Health Highlights: Dec. 21, 201212/21/12
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
FDA Says Gene-Engineered Salmon Is Environmentally Safe
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Friday that a
genetically engineered salmon is not likely to cause environmental
Associated Pressreports. This fish is engineered to grow
twice as fast as normal salmon.
The FDA's decision clears the way for the agency's approval for
the first genetically engineered animal for humans to consume.
The fish, created by AquaBounty and called the AquaAdvantage
salmon, has been the subject of controversy at the agency for a
year. According to the FDA the fish "will not have any significant
impacts on the quality of the human environment of the United
States." More than two years ago the FDA said the fish was safe to
eat, according to the
Critics typically call genetically engineered fish "frankenfish"
and are concerned it might cause allergies and might even end up
destroying natural salmon should one of these fish escape into the
The company, however, claims that only a limited number of its
modified fish would be able to breed as most would be sterile and
the odds that one of these fish could escape are very low. The FDA
has supported the company's claims.
In all, AquaBounty has spent more than $67 million developing
the fish. In mid 2012, the company reported having only $1.5
million left and no other products on the drawing board, the
Stop Prescribing Heart Drug Tredaptive: Merck
The heart drug Tredaptive is ineffective, causes major side
effects and should no longer be prescribed, drug maker Merck said
The drug is used in 40 countries, but is not available in the
Merck's announcement came after a study of more than 25,000
patients at high risk for heart problems found that Tredaptive did
not reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke and caused
significant side effects.
Merck, which did not specify what those side effects, did not
say that patients currently taking the drug should stop doing so,
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