CDC expands warning to consumers over tainted romaine lettuce

The Centers for Disease Control is expanding its warning over romaine lettuce tainted with E. coli. The lettuce is responsible for at least 53 people falling ill, including 31 hospitalizations, in 16 states.

The CDC had previously warned consumers only about chopped romaine lettuce, but is now saying anyone who purchased any type of romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona, region should throw it out.

“Based on new information, CDC is expanding its warning to consumers to cover all types of romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region,” the CDC said in a statement. “This warning now includes whole heads and hearts of romaine lettuce, in addition to chopped romaine and salads and salad mixes containing romaine.

“Do not buy or eat romaine lettuce at a grocery store or restaurant unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region,” it adds.

The warning was expanded on Friday after someone at a correctional facility in Alaska reported getting sick from whole heads of lettuce.

The CDC has not listed any brand or product names affected, just the location, saying “no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified.”

Of the 31 people hospitalized due to E. coli, five have developed kidney failure, the CDC said. No one has died. Symptoms of E. coli infections include diarrhea, cramps and vomiting, and severe infections can even be life-threatening.

States which have reported illnesses include Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginian and Washington. Idaho and Pennsylvania have seen the most cases with 10 and 12, respectively.

This is the second time in a week the CDC has warned consumers about tainted food. More than 200 million eggs were recalled by a distributor last weekend over salmonella concerns.

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Kelly Ripa Rocks Crop Top And Leotard On Instagram As Her Nutritionist Talks Bikini Body Backlash And Diet

Kelly Ripa credits an alkaline diet for her bikini body.

Kelly Ripa is getting raves from her Instagram followers for her new photo. Ripa posed in a crop top and leotards, showing off her amazing abs and thanking her fitness trainer in the caption. But beyond working with a trainer to tone her tummy, Kelly’s fabulous figure at 47 owes credit to her nutritionist.

Dr. Daryl Gioffre, who has taken on the role of diet guru to Ripa, talked with Page Six about the backlash that Kelly received over photos of her bikini body on Instagram. The nutritionist also clarified the details of Ripa’s diet, which he feels is often misunderstood.

Kelly Ripa Has Healthy Approach To Bikini Body Backlash, Says Her Nutritionist

Kelly isn’t stressing over the slams she got over her Instagram bikini photos, said Gioffre. He linked Ripa’s desire to follow a healthy diet to her relaxed approach to coping with the backlash, noting that Kelly just goes with the flow (even when it turns negative).

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Brain Continues Producing Neurons Until Late 70s, But There’s A Catch, Columbia Study Finds

Artist rendition of neurons in the brain

A new study by Columbia University reveals that the brain continues to make hundreds of neurons, a process called neurogenesis, even after a person reaches their late 70s.

In the study published in Cell Stem Cell, lead author Dr. Maura Boldrini, of the university’s psychiatry department, and her colleagues, looked into the process of neurogenesis by studying the brains of deceased individuals with ages ranging from 14 to 79.

The main goal of the research was to see how aging affects the production of neurons, a subject which has been up for much scientific debate for years.

Aging And Brain Cell Production

The brain’s function has been a significant point of interest, notably the creation of new neurons. Animal studies made on primates and mice revealed a slowing down of neurogenesis as the organisms aged. Boldrini and her colleagues wanted to see if the same phenomenon exists in humans.

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More Americans Now Aware Of The Seriousness Of Opioid Misuse In The Country, Study Reveals

A man using heroin in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

More Americans now see opioid misuse as a major issue for their community, according to the latest survey carried out by the Associated Press–NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. According to the survey, 43 percent of Americans now see abuse of prescription pain drugs as a serious issue in their community, up from 33 percent in 2016.

The nationwide survey of 1,054 adults was conducted last month to find out what Americans think of the opioid misuse in their communities. Participants were contacted through the internet, cell phones, and landlines and were asked several questions about their experiences with opioid addiction, the impact of drug misuse on their local communities, and what they believe needs to be done to address the issue.

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California judge rules that coffee requires cancer warning

Scientists haven’t rendered a verdict on whether coffee is good or bad for you but a California judge has. He says coffee sellers in the state should have to post cancer warnings.

The culprit is a chemical produced in the bean roasting process that is a known carcinogen and has been at the heart of an eight-year legal struggle between a tiny nonprofit group and Big Coffee.

