The future relationship between the media, the food industry and the consumer.
The relationship between the media, the food industry and the consumer is probably at its lowest point as we start the new millennium. The frequency of food scares appears to be increasing and news reports sometimes seem both sensational and polarised. High profile issues like the development of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the UK and the dioxin contamination of poultry products in Belgium have undermined consumer confidence in the food industry. The recent genetically modified foods' debate has served to demonstrate the gulf that has grown between the food industry, food safety experts and the public. This is a rift that has been exploited by environmental pressure groups and fuelled by the media. This paper examines some of the underlying causes of the current air of mistrust that seems to exist between the media, the food industry and the consumer. Also, by examining the projected trends in these root causes, it draws some conclusions for the future relationship between the parties involved and suggests some changes that may improve the present situation. (+info)
Phase 1 study of pegylated recombinant human megakaryocyte growth and development factor (PEG-rHuMGDF) in breast cancer patients after autologous peripheral blood progenitor cell (PBPC) transplantation.
Forty-seven patients with stage II, III, or IV breast cancer undergoing autologous peripheral blood progenitor cell (PBPC) transplantation were randomized to placebo (n = 13) or to one of five sequential dose cohorts of pegylated (PEG) recombinant human megakaryocyte growth and development factor (PEG-rHuMGDF) (1.0, 2.5, 5.0, 7.5, or 10.0 microg/kg/day) (n= 34). Blinded study drug was started on the day of transplantation and was continued until the platelet count was > or =100 x 109/l or a maximum of 21 days. PBPCs were mobilized with filgrastim (r-metHuG-CSF) and all patients received filgrastim starting on day +2 after transplantation. The nadir platelet count was not affected by treatment. The median time to platelet recovery was 11 and 12 days for the placebo and combined PEG-rHuMGDF groups, respectively. No trends in adverse events suggested dose- or treatment-related toxicity. Two patients withdrew from the study because of an adverse event (allergic reaction in the 7.5 microg/kg group) probably related to study drug, and veno-occlusive disease (VOD) (in the 5 microg/kg group) which was felt not to be related to study drug by the investigator. No patients developed neutralizing antibodies to MGDF. Day +21 and day +28 platelet counts were higher in the group receiving PEG-rHuMGDF (246 vs 148 x 109/l and 299 vs 145 x 109/l, respectively; both P < 0. 05). PEG-rHuMGDF up to 10 microg/kg/day was well tolerated. In this study, there was no effect of study drug on initial platelet engraftment at the doses studied. However, the efficacy of other doses is unknown. (+info)
Potential exposure of amateurs (consumers) through painting wood preservative and antifoulant preparations.
Data are presented for work patterns, inhalation and potential dermal exposure for amateurs painting wood preservatives to garden structures, and antifoulants to leisure boats. The results are quoted as rates of in-use product deposition or time-weighted inhaled product concentrations. Quoting data in this general and normalized form enables predictive risk assessment. The product densities were assumed to be 1.0 gml(-1). Inhalation exposure was detected in about 40% of the surveys, being about 100 times higher for wood preservatives than for antifoulants. The maximum airborne wood preservative concentration was 8.03 mg m(-3), measured over the period of painting (that is not an 8h time-weighted average value). Regarding potential dermal exposure, the processes are only broadly comparable. Most of the data appear to fall into relatively narrow distributions, with median values around 5 mg min(-1) (for preservatives) and around 16 mg min(-1) (for antifoulants). About half of the deposit on clothing was found to occur below the waist. The data comparing gloved and bare hand working indicate that even simple gloves offer a degree of protection for skin. (+info)
Safety of patient-maintained propofol sedation using a target-controlled system in healthy volunteers.
We investigated the safety of a patient-maintained system that allows individuals to operate a target-controlled infusion of propofol to achieve sedation. Ten healthy volunteers were recruited and instructed to try to anaesthetize themselves with the system. A target-controlled infusion of propofol was set to deliver a target propofol concentration of 1 microgram ml-1, and the subjects allowed to increase the target in increments of 0.2 microgram ml-1 by pressing a control button twice in 1 s. There was a lockout time of 2 min and a maximum permitted target concentration of 3 micrograms ml-1. Heart rate and pulse oximetry oxygen saturation (SpO2) were monitored continuously, and non-invasive arterial pressure, ventilatory frequencies and sedation scores were measured every 5 min. Sedation was continued until the subject stopped pressing the button. A keyword was then read for the individual to remember and sedation discontinued. There were no instances of significant decrease of SpO2 or loss of airway control. Maximum target blood concentration of propofol recorded ranged from 1.4 to 3 micrograms ml-1. Two subjects became oversedated, one of whom was unrousable with loss of eyelash reflex. No subject could recall the keyword, although one recognized it from a list of 10 words. We conclude that the patient-maintained sedation system described could not be guaranteed to produce only conscious sedation in all patients, and that close clinical supervision by an anaesthetist would still be required for safe operation. (+info)
Initial clinical experience with ambulatory use of an implantable atrial defibrillator for conversion of atrial fibrillation. Metrix Investigators.
