Health Buzz: Salmonella-Tainted Pistachios and Other Health News

Long-term drug use for ADHD; raw or locally produced milk.


Salmonella Scare Leads to Recall of Pistachios

The Food and Drug Administration is recommending that consumers avoid eating food containing pistachios in the wake of another salmonella scare. The FDA and the California Department of Health are looking into salmonella contamination of pistachios made by Setton Pistachio in Terra Bella, Calif. The company has stopped distributing processed pistachios and is voluntarily recalling about 1 million pounds of pistachios, which were used as ingredients in an array of foods. Several illnesses have been reported so far that may be linked to contaminated pistachios. The FDA first heard of the contamination on March 24, after learning from Kraft Foods that the company's Back to Nature trail mix was tainted with salmonella; Kraft traced the contamination to Setton and issued a recall.

The last big salmonella scare involved tainted peanut products. Robert Tauxe, deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Foodborne, Bacterial, and Mycotic Diseases, told U.S. News why that outbreak raised such loud alarms. You can read more about how to reduce your risk of becoming ill and how irradiating food could help zap a salmonella outbreak. Also, try getting updates via Twitter and Facebook to track the effects of salmonella outbreaks online.

ADHD Drugs Don't Help Children Long Term

Stimulant drugs like Ritalin that are used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder don't improve children's symptoms long term, according to new research published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. That may come as a surprise to parents, but ADHD researchers have been arguing for the past 10 years over the findings of the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children With ADHD, Nancy Shute reports. Called the MTA study, it is the largest study conducted to compare the benefits of medication with behavioral interventions.

This latest report from the MTA study tracked 485 children for eight years and found that those who were still taking stimulant medication fared no better than those who weren't in the reduction of symptoms such as inattention and hyperactivity or in social functioning. Most of the children who had taken medication for the first 14 months were no longer taking it. This, the researchers wrote, raises "questions about whether medication treatment beyond two years continues to be beneficial or needed at all." Earlier reports found that children taking stimulants alone or combined with behavioral treatment did better in the first year than children who got no special care or who got behavioral treatment alone.

Explore nondrug treatments for ADHD, and learn how to find a great ADHD summer camp for your child.

What You Should Know About Locally Grown Milk

Milk—it's our first food. But that's about as exciting as it gets. A gallon of supermarket milk is bland and faceless. What's on a shelf in Denver is no different from what's on one in Dallas. But that could be changing. As a new emphasis on locally produced food gains ground across the country, consumers are considering where their milk comes from, the environmental impact of transporting it, and its intrinsic health benefits, Kerry Hannon reports. Food historian Anne Mendelson, author of Milk: The Surprising Story of Milk Through the Ages (Knopf, $29.95), offers her thoughts on milk's emerging role in the local food movement.

Raw milk is gaining fans, but scientific research suggests it's dangerous. Learn 5 nutrition facts about milk and healthy kids, and read a primer on cow's-milk options, all of which contain essentially the same amount of calcium and vitamins A and D.

—January W. Payne

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