No quick drug cure expected for obesity

Capital News Service
LANSING – Two new obesity drugs are awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration, but federal advisers say Qnexa and Lorcaserin should undergo clinical trials to ensure there are no heart-risks. According to the Department of Community Health, Michigan has the 10th highest rate of obesity in the United States. Thirty percent of adults were obese and about one in six children aged 2 to 5 were obese or overweight in 2010. “It is necessary to initiate clinical trials of the new drugs,” said Tom Rifai, medical director of metabolic nutrition and weight management at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac.

Health debate rages on but BPA still lines cans

Capital News Service
LANSING – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided to allow a controversial chemical to remain in food packaging. The chemical, Bisphenol A (BPA), is used to line beer, soda, vegetable and soup cans, as well as other consumer products such as reusable plastic water bottles. Although the agency stressed that research is ongoing, it said there isn’t enough scientific evidence to support claims that BPA has adverse effects on people. Eden Foods Inc. in Clinton has had BPA-free packaging since 1999 when customers expressed concerns about the chemical. Jonathan Wilson, the media manager at Eden Foods, said the company didn’t want to use cans with BPA if there were even a chance that they could be dangerous.

Federal curb of animal antibiotic meant to protect human health

Capital News Service
LANSING — For the first time, federal authorities are banning an antibiotic in livestock because of fears that some human diseases are becoming resistant to it. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ban on cephalosporin will apply only to uses not specified by the drug’s label. “Most antibiotics were developed for use in humans in the first place,” said Steve Halstead, the state veterinarian at the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Many have other uses not stated on their labels, often due to a lack of research funding to ensure the safety of those uses. Cephalosporin is most commonly used to treat human infections of the skin, respiratory tract and urinary tract.