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Tag: FDA

DEA to Join Fight Against Illicit THC Cartridges Behind Lung Illness Outbreak

Counterfeit cannabis cartridges, via the New York State Department of Health.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Food and Drug Administration is asking the DEA to help with the ongoing investigation into a lung illness outbreak linked to vaping.

The FDA wants the DEA to help crack down on the supply side of the crisis because health experts have linked the illnesses to black market cannabis vape cartridges.

Health experts are increasingly focusing on illicit cannabis cartridges that are cut with vitamin E acetate, a thickening agent that resembles marijuana oil.

“To be clear, if we determine that someone is manufacturing or distributing illicit, adulterated products that caused illness or death for personal profit, we would consider that a criminal act,” acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless testified before the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Wednesday.

Last week, the FDA launched a criminal investigation focused on the black market makers of the cartridges.

In the past month, law enforcement has busted at least two major distributors of counterfeit, black market cannabis cartridges.

More than 53o people have been sickened by the mysterious lung illness, and at least nine people have died. In a vast majority of the cases, the patients vaped black market cannabis cartridges.

Justice Department to Probe Professional Baseball Players for Synthetic Testosterone

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 The Department of Justice is joining Major League Baseball in searching for the source of synthetic testosterone found on San Francisco Giants All-Star outfielder Melky Cabrera, the USA Today reports.

Helping steer the investigation is Jeff Novitzky, a criminal investigator for the Food and Drug Administration who led a separate probe of anabolic steroids about a decade ago.

Some predict the investigation could lead to big headlines as stars are revealed for using performance-enhancing drugs, the USA Today reported.

Cabrera received a 50-game suspension last week after testing positive for testosterone use.

“We can’t have bodyguards on these guys 24/7, Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters Sunday. “It comes down to choices. Unfortunately, I do think they get bad advice from other sources.”

U.S. Attorneys Office Investigates NH Hepatitis C Outbreak

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The  U.S. Attorney’s Office is investigating a hepatitis C outbreak at a New Hampshire hospital, the Associated Press reports.

Health officials are puzzled after a worker and 19 patients at Exeter Hospital’s cardiac cauterization lab tested positive for the liver-destroying disease in the last month, according to the AP.

U.S. Attorney John Kacavas has called on the Food and Drug Administration and FBI to determine whether the outbreak was criminal.

Three Arrested, One at Large in Illegal Stem Cell “Cure” Scheme

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Three men were arrested in the past ten days for a scheme that involved exploiting the last hopes of the terminally ill, according to a Reuters report.

The three men —  and a fourth still being pursued by the FBI — were accused of scheming to market stem cells, unapproved by the FDA, as miracle cures for the desperate and terminally ill.

The arrests come after two indictments were issued in November charging the four with 39 counts of mail fraud and the unlawful manufacture, distribution and sale of unapproved stem cell procedures, according to Reuters.

Vincent Dammai, 40, has been identified as a researcher at the Medical University of South Carolina; Francisco Morales, 52, is accused of falsely claiming to be a medical doctor while operating a clinic in Texas specializing in stem cell treatment for “incurable diseases”; Alberto Ramon, a 48-year-old also from Texas, is a licensed midwife who is accused of obtaining umbilical cord blood to create stem cells from patients.

The fourth charged is Lawrence Stowe, 58, of Dallas, Texas. Stowe remains at large, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

To read more click here.