Pfizer's depression drug has gained approval to be used as a treatment for "social anxiety disorder." Zoloft is the first drug of its kind to be used in the long-term treatment of the anxiety disorder.
Michael Meacher, U.K. environmental minister, is seeking new liability laws to protect organic farmers from possible cross-pollination with biotech crops. Meacher says, "We don't feel a need for any change to address a specific technology," and existing EU laws are sufficient.
Researchers are finding further evidence that genetics may play a larger role in weight control and desire to exercise than was thought in the past. While they do not deny the effects of diet and lifestyle, some people's genetic make-up precludes them to a particular body shape, regardless of food intake or exercise.
Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro has introduced a proposal to create a single food-safety agency to replace the 19 departments and agencies that currently oversee food safety in the U.S. The American Meat Institute, while supporting DeLauro's efforts to improve food safety, disagreed with the approach, and advocated the use of irradiation to reduce pathogens.
Research from The Institute of Cancer Research in London finds that the antioxidants in grapes may protect against radiation fibrosis. Women who have undergone radiotherapy to treat breast cancer sometimes suffer from the fibrosis, which causes the tissue around the breast to become hard and stiff and, in some cases, painful.
A federal advisory committee will discuss the expansion of Medicare coverage to include implanted heart defibrillators. Some physicians are concerned that Medicare is blindsided by the device's costs; Medicare pays $25,000 to $30,000 per patient for the defibrillator.