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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:02 am 
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Smoking Indonesian orangutan forced to quit

JAKARTA (AFP) - An orangutan who became the star attraction of an Indonesian zoo for her penchant for puffing on cigarettes will be forced to quit cold turkey, a conservationist said Saturday.

Visitors began throwing lit cigarettes into the cage of 15-year-old Tori when it was five, and the female orangutan had developed an addiction over the years, Centre for Orangutan Protection coordinator Daniek Hendarto said.

"We are working with the zoo's management to try and move her to an island, in a big lake in the middle of the zoo, away from the other orangutans and where visitors can't toss her anymore cigarettes," Hendarto told AFP.

He said Tori's parents had also been smokers, adding that orangutans easily mimic human behaviour, including smoking.

News of the smoking orangutan spread quickly 10 years ago, attracting more visitors to the Taru Jurug Zoo in the central Javanese city of Solo, Hendarto said.

"Until we get approval from the zoo to move her, a guard has been placed outside her cage to make sure she doesn't smoke and she is undergoing therapy. She will have to go cold turkey," he said.

Indonesian zoos have drawn international criticism in recent years for their poor treatment of animals. In March, a giraffe at a zoo in eastern Java was found dead with a 20-kilogram (44-pound) beachball-size lump of plastic in its stomach from visitors' food wrappers thrown into its pen.

Indonesia is also one the world's last bastions of big tobacco, where few restrictions are placed on marketing and smoking rates have risen six-fold over the last 40 years, according to the World Health Organization.
Several cases of children as young as two with smoking addictions have been reported.

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wo ... d-to-quit/


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:27 am 
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Diabetes cases set to triple

TASMANIA is facing a diabetes pandemic, say health experts.

The number of Tasmanians with Type 2 diabetes would triple in just 13 years to 67,500 people, partly driven by obesity, Diabetes Tasmania says.

But chief executive Caroline Wells said little was being done.

"For decades the wearing of seatbelts and helmets to reduce deaths on our roads and lifejackets to prevent us from drowning has been mandated by governments," Ms Wells said.

"With Type 2 diabetes set to become the leading burden of disease in Australia by 2017, it's time for our federal and state governments to make diabetes prevention a priority."

She said six Tasmanians were diagnosed with the condition every day. Almost the same number again had the disease, but would not know until complications set in.

"Many people simply don't realise how serious it is, and that people with diabetes also experience increased rates of heart attack, stroke, end-stage renal [kidney] disease, limb amputations and other life-shattering complications," she said.

About 45,000 Tasmanians have pre-diabetes, meaning they have abnormally high blood glucose levels, but not high enough to be diagnosed.

"The good news is that we know Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable with lifestyle changes reducing the risk by up to 60 per cent in people at high risk," Ms Wells said.

Type 1 is a different disease and not preventable.

Also yesterday, KPMG health economics head Henry Cutler said obesity would make diabetes the leading cause of death and disease in Australia in 10 years.

About one-quarter of Australians are obese.

Dr Cutler said the cost of treatment would grow from $2.8 billion to $8.6 billion by 2033.

Tasmanians can assess their risk at letspreventdiabetes.org.au. The test scores risk factors of age, gender, country of birth, family history, smoking, fruit and vegetable intake, activity and waist circumference.

http://www.themercury.com.au/article/20 ... -news.html


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:24 am 
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Doctor 'forgot' to mention shunt: Inquest

A doctor who treated Vaughn Rasmussen the day before he died of brain swelling caused by a shunt blockage has told a court the teen's parents did not voice their concerns about his shunt.

However, Richard and Donna Rasmussen are adamant they told Princess Margaret Hospital registrar, Dr Jarrad Cross, of their suspicions regarding Vaughn's shunt.

Vaughn, who was unable to speak, died in the intensive care unit of PMH as a result of severe brain swelling, which was initially diagnosed as gastroenteritis at Fremantle Hospital on November 12. The pain would have been agonising.

