How Can the EEOC Guarantee Personal Data Will Stay Confidential

June 29th, 2015 No comments »

As I have mentioned before, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has bought the platitude that personal data acquired via a health risk assessment or during an employer wellness program will be protected from disclosure that could be adverse to the employee.  Seemingly blissfully ignorant about the pervasive disclosure of personal data, whether from the government itself or the private sector, the EEOC cannot guarantee that personal data can be protected from unauthorized disclosure. Today, an article in the New York Times reveals that websites and mobile phone apps most frequently used have ‘privacy’ policies which allow for the sale of personal data during mergers, bankruptcy, asset sale or other commercial transaction. The articles states, “Sites, apps, data brokers and marketing analytics firms are gathering more and more details about people’s personal lives – from their social connections and health concerns to the ways they toggle between their devices…Such data can also be used to make inferences about people’s financial status, addictions, politics or religion in ways they may not want or like.” One dating service tried to sell its database of 43 million members revealing their names, birth dates, sexual orientation, race, religion, criminal convictions, photos, videos and contact information.  It would be simple for a data broker to combine such data with health risk assessment answers and data from a ‘wellness’ program, including wearable devices.

 

EEOC is Clueless or Misleading about Protecting Individual Privacy

June 24th, 2015 No comments »

Perhaps the most dangerous assumption made by the EEOC is that personal information disclosed in employer wellness programs can be protected. Such security is an illusion.

The proposed regulation provides that a wellness program that is part of a group health plan will likely satisfy the ADA confidentiality requirements by complying with the HIPAA and subject to the HIPAA privacy, security and breach notification rules. Employers and wellness programs must take steps to protect the confidentiality of employee medical information that is received in connection with an employee health program. However, it is questionable whether HIPAA covers third-party vendors which are not health plans.

The EEOC is either oblivious to the realities of modern computer security problems or misleading in its assumption that personal medical and behavioral records will be safe. Namely, there is no possible way to assure anyone that their privacy is protected. Recently, we have seen major security breaches at the National Security Agency, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Health and Human Services and the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

The OPM breach includes the records of between 4 to 14 million current and former federal workers, friends and family members. A second breach of OPM computers was reported involving not only federal employees but also their friends, family members and associates that could number millions more, according to a report in the New York Times, June 13, 2015. “Data includes a form for national security positions which can include medical data, including information on treatment or hospitalization for “an emotional or mental health condition,” according to the story. A story in Wired indicates that the information could include polygraph information in which employees are asked about law breaking and sexual history.

Breaches of health data are pervasive and include the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, and the federal health care exchange, Premera Blue Cross. Premera Blue Cross, in Seattle Washington, reported a cyberattack that exposed personal information of 11 million customers. A breach at Anthem Insurance involved the records of 80 million customers. Other private sector breaches have included Sony Pictures, Home Depot, Target, Ebacy, and JP Morgan Chase.

A report in Bloomberg News, notes that the recent hack of Sony Corporation included health information on more than three dozen employees. It quotes Geoff Hancock, chief executive officer at Advanced Cybersecurity Group “who works with employers to protect their health data and other sensitive information from hackers. He was speaking about the industry in general. “Now, it’s zeros and ones. So many more people have access and can take it and make money off it or manipulate it or use it to find out who you are and what you are about. It is one of the biggest hoples in the cybersecurity infrastructure.” And, “Since 2009, there have been 1,187 incidents where health information protected by HIPAA was hacked, improperly disclosing, lost or stolen involving more than 41 million individuals, according to reports to the US Department of Health and Human Services. Those cases only include instances where more than 500 records were involved. Matters involving fewer records don’t have to be reported.” “Hackers can get $50 for a medical chart on the black market, compare with just a few dollars for other pieces of personal information, said Hancock of Advanced Cybersecurity. He said he’s refused to share his health information with wellness programs at past employers because he isn’t convinced the data are safe.” “Despite the popularity of wellness programs among employers and assurances about their security and confidentiality, more than half of works said they are hesitant about sharing their health information, and a quarter said they wouldn’t share their data under any circumstances, according to a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit. More than one-quarter of employees said they were concerned their personal information wouldn’t remain condifential. Companies, like Honeywell, take blood samples to test for nicotine, high cholesterol and irregular blood sugar, height and weight. CVS asked their employees whether they drink, and are sexually active. Johnson & Johnson’s wellness program ask about the employees mode, stress at work and home, eating and exercising habits. Some ask for the information from spouses, as well. “Sexually Active? How much do you drink? Your Workplace Health Records May Not be as Private as You Think by Shannon Pettypiece, Bloomberg News, Dec. 16, 2014

