Health Highlights: Aug 20, 2015
Significant Rise in Organic Food Recalls: Report Patients Infected With 'Superbug' After Medical Scope Procedures at California Hospital '90210's' Shannen Doherty Has Breast Cancer
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Significant Rise in Organic Food Recalls: Report
There has been a sharp rise in recalls of organic food products in the United States this year, a new report says.
So far, organic food products have accounted for 7 percent of all food units recalled, according to Stericycle, a company that handles recalled for businesses. It uses data from the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture, The New York Times reported.
Last year, only 2 percent of total units of food recalled were organic, and the percentage was 1 percent in 2012 and 2013.
Growing consumer and business demand for organic ingredients contributed to increase in recalls, according to Kevin Pollack, a vice president at Stericycle.
'What's striking is that since 2012, all organic recalls have been driven by bacterial contamination, like salmonella, listeria and hepatitis A, rather than a problem with a label," he told The Times.
"This is a fairly serious and really important issue because a lot of consumers just aren't aware of it," Pollack added.
However, the Organic Trade Association said the problem is not as bad as suggested by Stericycle.
"A key point to keep in mind is that an overall increase in organic recalls between 2012 and 2015 would not be surprising -- not because organic food is less safe, but because of the dramatic increase in organic food sales and purchases that we've been seeing in this country," Gwendolyn Wyard, senior director of regulatory and technical affairs at the trade group, told The Times.
Patients Infected With 'Superbug' After Medical Scope Procedures at California Hospital
Several patients at a Los Angeles-area hospital became infected with an antibiotic resistant "superbug" after undergoing procedures with a medical scope used in the digestive tract.
Health officials were notified after the patients were diagnosed with pseudomonas bacteria after procedures using Olympus Corp. duodenoscopes, Huntington Memorial Hospital said in a statement, the Associated Press reported.
Hospital officials said the scopes have been quarantined during an investigation to determine if they are linked to the infections. The hospital did not divulge the total number of infected patients or their conditions.
The reusable medical scopes have been linked to a number of drug-resistant bacterial infections across the United States, the AP reported.
'90210's' Shannen Doherty Has Breast Cancer
Television star Shannen Doherty was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in March, but says its discovery was delayed because her former business managers did not pay her health insurance premium last year.
The 44-year-old former Beverly Hills, 90210 star's health crisis was made public Wednesday when she filed suit against Los Angeles accounting firm Tanner Mainstain Glynn & Johnson and its former partner, Steven D. Blatt. Doherty accuses them of mismanagement, USA Today reported.
In the lawsuit, Doherty said her doctors told her that earlier treatment of her breast cancer may have prevented its spread.
She claims that her health insurance was canceled last year because her former business managers did not pay the premium. Doherty said she wasn't able to get health insurance again until the following year and, because she had no coverage, she did not visit her doctors or get a cancer checkup, USA Today reported.
Because her cancer has spread, it is likely she will need more aggressive treatments, such as breast removal. Such treatment may not have been necessary if the cancer had been detected earlier, Doherty contends.