Despite the insistence of his parents Vaughn's cranial shunt was blocked and causing a build-up of fluid and their repeated requests a CT scan be conducted, no scan was carried out until 11.51pm on November 16.

By that stage, Vaughn had 35 centimetres of fluid around his brain - the normal range was zero to 10 centimetres - and after emergency surgery he was declared brain dead.

His parents then had to make the heartbreaking decision to turn off Vaughn's life support, and are now searching for answers as to why their son died.

Dr Cross said he "did not consider shunt blockage as likely" after examining Vaughn and his CT scan, and said a test on the shunt's valve – a test described as "unreliable" by experts – showed the shunt was working.

However, Dr Cross conceded he "forgot" to tell his consultant Vaughn had a shunt when discussing his case, stating it was "a pity".

Yesterday, the inquest heard Vaughn's treating neurologist of 10 years, Dr Jonathon Silberstein, believed "clearly Vaughn was having serious problems" with his shunt in the days before his death.

He came to this conclusion after viewing the CT scan carried out at 11.51pm on November 15.

A needle test later confirmed Vaughn's brain was being squashed by fluid and he was rushed into surgery, which was marred by problems including a colon tear and catheter dislodgement.

Dr Silberstein said on November 14, he recommended Vaughn be admitted to PMH after a sudden seizure, but thought his condition must not have been serious because his parents wanted to take him home.

He did not talk to the Rasmussens and, as a result, did not understand the family was frustrated Vaughn had not undergone a CT scan.

"At the time I didn't get the sense I needed to talk to them. Unfortunately it didn't come across, their level of concern," he said.

Earlier in the week, consultant paediatrician at Princess Margaret Hospital Dr Helen Mead told the inquest Vaughn "appeared to be having intermittent to sub-acute shunt problems" when he presented at PMH on November 15 and that a CT scan was to be conducted the next day.

However, Dr Mead, who was the most senior doctor in the emergency ward, never examined Vaughn or spoke to his parents about the planned scan.

She said in "hindsight" she wished she'd spoken directly to the Rasmussens but that it was a "busy night" and she wanted to go home.

She admitted she had not taken notes about Vaughn's case and that her statement was not prepared until more than two years after his death.

To create the statement, Dr Mead said, she used his file notes and recall.

The inquest continues.

http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/docto ... z20RDG8oMi


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:38 am 
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Break out the sunscreen: Sunburns damage genetic code

That painful sunburn on your shoulder is actually a complex volley of genetically encoded counterattacks buried deep under your skin.

In fact, found a study published in Nature Medicine, the sun is scorching your RNA.

“In some ways, it was a surprise.” said Dr. Richard Gallo, chief of the dermatology division at the University of California San Diego. “We know a sunburn will damage DNA. What we didn’t suspect is that it is also damaging the RNA.”

DNA stores genetic code; RNA transmits it.

The study found that ultraviolet UVB rays from the sun bore through the skin to fracture and tangle a specific type of RNA that does not make proteins. Sunburnt cells release that non-coding micro-RNA, setting off an alarm in healthy surrounding cells that something weird and dangerous is going on.

That alarm turns into inflammation which turns into sunburn

“We were interested in how the injury is recognized by our body,” Gallo told the Toronto Star on Monday. “Those cells that are injured are dead. How can their neighbours detect that?”

In fact, the inflammation is the skin trying to heal itself, releasing a cocktail of antibodies and anti-inflammatories that could be beneficial.

“It may help us remove cells that might otherwise turn into skin cancer.”

Scientists sequenced all of the RNA in human and mouse cells used in the study that were exposed to ultraviolet light to figure out which molecules reacted in which way to a dose of too much sun.

What they also found, Gallo said, was that genetic coding, not just skin pigment, determined whether and how people burn.

“This is starting to open up some insight into the way the body heals itself,” he said.

“We used the mouse model specifically to study the genes involved. If they didn’t have the receptors for the damaged RNA, they didn’t get the same severity of sunburn.”

