Beet Read: Friday, March 9, 2012

Posted on March 9, 2012


Various pills

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The FDA is finally calling for a drug tracking system, months after CVS accidentally gave kids breast cancer meds instead of fluoride pills and as counterfeit cancer drugs are on the rise. Let’s just hope the fakers aren’t as good at laundering drugs as they are at laundering honey.

The Brits are attempting to institute minimum alcohol pricing in an effort to curb binge drinking. While I’m generally in favor of sin taxes, might this just lead to more college kids drinking homemade vodka in their basements? Perhaps a healthy-drinking initiative would target the root of the problem.

Broccoli is getting even better for you after scientists crossed a “super” Sicilian variety with standard British broccoli, producing a variety that has 2-3 times the phytonutrient glucoraphanin, which increases antioxidants in the body.

The NYTimes gets on the healthy smoothie bandwagon, and some of them sound pretty good.

Homeland Security has (finally) studied Airport Scanners and deems them safe, which is reassuring, but not reassuring enough for the perpetual worry-wort. I’m unconvinced for three reasons: 1) the machines can still unintentionally be set to higher radiation levels, 2) even when followed properly, the NIH’s annual radiation limits may still have unintended consequences and 3) the former chief of Homeland Security made a boatload of cash on the contract.  That said, I will still go through them rather than hold up the line in exchange for an intimate pat-down.

Coke will have to change its formulation to meet California’s known-carcinogen labeling laws – just in case you needed another reason to not drink soda. A compound in the caramel coloring was recently added to the carcinogenic list and if not reformulated, every can of Coke would have to carry a cancer warning label.

A study showed that the use of digital healthcare records actually increased costs, but this seems more like a problem of correlation-is-not-causation. Might it be that doctors using high tech records are more likely to order expensive, high-tech tests?

Posted in: Beat Read