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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Today's Globe: EPA on emissions, depression definition, mammogram caution, tainted food, Pfizer fines

In a defeat for the Bush administration, the US Supreme Court ruled yesterday that greenhouse gases are pollutants and ordered federal environmental officials to reconsider their refusal to limit emissions from new cars and trucks.

About 1 in 4 people who appear to be depressed are in fact struggling with the normal mental fallout from a recent emotional blow, like a ruptured marriage, the loss of a job, or the collapse of an investment, a new study led by Jerome C. Wakefield of New York University suggests. To avoid unnecessary diagnoses and stigma, the standard definition of depression should be redrawn to specifically exclude such cases, the authors argue.

The the American College of Physicians is challenging the widely accepted recommendation that women should routinely undergo mammograms in their 40s, saying the risks of the breast exams may outweigh the benefit for many.

Tainted wheat gluten that triggered a massive nationwide pet food recall also ended up in processing plants that prepare food consumed by people, the Food and Drug Administration said yesterday.

Two subsidiaries of Pfizer Inc. have agreed to pay fines totaling $34.7 million for offering a kickback to recommend company drugs and for illegally promoting the human growth hormone product Genotropin for nonapproved uses, federal prosecutors said yesterday.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 06:22 AM
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