The discovery could lead to alternate treatments for skin diseases such as psoriasis, which are now doused with UVB light that brings with it a higher risk of skin cancer.

The next step, said Gallo, would be to test the genetic findings on human cells.

http://metronews.ca/health/295333/break ... etic-code/


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:23 am 
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Healthy life starts in womb

THE environment in the womb may have a lifelong impact on health, groundbreaking Melbourne research reveals.

Co-lead researcher Dr Richard Saffery, of the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, said he had been surprised to discover how big a role environment played over genetics in potential health outcomes.

Some factors, such as drinking, smoking and diet, could be controlled by the mother, but others, such as the size of the placenta and the supply lines to the foetus, could not, he said.

"A good environment is a nice big placenta with a lot of connections between mother and baby so the baby gets all of the nutrients it needs to develop," Dr Saffery said.

But a smaller placenta was linked to a low birth weight and poorer health outcomes later in life.

The discovery came after studying 34 pairs of identical and non-identical twins, and mapping their epigenetic markers, which tell the genes to switch on or off, and influence disease development.

Dr Saffery and co-author Dr Jeff Craig found even identical twins had different health outcomes, because they did not have the same placenta and supply lines in the womb.

It had previously been thought environmental factors only impacted on health after birth, but it could begin as early as at conception, he said.

The research could have wide-ranging implications for human health given that many adult-onset diseases were thought to develop very early in life, he said.

"Importantly, this has potential to identify and track disease risk early in life or even to modify risk through specific environment or dietary intervention."

Study participant Bayswater mum Zaina Nehme said it could help explain the differences between her identical four-year-old twin sons, Marcos and Gabriel Misawa.

"I'd always thought if two people had the exact same genetic make-up, they'd suffer the same illnesses, but my sons are very different," she said.

The study is published in Genome Research journal.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/n ... 6427530318


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:16 am 
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Bad habits feeding our soaring obesity rate

SOARING obesity rates, falling fruit and vegetable intake and a fast-food industry cashing in on an appetite for fatty foods - Australians seem to be gluttons for punishment.

A damning government report on nutrition and dietary habits said more than 60 per cent of adults and almost a quarter of children aged 2-16 are either overweight or obese.

It's leading to serious health problems such as heart disease and diabetes, costing more than $8 billion a year in health care and lost productivity.

But it's little wonder our waistlines are growing, with almost 30 per cent of the average household food budget spent on fast food and eating out.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report found the average family spent more each week on alcohol than meat, fruit and vegetables.

Even when families buy healthy food, much of it ends up in the bin -- with an average $600 worth of food thrown out annually per household.

Of an estimated total $5 billion worth of food disposed of annually, $1.1 billion was fruit and vegetables.

AIHW spokeswoman Lisa McGlynn said more than 90 per cent of adults did not eat the recommended five serves of vegetables each day -- and half did not eat enough fruit.

"The good news in all this is that we know the state we're in and we know what we can do about it," she said.

"We can all start with small changes like just having a couple of extra pieces of fruit or serves of vegetables."

Newcastle family day-carer Robinanne Lavelle said she often saw parents packing their children's lunch-boxes with processed foods, sandwiches smothered in chocolate spread and lollies.

"We're in a society where we have a lot more money than we did a few decades ago and children are often becoming the ones who choose these products," she said.

"I believe working parents who are short on time might not want the hassle while they are out at the shops so they will buy something just because the children want it."

According to the report, lower income earners, Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders were most at risk from poor diet and obesity. With healthy food costing up to 30 per cent more for people living in rural and remote regions, they too were at increased risk.

Dietitians Association of Australia spokesman Dr Trent Watson called for a fundamental change in the way authorities tackled the problem, with more funding for prevention.

"Unless we start shaping our health care system to target these determinants of health as an absolute priority, we're going to be in an unsustainable position," he said.

http://www.news.com.au/national/bad-hab ... 6428512035


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:23 am 
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McDonald's denies tech-specs assault

McDonald's France says employees at one of its Paris restaurants have denied a Canadian inventor's claims they assaulted him for wearing a computer vision system.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the company said it was investigating the claim and "no statement in relation to a physical assault ... was uncovered in the testimonies of the people questioned."

