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FDA to tackle antibiotics in livestock — This week on “Sound Medicine”


Antibiotics in healthy livestock. In 1977, the FDA raised questions about the safety of giving healthy farm animals low doses of antibiotics in their feed, but the agency never acted on the problem. Earlier this year, public interest groups filed suit, and the FDA was ordered to decide whether new rules are needed concerning what drugs can be given to healthy livestock. Host Barbara Lewis talks with Indiana University public health expert Steven Jay, M.D., who explains why this FDA decision matters. Dr. Jay is a professor of medicine and public health at the IU School of Medicine.

Tobacco affects farmworkers. When tallying the costs of tobacco use, we usually focus on the health effects of smoking: cancer, emphysema and such. But anthropologist Peter Benson, Ph.D., has focused his work on the health effects of growing and producing tobacco: specifically, the health problems suffered by migrant workers on tobacco farms. Benson is the author of “Tobacco Capitalism” and is assistant professor of anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. 

The case against “big tobacco.” Attorney Sharon Eubanks led the federal government’s case against the tobacco industry when she was at the Justice Department in the early 2000s. Now she is in private practice and has written a book about her experience, titled “Bad Acts: The Racketeering Case Against the Tobacco Industry.” She joins Barbara Lewis to discuss her involvement in the case.

Doc Chat: Can sleeping pills kill you? A recent study in the British Medical Journal Open reported the alarming findings that sleeping pill users are at a significantly higher risk of dying or contracting cancer than those who don’t take prescription sleeping aids. IU breast cancer specialist and “Sound Medicine” co-host Kathy Miller, M.D., explains how she discusses such frightening research news to her patients.

Depression affects heart function. You know that a good workout can elevate your mood, right? Exercise scientist Simon Bacon, Ph.D., studies the effect of exercise on the cardiovascular system, and he has found some surprising results among people who are clinically depressed. Dr. Bacon is an assistant professor of exercise science at Concordia University in Montreal.

Also this week, “Sound Medicine” contributor (and fast-food aficionado) Eric Metcalf explains why fast foods make us cranky.  And Jeremy Shere, Ph.D., reports that having a positive outlook protects us against heart disease.

“Sound Medicine” is an award-winning radio program co-produced by the Indiana University School of Medicine and WFYI Public Radio (90.1 FM). “Sound Medicine” is underwritten by Indiana University Health Physicians and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

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