A Washington Post article, “Hackers increasingly target health records,” noted that, “Health care data seems to be increasingly targeted, accounting for 43% of major data breaches reported in 2013, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center.”

The EEOC must assume that privacy of personal records cannot be assured.

 

EEOC Issues: Impact of the 30% penalty, worksites and persons with obesity, intrusiveness and wearables

June 24th, 2015 No comments »

Additional problems with the proposed EEOC regulation include how severe the impact of the penalty provisions can be, the hostility of workplaces to persons with obesity, including the wage penalty. Additional concerns include the use of wearable monitoring technology in employer wellness programs and deficiencies in the Notice requirements.

Impact of a 30% Penalty

The price of this program to workers is worth considering. The 30% penalty involves both the share of the health insurance premium paid by the employer and the share paid by the employee. In effect, the employer is clawing-back what the employee has already paid as their share plus a 30% surtax. This scheme may continue in the law indefinitely and the employee would pay every year. But how much of a difference does it make?

Federal Reserve Board published Report on the Economic Well-being of U.S. Households in 2013 in July 2014. The report found that 47% of respondents say that they either could not cover an emergency expense costing $400 or would cover it by selling something or borrowing the money. 31% of respondents report going without some form of medical care in the 12 months before the survey because they could not afford it. 43% of respondents with a household income under $40,000 report they would have to sell some asset or borrow money to meet a $400 emergency expense. The EEOC propose threshold is over 400% greater and will increase over time, further reducing the available household income for emergencies, health care, housing, retirement and education purposes.

Employees are also reeling from employers only offering high-deductible plans which require employees to cover out-of-pocket expenses of $6,450 for a single plan to $12,900 for family coverage before the insurance plan will cover any expenses (Bernard TS, High Health Plan Deductibles Weigh Down More Employees, New York Times,Sept. 2, 20014)

These increases come amid a bleak economic picture for millions of Americans since the Great Recession. According to an article in the New York Times, the economic picture is even more bleak now for the poor and low-income workers than it was in 2007. The poverty rate is above pre-recession levels. The number of people receiving food stamps soared from 26.3 million in 2007 to 47.6 million in 2013. Median household income is some $4,500 lower now than before the recession. (Dewan S, Schwartz ND, Parlapiano A, How the Recession Reshaped the Economy, New York Times, June 15, 2014, p,6-7)

So it is not surprising that more Americans are finding meeting basic medical care is a hardship (up to 46% from 36% in 2013), out of pocket expenses have gone up a lot (33%) (Rosenthal E, How the High Cost of Medical Care is Affecting Americans, New York Times, Dec. 12, 2014, p.30)

The result is that many have gone without medical treatment or have not filled a prescription. (CBS News, Do Americans think their health care costs are affordable? Dec. 18, 2014)

The Workplace is Generally Hostile to Overweight, Obese Americans

Multiple studies in the United States and Europe show a negative and statistically significant effect of obesity on earnings and employment. Aberett SL, Obesity and labor market outcomes, IZA World of Labor, 2014:32)

An obesity “wage penalty” has been described affecting young men. (Lundborg P, Nystedt R, Rooth DO, Body Size, skills and income: evidence from 150,000 teenage siblings, Demography 2014 Oct;51)5:1573-96) and, particularly, overweight and obese white women (Han E, Norton EC, Stearns SC, Weight and wages: fat versus lean paychecks, Health Econ 2009 May; 18(5):535-48. See also, Downey, M, The wage penalty and obesity, Downey Obesity Report, Feb. 7, 2013.