Steve Mann, a professor at the University of Toronto, blogged on Tuesday that he had suffered a "physical assault" by McDonald's "representatives" while on a visit to Paris with his family earlier this month.

"According to the employees, the exchanges with Mr Mann were carried out with respect and politeness," McDonald's said, adding the investigation was ongoing.

Mann, who invented and has worn the EyeTap computer vision system - similar to the Augmented Reality eyepiece being developed by tech giant Google - for the past 13 years, said he was confronted by three people he believed to be McDonald's workers while eating at a branch on the Champs Elysee.

He said one of the men tried to rip the system from his head and that despite showing them medical and technical documentation on the system, he was ejected from the restaurant.

Mann, who posted photographs of the incident taken with the eyepiece, wrote it was unclear why the men had taken offence.

He said he wanted McDonald's to pay for damage to his eyepiece and to support funding for vision research.

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/850217 ... cs-assault[/b]


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:35 am 
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Survivors take stock of cancer figures

The results of a 23-year-study into higher cancer rates among Port Waratah Coal Services workers began to sink in yesterday for cancer survivors and victims’ families.

They make up some of the 63 cases of cancer diagnosed among Kooragang Island workers between 1983 and 2006, a rate described by the authors of the PWCS-commissioned report as ‘‘beyond what is expected by chance’’.

Workers at Kooragang were found to be between 1.7 and 3.3 times more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than the general population of NSW and Australia, and their colleagues at the PWCS Carrington site.

Of the 18 different types of cancer detected, the most common types were melanoma (28per cent), prostate (22per cent) and colorectal cancer (13per cent).

Among those who agitated for the inquiry was Charlie ‘‘Chaz’’ Middlebrook who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma about seven years into his 23 years’ service with PWCS. He died in 2008.

His daughter Kiersten Middlebrook said her father had talked about possible links between cancer and the water used at PWCS.

‘‘If his persistence was instrumental in the commissioning of this study I am so proud of him,’’ she said.

She hopes PWCS will go a few steps further and look into any possible causes behind the statistics.

Wayne Cram, who has lost two close workmates to cancer in two years, says he too would like to see an investigation of possible causes.

He started as an operator for the BHP-owned Kooragang Coal Loader in 1984, and was there when PWCS took over. He feels there is something ‘‘terribly wrong’’ at PWCS.

He had surgery to remove his right kidney and has been in remission for five years after being diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2005, but considers himself one of the lucky ones.

‘‘When I saw the urologist he couldn’t understand why I had kidney cancer when I wasn’t in the demographic, and we never got to the bottom of that,’’ he said.

For many Kooragang Island workers the death of Bob Hunt in February this year, and of Danny Currie last year, is still very fresh in their hearts and minds, including that of Steve Paull, of Warners Bay, who has had aggressive treatment for throat cancer.

http://www.theherald.com.au/news/local/ ... 31142.aspx


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:21 am 
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Fears over vitamin D tests

AUSTRALIA is experiencing a rise in vitamin D deficiency, with the cost of testing increasing a hundredfold since the year 2000.

But some experts are concerned the testing - which cost Medicare more than $100 million in 2011 - might not be leading to better health outcomes for those found to be deficient.

Researchers from the University of Sydney and Westmead Breast Cancer Institute said the increase was not leading to tests and treatment for the potential consequences of vitamin D deficiency, which can cause brittle bones and has been linked to early death.

Kellie Bilinski and Steven Boyages also found evidence of over-testing, with nearly 15 per cent of people having four tests yearly, and more than 8 per cent of people having five.

One patient had 79 tests in one year, they wrote in The Medical Journal of Australia. Ms Bilinski, a senior clinical and research dietitian, said it was likely many were unnecessary.

If tests were limited to three per person yearly, based on the current costs, $20 million could be saved over four years.

