Trending News Today: Monsanto's Weed Killer Added to List of Cancer-Causing Chemicals

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

California will add the main active ingredient in Monsanto Co’s Roundup weed killer to its list of chemicals known to cause cancer starting July 7, 2017, according to Reuters. Glyphosate was first approved for use in the United States in 1974, and is a one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States. California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment said that the designation of glyphosate under Proposition 65 would require companies selling products that contain the chemical to add warning labels to packaging. Furthermore, warnings would also be required if glyphosate is sprayed at levels deemed unsafe by regulators, Reuters reported. Monsanto and other companies producing glyphosate will have approximately 1 year from the listing date to relabel products or remove them from the store shelves. Monsanto said in a statement that the decision is “unwarranted on the basis of science and the law,” and vows to continue fighting the legal battle against the designation, according to the report.

A former compounding pharmacist was convicted for his involvement in the deadly 2012 outbreak of fungal meningitis in the United States, reported The New York Times. Barry J. Cadden, former co-owner and head pharmacist of the New England Compound Center, was sentenced to 9 years in prison. According to the CDC, the Massachusetts-based pharmacy made injected steroid pain medication that caused more than 750 cases of fungal meningitis in 20 states, including at least 64 deaths. Cadden was charged under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, and was convicted this year of more than 50 counts of mail fraud and racketeering, but was acquitted of 25 counts of second-degree murder and other charges.

Findings from a new study reveal that physical activity levels among adolescents are similar to that of 60-year-olds, according to The Washington Post. For the study, investigators used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to analyze 12,529 participants who wore tracking devices for 1 week straight, only being removed at bedtime or when taking a bath. The devices were used to measure length of sedentary behavior or engagement in light or moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. The results of the study showed that more than 25% of boys and 50% of girls aged 6 to 11 years and more than 50% of males and 75% of female adolescents aged 12 to 19 years did not meet the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations. According to the Post, the WHO recommends at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day for children ages 5 to 17 years. “Activity levels at the end of adolescence was alarmingly low, and by age 19 [years], they were comparable to 60-year-olds,” senior author Vadim Zipunnikov told the Post. “… The goal of campaigns aimed at increasing physical activity has focused on increasing higher-intensity exercise. Our study suggests that these efforts should consider the time of day and also focus on increasing lower-intensity physical activity and reducing inactivity.”

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