Health Highlights: Feb. 3, 2012

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Komen Breast Cancer Group Restores Planned Parenthood Funding

After a storm of criticism, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation said Friday that it’s reversed a decision to stop funding breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood affiliates.

The breast cancer foundation also apologized to the American people for raising doubts about its “commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives,” The New York Times reported.

A number of groups and people said the decision to halt funding to Planned Parenthood was influenced by abortion opponents in and outside the foundation. But in its statement, the foundation claimed the decision was not “done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood.”

When it announced earlier this week that it would cut funding to Planned Parenthood, the foundation said the main reason was because Planned Parenthood is being investigated by Congress. The probe was launched by a conservative Republican at the urging of anti-abortion groups.

“Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation,” said the Komen statement released Friday The Times reported. “We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair.”


Cooked Eggs Recalled in 34 States

Possible listeria contamination has prompted the recall of cooked eggs distributed in 34 states.

The recall by Michael Foods of Minnetonka, Minn. is for eggs in brine sold in 10- and 25-pound pails for institutional use under the brand names: Columbia Valley Farms; GFS; Glenview Farms; Papetti’s; Silverbrook; and Wholesome Farms, the Associated Press reported.

The eggs could be contaminated with a listeria strain that can sicken people with weak immune systems, the company said. There have been no reports of illnesses connected to the eggs, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

The eggs were distributed in: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia, the AP reported.


Sibling Study Suggests Drug Addiction Is ‘Hard Wired’

Some people have brain abnormalities that make them “hard wired” for drug addiction, a new study says.

U.K. researchers found that 50 cocaine or crack addicts and their non-addicted brothers and sisters have the same abnormalities in the brain region (frontal-striatal systems) that controls behavior, BBC News reported.

The findings suggest that addiction is in part a “disorder of the brain,” according to the University of Cambridge study in the journal Science.

“It shows that drug addiction is not a choice of lifestyle, it is a disorder of the brain and we need to recognize this,” lead researcher Dr. Karen Ersche told BBC News.


Taco Bell Identified as Source of Salmonella Outbreak

Taco Bell has been identified as the previously anonymous restaurant chain linked to a salmonella outbreak in October 2011 that infected 68 people and sent more than 20 of them to the hospital.

Most of the victims were in Texas. There were no deaths linked to the outbreak, according to a January report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ABC News said.

Federal officials couldn’t identify the specific food product that may have caused the outbreak, but said the salmonella contamination likely occurred before the product reached “Restaurant Chain A locations.”

On Wednesday, Food Safety News identified the restaurant chain as Taco Bell. The identification was based on data provided by an Oklahoma State Department of Health official, ABC News reported.


Army Bans Exercise Supplements After Soldiers’ Deaths

The role that certain dietary supplements for athletes may have played in the deaths of two soldiers is being investigated by the U.S. Army.

A spokesman said the soldiers died last year after they had heart attacks during workouts, The New York Times reported.

After the deaths, the Defense Department removed all products containing an ingredient called dimethylamylamine (DMAA) from stores on military bases until the Army’s safety review is completed.

DMAA is found in dietary supplements such as the “preworkout booster” Jack3d and the fat burner OxyElite Pro. Some experts say DMAA should be classified as a drug, which would require that it be approved by the Food and Drug Administration before it could be marketed, The Times reported.

Products containing DMAA can still be bought at retailers across the U.S.


Fungicide Levels in Orange Juice Don’t Pose Health Risk: FDA

Low levels of the fungicide carbendazim in orange juice do not pose a health risk, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The fungicide is banned in the U.S. but has been found in orange juice made with oranges from Brazil, where the use of carbendazim is legal, ABC News reported.

Tests show that the amount of carbendazim in the affected orange juice is far below unsafe levels, the FDA said.

Research has shown that the fungicide can cause birth defects in rodents and affect chromosomes in human cells in laboratories, but it hasn’t been found to have any health effects in humans, ABC News reported.

In a statement on its website, the FDA said it “is confident that orange juice in the United States may be consumed without concerns about its safety due to the possible presence of such residues.”