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Daily Rounds: BPA In Canned Soup; $950M Vioxx Settlement; Steward Real Estate; C-Sections For All (In Britain)

Eating Canned Soup Makes BPA Levels Soar (NPR-Shots) "If you read the ingredient list on a can of soup, you're likely to see items like carrots, wild rice, perhaps some noodles. What you won't see listed: BPA. But a little canned soup for lunch can dramatically increase exposure to the chemical, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study confirms that canned food is a source of BPA exposure. But it does nothing to clear up the question of whether this sort of exposure to BPA has health consequences." (NPR)

Merck to pay $950 million over Vioxx (The New York Times) - "Merck has agreed to pay $950 million and has pleaded guilty to a criminal charge over the marketing and sales of the painkiller Vioxx, the company and the Justice Department said Tuesday...By the time Vioxx, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1999, was pulled off the market in 2004 because evidence showed that it posed a substantial heart risk, about 25 million Americans had taken the drug." (nytimes.com)

Hospital chain aims to exit real estate business (The Boston Globe) - "Steward, which is owned by the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, intends to use proceeds from the real estate sale in its hospital operations, spokesman Chris Murphy said. He said Steward would not redirect the money to Cerberus in the form of a stock dividend, a common capital strategy among private equity investors and the companies they own.'It’s going back into the [Steward] system,’ Murphy said. 'We’re selling our medical office buildings because we’re not a real estate company. Our focus is on running hospitals and taking care of our patients.’"(bostonglobe.com)

Women can choose cesarean birth (BBC) - "Pregnant women who ask for a Caesarean delivery should be allowed to have the operation, even if there is no medical need, according to new guidelines for England and Wales. The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) states that women should be offered counselling and told of the risks first. Ultimately, however, the decision would be made by the mother-to-be, it said." (BBC)

This program aired on November 23, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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