Concerns About FDA Approved Drugs

medsLast week findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that nearly one-third of FDA approved drugs from 2001 through 2010 had major safety issues years after the medications were made widely available to patients.

The study identified 123 drugs that had safety issues arise after FDA approval. Of those:

• 3 were withdrawn due to safety concerns.
• 61 had received boxed warnings about serious side effects (the strictest warning put in the labeling of prescription drugs or drug products by the FDA Continue reading “Concerns About FDA Approved Drugs”

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Say No to Triclosan

Here’s a way to be healthier, as well as gentler on the environment this year that you may not have considered: stop using antibacterial products, such as soaps and wipes, and some toothpastes, mouthwashes, and deodorants. The main villain here is a common chemical called triclosan, which is harmful to the environment, can disrupt hormones, and can contribute to antibiotic resistance.

Thankfully, the US Food and Drug Administration is finally placing triclosan under scrutiny, demanding that it be proven safe and more effective against infection than regular soap and water. If not, it may be removed from the market.

The main problem with triclosan from a public health standpoint is that it’s not actually that effective at killing germs. It kills off the weaker bacteria, leaving the stronger ones behind. That’s a perfect formula for breeding bacterial resistance.

Companies have until December 2014 to prove that the products that contain triclosan are safe. Until then, it is up to us to read labels and watch out for this ingredient. If you are concerned, turn over the bottle of any antibacterial; if triclosan is in it, then it will be clearly labeled as the active ingredient.

Click here to see a more inclusive list of products containing triclosan (you will be surprised!) or read further about this very interesting issue.


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The Nutrition Facts Label Turns 20

food labelBelieve it or not, the Nutrition Facts label turned 20 years old this year. It was in January of 1993 that the FDA issued the final ruling on this iconic black and white box that now graces (or has graced) the back of literally billions of food packages. Many of us can barely remember shopping for food without it, and for the rest of us it kind of feels like it’s been there all along.

A recent story on WAMU’s Metro connection features the man who designed the label and explores what went into its development. Evidently they went through 35 versions before settling on the simple box with lines and text that we know today. It certainly paid off in some sense, as the label has earned acclaim from some of the most prestigious voices in graphic design. In a different light, it’s a good thing so much thought went into it because this small collection of unbiased and straightforward data has had immense influence on our nation’s health and the global food industry.  Continue reading “The Nutrition Facts Label Turns 20”

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Statins Linked to Memory Loss

The FDA is adding new warnings to statin drugs about the risk of memory loss. Statins are a widely prescribed group of cholesterol-lowering drugs, particularly like Pfizer Inc.’s Lipitor, AstraZeneca’s Crestor and Merck & Co. Inc.’s Zocor.

New labeling on all such drugs will warn of memory loss and confusion reported among certain patients taking statins. In general, the problems were “not serious” and went away after patients stopped taking the drugs, according to the FDA.

If you are concerned about cholesterol medications, talk to your health care practitioner. Many people can lower cholesterol through diet, exercise and supplements.

Here are some supplements that can help with supporting healthy cholesterol:

Cholesterol Support: Several key vitamins, minerals, herbs, and nutrients have a strong scientific history in supporting healthy cholesterol levels. These nutrients include policosanol, guggulipids, pantethine, chromium and niacin, as well as homocysteine factors (vitamins B-6, B-12, and folic acid). Continue reading “Statins Linked to Memory Loss”

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Whole Foods Backs Down to GMO Giant Monsanto

After 12 years of fighting this biotech giant, Whole Foods has backed down from trying to stop Monsanto genetically engineered (GE, or GMO) crops from contaminating the nation’s 25,000 organic farms and ranches, saying that GMOs and organic plants have to coexist in this world. Biotechnology is big business. The mother of agricultural technology, Monsanto reported sales of approximately 10.5 billion dollars in 2010. They make Roundup, the name given to the herbicide glyphosate, the most used herbicide on the planet. They also make genetically modified seeds that can tolerate very high doses of Roundup.

Genetically modified seeds or foods are made from genetically modified organisms, commonly known as GMOs. These GMOs have had changes made to their DNA by genetic engineering. The FDA does not regulate GMOs and Monsanto will try to convince you that GMOs are safe and that they are helping stop hunger by providing the capability to grow foods that are hardier and stronger.

However, here are eight reasons according to why genetically modified organisms are bad:  Continue reading “Whole Foods Backs Down to GMO Giant Monsanto”

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  • Paula Gallagher
    Paula Gallagher
    Paula is a highly qualified and experienced nutrition counselor on the staff at Village Green.
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September 2023