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer was sent out to reassure the American people.

Don’t get me wrong. Dan’s a nice guy, but when there is a health crisis in this country, I want to hear from a doctor, not a political guy with no health experience at all.

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GNC stops sale of two supplements in wake of news story

Redline White HeatNutritional supplement retailer GNC has stopped selling two products containing a new stimulant ingredient that is under fire from scientists, senators and a major industry group.

The products Redline White Heat and OxyTHERM Pro were being sold on GNC's website this week. But as of Wednesday afternoon, in the wake of a USA TODAY article, they had been removed from online store. GNC web pages that had offered the products for sale have had all information stripped from them.

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Anti-Cancer Susan G. Komen Foundation Accused of 'Pinkwashing' The Fracking Industry

Susan G. Komen pinkwashing cancer reearchHelping find a cure for cancer or “pinkwashing” carcinogenic pollution? That is the question being raised upon the news that one of the world’s largest fossil fuel services firms is partnering with the Susan G. Komen Foundation on a breast cancer awareness campaign, despite possible links between fracking and cancer.

According to the website of energy services firm Baker Hughes, “the company will paint and distribute a total of 1,000 pink drill bits worldwide” as a “reminder of the importance of supporting research, treatment, screening and education to help find the cures” for breast cancer. The firm, which is involved in hydraulic fracturing, is also donating $100,000 to the Komen Foundation in what it calls a “yearlong partnership.”

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Texas Ebola Patient Thomas Eric Duncan Has Died

eric duncanThomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, died Wednesday morning, the Dallas hospital where he was being treated said.

Duncan, 42, was given the experimental Ebola drug brincidofovir, but his family said he was doing poorly and the hospital had downgraded his condition from serious to critical. When the family visited Tuesday with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, they declined to view him via video link because the last time had been too upsetting.

"What we saw was very painful. It didn't look good," said Duncan's nephew Josephus Weeks.

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Most Foods Labeled 'Natural' Actually Contain GMOs

gmo's in most natural foodsA majority of U.S. packaged foods labeled as "natural" and tested by Consumer Reports actually contained a substantial level of genetically modified ingredients, according to a report issued Tuesday by the non-profit product testing group.

Consumers are being misled by the "natural" label, said Urvashi Rangan, executive director of Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability.

Consumer Reports said it had conducted a survey of more than 80 different processed foods containing corn or soy, the two most widely grown genetically engineered crops in the United States, to determine whether labeling claims for GMO presence were accurate.

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Texas will not be able to cope with abortion needs, pro-choice groups say

Texas closes abortion clinicsCalling the Texas laws “medically unnecessary and overly burdensome,” Lisa Brown, senior policy director at the National Abortion Federation, said it could “severely limit the ability of Texas women to access that [high-quality abortion] care.”

Nash explained that the new ruling would require abortion centers to operate as ambulatory service centers, resembling a “mini hospital.” Those requirements include ventilation systems that are hospital grade, certain size rooms for operation, specific width for hallways and parking lot space.

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HHS adds four new substances to carcinogens list

CigarettesFour new substances have been added to the official federal list of carcinogens, which is updated each year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Carcinogens are substances -- chemical, biological, and physical agents -- implicated in the direct causation of cancer, either by damaging the body's genome or altering cellular metabolism.

Of the four new substances, only one is classified as a "known human carcinogen." The other three were given the qualified classification of "reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens."

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