Watch Out for Holiday Scams

November 26, 2013

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The holidays are here and that means lots of food, fun, good cheer and— SCAMS! Consumer groups are warning you to be on the look-out for some popular new ways crooks are ripping people off.  NBC News Investigative Correspondent Jeff Rossen talks about three new scams being  ramped up for the holiday shopping season.  Click here to watch.

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Longer Lives Come with a Price – Often Poor Health

November 20, 2013

We are living longer, but spending more of those extra years with chronic disease and disabilities.  Is the trade off worth it?  It’s an interesting question as CNN’S Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports in the story above.

For most of human history, old people were rare.  A lucky few might make it to 60 or 70, but most people died before their hair turned white and their faces sagged. It wasn’t until the 20th century that the average lifespan reached 50.  A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association examines the cost of living longer.

The JAMA study found life expectancy in the United States for both sexes combined increased from 75.2 years in 1990 to 78.2 years in 2010.  It also found improvements in population health in the U.S. have not kept pace with advances in population health in other wealthy nations.  Click here to read more.

Suggestive ‘Selfies’ Nabbed & Posted on Porn Sites

November 20, 2013

Teens who’ve taken nude or semi-nude “selfies” and posted them or sent them to a friend are finding those pictures can come back to haunt them.  An investigation by the CBS station in Orlando has learned teenage girls are discovering long-forgotten, revealing pictures of themselves on porn sites.

WKMG Investigative Reporter Mike Holfeld tells this tale of caution for all parents and teens. Click here to watch the report.


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New Study Shows Many Herbal Supplements Fake

November 6, 2013

Popular herbal supplements like echinacea, Ginko biloba, St. John’s Wart, and black cohosh are among dozens being called into question, in a new study that used DNA testing.  The study found many of these supplements don’t actually contain the herbs, at all.  Instead, they are little more than powdered rice and weeds.

Canadian researchers tested 44 bottles of popular herbal supplements sold by 12 companies.  A third of the pills actually contained none of the purported herb and 60-percent were diluted.

The New York Times reports on the controversy:

 Americans spend an estimated $5 billion a year on unproven herbal supplements that promise everything from fighting off colds to curbing hot flashes and boosting memory. But now there is a new reason for supplement buyers to beware: DNA tests show that many pills labeled as healing herbs are little more than powdered rice and weeds.


Using a test called DNA barcoding, a kind of genetic fingerprinting that has also been used to help uncover labeling fraud in the commercial seafood industry, Canadian researchers tested 44 bottles of popular supplements sold by 12 companies. They found that many were not what they claimed to be, and that pills labeled as popular herbs were often diluted — or replaced entirely — by cheap fillers like soybean, wheat and rice.

Click here to read more from the New York Times.


Drug Company Whistleblower Exposes Serious Problems at Plant that Makes Generics

November 6, 2013

A drug company whistleblower who exposed serious problems at the company that makes popular drugs used in the United States is telling his story to CBS News.  Kinesh Thakur worked for major, drug manufacturer Ranbaxy which made generic versions of drugs like Lipitor and antibiotics at plants in India.  He revealed disturbing problems with data the company was required to provide to the FDA to show the effectiveness of the drugs it produced.  It’s a cautionary tale for all Americans, particularly when you consider that 80-percent of all drugs prescribed in the U.S. are generics.  Click here to watch this report by CBS News Correspondent John Miller.

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