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Health Highlights: May 22, 2012
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Fake Malaria Drugs a Major Concern
Efforts to fight malaria are being seriously undermined by fake or bad quality drugs, according to a study.
It found that more than one-third of malaria-fighting drugs tested over the past decade in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa were either fake or bad quality, the Associated Press reported.
Patients who take fake drugs with no malaria-fighting agents can die, while drugs without enough active ingredients to kill all malaria parasites can lead to drug resistance.
The U.S.-funded study said that urgent international efforts are needed to fight counterfeit malaria drugs, many of which are believed to come from China, the AP reported.
Pomegranate Juice Health Claims Deceptive: FTC Judge
A company's ads claiming that pomegranate juice can treat cancer, heart disease or erectile dysfunction are deceptive, U.S. regulators said Monday.
POM Wonderful LLC violated federal law by making those deceptive claims and must stop making claims of health effects in the absence of "competent and reliable scientific evidence," ruled the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's chief administrative law judge D. Michael Chappell, Agence France-Presse reported.
While the judge said there was 'inadequate" evidence to support the company's claims of pomegranate juice as a superfood, he said the company would not have to submit to pre-approved marketing.
The company said the FTC lawsuit "tried to create a new, stricter industry standard, similar to that required for pharmaceuticals, for marketing the health benefits inherent in safe food and natural food-based products," AFP reported.
However, the company said the judge upheld its "right to share valuable, scientifically validated information about the health benefits of its safe food with consumers."
Bee Gee Robin Gibb Dies of Cancer
Former Bee Gees member Robin Gibb died Sunday "following his long battle with cancer and intestinal surgery," his family said in a statement released by Gibb's representative Doug Wright.
Gibb was forced to cancel several appearances in 2011. He was hospitalized briefly in 2011 for what doctors said was an inflamed colon and had surgery for intestinal problems in March, the Associated Press reported.
Brothers Robin, Maurice and Barry Gibb shot to fame in the 1970s when they wrote and performed a number of hit songs for the movie "Saturday Night Fever." Maurice died in 2003.
Robin Gibb was the second disco-era star to die this week. On Thursday, Donna Summer died of cancer in Florida, the AP reported.
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