Archive for March, 2009

Pistachio Nuts Recalled by California Company March 31, 2009.

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Setton Pistachio, of Terra Bella, Inc., a California Company, has voluntarily recalled bulk roasted pistachio nuts because of potential contamination with the Salmonella organism.  The recall names specific lots of bulk roasted shelled pistachios and tote bags of roasted in-shell pistachios sold to wholesale customers in 2,000pound, 1,700 pound, 1,800 pound and 1,000 pound sizes.  The affected nuts were shipped on or after September 1, 2008.
 
There is an additional recall off Setton Farms brand roasted salted shelled pistachios in 9 oz. film bags that have the UPC code 034325020252 and have a “best before” date between 1/16/10 and 1/19/10.  This product was distributed in SC, GA, FL, NC, VA, TN and KY.  Consumers who think they have this product should return what they have to the place of purchase for a refund.  There is also a toll free number consumers can call for more information – 888-228-3717.
 
This is a voluntary recall and is not related to the recent recalls of peanuts and peanut butter.  It’s the first time in the 13 year history of sales of Setton Pistachio that pistachio nuts are being recalled by them.
 
Salmonella is an organism that can cause nausea, fever, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain.  In young children, the eldery, or those with weakened immune systems infection with the Salmonella organism can be serious, or even fatal.

Petland named in lawsuit by the Humane Society

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

The pet store chain Petland, Inc. is the defendant in a lawsuit filed against the company by the Humane Society of the United States on Monday, March 16, 2009 in the US District Court in Phoenix, AZ.  Other pet owners who say they purchased sick puppies from Petland are also parties in the suit.  The lawsuit seeks class action status and challenges the companies’ conduct under the federal racketeering statute and under consumer protection laws of 20 states.

The lawsuit alleges that Petland intentionally misled thousands of customers who purchased puppies at their stores.  According to the lawsuit Petland led their customers into believing the puppies purchased came from the finest breeders in the country.  According to the Humane Society many of the puppies sold by the store were bred in puppy mills in filthy conditions with inadequate care or socialization.

The plaintiffs are seeking changes in how the puppies are bread, to stop what they call unfair and deceptive sales practices, and financial damages to help cover the veterinary costs associated with the purchased puppies.

An executive of Petland stated these were false accusations, and the store in fact only offers “healthy, happy and well-socialized pets” for sale to their customers.

Oral sodium phosphate products for colon cleansing and kidney problems

Friday, March 13th, 2009

A few months ago I had to have a colonoscopy performed.  I was young so it came as a surprise to me that I needed one.  I received an informational preparation package from my surgeon and part of the instructions is to perform a bowel or colon cleansing prior to the procedure.  The product that was recommended for me to use was Fleet Phospho-Soda.  I followed the doctor’s instructions to the letter and purchased it, used it according to the directions provided and had my colonoscopy.  A few days ago I saw a commercial on television that stated there possibly could be a link between the use of oral sodium phosphate products (like this one) for colon cleansing prior to a colonoscopy and kidney problems.

I decided to research this topic on the internet and I have found out that the Fleet product was recalled on December 11, 2008 after a Safety Alert was issued by the FDA that consumers should not use this product for colon cleansing prior to a colonoscopy due to the high risk of kidney failure associated with the use of this product.  The FDA is also now requiring all prescription colon cleansing products to carry a black box warning.  A black box warning is a type of warning that appears on the inserts for prescription drugs and carries the name “black box” because of the black border that surrounds the information.  Fleet Phospho-Soda is not a prescription drug so a black box warning was not placed on the drug information contained with the product.

As far back as May, 2005 the FDA had warned the use of oral sodium phosphate bowel cleansing products could cause kidney problems, especially in patients who already had impaired kidney function, kidney disease, or who were dehydrated.  (Having experienced a bowel cleansing personally let me tell you it is nearly impossible to not get dehydrated after it – you drink, and drink, and drink even more but what goes in must come out.)  Patients who were taking drugs like ACE inhibitors or ARBs were also at a higher risk of experiencing kidney problems.

The FDA has confirmed that at least 21 users of oral sodium phosphate bowel cleansing solutions have developed Acute Phosphate Nephropathy which can lead to renal failure, dialysis treatment, the need for a kidney transplant, or in severe cases, death.

The FDA has announced that bowel cleansing preparations (as the ones used prior to a colonoscopy) should only be available as a prescription remedy.   The FDA has stated that the use of Fleet Phospho-Soda in low doses as a laxative is safe.  The possible danger of kidney problems arises when oral sodium phosphate products are used in higher doses for colon or bowel cleansing.