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Publication: Health Tips Weekly
Labs don't report tainted food imports

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       HEALTH TIPS WEEKLY - Thursday, November 21, 2007 
             "News That Keeps You Healthy"   
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       British docs repair bad plastic surgeries

LONDON, -- More people crossing the English Channel for less
expensive plastic surgery wind up having repair work done 
when they return, a British survey said. Thousands of people 
travel to the continent annually for procedures that cost 
less than what is charged in Britain. But British plastic 
surgeons are warning patients what may seem like a good deal
could be expensive to correct if the procedure goes wrong, 
the Telegraph reported. A survey by the British Association 
of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons found more than 80 percent of 
its members treated patients with problems related to off-
island surgery in the past year. The survey reported four of
10 surgeons said they had seen between three and five cases 
in the past 12 months; 14 percent reported treating nine or 
more. The survey also reported about a third of the surgeons
who participated performed "much more" repair work during 
the past five years than previously. "My experience with 
patients has shown that counseling is inadequate -- the in-
dividuals have no idea of the standards of care in the coun-
try they are visiting and no knowledge of the abilities or 
experience of the surgeon," said Douglas McGeorge, BAAPS 
president and plastic surgeon.
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        Labs don't report tainted food imports

SAN FRANCISCO, -- The U.S. government does not require food 
importers to submit the results of private lab tests if 
those results indicate food is contaminated. One facility in
San Francisco that tests about 150 imported food shipments 
each month finds at least 10 percent of the food contains 
things like mercury and salmonella, making it unfit for hum-
an consumption, USA Today reported Monday. The newspaper 
says generally Anresco Labs tells no one about food that 
fails except for the importer who pays for the test. Curr-
ently there is no regulation requiring labs to send all test
results to the Food and Drug Administration though the FDA 
automatically rejects food that fails lab tests. The danger 
is that an unscrupulous importer who gets bad results from 
one lab could hire another lab to test the food and pass it,
the newspaper reports. Anresco Chairman David Eisenberg says
the FDA's failure to require labs to submit all test results
forces them to protect importers more than the public.
         Sleep-deprived moms prone to gain weight

OAKLAND, Calif., -- Sleeping just five hours a night triples
the risk of excessive weight for new moms a year after a 
baby's birth, U.S. researchers report. Mothers who reported 
sleeping no more than five hours daily when babies were six 
months old had a three-times higher risk for weight reten-
tion -- at least 11 pounds -- at their baby's first birthday
than moms who slept seven hours per day, the study by Kaiser
Permanente and Harvard Medical School -Harvard Pilgrim 
Health Care said. The study, published in the American Jour-
nal of Epidemiology, is the first to examine sleep depriva-
tion's impact on postpartum weight retention, a joint news 
release said. Previous studies examined the effect of early 
postpartum sleep deprivation on mothers' cognitive and emo-
tional health. "We've known for some time that sleep depri-
vation is associated with weight gain and obesity in the 
general population, but this study shows that getting enough
sleep -- even just two hours more -- may be as important as 
a healthy diet and exercise for new mothers to return to 
their pre-pregnancy weight," study lead author Erica P. Gun-
derson, Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, 
Calif., said in a news release.

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          Human-canine precancerous link seen

LAFAYETTE, Ind.,-- Premalignant lesions in  dogs and humans 
show many similar characteristics that could lead to a bet-
ter understanding of breast cancer, U.S. researchers said.
The group of Purdue University researchers found similari-
ties between benign lesions considered to carry risk for 
developing breast cancer in both canines and humans, a di-
scovery that could lead to better understanding of the 
cancer's progression and prevention, the Lafayette, Ind., 
university said in a news release. "Dogs develop these 
lesions spontaneously in contrast to other available mod-
els and are exposed to the same environmental risk factors
as humans," said team member Dr. Sulma Mohammed. "These 
shared features make the dog an ideal model to compare the 
breast lesions that will progress to cancer and those that 
will regress. Such a model will facilitate customized treat-
ment and prevention strategies." The scientists studied 212 
tissue biopsies from 200 female dogs with tumors and comp-
ared them to human specimens. Mohammed said the study foc-
used the precancerous lesions in the tissue around the 
tumor. The research, the work of researchers from Purdue 
and Sassari University School of Veterinary Medicine in 
Sardinia, and was published in the Journal of Cancer Epid-
emiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

            FDA announces three lab grants

WASHINGTON, -- Three lab grants designed to enhance food-
screening capabilities and spot radioactive materials in 
food were awarded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The labs receiving the grants are part of the Food Emergency
Response Network, the FDA said Monday in a news release. 
Texas Department of State Health Services Laboratory, the 
New York Health Research-New York Department of Health and 
the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene each received 
three-year grants of $250,000 per year for supplies, pers-
onnel, minor facility upgrades and training. The grants tar-
get improved detection of radiological contamination, and 
boost the nation's overall capability to detect and respond 
to attacks on the food supply, the FDA said. 
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        Genome analysis available to individuals

CONSTANCE, Germany, -- A laboratory in Germany said Monday 
it will make genome sequencing available to private individ-
uals, the first European company to do so. GATC Biotech AG 
in Constance will offer a routine analysis of human genomes,
making it possible for people to have their genetic make-up 
decoded, the company said in a news release. The service st-
ill will focus primarily on the research sector and the 
pharmaceutical industry. "Our aim is to decode a total of 
100 human genomes by the end of 2010, says Peter Pohl, GATC 
Biotech chief executive said. "The findings obtained will be
of use to the medical research sector and will result in 
significant advances in this field." The cost of a standard 
analysis is about $73,300, while one producing medical-value
results would cost nearly $1.5 million. Board member Markus 
Benz said he expects the price to fall over time. "If the 
price comes down, it will be possible in the future to use 
the technology for diagnostic purposes in the same way as 
X-ray technology is used today," Benz said.

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