''Our data show that more stringent guidelines should be developed for testing,'' she said. Further research was also necessary to establish whether the increased testing was leading to better health outcomes.

In a separate paper, published in the British Medical Journal, she said it was worrying that increased vitamin D testing had not led to increased bone density testing.

There are at present fewer than than 100 bone density tests for every 100,000 people, compared with more than 5000 vitamin D tests.

Rebecca Mason, a professor of endocrine physiology at the Bosch Institute for Biomedical Research at the University of Sydney, said one person having as many as 79 tests was ''ridiculous'', as there was generally no need for more than one unless treatment response was being measured.

''The increases in vitamin D testing have been largely due to the realisation that adequate levels of Vitamin D are important not just for bone and muscle but other health outcomes like mortality,'' she said.

Professor Mason said she was not overly concerned by recent research linking very high vitamin D supplementation and levels to death, as well as falls and fractures.

''It is something to keep an eye on but it's not something I would worry about,'' she said. ''In non-urbanised societies people would run around with vitamin D levels that were well above 100, and that would seem to be evolutionarily sensible.''

Current guidelines recommend an adequate level of vitamin D is more than 50 nanomoles per litre of blood.

http://www.summitsun.com.au/news/nation ... 31860.aspx


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:53 am 
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Melb Airport to clamp down on smokers

Melbourne Airport is set to clamp down on smokers who ignore the no-smoking signs and continue to puff away around doorways making it unpleasant for people entering and leaving the terminals.

The Herald Sun says travellers are sick of being forced to walk through a wall of cigarette smoke to get in and out of terminals.

Melbourne Airport spokesman Matt Francis told the paper that smoking areas would be reviewed and changes announced in the next three months.

'We are reviewing the smoking zone areas with a view to improving the amenity of the area outside our terminal,' he said.

Action on Smoking and Health Australia chief executive Anne Jones said the clouds of smoke were an unwelcome greeting for visitors.

She urged airport management to enforce smoking rules as stringently as they issued parking fines.

http://www.skynews.com.au/health/article.aspx?id=775134


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:28 am 
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Drug users being flushed out

RESEARCHERS sifting through sewage in 19 European cities have identified which drugs are popular in which countries.

From the biggest-ever drug analysis of samples taken from Europe's sewers, the research team deducted that the continent used about 350 kilograms of cocaine every day while marijuana remained the most popular illicit drug.

"Through research into the sewer, we can determine how big the drug market in a city is," coordinator Kevin Thomas of the Norwegian Institute for Water Research said of the study covering cities in 11 European countries.

The team took samples from the inlets of 21 sewage treatment plants servicing a combined population of some 15 million people on seven consecutive days from March 9, 2011, and analysed them in the lab.

The results published overnight in the journal Science in the Total Environment revealed the highest average cocaine use in the Belgian port city of Antwerp followed by Amsterdam (Netherlands), Valencia (Spain), Eindhoven (Netherlands), Barcelona (Spain), London (UK), Castellon (Spain) and Utrecht (Netherlands).

The Dutch cities of Amsterdam, Utrecht and Eindhoven showed the highest sewage loads of ecstasy, though the authors said Utrecht's figures were probably spiked by drug dumping in a police raid on an ecstasy factory two days prior to the study.

Antwerp and London also had high levels of ecstasy use, but none was detected in Castellon, Umea (Sweden) or Stockholm (Sweden).

The study said the highest levels of methamphetamine use were measured in Helsinki and Turku in Finland, Oslo (Norway) and Budweis in the Czech Republic.

Amphetamine use was highest in Eindhoven and Antwerp.

For cannabis, the highest levels were by far measured in the Dutch capital, which is a popular soft-drug tourist destination.

http://www.news.com.au/news/drug-users- ... 6436271739


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:30 am 
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The skinny on full-cream

Australians have been steadily switching from full-cream to low-fat milk over the past decade, with many citing their waistline as a reason, but the results of an international review may have even the most health conscious embracing the full-fat latte once again.

