Health Highlights: Aug. 24, 2012

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  • Armstrong Gives Up Fight Against U.S. Anti-Doping Agency: Will Lose Tour de France Titles
  • Tainted Cantaloupe Investigation Continuing: FDA
  • Licorice Recalled Due to High Lead Levels

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Armstrong Gives Up Fight Against U.S. Anti-Doping Agency: Will Lose Tour de France Titles

American cyclist Lance Armstrong has given up his fight against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and will be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.

Armstrong, long the subject of doping rumors, chose not to pursue arbitration in the drug case brought against him by the USADA, the Associated Press reported.

USADA Chief Executive Travis Tygart said Armstrong would lose his Tour de France titles as soon as Friday and would be given a lifetime ban from cycling. Armstrong, who turns 41 next month, is retired from the sport.

Even though the International Cycling Union backed Armstrong's legal challenge to USADA's authority, Tygart said the UCI signed the World Anti-Doping Code and was "bound to recognize our decision and impose" the penalties against Armstrong, the AP reported.

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Tainted Cantaloupe Investigation Continuing: FDA

After announcing that a farm in southwestern Indiana was the source of at least some of the cantaloupes involved in an salmonella outbreak, health officials said they are still trying to determine whether there are other sources.

The outbreak has infected at least 178 people in 21 states. Sixty-two people have been hospitalized and there have been two deaths.

Late Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified Chamberlain Farms of Owensville, Ind. as one source of salmonella-tainted cantaloupes. However, the Food and Drug Administration says the investigation is still in the early stages and it is too soon to say whether all the contaminated cantaloupes came from that farm, the Associated Press reported.

There is disagreement between federal and state officials on whether it is safe to eat melons from southwestern Indiana. Due to the ongoing investigation, the FDA says consumers should discard any cantaloupes grown in the area or bought on or after July 7.

However, state officials say cantaloupes from Chamberlain Farms should be discarded but cantaloupes from other farms are safe to eat as long as they are thoroughly washed and cut with clean knives and cutting boards, the AP reported.

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Licorice Recalled Due to High Lead Levels

One-pound packages of Red Vines Black Licorice Twists have been recalled because they contain high levels of lead.

The recall was issued Wednesday by the California-based American Licorice Company after the California Department of Public Health warned consumers to discard the licorice twists, ABC News reported.

The candy "contained as much as 0.33 parts per million of lead," said a statement on the department's website. "This concentration of lead could provide up to 13.2 micrograms of lead per serving. Children under 6 years of age should not consume more than 6.0 micrograms of lead per day from all dietary sources."

The recalled one-pound bags of licorice twists have the best before date "020413," which is printed on the back of the package, ABC News reported.

The California Department of Public Health advised pregnant women and parents of children who may have eaten the licorice to consult a doctor to determine if medical testing is required.

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