CDC Tracks New Tick, CBP Finds Meth Candy, Human Trafficker Extradited, and More…

Your daily dump straight from the governments of the world to you…

Asian Longhorned Tick Nymph and Adult Female

CDC tracks new species of tick to hit United States.

The Asian Longhorned tick was first reported in the Western Hemisphere in 2017 and are not native to this side of the globe. They have been seen on pets, livestock and people, as well as wildlife. Though they have not been proven to carry Lyme Disease, these ticks have been known to carry the SFTS virus, or Japanese spotted fever. 
This species of tick has been reported to reduce the milk production in cows and even cause blood loss and death in calves. The most recent siting of this tick was on October 2, 2018, and they have been found in AK, CT, MD, NC, NJ, NY, PA, VA, and WVA. 
The CDC is currently keeping an eye on the prevalence of this tick, and more information on ticks can be found by clicking here.

FTC Approves Modified Final Order Between Northrop Grumman and Solid Rocket Supplier Orbital ATK, Inc.

The $7.8 billion dollar acquisition of Orbital ATK, Inc by Northrop Grumman came under scrutiny of the FTC who claimed the purchase would be anticompetitive. The original contract, announced in June of 2018, would have given Northrop both the incentive and capability to without access to solid rocket motors or hiking the prices of the motors. 

Under the new FTC approved settlement, the aeronautical company must separate the two businesses via a firewall and provide services to all competitors without bias. The Department of Defense has permission to appoint a compliance officer to make sure the settlement is being upheld.

FTC Settles with “Nobetes” on a Complaint Asserting Unsubstiated Health Claims and Other Offenses

Nobetes, a company that touts a supplement that controls blood sugar in diabetics, came under fire from the FTC for unsubstantiated health claims, illegal billing practices, and deceptive endorsements. Using FaceBook, YouTube, televisions, and radio, the Nobetes corporation along with its officers Marvin Silver and Jeffery Fleitman, aired commercials that hooked the potential customer win with claims from an “expert” saying the product “helps to control blood sugar within normal levels”. It was later proven the “expert” was a paid actor. The commercials also had testimonials which proved to be people who had been given the product for free to try. This went on from 2015-2018.
People would call in, place an order for the trial offer, which was $6.95, pay by credit or debit card, and be charged thirty days later for $50.60 with another bottle being shipped without the customer’s knowledge. This is a deceptive business practice. 

In 2016, The Food and Drug Administration, along with the FTC warned to company about stating such claims and that clinical studies and reliable scientific evidence was needed to back them. The warning went unheeded. 

 The proposed court order banned Nobetes from advertising or selling their main product or any products related to supposedly controlling diabetes. It also keeps them from making any claims that are health related, which includes claiming any product can prevent, mitigate or our right cure any disease unless the claim is backed by sufficient and reliable scientific proof. The settlement also mandates they must be upfront with billing, stating whether the charge is a one-time charge or a recurring one and giving the consumer and “opt-out” feature.
They have been told to pay $182, 000 to be used to refund consumers.

Meth-filled Waffle Cones

CBP Finds Meth Concealed in Candy

On November 27, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers inspecting cargo shipments at Bush International Airport found more than they were bargaining for when taking a closer look at the foodstuffs. When conducting X-rays of the cargo from Mexico, they spotted a white crystalline substance hidden in the waffle cones. After testing, it proved to be methamphetamine, 11.7 pounds of meth with a street value of about $39,900. 

Colombian National Gets 15 Years for Smuggling Cuban Nationals

Fredis Valencia Palacios, a Colombian National, was extradited to the United States in April 2018 one count of conspiracy to encourage and induce aliens to come to the United States resulting in death and three counts of encouraging and inducing aliens to come to the United States resulting in death and placing in jeopardy the lives of any person. The smuggling resulted in the rape of one and death of two Cuban nationals. He plead guilty to the one count that resulted in death. 
He faces 180 days in prison, and was also sentenced to three years of supervised release by a U.S. Southern District of Florida Judge. 

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Early Results of Gene Therapy Offers Hope to Sickle Cell Sufferers

Early results in human testing of a gene replacement therapy will be presented by a scientist from the National Institutes of Health for people with severe sickle cell disease. 
The treatment, which is still experimental, entails taking hematopoietic stem cells from the bone marrow of a patient, and introducing a therapeutic beta globin gene, the gene defective in sickle cell patients. The cells are reintroduced to the patient, which leads to the body being able to produce anti-sickling hemoglobin.
The trial is currently recruiting patients.


The FDA has recall alerts on their website for pet and people food as well as medicines, and other therapeutic products. To keep abreast of the latest recalls, you can click here
to see list and sign up for a newsletter to be delivered to  your inbox. 
The current recalls include:

  • Elm Pet Foods for elevated levels of Vitamin D
  • ANF Dog Food for the same reason as above
  • Sprout Creek Farm Raw Cow’s Milk Cheese for listeria monocytogenes
  • Kitchen Cravings Strawberry and Mixed Berry Parfaits for Undeclared traces of tree nuts
  • Teva Pharmaceuticals for Impurities
  • Baron’s and others Tahini for Samonella
  • Evolve, Sportsman’s Pride, and Triumph Dog Food for Elevated levels of Vitamin D
  • And more…

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