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Food and Drug Administration
PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:52pm
Thu Dec 3, 2015

Debate Rages Over FDA Approval Of Genetically Modified Salmon

Progress Illinois looks at the debate surrounding genetically engineered salmon now that it has been approved for human consumption in the United States.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:18pm
Tue Jun 23, 2015

Public Interest Group Urges Subway To End Antibiotic Use In Meat (VIDEO)

An Illinois public interest group and its affiliates across the country launched a nationwide campaign Tuesday urging Subway to serve only antibiotic-free meat and poultry at its sandwich shops.

Specifically, the Illinois Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) is calling on Subway to "stop using meat raised with the routine use of antibiotics."

Illinois PIRG canvassers promoted the public interest group's "Subway: Go Antibiotic-Free" campaign late Tuesday morning at a Chicago Subway restaurant at 319 S. Jefferson St.

Outside the Subway location, Illinois PIRG volunteers and interns distributed flyers and asked passersby to pose for photos with signs reading, "I was craving a sub, but I wanted meat raised without antibiotics."

Quick Hit
by Op-Ed
3:16pm
Thu Mar 26, 2015

Op-Ed: Some Good, Some Bad In Obama Administration Plan To Protect Antibiotics

The following comes from Dev Gowda, an advocate with Illinois PIRG.

Plan fails to adequately address growing public health threat

Tomorrow the National Task Force for Combating Resistant Bacteria will release a five-year action plan to tackle the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. While the plan will take several important steps necessary to control the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it will miss the opportunity to call for critical reforms in the agricultural sector that are essential to protect public health.

President Obama gets an 'A' for tackling this problem from multiple angles. But in terms of addressing the biggest problem, the troubling overuse and misuse of antibiotics on large factory farms, the administration gets an incomplete.

This lack of action to address the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture is notable in the face of recent commitments by several major retailers to curtail the purchase of meat raised with the routine use of the drugs.  Earlier this month, for instance, McDonald's announced it will phase out chicken raised with medically important antibiotics in its U.S. restaurants.  This policy will likely do more to confront the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture than the policies recommended in today's plan. 

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
5:42pm
Wed Aug 6, 2014

Activists Call For Restrictions On The Use Of Antibiotics In Factory Farms

Consumer rights advocates and health professionals are calling on the Obama administration to restrict the use of antibiotics on healthy factory farm animals, saying the “overuse and misuse” of antibiotics generates bacteria that are resistant to one or more classes of drugs.

“Bacteria is getting resistant to these antibiotics they’re using at factory farms, and the bacteria is then being passed to our community through the air we breathe, through water, through animal waste and through the food we eat,” said Dev Gowda, of the consumer advocacy group, Illinois PIRG. “President Obama and the FDA need to take action and essentially save antibiotics for future generations.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:07pm
Wed Jul 16, 2014

Consumers Target Walgreens Over 'Toxic Products'; Public Pressure Grows Over Antibiotic Use In Livestock (VIDEO)

A small group of health advocates, dog owners and Walgreens customers in Chicago called on the nation's largest pharmacy chain to remove products that, they say, contain harmful chemicals from its shelves.

"Many major retailers in the Chicago area such as Target, Bed Bath & (Beyond), even Walmart have taken direct action to begin to remove some of the worst toxic chemicals from their products, and unfortunately, Walgreens, the flagship of Illinois, has refused to make a commitment to take action on these products," said Lynda DeLaforgue, co-director of Citizen Action/Illinois, which organized the Wednesday morning protest outside the new Walgreens store at 410 N. Michigan Ave. in the Wrigley Building.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
9:24pm
Mon Apr 14, 2014

Durbin Joins Congressmen In Unveiling Report On E-Cigarette Marketing Practices, Presses FDA For Regulatory Action

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) hopes a report issued Monday detailing the marketing tactics used by electronic cigarette companies will coerce the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take regulatory action on the products.

E-cigarettes are currently free from numerous sales, marketing and product regulations at the federal level that apply to traditional cigarettes.

Durbin and 11 other Democratic lawmakers from the U.S. House and Senate launched a joint investigation into the marketing practices of nine companies that make commonly sold e-cigarette brands including MarkTen, Vuse, NJOY King, Eonsmoke, LOGIC, V2 Cigs, VaporCouture, Blu, Green Smoke and White Cloud. The investigation's findings were revealed Monday. The report shows a recent uptick in e-cigarette marketing, including tactics that Durbin says appeal to minors.

"E-cigarettes are a candy-flavored addiction, which is dangerous to our young people across America," the senator said on a press call Monday morning about the new report. "It is growing in popularity among children and sadly poses serious public health threats."

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
5:25pm
Thu Aug 1, 2013

Healthy Gay Men Should Be Allowed To Donate Blood, Advocates Say

Since 1983 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rejected blood donations from men who have ever had sex with another man on the grounds that it is a high-risk behavior. But experts and LGBTQ rights activists say the policy fosters inequality and, after three decades of technological upgrades, it’s time for reform. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the “outdated and discriminatory” policy.

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
3:54pm
Fri Apr 26, 2013

Genetically Engineered Food Must Be Labeled As Such, Argue Consumer Rights Advocates

The United States is one of the last remaining industrialized countries that does not mandate disclosure of genetically modified organisms (GMO) on food labels. But recent state and federal legislation reflects the rallying cry of food advocacy groups calling for the government to give consumers the right to know exactly what they are eating.