A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

ProPublica: Purdue Pharma’s Sackler testifies on OxyContin; KY Supreme Court denies appeal

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. This story is a collaboration between ProPublica, STAT and ABC News. By David Armstrong ProPublica Senior Reporter Four years ago this week, Dr. Richard Sackler sat in a conference room at a law office in a Louisville, Kentucky, office park. Lawyers for the Kentucky attorney general’s office were taking his deposition as part of...

FDA probing 127 reports of seizures and other neurological issues possibly related to e-cigarettes

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating 127 reports of seizures, tremors, fainting or other neurological symptoms that may be related to electronic cigarettes, and is asking people to report if they have such symptoms, the agency announced last week. “The FDA is continuing its scientific investigation to determine if there’s a direct...

Two vegetable product lines being sold in Kentucky could be contaminated; FDA officials urge caution

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Some vegetable products, including two product lines sold at Trader Joe’s stores in Kentucky, have been recalled due to possible Listeria contamination, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The products originated from a Growers Express production facility in Biddeford, Maine and the voluntary recall was issued as a precaution, as there have been no reported...

Ryan Quarles: Hemp History Week — take a moment to reflect on where we’ve been with this versatile crop

George Washington. Thomas Jefferson. Henry Clay. These great Americans grew hemp in the United States long before it became illegal over much of the 20th century. This year, Kentucky has around 1,000 licensed hemp growers and more than 130 licensed hemp processors who are joining the ranks of the great Americans who have grown hemp. This Hemp History Week, it’s important to remember where our state...

FDA cracking down on youth e-cigarette use; proposes ban on menthol flavored tobacco products

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed Thursday to ban menthol-flavored cigarettes and cigars, and restrict the sales of some flavored electronic-cigarette liquids, some flavored cigars and the removal of e-cigarettes that are marketed to youth. The proposals are aimed at curbing teen use of e-cigarettes and follow the release of data showing that teen...

FDA targeting cheap knockoffs of popular Juul e-cigarettes in latest effort to curb vaping among teens

Kentucky Health News Cheap knock-offs of the Juul electronic cigarettes popular with teens have been showing up in stores and online, “despite a U.S. Food and Drug Administration rule banning the sale of new e-cigarette products after August 2016 without regulatory approval,” Chris Kirkham reports for Reuters. A used package of Juul cartridges, found on aFrankfort sidewalk. (Photo by Al...

Kentucky Department of Agriculture partners with federal government to improve food safety

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has entered into a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help Kentucky food producers comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule. Under the cooperative agreement, the FDA will release a total of $2.84 million to Kentucky over the next three years. The funds will be divided among the KDA, the University of Kentucky,...

Kellog’s recalls Honey Smacks cereal after 100 sickened, two from Kentucky; CDC warns ‘do not eat’

All Honey Smacks cereal has been recalled after a multi-state salmonilla outbreak has been linked to the cereal, infecting 100 people in 33 states. Two have been infected in Kentucky. The Kellogg Co. first recalled the product mid-June, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says the cereal is still being offered for sale in some places. “Retailers cannot legally offer the cereal for sale...

Summer’s here: Time to protect your skin from sun and keep regular watch for skin cancer

Friday, June 1 is the start of meteorological summer, which is a great reminder to make sure you have enough sunscreen on hand and to remember to check your body for skin cancer. The American Cancer Society says the top cause of skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet, or UV, rays from the sun or other sources like tanning beds. To protect yourself from the sun, the ACS recommends wearing clothing...

Letter to the Editor: In order to protect state’s youth, marijuana should not be legalized in any capacity

In order to protect the youth of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the drug-free and prevention coalitions of Northern Kentucky wish to educate our communities and legislators with regard to marijuana. It is our opinion, based on the facts presented below, that marijuana use should not be legalized in any capacity. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has NOT recognized or approved the use of...

New ‘bridge clinics’ at UK, UofL and in NKy link emergency care to opioid-addiction treatment

Patients with opioid addictions who are treated in emergency rooms at the University of Kentucky or St. Elizabeth Hospital in Northern Kentucky can now go directly into addiction treatment if they choose it. “An essential part of the substance-use-disorder treatment system is to be able provide treatment on demand rather than sending patients who are at risk for overdose death to treatment...

U.S. Food and Drug Administration finalizes plans to simplify nutrition labels on food

By Danielle Ray Kentucky Health News Nutrition labels on food products will undergo a facelift over the next two years. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration finalized plans to change labeling to emphasize calorie count and added sugars in an effort to simplify nutrition labels and clarify serving sizes. First Lady Michelle Obama, a longtime crusader against childhood obesity, said parents will benefit...

FDA launches first advertising campaign aimed at rural youth about dangers of smokeless tobacco

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration launched a campaign Wednesday on the dangers of smokeless tobacco among rural teens. FDA is expanding its “The Real Cost” campaign “to educate rural, white male teenagers about the negative health consequences associated with smokeless tobacco use,” it says. “For the first time, messages on the dangers of smokeless tobacco use—including...

KyCIR: Drug companies and industries spending on lobbyists in Frankfort has doubled over four years

By James McNair Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting Drug companies and drug industry groups, flush with money to spend on lobbyists, are flocking to Frankfort like never before. In just four years, the number of registered lobbyists hired by pharmaceuticals employers has nearly doubled, from 46 in 2011 to 83 today. Their annual spending has more than doubled, to $824,196 in 2015. “They fight...

Can e-cigarettes help you quit smoking? Researchers say that notion is unproven

(Photo from U.S. Food and Drug Administration)   The notion that electronic cigarettes can help smokers cut back or quit smoking are uproven, says an article in the June issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. The article contradicts British research suggesting that e-cigarettes could play a positive...