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Relief agencies told to use enriched foods: Médecins Sans Frontières has called for donors and United Nations agencies to urgently speed up and expand the use of nutrient dense ready to use food to reduce the five million annual deaths worldwide related to malnutrition in children under 5. Only 3% of the 20 million children with acute malnutrition will receive therapeutically enriched food in 2007, the charity estimates.
Netherlands considers banning sale of magic mushrooms: The Dutch health minister, Ab Klink, proposes banning the sale of hallucinogenic mushrooms because of their unpredictable and potentially dangerous side effects. Incidents associated with their use, including the death of a French teenager after falling from a bridge, have recently doubled to more than 120 a year.
UK agency studies safety of wireless networks: The UK Health Protection Agency is to investigate the safety of wireless computer networks. Although the agency says that schools and offices need not stop using such networks, it adds that “there has not been extensive research into what people's exposures are to this new technology.”
Doctors told to document torture: The World Medical Association has called on doctors to become more actively involved in documenting cases of torture they come across. At its annual general assembly, the association declared that doctors had an obligation to document cases of torture in a professional way when examining victims. Not doing so might be considered a form of tolerance, it noted.
Two shops refuse to stop selling multipacks of analgesics: Netto Foodstores has become the latest of the big retailers to sign up to guidance from the UK Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to restrict sales of analgesics to a maximum of two packets of 16 tablets. The cut price retailers Poundland and The 99p Store are the only big retailers to refuse to enforce the guidance.
Staff told to snub requests to meet with tobacco firms: Staff at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have been told it would be inappropraite to work with any organisation invovled in the manufacture or supply of tobacco products and to turn down any requests for meetings with representatives from the tobacco industry.
New registration framework introduced for UK doctors: The General Medical Council (www.gmc-uk.org), which regulates doctors in the United Kingdom, has abolished the category of limited registration, which it formerly applied to doctors who qualified outside the European Union. From 19 October all doctors practising in the UK will apply for provisional or full registration, depending on their postgraduate training or level of experience.