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Consumer spending down in June

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — Consumer spending for June dropped 0.2% to $21.9 billion, the Commerce Department announced Tuesday.

The drop in consumer spending marked the first decline seen since September 2009.

Meanwhile, personal income was virtually flat, increasing 0.1% to $18.7 billion for the month, which was in line with estimates.

“Today’s personal income data shows that consumers had a little more money in their pockets in June, as incomes increased and prices – particularly gas prices – dropped,” Commerce Department chief economist Mark Doms said. “With an agreement to raise the debt ceiling and avoid default in place, business and consumer confidence is more likely to strengthen, raising the outlook for greater economic growth and job creation in the third quarter.”

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Surgeon general speaks out in support of breast-feeding

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The surgeon general on Monday issued a release promoting breast-feeding in support of World Breast-feeding Week, Aug. 1 through 7.

"One of the most highly effective preventive measures a mother can take to protect the health of her infant and herself is to breast-feed," stated surgeon general Regina Benjamin. "It protects babies from many infections and illnesses, such as diarrhea and pneumonia. Children who have been breast-fed have lower rates of childhood obesity, [and] mothers who breast-feed have a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers."

The surgeon general released a "Call to Action to Support Breast-feeding" earlier this year, outlining steps that can be taken to remove some of the obstacles faced by women who want to breast-feed their babies.

"In addition, the Affordable Care Act has made significant progress to support breast-feeding,which include historic new insurance guidelines that will ensure millions of women receive preventive health services without a co-pay or deductible," Benjamin added. "These new guidelines, developed by the independent Institute of Medicine, require insurance companies to cover certain women’s preventive services, including breast-feeding support, supplies and counseling."

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FDA: Unapproved emergency birth control medicine possibly in U.S. distribution

BY Michael Johnsen

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on Friday warned U.S. consumers not to use the emergency birth control medicine labeled as Evital, as it may be a counterfeit version of the “morning after pill” and may not be safe or effective in preventing pregnancy.
 
In addition, no brand labeled Evital has been approved by the FDA for use in the United States.

The FDA is especially concerned that Evital may be in distribution in some Hispanic communities. The packaging label of the counterfeit version says, “Evital Anticonceptivo de emergencia, 1.5 mg, 1 tablet,” by “Fluter Domull."
          
For more information about counterfeit medicine, click here.

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