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Aldi takes a bite out of the Big Apple

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Discount grocer Aldi has opened its first-ever New York City-area store in the borough of Queens.

The store, which is located in Rego Park, marks the first of three grocery stores the company plans to open in New York, including new locations in the Bronx and Bay Shore, Long Island.

Aldi, which offers a limited assortment of items, said it will bring its standard floor plan to Queens, which includes wider-than-typical 8-ft. aisles.

"Our growth is a testament to our popularity with consumers and the loyalty of our long-time customers," said Bruce Persohn, VP of Aldi’s South Windsor division in Connecticut.

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Report: Target forms executive committee to direct political giving

BY Alaric DeArment

MINNEAPOLIS — Mass merchandiser Target has changed its political donation policies following a controversy that erupted last year over a donation to a socially conservative political group, according to published reports.

The Washington Blade, a gay and lesbian newspaper, reported Thursday that Target had formed a policy committee comprising senior executives that would direct political giving.

Though the retailer has long supported gay and lesbian organizations and events, it attracted controversy and calls for boycotts during the 2010 elections when it donated $150,000 to MN Forward, a group that ran ads supporting Republican Minnesota gubernatorial candidate, Tom Emmer, who had run as an opponent of many gay-rights initiatives, including same-sex marriage and programs to combat anti-gay bullying in schools. Emmer also had made a $250 donation to You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International and appeared on the radio show of its leader, Bradlee Dean, who had made statements that appeared to endorse violence against gay people, though Emmer later distanced himself from Dean’s statements. Emmer lost the election to Democrat Mark Dayton.

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FDA wants terbutaline to carry boxed warning label

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — An asthma drug widely available as a generic should not be used for preventing or treating preterm labor in pregnant women, the Food and Drug Administration warned.

The drug, terbutaline, is available as a tablet and an injectable. The drug does not have FDA approval for the treatment or prevention of preterm labor, but often is prescribed off-label for pregnancy-related issues. The agency said it had received reports of dangerous side effects in mothers who had taken the drug for such reasons, including death, but that there was no evidence that use of the drug improved outcomes for infants. The agency is requiring the drug to carry a boxed warning label, the strongest form of labeling, warning against use of the drug for complications related to pregnancy.

“Women should be aware that serious and sometimes fatal side effects have been reported after prolonged use of terbutaline in pregnant women,” FDA Division of Reproductive and Urologic Products director Scott Monroe said. “It is important for patents and healthcare professionals to consider all the potential risks and known benefits of any drug before deciding on its use.”

Under the law, a drug company only can market a drug to prescribers and consumers for the uses it has FDA approval for, but doctors still can prescribe it for unapproved uses.

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