The Council for Education and Research on Toxics wanted the coffee industry to remove acrylamide from its processing — like potato chip makers did when it sued them years ago — or disclose the danger in ominous warning signs or labels. The industry, led by Starbucks Corp., said the level of the chemical in coffee isn’t harmful and any risks are outweighed by benefits.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle said Wednesday that the coffee makers hadn’t presented the proper grounds at trial to prevail.

“While plaintiff offered evidence that consumption of coffee increases the risk of harm to the fetus, to infants, to children and to adults, defendants’ medical and epidemiology experts testified that they had no opinion on causation,” Berle wrote in his proposed ruling. “Defendants failed to satisfy their burden of proving … that consumption of coffee confers a benefit to human health.”

The suit was brought against Starbucks and 90 companies under a controversial law passed by California voters in 1986 that has been credited with culling cancer-causing chemicals from myriad products and also criticized for leading to quick settlement shakedowns.

The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, better known as Proposition 65, requires warning labels for about 900 chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects. It allows private citizens, advocacy groups and attorneys to sue on behalf of the state and collect a portion of civil penalties for failure to provide warnings.

“This lawsuit has made a mockery of Prop. 65, has confused consumers, and does nothing to improve public health,” said William Murray, president and CEO of the National Coffee Association, who added that coffee had been shown to be a healthy beverage.

Scientific evidence on coffee has gone back and forth for a long time, but concerns have eased recently about possible dangers of coffee, with some studies finding health benefits.

In 2016, the cancer agency of the World Health Organization moved coffee off its “possible carcinogen” list.

Studies indicate coffee is unlikely to cause breast, prostate or pancreatic cancer, and it seems to lower the risks for liver and uterine cancers, the agency said. Evidence is inadequate to determine its effect on dozens of other cancer types.

Coffee companies have said it’s not feasible to remove acrylamide from their product without ruining the flavor.

But attorney Raphael Metzger, who brought the lawsuit and drinks a few cups of coffee a day, said the industry could remove the chemical without impairing taste.

“I firmly believe if the potato chip industry can do it, so can the coffee industry,” Metzger said. “A warning won’t be that effective because it’s an addictive product.”

Many coffee shops have already posted warnings that say acrylamide is cancer-causing chemical found in coffee. But signs that are supposed to be posted at the point of sale are often found in places not easily visible, such as below the counter where cream and sugar are available.

Customers at shops that post warnings are often unaware or unconcerned about them.

Afternoon coffee drinkers at a Los Angeles Starbucks said they might look into the warning or give coffee drinking a second thought after the ruling, but the cup of joe was likely to win out.

“I just don’t think it would stop me,” said Jen Bitterman, a digital marketing technologist. “I love the taste, I love the ritual, I love the high, the energy, and I think I’m addicted to it.”

Darlington Ibekwe, a lawyer in Los Angeles, said a cancer warning would be annoying but wouldn’t stop him from treating himself to three lattes a week.

“It’s like cigarettes. Like, damn, now I’ve got to see this?” he said. “Dude, I’m enjoying my coffee.”

The defendants have a couple weeks to challenge the ruling before it is final and could seek relief from an appellate court.

If the ruling stands, it could come with a stiff financial penalty and could rattle consumers beyond state lines.

The judge can set another phase of trial to consider potential civil penalties up to $ 2,500 per person exposed each day over eight years. That could be an astronomical sum in a state with close to 40 million residents, though such a massive fine is unlikely.

California’s outsized market could make it difficult to tailor packaging with warning labels specifically to stores in the state.

That means out-of-state coffee drinkers could also take their coffee with a cancer warning. Cream and sugar would still be optional.

———

Associated Press writer Amanda Lee Myers in Los Angeles and AP Chief Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione in Milwaukee contributed to this story.

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Scientists Discovered A New Human Organ, Possibly The Biggest In Your Body, And Named It ‘Interstitium’

An illustration of the human organs and the anatomy of the human body.

Move over skin, there’s a new largest human organ in town, and it comes with a fancy name to boot: the interstitium. This newfound organ has been identified for the first time by researchers from New York University’s School of Medicine, who just published a study in the journal, Scientific Reports, detailing its anatomy and functions.

The paper defines the newly discovered organ as a “fluid-filled space within and between tissues” that spreads throughout the body and can be found nearly everywhere: under the skin, between our organs, around arteries and veins, along the fibrous tissue between muscles, and even around the digestive tract and urinary system.

Medicine is already acquainted with interstitial tissue (the tissue found between our cells) and interstitial fluid (the liquid that fills the space between the cells), but the interstitium ties everything together in a network of fluid-filled compartments strung together by collagen and elastin, the study explains.

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