EXPOSING the FDA and the USDA - Broad Casting here the things that they would prefer us NOT to know about our FOOD & DRUGS & Farming.

Thursday, October 27, 2011



A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the

International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Mon 24 Oct 2011

Source: eFoodAlert [edited]

Italian olives tainted with botulinum toxin sickened 2 members of a

Helsinki family last week [week of 17 Oct 2011]. Both individuals

reported having eaten Gaudiano Organic Olives Stuffed with Almonds.

Lab tests confirmed that the jar from which the 2 patients had eaten

the olives contained botulinum toxin.

The tainted olives were packed in 314 ml glass jars, with a "best

before" date of 09/2012. They were imported into Finland by Kespro as

early as September 2010. The olives were sold in Finland to K-food

stores KCM Big Apple (Espoo), KCM Jumbo (Vantaa), and KSM South Centre

(Rovaniemi), and to a few restaurants. The olives have been withdrawn

from sale in Finland, and consumers who purchased this product are

asked to return it to the store.

Germany's Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety has

learned that some of these olives also were distributed in Germany,

and is asking its citizens to dispose of any of the implicated jars of

olives "with household waste".

According to a notice posted 21 Oct 2011 on the Rapid Alert System for

Foods and Feeds (RASFF) and updated this morning (24 Oct 2011), these

olives also were distributed to the UK and the USA. So far, neither

the US Food and Drug Administration nor Britain's Food Standards

Agency has issued a Consumer Alert or a public health advisory of any


eFood Alert Advisory to Consumers in Finland, Germany, the United

Kingdom and the USA:

Check your pantry for Gaudiano Organic Olives Stuffed with Almonds

(Product of Italy; Best before 09/2012), and discard the product in a

safe manner. DO NOT TASTE THIS PRODUCT. If you have consumed even a

tiny amount of this product and begin to experience any symptoms of

botulism, including blurred vision or difficulty swallowing, seek

immediate medical attention.


Communicated by:


[Based on this report, it appears that the potentially

toxin-containing olives were also imported in to the USA and Germany.

Germany and UK appear to have issued warnings regarding the product

but no alert seems to have yet been released from the USA. - Mod.LL]

[see also:

Botulism - Finland: (Helsinki) ex Italy, jarred olives 20111026.3182

Botulism, human - France: homemade tapenade 20110906.2720



Botulism, baby food - Denmark, Norway (02): Danish case 20081219.3995

Botulism, baby food - Denmark, Norway: recall, RFI 20081210.3871

Botulism, infused olive oil - UK: (England), risk, recall


Botulism, precooked commercial food - France 20080911.2843

Botulism, canned truffle sauce - Italy: alert, recall 20080602.1760

Botulism, foie gras - France: risk, recall 20080102.0016



Botulism, olives - USA ex Italy: recall 20070329.1085

Botulism, olives - Canada ex Italy: recall 20070326.1042

Botulism, olives - USA: recall 20070311.0861

Botulism, olives - USA (FL, GA, NY): recall 20070310.0847

Botulism, canned artichokes - Spain (Guipuzcoa) (02) 20070120.0261

Botulism, canned artichokes - Spain (Guipuzcoa) 20070116.0203



Botulism, barbecue - Austria (northern) 20061214.3521

Botulism - UK & Ireland ex Poland 20061012.2923

Botulism - Ireland (County Mayo) ex Poland 20060919.2668

Botulism, smoked fish - Finland ex Canada 20060721.2000



Botulism, fish-related 2003 - Norway, Germany 20040120.0224



Botulism, beef poultry sausage - France: recall 20030922.2391

Botulism, bottled garlic - Denmark (03): discussion 20030209.0342

Botulism, bottled garlic - Denmark 20030131.0267]




ProMED-mail makes every effort to verify the reports that

are posted, but the accuracy and completeness of the

information, and of any statements or opinions based

thereon, are not guaranteed. The reader assumes all risks in

using information posted or archived by ProMED-mail. ISID

and its associated service providers shall not be held

responsible for errors or omissions or held liable for any

damages incurred as a result of use or reliance upon posted

or archived material.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Painkiller May Raise Stroke Risk by 40 Percent

If you're in pain you expect your doctor to give you something that's going to help-not hurt-you. And while you know that most drugs have side effects...you expect the benefits to outweigh the risks.