BACKGROUND: A recent study has shown that the implantable atrial defibrillator can restore sinus rhythm in patients with recurrent atrial fibrillation when therapy was delivered under physician observation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of ambulatory use of the implantable atrial defibrillator. METHODS AND RESULTS: An atrial defibrillator was implanted in 105 patients (75 men; mean age, 59+/-12 years) with recurrent, symptomatic, drug-refractory atrial fibrillation. After successful 3-month testing, patients could transition to ambulatory delivery of shock therapy. Patients completed questionnaires regarding shock therapy discomfort and therapy satisfaction using a 10-point visual-analog scale (1 represented "not at all," 10 represented "extremely") after each treated episode of atrial fibrillation. During a mean follow-up of 11.7 months, 48 of 105 patients satisfied criteria for transition and received therapy for 275 episodes of atrial fibrillation. Overall shock therapy efficacy was 90% with 1.6+/-1.2 shocks delivered per episode (median, 1). Patients rated shock discomfort as 5.2+/-2.4 for successful therapy and 4.2+/-2.2 for unsuccessful therapy (P:>0.05). The satisfaction score was higher for successful versus unsuccessful therapy (3.4+/-3. 3 versus 8.7+/-1.3, P:<0.05). There was no ventricular proarrhythmia observed throughout the course of this study. CONCLUSIONS: Ambulatory use of an implantable atrial defibrillator can safely and successfully convert most episodes of atrial fibrillation, often requiring only a single shock. Successful therapy is associated with high satisfaction and only moderate discomfort. (+info)
Tobacco industry tactics for resisting public policy on health.
The tactics used by the tobacco industry to resist government regulation of its products include conducting public relations campaigns, buying scientific and other expertise to create controversy about established facts, funding political parties, hiring lobbyists to influence policy, using front groups and allied industries to oppose tobacco control measures, pre-empting strong legislation by pressing for the adoption of voluntary codes or weaker laws, and corrupting public officials. Formerly secret internal tobacco industry documents provide evidence of a 50-year conspiracy to "resist smoking restrictions, restore smoker confidence and preserve product liability defence". The documents reveal industry-wide collusion on legal, political and socially important issues to the tobacco industry and clearly demonstrate that the industry is not disposed to act ethically or responsibly. Societal action is therefore required to ensure that the public health takes precedence over corporate profits. Recommendations for reducing the political influence of the tobacco industry include the following. Every tobacco company in every market should publicly disclose what it knew about the addictiveness and harm caused by tobacco, when it obtained this information, and what it did about it. The industry should be required to guarantee internationally recognized basic consumer rights to its customers. Trade associations and other industry groupings established to deceive the public should be disbanded. These recommendations should be incorporated into WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. (+info)
The power of survivor advocacy: making car trunks escapable.
Survivor advocates are powerful workers for injury prevention. Some of the major prevention successes have been due in large part to their efforts. This case history examines the four year campaign to prevent entrapment in car trunks (or boot) through the routine installation of interior trunk releases. It traces how a life altering event began a cluster of activities leading to product redesign and regulation to prevent injury. The following elements were key: data and the lack thereof, identification of possible solutions, newsworthy tragedies and media advocacy, politics and sympathetic lawmakers, an agency with regulatory authority, manufacturers, and trade associations. Survivors can assist the injury field because the personal and the professional complement each other in advocacy. Public health professionals can assist survivor advocates by sharing research, data and organizational skills, and by helping to secure grants. (+info)
Consumer perception of risk associated with filters contaminated with glass fibers.
The filters in Eclipse, a new cigarette-like smoking article marketed by R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, are contaminated with glass fibers, fragments, and particles. Reported herein are the results of a study in which consumers were questioned about their opinions as to whether exposure to glass fibers in such a filter poses an added health risk beyond that from smoking and whether the manufacturer has an obligation to inform consumers about the glass contamination problem. The study queried 137 adults who were interviewed while waiting at a Division of Motor Vehicles office in Erie County, New York in 1997. All but one person expressed the view that the presence of glass fibers on the filters poses an added health risk beyond that associated with exposure to tobacco smoke alone. Nearly all expressed the position that the cigarette manufacturer has a duty to inform the public about the potential for glass exposure. (+info)