It has been broadly accepted that consuming saturated fat could lead to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, prompting dietary guidelines to recommend low- and reduced-fat milks and yoghurt as part of a balanced diet.

''These still contain calcium and other nutrients, but with less saturated fat,'' the guidelines state.

But in a review examining the link between high-fat dairy and health, published in the latest European Journal of Nutrition, researchers concluded '' … in contrast to the prevailing scientific and public sentiment, dairy fat consumption is not typically associated with an increased risk of weight gain, cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes.

''This is also in contrast to most current dietary guidelines recommending the consumption of fat-reduced milk and dairy products.''

Researchers found 11 out of 16 international studies showed higher dairy fat intake was associated with lower body fat levels and lower long-term weight gain.

The review, led by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Washington, noted that further studies were needed, but concluded there was ''no compelling reason'' to avoid the fat found in dairy products.

Statistics from Dairy Australia, the national services body for the dairy industry, show full-cream milk consumption - which contains about 4 per cent fat - is on the decline, making up 49 per cent of milk sales in 2010-2011 compared with nearly 57 per cent in 2000-2001.

But it was too early to call for changes to dietary guidelines in favour of full-cream dairy, said Tim Gill, an associate professor at Sydney University's Boden institute of obesity, nutrition, exercise & eating disorders.

''I think the jury is still out on the quality and consistency of the evidence we have available to us at this time.

''However, there is no strong evidence linking full-cream dairy with obesity, type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease.''

A study he was a part of found no consistent evidence that out of reduced-fat, low-fat or full-fat dairy, one was better than the others. ''But I would still recommend reduced-fat dairy, given its lower fat and calorie content,'' he said.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/lifesty ... z228UlAmIp


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:29 am 
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Drug in workout drinks to be illegal

A number of popular workout supplements will become illegal from next week, following a decision by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine) - ound in popular pre-workout drinks like Jack3d - was recently banned in Canada and New Zealand after reports of adverse health effects.

The drinks, which are usually bought as powder and mixed with water, are said to heighten energy and alertness.

The TGA was initially considering classing the stimulant in the same category with drugs such as heroin. But today's decision puts it in a slightly different banned substances category. While it has been identified as a public health risk, it will not incur the serious criminal penalties of hard illicit drugs.

The decision follows public consultation and advice from an advisory committee. Of the six public submissions received, one supported the proposed ban, noting DMAA is addictive, while the other five argued it is safe, effective and has no negative health effects.

"If up to me you couldn't ban DMAA quick enough. Tomorrow is too late," the supporting submission said.

The TGA's decision was based on "reports of adverse events including high blood pressure, psychiatric disorders, cerebral haemorrhage and stroke". It also found there are no approved therapeutic uses for the stimulant, it presents a high risk of abuse and little is known about its long-term effects.

DMAA was found in ''party pills'' in New Zealand, leading to its ban in April.

The chair of toxicology at the Australasian Society for Pharmacology and Toxicology, Ian Musgrave, thinks the increasing recreational use was the tipping point for the TGA.

"They probably felt the harms from its use as a party drug outweighed any benefits in its use as a supplement in bodybuilding and weight loss," he said.

He was "baffled" last month when he learnt it was being considered in a similar category to drugs such as heroin, cocaine and crystal methamphetamine and thinks this is a more appropriate classification.

"It's more harmful than not," he said "But it's not so harmful it's like heroine."

Food Standards Australia New Zealand advised anyone who has consumed products containing DMAA and is concerned about health risks to consult their doctor.

The decision will be implemented from August 8. It is then up to state and territory governments to implement any changes to legislation.

The NSW Health Department said the ban would automatically be implemented across the state. DMAA will be listed as a Schedule 7 "highly dangerous substance" on the NSW Poisons List. The maximum penalty is a $1000 fine for each instance of supply.

http://m.smh.com.au/national/health/dru ... 23f3i.html


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:18 am 
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Aussies back junk food crackdown

MOST Australians support "traffic light" labelling on foods and banning junk food ads during children's TV.

