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Health Highlights: April 30, 2012

Texas Law Targeting Planned Parenthood Unconstitutional: Judge Dutch Government OKs Publication of Bird Flu Study FDA Sends Warning to Supplements Companies

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Texas Law Targeting Planned Parenthood Unconstitutional: Judge

Texas cannot stop Planned Parenthood from receiving state funds through the Women's Health Program, a federal judge ruled Monday.

There is sufficient evidence that a state law banning Planned Parenthood from the program is unconstitutional, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel said. He imposed an injunction against enforcement of the law until he can hear full arguments, the Associated Press reported.

Under the law passed last year by the Republican-controlled Legislature, state agencies cannot provide funds to organizations affiliated with abortion providers. A legal challenge was launched by Eight Planned Parenthood clinics that do not provide abortions.

In his ruling, Yeakel agreed with Planned Parenthood's argument that if it was banned from the Women's Health Program, many women would have no access to clinics for basic health services and check-ups, the AP reported.


Dutch Government OKs Publication of Bird Flu Study

A Dutch scientist's paper on a mutant version of the potentially deadly H5N1 bird flu virus can be published in the journal Science, the Dutch government says.

Friday's announcement came after publication of this and another paper by U.S. researchers was approved by a U.S. panel of experts. But under European Union rules, the Dutch scientist still required permission from his government, Agence France-Presse reported.

The two studies found that a laboratory-created mutant version of H5N1 could pass easily in the air between ferrets. U.S. experts initially opposed publication of the studies over fears that the information could be used by terrorists to unleash a deadly flu epidemic.

The Dutch Department of Economic Affairs approved publication of the Dutch study after weighing the risks and advantages of publication, a government spokeswoman told AFP.


FDA Sends Warning to Supplements Companies

Ten companies that make and distribute dietary supplements containing dimethylamylamine (DMAA) have been sent warning letters for marketing products that lack safety evidence, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday.

DMAA -- also referred to as 1,3-dimethylamylamine, methylhexanamine, or geranium extract -- is often touted as a "natural" stimulant.

The companies that received warning letters and the names of their products are: Exclusive Supplements for Biorhythm SSIN Juice; Fahrenheit Nutrition for Lean Efx; Gaspari Nutrition for Spirodex; iSatori Global Technologies, LLC for PWR; Muscle Warfare, Inc. for Napalm; MuscleMeds Perfomance Technologies for Code Red; Nutrex Research for Hemo Rage Black, Lipo-6 Black Ultra Concentrate, Lipo-6 Black, Lipo-6 Black Hers Ultra, Concentrate, and Lipo-6 Black Hers; SEI Pharmaceuticals for MethylHex 4,2; SNI, LLC for Nitric Blast; and USP Labs, LLC for Oxy Elite Pro and Jack3D.

"Before marketing products containing DMAA, manufacturers and distributors have a responsibility under the law to provide evidence of the safety of their products. They haven't done that and that makes the products adulterated," Daniel Fabricant, director of the FDA's Dietary Supplement Program, said in an agency news release.


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