The EEOC Proposed regulation’s Notice requirements are flawed.

The EEOC proposed regulation proposes that employers must clearly explain the information to be obtained from a health risk assessment, how such information will be used, who will receive the information, restrictions on disclosure and methods used to prevent improper disclosure of medical information.

However, the EEOC proposed regulation omits from the notice requirement the most important elements of the joint HHS, Labor and Treasury regulations requiring access to reasonable alternatives to the wellness program, leaving the final decision in the hands of the employee’s physician. (See Downey Obesity Report, May 30, 2013.)

According to the Department of Labor, the employee’s physician who proposes non-mandatory weight reduction program, the employer must provide it, (FAQ, January 9, 2014).

 

Obesity, disability, science and voluntariness

June 23rd, 2015 No comments »

As previously indicated, this is a longer version of the comments submitted to the EEOC.

Many ‘wellness’ programs include a component addressing employee’s body weight. Many employees who are overweight or obese already suffer from the ‘wage penalty’ whereby they receive lower compensation than their non-obese peers. In this regulation, the EEOC eleminates a crucial protection for these Americans, penalizes them an additional 30% of the cost of health insurance premium (including the share they pay) and provides them with weight loss programs which are not effective and unlikely to ever be effective. These programs are highly intrusive. The privacy of the most sensitive personal records is an illusion. The EEOC’s notice provisions are terribly flawed, as well.

The proposed regulations by the EEOC represent an Orwellian distortion of the English language in a transparent and crass political deal by the Obama Administration to buy the political support of Corporate America at the expense of millions of poor and middle class workers for decades into the future. See Reuters, Begley S, Exclusive: U.S. CEOs threaten to pull tacit Obamacare support over ‘wellness’ spat, Nov. 29, 20144). While the benefits of corporate wellness programs have yet to be established, the penalty provisions are in effect immediately and permanently. This regulation, allowing employers to claw-back funds from employees provides insurance for employers at great and burdensome expense to millions of employees.

A majority of US large employers have instituted ‘wellness programs’ which require employees to answer detailed questions about their own and family medical histories and to give blood samples and submit to examinations for cholesterol, glucose levels, blood pressure and body weight. Penalties for non-compliance can reach $4,000 a year for workers who elect not to participate.

According to one study, “the most common change employers will make to healthcare plans in 2015 is adding wellness rewards or penalties (26.3%), followed by requiring spouses to get coverage through their own employer (7.9%), instituting spousal surcharge (6.7%), and create tiered networks (3.6%). “

While ‘wellness’ programs are promoted as a way for empathic employers to improve health and wellbeing of employees, increase productivity, reduce risk of chronic diseases, improve control of chronic conditions, in fact they are massive cost-shifting techniques to provide insurance for employers against future increases in health insurance costs. The world’s best medical experts cannot change the course of most chronic diseases. Why would we think that the folks in HR can do better than these experts? (See the story about the largest and most comprehensive clinical trial of behavioral weight loss approach and why it was stopped…for futility, here.)

Obesity Disability and Discrimination

Many persons with disabilities are overweight or obese. Many psychotropic drugs cause weight gain and severe metabolic disturbances, such as abdominal weight accumulation, abnormal lipid and glucose levels, insulin resistance and overt type 2 diabetes. Almost all antipsychotics cause weight gain. Anxiety, stress and depression are more common in patients with obesity and mental disturbance. Obesity is recognized as a disease by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Clinical Endocrinologists, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the Social Security Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service, inter alia.

