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The Government Shutdown Will Affect Your Health Care. Here’s How.

My fellow Americans, I don’t want to alarm you, but the government is in official shutdown mode! On Monday, lawmakers were unable to agree to a budget and neither the House nor the Senate wanted to back down. The shutdown appears to stem from one source, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also referred to as, Obamacare. The Republican-controlled House is refusing to sign the budget unless they can add a stipulation that essentially pushes the ACA law back one full year.

Congress Shut down

Since the Affordable Care Act law was passed in 2010, some lawmakers have continued to criticize it publicly to any reporter or television camera that will listen. A common theme among ACA opponents is their love of the Constitution, though most Americans remain confused about what one has to do with the other. Last night on the satirical political talk show The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart summed it up nicely when he referred to the GOP/Obamacare fight as, “The End of America as We Know It for Reasons No One is Able to Clearly Explain.”

While the government shutdown is clearly about health care, how will it actually affect health care? In addition to the furlough of nearly one million civilian federal employees, the closing of national parks and passport offices, and the temporary stoppage of other government functions, this is what you need to know for the impact this will have on your family’s well-being.


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Gluten-Free Labels Now Standardized for the First Time by the FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just issued the first set of standards regarding the “gluten-free” labels on food products. Up until this point there were no regulations and anyone could essentially slap that label on their product.

gf bread

The new standard states that foods that are less than 20 parts per million of gluten can be considered gluten free. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It is a very common ingredient in many foods on the grocery store shelf. To date, about three million Americans suffer from celiac disease, a disease that causes the digestive system all sorts of issues as it does not process or digest gluten. Gluten-free shopping used to be very difficult and almost done exclusively at specialty stores. That is no longer the case.
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Belviq Hits the Market as an FDA Approved Diet Pill

Nearly a year after its FDA approval, Lorcaserin, more commonly known as Belviq, will be available to patients through prescription. Lorcaserin was the first diet pill to be approved by the FDA since Orlistat’s (Alli) approval in 1999, but it was beat to the market by Qsymia. Qsymia has been plagued by weak sales since it first appeared on the market 10 months ago. Arena, the company that sells Belviq, is hoping that their product does considerably better.

belviq pillsBelviq is approved for those who are obese, as well as those who are overweight with other serious health risks like diabetes. It works by targeting the serotonin receptors, specifically the 2C receptor, in the brain to help the patient feel full. This receptor is in the area of the brain associated with appetite control and metabolism.


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RECALL: Whole Foods’ Whole Catch Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon

  • Whole Foods expands its recall of Whole Catch Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon because of possible listeria contamination.
  • Consumers should check package codes for UPC code 0 99482 40880 0 sold in 18 states.
  • The original recall was for lot code 7425A2298B, sold in Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, and Utah.
  • This extended recall includes lot code 7425A2297A, sold in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.
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Concerning Levels of Arsenic Found in Rice: FDA Conducting Full Investigation

Consumer Reports released a study this week regarding an investigation into arsenic levels in rice. After testing more than 60 rice products, the organization found there were “worrisome” levels of arsenic in all products.

Rice is the number one food source of arsenic in human diets, reportedly containing five times more than oatmeal.

Arsenic is an element found in nature and in man-made products, including various types of pesticides, according to My Health News Daily.

Because it is in the soil, plants absorb arsenic when they grow, which explains how it gets into our food products.

Because Consumer Reports detected “worrisome” levels of arsenic have been detected in our foods, experts are warning consumers to take caution, especially warning parents not to give more than one serving per day of infant rice cereal to their children.

Following the Consumer Reports investigation, which rested 60 rice products, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is conducting its own full study and has already tested more than 200 rice products. Various products have included rice cereals and beverages, and the FDA has already found traces of arsenic in all products. In total, more than 1,000 products will be tested over the course of a year.
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