Sub-Saharan Africa has been far more severely affected by AIDS than any other part of the world. The United Nations reports that 25.3 million adults and children are infected with the HIV virus in the region, which has about 10% of the world's population but more than 70% of the worldwide total of infected people. This report discusses this issue in detail, including the cause of the African AIDS epidemic, the social and economic consequences, response and treatment, and U.S. policy.
Media attention to food allergies is the result of the recent tracking of food allergy sufferers and a clear rise in the number of affected individuals. Several efforts are underway to improve the ability of individuals who have a food allergy to avoid products that cause symptoms that can range from mild to serious. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Food Allergy Issues Alliance each have released guidelines to address the issues of labeling and cross-contamination. Nine state attorneys general have petitioned FDA for stricter rules, which are also supported by some consumer groups. The FY2002 agriculture appropriations bill directed FDA to address and report on cross-contamination; however, this report had not yet been submitted. Most recently, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-282) was enacted on August 2, 2004. This report will provide background on food allergies and review efforts to provide improved labeling information for food allergy sufferers; it will be updated to reflect legislative or other activity.
This report describes an issue that is the fastest-growing drug problem in the country -- the intentional use of prescription drugs for non-medical purposes. It is the second-most common form of illicit drug abuse among teenagers in the United States behind marijuana use. Several bills have been introduced in the 111th Congress that would create a legal framework governing disposal of controlled substances that have been dispensed to patients.
The purpose of this report is to examine the very complex and sometimes controversial policy issue of establishing presumptive service connection. The material in it is based in large part on VA's "Analysis of Presumptions of Service Connection," and IOM's "Improving the Presumptive Disability Decision-Making Process for Veterans" reports.
The combined efforts of the food industry and the regulatory agencies often are credited with making the U.S. food supply among the safest in the world. Nonetheless, many food-related health issues persist. At issue is whether the current U.S. regulatory system has the resources and structural organization to protect consumers from these dangers. Also at issue is whether the federal food safety laws themselves, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA.
How to prevent the non-medical use of dependency-producing drugs has been a public policy concern for at least a century. A large part of the responsibility for controlling such substances has been assumed by the Federal Government. Historically based on decision to restrict availability through a system of close regulation, including selective prohibition, the current Federal anti-drugs strategy lives on activities and programs in five major areas: 1) regulation and other “enforcement” efforts; 2) support for international control and for control efforts of individual drug-producing and drug-transiting countries; 3) education and other prevention activities; 4 ) treatment and rehabilitation for drug-dependent persons; and ( 5 ) research on drugs , drug dependency, and prevention and treatment methods.
This report discusses the results of a recent experiment on the use of gene modification for decreasing the chance of children having hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which was done through the use of CRISPR to modify the genes of human embryos at a private facility. Restrictions on the use of public funds for such studies, a brief explanation of the science, and ethical concerns are discussed.
This report compares the current federally supported medical screening and treatment program offered to various persons affected by the terrorist attack on New York City on September 11, 2001, with the federal program proposed to be established by Title I of H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, as amended and passed by the House of Representatives. The World Trade Center (WTC) Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program (MMTP) and the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) are the specific programs compared in this report.
The National Institutes of Health is the focal point of federal health research. It uses its $17.8 billion budget to support more than 50,000 scientists working at 2,000 institutions across the United States, as well as to conduct biomedical and behavioral research and research training at its own facilities.
This report discusses the issue facing Congress on whether to continue to support the executive branch’s prosecution of medical marijuana patients and their providers, in accordance with marijuana’s status as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, or whether to relax federal marijuana prohibition enough to permit the medical use of botanical cannabis products by seriously ill persons, especially in states that have created medical marijuana programs under state law.
Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has strong political support, but a heated debate rages over the allocation of NIH funds among various diseases. NIH contends that decisions are made based on scientific opportunity while critics of the NIH process charge that spending often follows current politics and political correctness.
This report is a guide to one of the regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs and Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittees. It summarizes the status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related congressional activity, and is updated as events warrant.
The 111th Congress passed, and the President signed into law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, and hereafter referred to as PPACA. This report addresses key questions concerning how PPACA affects the Department of Defense (DOD) TRICARE program and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care.
This report provides an overview of health care services and disability compensation benefits available to Vietnam veterans, Children of Vietnam Era veterans, and non-Vietnam veterans exposed to herbicides. This is followed by a discussion of litigation pertaining to Navy veterans of the Vietnam Era who served offshore and were never physically present on Vietnamese soil. The report concludes with a discussion of epidemiologic research conducted to study the health effects of Agent Orange and dioxin exposure on Vietnam veterans.
This report looks at several bills addressing the Family Planning Program (Title X of the Public Health Service Act) which have been introduced in the 112th Congress, including: funding for abortion-providing entities, elimination of the program, and prohibitions on government spending for the program.
The purpose of this report is to discuss the National Asset Database: what is in it, how it is populated, what the Database apparently is, what it is not, and how it is intended to be used. The report also discusses some of the issues on which Congress could focus its oversight, including appropriation bill language.
This report discusses overarching trends in Millennium Development Goals (MDG) progress and lessons learned from previous and ongoing efforts to achieve them. The MDGs are a group of measurable development targets agreed to by 189 U.N. member states - including the United States - as part of the 2000 Millennium Declaration. The MDGs cover a number of issues, such as eradicating extreme hunger and poverty, combating HIV/AIDS, and promoting gender equality and women's empowerment. This report examines U.S. policy toward the MDGs and how, if at all, the Goals fit into U.S. development and foreign assistance policy. It also examines different schools of thought regarding the effectiveness of the Goals, their role in international development, and their long-term sustainability. This report addresses the MDGs as a whole; it does not assess or analyze issues pertaining to the individual Goals.
This report describes the beef provisions in the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) and the separate bilateral protocols that the United States has negotiated in order to secure the lifting of South Korea's ban on U.S. beef imports, imposed after the discovery of mad cow disease in late 2003. It also summarizes U.S. beef export developments to this key market before and after the ban and since these protocols took effect; and lays out the outstanding issues on U.S. beef access that will likely need to be resolved to facilitate congressional consideration of the KORUS FTA.
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