Weekly Roundup – 07/02/10


Dandelions on the front lawn.  The buzz of a daring mosquito.  Lazy ceiling fans loping above. Blueberry pie, just out of the oven.  A picnic is planned.  Meat and veggies are tossed on a grill. A three-day weekend begins.  Happy July 4th everybody.  

And yet life goes on in the world of food and drugs.  Here is some of what I thought was interesting this week.

  • FDA Issues Draft Guidance on the "Judicious Use" of Antimicrobials in Food Producing Animals – Really – don't you love that title?  Judicious Use.  I wonder who thought that up.  In any case, as this weekend many of us will be throwing ribs, steaks, hamburgers, and chicken on the grill, it is good to note that the judicious use of antimicrobials was being urged by the agency in their announcement of a new draft guidance.  The FDA is seeking to help further define the role of antimicrobials, balanced against the desire to minimize the potential for the development of resistant organisms.  
  • BPA Lawsuit Filed Against FDA – The Natural Resources Defense Council announced on its blog this week that the organization has commenced a lawsuit against the FDA regarding the agency's lack of a response to a petition filed by the NRDC involving the use of bisphenol-A (BPA) in food containers.   The petition asks that FDA ban all BPA in human food packaging. The agency was first spurred into action by In January 2010, the FDA released an update on its position on  BPA providing an overview of the current situation and next steps planned by the agency.    
  • A Phone App for an Eye Exam – Yes, check this out.  Mashable carried a posting this week about the field testing of a phone app to conduct eye exams developed by MIT Media Lab. Remember when a phone was just a phone.  You used it to call someone.  Then one day, I bet without you even noticing, you found that there was a camera in your phone.  You didn't buy the phone for the camera – but now you wouldn't buy one without it.  Today, a phone can do almost anything.  This application is demonstrative of just one of the many ways it can impact the practice of medicine.  The app is called NETRA – Near-Eye Tool for Refractive Assessment and works with a plastic piece that fits onto the phone.  The object is to allow someone in a developing nation who may not have access to expensive ophthalmic equipment to make an assessment by holding the phone with the plastic piece up to the eye and scanning.  The result?   An eyeglass prescription.  Here is a vid to better explain:

Have a good weekend everyone!

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