Certainly that's what drug makers will tell you.

"The benefits outweigh the risks...as long as a doctor is consulted," says drug maker Novartis.

But emerging research shows this may not be true...at least not in the case of Novartis.

A new study reveals that one of their simple painkillers increases your risk of heart attack...by 40 percent. The findings also show that larger amounts of the drug-as prescribed by doctors-could raise your risk of stroke by a whopping 98 percent.

"There is a clear increase in risk as the dose goes up," says Dr. Patricia McGettigan. She leads research at Hull York Medical School and is behind the new study.

"We have reviewed all the previous studies and are confident that the results are robust enough to inform clinical decisions," she says.

Despite these findings...Novartis still says its pain killer is worth the risk.

"In our view, this analysis does not change the favorable benefit-to-risk assessment," says Novartis.

And the drug maker says people who are worried should just to talk to their doctor.

Yet a Novartis employee-turned-whistleblower says you might want to think twice about doing that. He says the company works with doctors to upsell and prescribe its pain killers.

So what are you supposed to believe...when there are so many contradictory stories out there?

We've gone undercover to answer that question.

Stay with us as we look at the risk-to-benefit ratio...and investigate why some doctors may be promoting these drugs.

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The Core of Pain

Dr. McGettigan looked at many different types of pain killers. And she studied how they affect you. She reviewed 51 international studies covering 2.7 million patients. And she's just published her findings in the September issue of PLoS Medicine.

It's the first study to measure the risks of different pain killers. And she says drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen pose little risk to your heart. But that's not the case for all pain killers.

"Doctors benefit from know(ing) the balance between benefit and harm for individual (pain killers)," says Dr. McGettigan.

That's because some drugs like diclofenac-which is put out by Novartis-is much riskier.

The drug is also known as Voltaren. And it was the most prescribed pain killer in Britain last year. Out of 17 million pain prescriptions written last year, six million were for diclofenac. And that doesn't include over-the-counter use...

"The risk is well described but often overlooked," says Dr. McGettigan. "Use of diclofenac will increase (risk) by 40 per cent. In other words...one in 50 patients might suffer an avoidable heart attack."

Based on her statistics that's a lot of avoidable heart attacks. In fact...120,000...just in Britain alone.

Industry Response

Despite her findings...the medical industry doesn't seem too concerned.

"The risks for heart patients taking certain painkillers have been known for some time," says Doireann Maddock. She's a senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation.

"Drug regulators will need to delve deeper before we draw any conclusions about these drugs and their side effects," she says.

But some experts disagree. They say the evidence is already clear.

"It's time to act," says Professor David Henry. He leads research at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales.

He says it's time to take action.

"The studies have been done," he says. "Many of them in hundreds (and) thousands of people."

And he points to several different studies that show these drugs are risky.

One independent study linked these drugs to increased heart risk. It was conducted by the Copenhagen University in Denmark. Researchers looked at the effects of several pain killers on 84,000 patients.

"Our results indicate that there is no safe window," says study author Anne-Marie Schjerning Olsen.

And again...her findings were most damning against diclofenac. She found it to be almost three times as risky as any other pain killer.

Another study comes from Dr. Emil Loldrup Fosbøl at Gentofte University Hospital. His study ran for eight years and looked at 2.5 million people on painkillers.

He found...yet again...that diclofenac had a much higher risk. This time by 86 percent. And more surprisingly...in people with no history of risk.

His findings were published in the June 2010 edition of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

"The primary message concerns diclofenac, because there is so much evidence now that this is a problem," says Dr. Fosbøl. "It has been shown quite extensively in many reports."

Plenty of experts have had the chance to review the study since it was published.

Dr. Florian Krötz leads research at the University Hospital Munich, Germany. He wasn't involved with the study but did review the findings.

And he says, "concerning diclofenac, I agree with the increased risk of (heart) death that the authors found..."

Even Store-Bought Pain Killers are Risky

Despite the evidence against the drug...anyone can get hold of it. It doesn't have to be prescribed. And there are several forms that you can buy over the counter.

Studies show that these over-the-counter versions offer less risk. But they're still not safe.

