Tainted: Why Gay Men Still Can't Donate Blood
- "Since 1983, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines have disqualified men who have ever had sex with men (MSM) from donating blood... Uneven application of exclusion to at-risk individuals suggests that risk aversion disproportionately impacts MSMs. For example, a non-MSM individual who has had sexual contact with a commercial sex worker or HIV-positive partner is deferred for only twelve months... The fact that the U.S. upholds a lifetime ban on MSM donation while Australian policy allows MSM individuals to donate a year or less after contact reveals a glaring discrepancy. Both ethics and science point to a flaw in FDA policy. That I could have had sex with 365 partners this year and be a perfectly fine candidate for donating blood, while the MSM next to me wouldn't qualify, betrays a faulty line of logic." [more inside]
The House passed H.R. 1256, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act
a few days ago
. The bill would put regulation of tobacco under the jurisdiction of the F.D.A.
of this bill, pointing out that Philip Morris is behind it. But the bill does contain many positive elements
. Manufacturers would be required to disclose product ingredients to the F.D.A. and marketing to children would be further restricted. [more inside]
This is not good news.
U.S. health officials have issued a warning about possible birth defects in infants born to women who take the antidepressant Paxil during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Your hair is drab. Dull. Needs more volume. Needs less frizz. It needs something. Maybe it needs cetyl alcohol
. Mixed with a dash of propylene glycol
, and how about a little butane
, or acrylamide
Once upon a time, people lathered, rinsed, never repeated, and went on their merry bad-hair days. Then, science and chemistry specialized the way folks condition and shine.
Companies began creating new compounds so they could design products for specific hair types. Now, some consumer groups worry about the mix of chemicals
: they point to incomplete labeling and little government oversight of the cosmetics and hair industry, accusations the Food and Drug Administration
does not deny.
"The FDA needs to define what is safe to put in these products, and come up with standards," says Tim Kropp, a senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group
, a nonprofit consumer organization in Washington that helped produce a study on problem ingredients in everyday products. "There are no safety standards in place
." (to access main link, a little help from BugMeNot).
Doctors put spotlight on Plan B pill
The American Medical Association voiced its support for over-the-counter sales of morning-after birth control, saying the Food and Drug Administration was wrong to reject such sales and urging doctors to write advance prescriptions.
The FDA has put the brakes on clinical trials of a promising form of stem cell therapy
which uses the body's own stem cells to heal dammage. The procedure was used earlier this year to heal the heart of a teenager who was shot in the heart by a nail gun
. Other research is being done with the body's own stem cells on the heart
and the spinal cord
, and new ways to produce large numbers of adult stem cells have been discovered by MIT
and the British company TriStem
. With the controversy over embryonic stem cells
, I'm glad that adult stem cell therapy is showing promise. [Some links via FuturePundit
, who is rather annoyed
with the FDA.]
FDA now officially useless?
Well, it's looking that way.. They are now about to allow unverified
health claims on food labels. They say this is a good thing. I wonder... What function does the FDA have now if it's not to protect the consumer from wild and potentially false claims on their food products?
are described as being "a secret killer"
, and "about as bad as bad gets"
. The US FDA
does not currently require trans fats to be listed on product labels, but that may soon be changing
A few years back I remember seeing a news report asking whether adverse reactions to Anthrax vaccination during the Gulf War was responsible for Persian Gulf War Syndrome. How come no one is talking about this now?
If congress or the media start clambering for Anthrax Vaccinations, will anyone remember the adverse side effects suspected by many soldiers and scientists? Yes the FDA approved the Anthrax Vaccine, but there are still many questions about it's safety. The military is not unaware of the ongoing debate, but The FDA does not have an unblemished record.
This is all getting very X-Files... (scroll down to 1991)