Friday, April 28, 2017

Dr Group Talks About Obesity And Answers Listeners' Calls

Dr Group Talks About Obesity And Answers... by debunkerbuster

Loneliness And Isolation Are As Bad For You As Obesity, New Study Says

Imported hot sauces contain high levels of lead, study says

John M. GlionnaThis post has been updated. See below for details.
July 23, 2013
So you like your hot sauce south-of-the-border spicy, with that extra punch?
Well, Nevada researchers have found that little added twang might not be an intended result of the recipe: Many imported hot sauces sold in the U.S. contain dangerous levels of lead, according to a what is billed as a first-of-its-kind environment and food study.
Shawn Gerstenberger, lead researcher for the University of Nevada-Las Vegas study, told the Los Angeles Times that there are no U.S. government standards for the amounts of lead in hot sauce brands.
UNLV researchers tested 25 bottles of hot sauce imported from Mexico and South America. The products were bought in the U.S. at ethnic markets and grocery stores. Four bottles, or 16% of the sample, exceeded U.S. Food and Drug Administration standard for safe levels of lead. The product packaging was also tested because lead in packaging has been known to leach into food.
The results were published earlier this year in the Journal of Environmental Science and Health and recently publicized by the university.
[Updated, 11:19 a.m. PDT July 23: According to the study's researchers, the four sauces with the highest lead content are Salsa Picante de Chile Habanero, El Pato Salsa Picante, Salsa Habanera and Bufalo Salsa Clasica.]
Gerstenberger said lead poisoning can invade all the body’s organs and is responsible for learning disabilities and behavioral problems in young children. Researchers acknowledged that many children probably steer clear of hot sauce, but said it is a staple of some ethnic diets.
“We’ve been working quite some time looking at child lead poisoning,” he told The Times. “For children, there are no acceptable levels of lead. There are thousands of brands of imported hot sauce for sale out there, so this study is just a start.”
Gerstenberger said the study took place almost by accident: UNLV Researcher found in 2006 that Mexican-style candies containing chile peppers and salt also contained high lead levels. That study helped bring about the removal of some imported candies from grocery store shelves.
“Candies from Mexico often contain high amounts of lead from their peppers and salt, which are the same ingredients in hot sauce,” he told The Times. “Since the two products often sit next to each other on the shelves, we figured we should take a look at the hot sauce.”
The solution was better product monitoring in both Mexico and the U.S., Gerstenberger said.
"The results indicate the need for more rigorous screening protocols for products imported in Mexico, including an applicable standard for hot sauce. Without enforceable standards for hot sauces and condiments, manufacturers will not be encouraged to improve quality-control measures designed to reduce the amounts of lead and other toxic elements before exporting," he said in a statement released by UNLV.
In an interview, Gerstenberger said FDA officials have pledged to look into the matter.
“There is no standard for hot sauce like there is for sugar or raisins because the product is considered a condiment or seasoning,” he said. “In our study, the standard we used was for acceptable FDA levels for candy, since there is no agency scale for hot sauce.”
Along with federal regulations, states could choose to reject imported hot sauces found to contain detectable concentrations of lead, he said.
Gerstenberger said Mexican companies were urged to make changes to the hot sauce industry like they did with candy.
“All it takes is washing the chiles and using sea salt instead of mine salt, which is known to be high in lead,” Gernstenberger said.

Energy drink study shows they pose a serious risk to your heart

Thursday, April 27, 2017

President Donald J. Trump visits VA and signs executive order ‘Improving Accountability and Whistleblower Protection at the Department of Veterans Affairs’

Secretary Shulkin makes key announcements to reduce red tape, fraud and improve Veteran services

Today President Donald J. Trump visited VA to thank Veterans for their service, and VA employees for their work helping Veterans.
While at VA, the president signed an executive order entitled, “Improving Accountability and Whistleblower Protection at the Department of Veterans Affairs,” and Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Dr. David Shulkin, made three new key announcements at the VA’s Central Office.
The executive order is focused on improving “accountability and whistleblower protection” at VA by creating an office dedicated to that purpose and the position of special assistant to the secretary who will report directly to the secretary and serve as executive director of the office.
The new executive director “will report directly to me as secretary so that we can identify barriers that are preventing us from removing employees and people that we have identified that should no longer be working at VA,” said Shulkin. “We want make sure that we have employees who work hard and are committed to the mission of serving our Veterans.”
The VA will establish the office and appoint the executive director within 45 days of the signing of the executive order.
The executive director will advise and assist the secretary in using all available authorities to discipline or terminate any VA manager or employee who has violated the public’s trust and failed to carry out his or her duties on behalf of Veterans. The executive director will also assist the secretary in recruiting, rewarding, and retaining high-performing employees.
At the signing ceremony for the executive order, Shulkin also announced three new key initiatives at the Department.
VA partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services
Effective today, VA is entering a partnership agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services that will allow the assignment of medical professionals from the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps to provide direct patient care to Veterans in VA hospitals and clinics in underserved communities.
“My priority has been to improve access to care for our nation’s heroes,” said Shulkin. “By partnering with our colleagues at HHS, we will enhance the availability of clinical care in those areas most in need.”
The initial agreement enables up to 20 officers from the Commissioned Corps to treat Veterans in VA facilities that are most in need of staffing support.  The agreement also allows up to 10 more officers to help support coordination for veterans receiving non-VA community care.
New fraud, waste and abuse taskforce
The secretary announced a major new initiative to detect and prevent fraud, waste and abuse in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Effective today, this initiative has the potential to save tens of millions of taxpayer dollars currently at risk, for fraud, waste and abuse that can be redirected to better serve Veterans.
The initiative will include bringing in the leading thinkers from the private sector and other government organizations in an advisory committee to identify and leverage cutting-edge fraud detection tools and; and coordinate all fraud, waste and abuse detection and reporting activities across the department through a single office.
The department has identified potential savings in the area of improper payments to health care providers, major contracts, contracts for pharmaceuticals, and the delivery of benefits to Veterans.
“Restoring the trust of Veterans and improving system-wide accountability are among my top priorities. It’s essential to ensure that all our employees and the companies that we do business with are being good stewards of the resources available to care for our Veterans,” said Shulkin.
Removing red tape at state-owned Veteran nursing homes
Effective today, VA is amending guidelines to allow state-owned Veteran nursing homes to follow state guidelines in the construction design of their facilities – removing red tape, while increasing access to services for Veterans.
Up to now, to qualify for federal grant funding for Veteran nursing homes in their state, Governors and state officials have had to follow federal construction design guidelines. With today’s announcement by the secretary, that is no longer the case and governors are freed up to follow their own state guidelines in the construction design of these facilities while still qualifying for the same level of federal grant funding as before.
In announcing the move, Shulkin noted that state design guidelines already are sufficient to the task of providing safe conditions for our Veterans and the department recognizes the need to move quickly to reduce unnecessary barriers to providing much needed services to our Veterans.