The study found 87 per cent of 1500 Australians surveyed would support colour-coding on packaged food to indicate healthier options.

Of those surveyed, 83 per cent agreed with a ban on advertising junk foods on TV during popular children viewing times, but only 56 per cent supported a total ban on advertising unhealthy foods.

The study by the Cancer Council Victoria and Obesity Policy Coalition, published in the Health Promotion Journal of Australia, questioned the main grocery shopper in 1511 households nationwide.

People aged 18 to 64 took part but those who nominated themselves as the household's grocery shopper were usually women aged between 35 to 54 years.

Most participants (84 per cent) were also in favour of kilojoule information displays at fast-food outlets and 87 per cent supported regulations for food companies to reduce the fat, sugar and salt content of processed foods.

Almost all of those surveyed - 97 per cent - supported restricting junk food marketing to children via email and mobile phone text messages, while 93 per cent thought it should be restricted in magazines and 89 per cent supported restrictions on websites.

Taxing unhealthy food was not as popular, unless the money was used to make healthy food more affordable, with 71 per cent supporting this option.

The study's authors said the research showed there was strong public support for tougher food labelling and advertising regulations.

"There's high support for government to intervene, but particularly high support among those new (technology) platforms," said co-author Jane Martin from the Obesity Policy Coalition.

"Children are not being adequately protected, and parents are limited in their ability to intervene, particularly with new technologies such as mobile phones and computers," she said.

Front-of-pack colour-coded food labelling systems have been recommended by a recent Australian government review, with a decision expected by the end of 2012.

New rules about marketing fast food to children on television were introduced in August 2009, but a review last year found the voluntary code had failed to reduce the number of junk food ads.

Meanwhile, the federal government's Food and Health Dialogue group encourages companies to reduce the amount of salt in foods such as bread, soups, sauces and pies.

Kellogg's recently announced it would reduce the amount of salt in its cornflakes and rice bubbles by 20 per cent.

http://www.news.com.au/news/aussies-thr ... z22Pz4dLgy


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:30 am 
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Diver's mum hid cancer for 8 years

A CHINESE diver's father has admitted hiding news that her mother had cancer to keep her focused on the Olympics.

Diver Wu Minxia, 26, scooped gold in the synchronised 3m springboard at the London Olympics, becoming the first diver in history to win gold at three consecutive Games.

Her parents had gone to extreme lengths to ensure their daughter's success, including concealing the news of her mother's eight-year battle with breast cancer from her, the Shanghai Daily reported on Monday.

The family also kept news of Wu's grandparents' death from the diver, the report said.

"Wu called us after her grandmother died, I gritted my teeth and told her: 'everything's fine, there aren't any problems'," Ms Wu's father Wu Jueming told the paper.

Ms Wu's parents found such lies were "essential" to ensure their daughter could keep focused on her training, the Shanghai Daily said.

"We never talk about family matters with our daughter," the father said.

Thousands of Chinese web users took to Sina Weibo - a Chinese microblog similar to Twitter - to condemn what they called the parents' "white lies" as an example of the harshness of China's government-funded sports system.

"Apart from making people crazy, our Olympic strategy also makes people lose their humanity," one online commentator said. "Our national sports system is disgusting," said another.

China's Soviet-style sports schools, which select and groom potential athletes from a young age, often with hours of tough training every day, have produced many world champions and the country is leading the gold medals table at the London Games.

But it has also been criticised for pushing young athletes too hard.

The Shanghai Daily said Ms Wu's parents rarely saw their daughter, keeping track of her activities by following her microblog account.

They travelled to London to support their daughter, but did not meet her in person before her diving final, it said.

"We've only sent our daughter one text message since we arrived in London, to tell here we we are safe, so she wouldn't worry," Ms Wu's father said.

"She doesn't call us often because she's busy with training," the father said.

"We've known for years that our daughter doesn't belong to us any more."

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/londo ... 6442172648


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