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Health Highlights: Sept. 21, 2018

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

Cornell Food Researcher Resigns After Charges of Academic Misconduct

Brian Wansink, a noted food researcher based at Cornell University, has resigned after an investigation found he misreported data in numerous studies, the university announced Thursday.

Wansink has been removed from all teaching and research positions and will retire at the end of the school year next June, Cornell said in a statement.

According to the Associated Press, Wansink had a hand in updating the U.S. dietary guidelines. He is best known for his widely cited work on consumer behavior, much of which has now been cast into doubt.

According to the website Retraction Watch, seven of Wansink's papers had already been retracted by journals. On Wednesday, the prestigious JAMA network of journals retracted six more academic papers produced over the years by Wansink's lab at Cornell.

One paper, published in 2005, had found that people eat more when served in large bowls; another, published in 2013, found that shoppers buy more high-calorie foods when they are hungry.

In Cornell's announcement, the university said Wansink's academic misconduct included "problematic statistical techniques, failure to properly document and preserve research results, and inappropriate authorship." Critics claim Wansink "cherry-picked" data to help support previously determined conclusions -- a no-no in academic research.

Cornell said Wansink will spend the remainder of his time at the university cooperating with the ongoing review into his research.

Wansink on Wednesday issued a statement saying he was retiring after 14 years, but did not respond to emailed requests from the AP for further comment.

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Ground Beef Recalled After E.Coli Outbreak

More than 132,000 pounds of ground beef have been recalled by a Colorado company following an outbreak where one person was killed and 17 were sickened by E. coli after eating the meat.

Cargill Meat Solutions said in a statement Thursday that all of the affected products have been removed from supermarket shelves, and food safety teams are checking the Fort Morgan facility where the meat was packaged "to ensure we continue to deliver safe food."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the meat was produced and packaged at that facility on June 21 and shipped to stores all over the country, the Associated Press reported.

The products included 3-, 10- and 20-pound packages of ground beef and sold under the brands Our Certified, Excel, Sterling Silver, Certified and Fire River Farms. All had a use or freeze date of July 11.

Regulators warned that people should also check for the products in their freezers. All affected products should be thrown away or returned to the store where they were purchased, they added.

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service did not release information about the people who died or became ill, the AP reported.

A smaller recall of Excel ground beef occurred in August, but no illnesses had been reported at that time, according to the wire service.

E. coli can cause sufferers to develop diarrhea and vomiting. More severe infections can lead to kidney failure.

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Posted: September 2018


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