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Health Highlights: May 23, 2012

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Radiation Exceeded Cancer-Causing Levels in Some Areas Around Fukushima Nuclear Plant: WHO

Several areas near the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan had radiation above cancer-causing levels, but most of the nation did not, according to a World Health Organization report released Wednesday.

The first global report about radiation exposure from last year's meltdowns at the nuclear plant said increases in radiation were below cancer-causing levels in nearly all of Japan, the Associated Press reported.

Neighboring countries had radiation levels similar to normal background radiation, while the rest of the world had some minor radiation exposure through food.

Previously, the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that radiation levels in some Japanese vegetables and milk were much higher than Japan allows for consumption, the AP reported.


Bagged Salads Recall Expanded

More types of River Ranch Fresh Foods bagged salads are being recalled after routine sampling detected contamination with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

The initial recall by the Salinas, Calif.-based growing included lettuce shipped to California and Colorado. The expanded recall includes bagged salads that were shipped nationwide and sold under the names River Ranch, Farm Stand, Hy-Vee, Marketside, Shurfresh, The Farmer's Market, Cross Valley, Fresh n Easy, Promark and Sysco, reported CBS News and the Associated Press.

No illnesses have been reported, according to the company.

The recalled salad bags have "best by" dates between May 12 and May 29, or Julian dates of 118 and 125, CBS/AP reported.

For more information, consumers can call River Ranch 24 hours a day at 1-800-762-7708.


Chicken Jerky Treats Have Sickened 900 Dogs

The latest tally of complaints from worried dog owners and veterinarians shows that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has received 900 reports of canine illness and death associated with chicken jerky strips, treats and nuggets since November.

Complaints include cases of problems ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to kidney failure and other serious ailments after dogs consumed the Chinese-made treats, reported.

Waggin' Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brands produced by Nestle Purina PetCare Co., and Milo's Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats, produced by the Del Monte Corp, are among the brands of chicken jerky treats cited by pet owners and veterinarians in their complaints of harm filed with the FDA.

Both companies have said their chicken jerky treats are sound and that any pet illnesses are unrelated to the products, reported.


Auction of Vial With Reagan's Blood Stirs Controversy

A vial that allegedly contains blood residue from former U.S. President Ronald Reagan is being auctioned off by a Channel Islands auction house.

The PFCAuctions house said the vial was used by the laboratory that tested Reagan's blood when he was hospitalized after a 1981 assassination attempt in Washington, D.C., the Associated Press reported.

Bidding for the vial passed the $11,000 mark Tuesday. The auction ends Thursday.

The auction was condemned by John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation in California, the AP reported.

"If indeed this story is true, it's a craven act and we will use every legal means to stop its sale or purchase," Heubusch said in a statement. "We've spoken to GW (George Washington) Hospital and are assured an investigation as to how something like this could possibly happen is underway.

"Any individual, including a president of the United States, should feel confident that once they enter into the care of a medical system their privacy and rights are held inviolable," he said.


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Posted: May 2012