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the Public Interest

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will no longer consider withdrawing its approval for the routine use of penicillin and tetracyclines in food-producing animals, despite mounting evidence that traces of these drugs in retail meat reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics in humans, the agency quietly announced in the Federal Register the Thursday before Christmas.

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The Croakey Register of Influencers in Public Health will document ties between corporations and the public health officials and programs they seek to influence. Will you help us?

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Ridiculously fattening foods, the perils of testing for Alzheimer's and the link between flying and patient safety, plus more from our Daily Briefing.

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Nathan's just 14, but he's no slouch. He's articulate, creative, has a good group of friends and seems to take time to think about what he's doing. He's also been overweight for most of his life. To him, it feels like a curse.

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With limited access to affordable fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods, Mexicans living in New York are frequenting fast food restaurants instead of farmers' markets. The result is a spike in obesity and diabetes among this immigrant group.

This story was originally published in Spanish. Below is the English translation.

Part 3: In a sedentary country

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One out of four New Yorkers doesn't speak or understand complex sentences in English. But at some point in their lives, every one of them will need to see a doctor. Language barriers can result in misdiagnoses, medication errors, and potentially fatal mistakes that are costly for both patients and providers. For this reason, hospitals in New York are required to provide "meaningful language access" to all patients. But in a city where more than 140 different languages are spoken, this is no easy task.

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Merrill Goozner has been director of the Integrity in Science Project at the Center for Science in the Public Interest since December 2003. The Project investigates and publicizes conflicts of interest in industry-sponsored science and maintains a database that journalists can consult to identify possible conflicts. Mr. Goozner taught journalism at New York University immediately before joining the Center. Before that.

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Margo Wootan is director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, or CSPI, a leading consumer advocacy organization that specializes in food, nutrition and public health issues. She co-founded and coordinates the activities of the National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity (NANA), a coalition of national, state and local organizations. She is a member of the National 5 A Day Partnership steering committee and co-chairs the Policy Subcommittee for the Partnership.

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Brian D. Smedley, Ph. D., is vice president and director of the Health Policy Institute at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. He oversees all operations of the institute, which explores disparities in health and makes recommendations on how to resolve these concerns. Mr. Smedley was formerly the research director and co-founder for The Opportunity Agenda, a communication, research and advocacy organization.

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Journalists have to ask hard questions about where sources get their money – and about the science they are promoting. Following the money trail can be daunting. But journalists and whistleblowers are doing just that and uncovering important connections. Here's what to look for.

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