One such version is Voltarol Pain-Eze. That's a gel used for general aches and pains. You can get it in stores...but it still increases heart attack risk by 22 percent.

Dr. Henry says the lower risk comes from the lower strength of the drug. But this doesn't make it OK.

"There's no reason to have it on the market, whether it's prescription or over the counter," he says. "There are safer alternatives."

And Dr. Fosbøl agrees.

"Diclofenac has been used for almost 50 years and is available over the counter in many countries, which I think is irrational," he says. "This is a major public health concern."

So with so many studies against it...and so many experts saying it's far too risky, why is it still on the market? And why are doctors still prescribing it?

Who Really Benefits?

Last year diclofenac brought in $791 million for Novartis. That's not including over-the-counter revenue. And according to IMS Health...over-the-counter sales soared in 2009 by $264 million-just in the US alone.

Now a former Novartis employee-turned whistle blower is saying that's because the drug maker will do anything to promote its product.

He was a highly placed employee at Novartis for six years...before turning whistle blower.

"The company's illegal practices were snowballing and nobody was stepping up to stop them," says Jeremy Garrity.

He was joined by three other employees in speaking out against the company. And the drug maker eventually paid them $25 million to settle their claims. The payout was part of a $422.5 million settlement to resolve criminal and civil investigations into the marketing of its drugs.

Novartis pled guilty in federal court and agreed to pay $185 million in fines. It also agreed to pay $237.5 million to resolve civil allegations for wrongfully promoting some of its drugs, and for paying kickbacks to doctors to prescribe them.

Garrity says the company recruited doctors to promote its drugs. It paid them for doing so and disguised them as consulting fees. He also say doctors who wrote high volumes of prescriptions were recruited as speakers and rewarded.

"As long as they had a prescription pad and were willing to prescribe our products, they qualified as speakers," he says.

Garrity points to a specific meeting that happened in Las Vegas in 2006.

The president of Novartis sales announced that they needed to have the most events and programs in the drug industry.

"If we had more events, we would have more market share," he explains.

So the company set up events and dinners to win over doctors...with only one goal.

"You want to convince doctors to write prescriptions," says Garrity.

He even says doctors were given pre-written speeches by the drug company to promote the drugs.

"What they were doing was wrong," he says. "It's wrong to pay doctors to write prescriptions for drugs."

All-Natural Treatment

Experts who followed the trial have spoken out about how drug makers promote pain killers.

"Novartis clearly had a plan of bribing doctors to increase sales," says Patrick Burns. He's a spokesman for Taxpayers Against Fraud.

And plenty of doctors say you should be wary about the drug.

"Patients need to know that this drug increases the risk of cardiovascular adverse events," says Dr. Fosbøl.

So what can you do if you're in pain? After all it's a big problem for lots of people. At some point we're all likely to suffer from it. Everyone has aches and pains. Especially with age...but you don't have to put you heart or life at risk.

One safe and proven all-natural supplement for pain is Devil's Claw. It acts as a natural anti-inflammatory. And the best part of it is...it comes with no side effects.

We've written about this in the past...and how it's used for treating arthritis and back pain. You can read more about it here.

Protecting your heart is another big issue...there's so much contradictory information on it. Recent research shows that most of the advice that your doctor gives you is based on flawed assumptions. And the way he treats heart health is just as flawed.

We've just produced an in-depth report looking at the newest findings from the most credible institutions like Harvard and Berkley to see what they say about heart health.

This research shows that if you do everything your doctor tells you to protect your heart...you may actually be damaging it.

In the Heart Disease Scam we show you why conventional doctors have got heart disease wrong...and bring you comprehensive advice-direct from the best doctors and medical centers-on the safest and most effective ways to strengthen your heart.

To find out how you can get that report...click here; http://www.naturalhealthdossier.com/pro/706SHDR/text/heart-disease-scam.php?pub=706SHDR&code=E706MA36&o=505076&s=508884&u=54695565&l=327844&r=Milo

Wishing you good health,

Ian Robinson

Editorial Director, NHD "Health Watch"

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tuna Recall / USA



A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the

International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: 12 Oct 2011

Source: FDA [edited]

Osamu Corporation of Gardena, California, is recalling up to 1800

cases, lot number7013, of frozen ground tuna because the FDA found

decomposition in several samples of the product and also found

elevated histamine levels in samples taken from a retail location.

