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Prebiotics bark up pet aisle

BY DSN STAFF

CINCINNATI —Probiotics and prebiotics recently have become the darlings of the functional food aisle. Increasingly, products with those digestive health claims are showing up in the pet food aisle as well.

Iams, which has included prebiotics in its food for some time, has introduced a new pet food, Iams ProActive Health with fructooligosaccharide, a prebiotic that feeds the good bacteria that live in the digestive tract and helps support a strong immune system.

The line, which offers a product for all life stages for dogs and cats, now is available at mass with a suggested retail price of $7.99. Iams was so confident pet owners will see a difference in their pet’s health, the company offered a money-back satisfaction guarantee.

A representative for Iams said the company planned to “ramp up efforts to educate consumers on the benefits of prebiotics for your pet and how prebiotics and probiotics work together.”

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Virginia lawmakers move to block plan for mandated health coverage

BY Jim Frederick

WASHINGTON In an act of defiance against the Obama administration’s plan for healthcare reform, the Virginia legislature this week moved to block a provision in that plan that would mandate that Americans obtain health insurance.

Health reform opponents on Thursday applauded the move, which came Tuesday when the Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill that would make it illegal to require individuals to purchase health insurance. The measure already passed the state Senate and is headed to the desk of Governor Bob McDonnell, who is expected to sign the bill into law.

 

That will make Virginia “the first state to protect its citizens from a federal government mandate to obtain health insurance,” according to a conservative advocacy group called Americans for Prosperity, which has bitterly opposed efforts by Democrats to reform the U.S. health system. The group also claims that a total of 37 states are considering some form of “health care freedom act.”

The White House, for its part, has long proposed some form of mandated coverage for all Americans as a means of holding down insurance costs and ensuring that healthier Americans are also included in insurance pools. Under the Obama administration’s proposal, however, much of the cost of individual coverage could be defrayed or offset by tax cuts or other financial help for individuals who can’t afford the costs of coverage.

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Home health specialist Carex launches online membership program for patients

BY Alaric DeArment

OAKLAND, Calif. A company that makes in-home health products has launched a section on its Web site for elderly people and their caregivers.

Carex Health Brands announced Thursday the launch of Carex Care Connection, at carex.com. The site allows users to share stories and find discounts and giveaways on Carex products, which include products for mobility, bathroom safety, personal care and daily living aids, pain management and others.

“Our team at Carex Health Brands genuinely cares about the welfare of seniors,” Carex VP marketing Nathalie Kim said in a statement. “In addition to our efforts to create the most innovative and quality products in the in-home health category, we want to connect directly with caregivers and the senior community.”

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