Weekly Roundup – 6-3-11

Well for a short week, it sure felt long. And busy… I barely got to post anything this week.  Meanwhile, while not officially here, in my school kid frame of mind, summer has begun.  Remember that wonderful feeling when school let out and you had a whole summer before you and the world seemed filled with endless possibilities and certainly a visit to the beach?  Well, I’m trading in the beach this year for the mountains, but am still looking forward to summer and BBQ and watermelons…

And speaking of food, there was lots of action on the food side of the FDA equation this week:

  • USDA Replaces Food Pyramid – Out with the pyramid, in with the plate.  The USDA this week launched a replacement for the long-standing and long-suffering food pyramid called ChooseMyPlate.gov.  It is simple and direct and pretty clear, which is the way it should be, advising food intake by proportion and groupings on the image of a plate.  And while visually easy to digest (haha) it should also be clear that instructions alone cannot address the issue of obesity and bad diets.  If that were the case, the warning on the side of a pack of cigarettes would deter everyone from smoking.  Rather this is a part, and important part, of a bigger effort that is needed to understand the cultural and emotional factors that impact diet.
  • Fooducate Makes Their App Available on DROID – For some time now, i-phone users have had the ability to use the Fooducate App which allows you to scan a bar code in the grocery store and get information and highlights on the nutritional content and makeup of the product.
  • Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs) and Cancer Risk Determination – The FDA announced this week that a class of drugs used in treating high blood pressure were not found to increase cancer risk.  In July 2010, the FDA reported that a safety review of ARBs would be performed after a published study found a small increased risk of cancer in patients taking an ARB compared to those patients not taking an ARB. For this safety review, the FDA evaluated 31 randomized clinical trials, comparing patients taking an ARB to patients not taking an ARB, looking for the incidence of cancer.
  • Roche Launches Twitter Feed Solely to Transmit Medical Meeting Tweets – Roche, already one of the more prolific creators of pharma twitter feeds, began another last week that is aimed solely at sending out tweets from medical meetings.  Called CongressConnect – the twitter feed is debuting with tweets from #ASCO11.  You may want to follow them to get their impressions from the meeting.  You might also note that the feed has been added to the EyeonFDA Twitter list of pharma companies that are on Twitter, where you can see exclusively only what pharmas are saying on Twitter.
  • ASCO Experiment by @brianreid -Speaking of ASCO, my friend Brian Reid announced on the WCG blog Common Sense this week that he was embarking on a little experiment at #ASCO11 and he is looking for your participation.  The gist of the experiment is to curate ASCO observations from participants via social media.  Check it out.   Even if you don’t want to submit – you can see what he is pulling together.

That’s it for me this week folks.  Have a good weekend!

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