Osamu Corporation is recalling the product in an abundance of caution

since decomposed product may promote formation of histamine. Histamine

consumed in food can cause reactions that exhibit symptoms of tingling

or burning sensation in the mouth, facial swelling, rash, hives and

itchy skin, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. However, individuals may

experience symptoms differently. Persons developing these symptoms

should seek medical attention.

The frozen ground tuna was shipped to 3 distributors from 18 Aug 2011

to 8 Sep 2011. The distributors have removed the product from the

marketplace and are destroying any remaining product.

The 3 distributors are AFC Corporation, Red Shell Foods, and Pacific

Fresh Fish Company. 2 of these distributors have sushi franchises

located in grocery stores. Stores and locations to which this product

was shipped are listed at the bottom of this announcement. One,

Pacific Fresh Fish Company of Los Angeles, is a cash and carry


Consumers concerned about whether the sushi they purchased may contain

the ground tuna should check with the store where they purchased the

sushi. That store will be able to determine if it used the recalled

product to prepare the sushi. At this time Osamu does not believe that

the recalled product or sushi made with the recalled product is

available for purchase by consumers.

3 illnesses due to elevated histamine levels have been reported to

date, all involving sushi purchased at a single location. The cause of

the elevated histamine levels found in the ground tuna at that

location is presently unknown.

Red Shell Foods has sushi franchises in grocery markets in the state

of California in the following cities: Calabasas, Century City, Dana

Point, Encino, Hollywood, Irvine, Los Angeles, Marina del Rey, Newport

Beach, North Hollywood, Northridge, Pacific Palisades, Pasadena, Santa

Barbara, Sherman Oaks, Silverlake, Tarzana, West Hollywood, and

Westlake Village.

AFC has sushi franchises at counters in grocery stores in nearly every



Communicated by:


[Scombroid fish poisoning occurs after eating fish with high levels of

accumulated histamine or other biogenic amines. Histamine is produced

and can accumulate when bacterial enzymes metabolize naturally

occurring histidine in fish. This most often occurs when fish is held

at ambient or high temperatures (such as 70 to 90 deg F / 21.1 to 32.2

deg C) for several hours, but can occur at more moderate temperatures

(over 45 deg F or over 7.2 deg C). Rapid chilling of fish immediately

after catch is the most effective measure to prevent scombroid fish

poisoning. Fish from the family _Scombridae_ (such as tuna and

mackerel) contain high levels of free histidine in muscle tissue and

are the commonest sources of scombroid fish poisoning, but other fish

(such as mahi mahi, amberjack, bluefish, abalone, and sardines) also

have been implicated.

The symptoms of scombroid are identical to those of an allergic

reaction since the mediator of both are the same, histamine; but in

scombroid's case, the histamine is externally produced and not

secreted by the affected person's mast cells. The symptoms generally

begin 15-60 minutes after ingestion and usually resolves within

several hours. - Mod.LL]

[The interactive HealthMap/ProMED map for California is available at

- CopyEd.EJP]

[see also:

Scombroid poisoning, tuna - Canada: (BC), sandwich chain, alert




Scombroid poisoning, tuna - USA: (New England) 20090706.2427

Scombroid poisoning, tuna - Viet Nam 20090623.2292

Scombroid poisoning, tuna - UK: (Scotland) 20090417.1461



Scombroid poisoning, tuna - UK: (Scotland) 20081208.3852



Scombroid poisoning, tuna, 2006 - USA (LA, TN) ex Asia 20070820.2714



Scombroid poisoning, frozen fish - Israel: recall 20050610.1619



Scombroid poisoning, tuna - USA (PA): suspected 20020827.5166]




ProMED-mail makes every effort to verify the reports that

are posted, but the accuracy and completeness of the

information, and of any statements or opinions based

thereon, are not guaranteed. The reader assumes all risks in

using information posted or archived by ProMED-mail. ISID

and its associated service providers shall not be held

responsible for errors or omissions or held liable for any

damages incurred as a result of use or reliance upon posted

or archived material.


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