- Obama to Sign FDA-Tobacco Bill Into Law
- VA Center Botched Prostate Cancer Treatments: Report
- Hunger Afflicts One-Sixth of World's People: U.N.
- U.S. Gives $6 Billion in New Child Insurance Funding
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
Obama to Sign FDA-Tobacco Bill Into Law
An anti-smoking bill that gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sweeping powers to regulate tobacco products will be signed into law Monday by President Barack Obama.
Under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the FDA will be able to ban labels such as "low tar" and "light," outlaw candy flavorings, and order companies to reduce nicotine in tobacco products. The law also requires large graphic warnings on cartons of cigarettes, the Associated Press reported.
The FDA will also be able to regulate what goes into tobacco products, make those ingredients public, and prohibit marketing campaigns, particularly those that target children.
The legislation was opposed by former President George W. Bush, who said he would veto it after it passed the House of Representatives last year, the AP reported.
VA Center Botched Prostate Cancer Treatments: Report
In the latest blow to the image of Veterans Affairs medical facilities, it's been revealed that 92 veterans with prostate cancer received incorrect radiation doses at the VA Medical Center in Philadelphia.
The New York Times reported that a procedure in which radioactive seeds are implanted to kill cancer cells (brachytherapy) was done incorrectly in 92 of 116 procedures over six years. The medical team involved kept performing the procedure for a year even though medical monitoring equipment wasn't working.
Of the 92 cases, 57 involved implants that delivered too little radiation to the prostate and 35 had excessive levels of radiation that affected nearby tissue and organs, according to a Nuclear Regulatory Commission report published in the Federal Register this month, the Associated Press reported.
All the affected patients received follow-up care, including eight who got additional radioactive seed implants at a Seattle VA Center, said Dale Warman of the Philadelphia VA Medical Center.
Hunger Afflicts One-Sixth of World's People: U.N.
The global economic crisis and high food prices are major reasons why 1.02 billion people (one-sixth of the world's population) don't have enough to eat, says a United Nations' agency report released Friday. Most of those going hungry -- defined as consuming less than 1,800 calories a day -- are in developing nations.
The Food and Agriculture Organization said there are 100 million more people going hungry this year than in 2008, and that more aid and agricultural investment are needed to help people in poor countries get enough to eat, the Associated Press reported.
The largest number of hungry people (642 million) are in Asia and the Pacific region, while the highest rate of hunger (32 percent) is in sub-Saharan Africa.
"The silent hunger crisis, affecting one-sixth of all of humanity, poses a serious risk for world peace and security," said agency Director-General Jacques Diouf, the AP reported.
To highlight the connection between hunger and peace, officials noted that rising prices for staples such as rice caused riots in the developing world last year, the AP reported.
U.S. Gives $6 Billion in New Child Insurance Funding
The U.S. government will give $6 billion in new funding to states and territories to maintain existing Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollment and expand their programs.
The new funds were made available by the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009, which provides additional funding for CHIP programs.
Of the $6 billion in new funding, more than $1 billion has been released and the remainder is expected to be allocated by the end of September.
"Through CHIPRA, states and territories will receive additional funds to provide health insurance to 11 million children, including 4 million who were previously uninsured. Parents now have more help if their children fall ill," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a news release.