WASHINGTON – State and federal lawmakers are working in tandem to get the controversial painkiller Zohydro ER permanently shelved, even as the head of the Food and Drug Administration defends the agency’s decision to approve the powerful opiate some critics call “heroin in a capsule.”

Since its approval last October, Zohydro, an extended-release form of hydrocodone, has come under scrutiny from members of Congress, state attorneys general, doctors and addiction specialists who have worked to block the pill from being sold in the U.S.

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg strongly defends the agency’s approval, arguing that Zohydro’s benefits outweigh the negative consequences. Simply put, she says, people in pain need more options.

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Atlanta (CBS ATLANTA) – An anti-biotic resistant “superbug” that has long affected hospitals and other health care locations around the world has now found a new “reservoir” location: inside U.S. homes.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacteria that is resistant to many of the strongest antibiotics, and although recent prevalence has been limited to hospitals and nursing homes, a new study of 161 New York City residents who contracted the MRSA infections finds that the these people’s homes were “major reservoirs” for the bacteria strains, HealthDay reports.

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Syrian state channels say that Nusra Front radicals are behind a chemical attack that has killed two and injured more than 100 people in a village in central Syria, on Friday. The opposition insists the injuries were caused by government’s bombardment.

State-run Syrian television blamed members of the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front for using chlorine gas in an attack on Syrian village that killed at least two people. It did not say how it confirmed chlorine was used. According to the report the Islamist group had planned two more chemical strikes on civilian targets. 

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Residents of provincial capital in west China flock to supermarkets to stock up on mineral water after government admits water supply contaminated by potentially deadly toxic chemical

Nearly 2.5 million residents of a major city in west China have been ordered not to drink its tap water after the supply was contaminated with dangerous levels of a carcinogenic substance. Panic buying of bottled water broke out in Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province, on Friday after state media announced authorities had “detected excessive levels of benzene in [its] tap water system”. 

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Rep. Mike Pompeo will introduce legislation backed by powerful trade groups to prevent states from passing laws requiring the labeling of genetically-modified foods, according to reports. The bill is linked to biotech giant Monsanto and Koch Industries.

Pompeo will offer the bill in the US House before Congress leaves for Easter recess later this month, The Hill newspaper reported, citing industry sources. Politico also reported on the impending proposal. Pompeo’s office would not comment on the congressman’s intentions for a labeling restriction. 

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