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Daily Rounds: Romney's Spanking; Meningitis Offensive; Monster Drink Deaths; Safety For Cheerleaders

Mitt Romney: Defender Of Spanking? (Mother Jones)"...there is one pledge he hasn't backed away from. It involves spanking. In July, the GOP presidential nominee wrote a letter to Virginia conservative activist Michael Farris, an Evangelical power broker in the critical swing state, outlining his opposition to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which commits ratifying nations to protect children from discrimination. "My position on that convention is unequivocal: I would oppose Senate approval of the convention, and would not sign the convention for final ratification," Romney wrote. "I believe that the best safeguard for the well-being and protection of children is the family, and that the primary safeguards for the legal rights of children in America is the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the states." The UN CRC hasn't received much mainstream attention, but it's becoming a rallying cry on the far right, mostly because social conservatives fear that its passage would imperil the rights of parents to, among other things, use corporal punishment on their kids. The first bullet point in Farris' 2009 fact sheet explaining his beef with the treaty warned that "Parents would no longer be able to administer reasonable spankings to their children."

U.S.Concern Over Compounders Predates Meningitis Outbreak (The New York Times) — "A year before people began dying of meningitis caused by a tainted drug from a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts, the Food and Drug Administration worried that compounders across the country might be selling another substandard drug, one possibly made with unapproved Chinese ingredients.A sample of one of the fungi species diagnosed in the outbreak. But when the F.D.A. began seeking samples to test, the trade group representing compounding pharmacists went on the offensive. Instead of encouraging members to help the agency determine if the injectable drug, used to reduce the risk of premature birth, was substandard, the group tutored pharmacists on how to sidestep requests. In an e-mail to members, the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists suggested that they respond to any request for samples by saying, “We do not compound or distribute ‘samples’ of any of our prescription medications to anyone.” And if a compounded drug was on the premises, the trade group added, a pharmacist should say it was awaiting pickup by a patient."

FDA: Five Reported Deaths With Monster Drink Link (The Boston Herald) — "The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it’s investigating reports of five deaths and a non-fatal heart attack linked to highly caffeinated Monster Energy Drinks. The agency acknowledged the adverse reports Monday, but FDA spokeswoman Shelly Burgess says they don’t prove that the drinks caused the deaths. The news follows last week’s filing in California of a wrongful death suit by the parents of a 14-year-old, Hagerstown, Md., girl who died after drinking two, 24-ounce Monster Beverage Corp. drinks in 24 hours. An autopsy concluded she died of cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity."

Pediatricians Offer Cheerleading Safety Guidelines (USA Today) — "...more is needed to reduce the escalating number and severity of cheerleading injuries, says a pediatricians group's new policy statement.Among the group's key recommendations: designating cheerleading as a sport, so participants will be afforded the same safety benefits available to other school athletes, from availability of qualified coaches and athletic trainers, to access to well-maintained practice facilities, to limits on the amount of time allowed for practicing."

This program aired on October 23, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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