Weight gain is associated with the following medications amitriptyline, mirtazapine, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone, gabapentin, tolbutamide, pioglitazone, glimepiride, gliclazide, glyburide, glipizide, sitagliptin and nateglinde. Weight gain ran from 0.3kg for nateglinide to 2.8kg for  tolbutamide. Domecq JP, Prutsky G, Leppin A, Drugs Commonly Associated with Weight Change: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis, J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2015 Feb; 100(2):363-70)

Insulin and other oral anti-diabetic medications also cause weight gain. Jeon WS, Park CY, Antiobesity pharmacotherapy for patients with type 2 diabetes: focus on long-term management, Endocrinol Metab 2014 Dec 29;29(4):410-7, here.)

Many persons with obesity, especially severe or Class III obesity, are disabled. Ferraro et al found in a 20 year study of adults age 25 to 77 that obesity increased the likelihood of a self-reported upper and lower body functional limitation. (Ferraro KF, Ya-Ping Su, Gretebeck RJ, Body Mass Index and Disability in Adulthood: A 20-Year Panel Study, Amer J Public Health 92(5):834-40, here)  See also,  Alley DE, Chang VW The Changing Relationship of Obesity and Disability, JAMA 2007 298(17):2020-27, here, and Hergenroeder AL, Brach JS et al, The Influence of Body Mass Index on Self-Report and Performance-Based Measures of Physical Function in Adult Women, Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal 22(3):11-20, here)

Misunderstanding Obesity

Up to 70% of our weight is determined by hundreds of genes. Body weight regulation is greatly genetically controlled. One recent study showed that weight loss varies according to whether one has inherited the “thrifty gene” or the “spendthrift” gene phenotype. (Reinhardt, M, Thearle MS, Ibrahim M, et al. A Human Thrifty Phenotype Associated with Less Weight Loss During Caloric Restriction, Diabetes published on-line May 11, 2015)

Pre- and post-natal exposure to over-rich nutrient environment has been demonstrated to increase obesity and other metabolic disorders in offspring. (Li L, Xue J, Ding J, Over-nutrient environment during both prenatal and post natal development increases severity of islet injury, hyperglycemia, and metabolic disorders in the offspring, J Physiol Biochem 2015, June 6, epub ahead of print.)

Employer ‘wellness’ programs which address control of body weight are largely unaware of reasons why weight loss is so hard to achieve and why weight regain is so common. (This is probably due to the lack of formal and uniform educational and training programs for the people running such programs.) The biological facts are that adaptions in the human body are designed to prevent starvation and these undermine long-term weight loss. These adaptions include developing adipocyte proliferation (creating greater fat storage capacity) and habituation to dopamine signaling stimulation in the brain. According to a recent Comment in The Lancet, “Importantly, these latter adaptions are not typically observed in individuals who are overweight but occur only after obesity has been maintained for some time. Thus, improved lifestyle choices might be sufficient for lasting reductions in bodyweight prior to sustained obesity. Once obesity is established, however, bodyweight seems to become biologically stamped in and defended…Evidence suggests that these biological adaptions often persist indefinitely, even when a person re-attains a health BMI (Body Mass Index) via a behaviorally induced weight loss.” (Ochner, CN, Tsai AG, Kushner RF, Treating obesity seriously: when recommendations for lifestyle change confront biological adaptions. The Lancet, April 2015 Ap;3(4):232-4)

One of most powerful adaptions is called adaptive thermogenesis. This term refers to the well-documented process that, with weight loss, the body turns down its metabolism to preserve body weight. Hence, to continue to lose weight, one must progressively eat less and less. If one person were to lose 50 pounds and weight 150 lbs, their body is not similar, in terms of caloric demand, to a 150 lbs person who was never obese. The person who lost weight would have to consume roughly 30% fewer calories per day than the person at the same weight who never lost weight. (See Downey Obesity Report, Jan 17, 2014) Adaptive thermogenesis produces a point at which no further weight loss appears possible. (See also, TremblayA, Royer NN, Chaput JP, Doucet E, Adaptive Thermogensis can make a difference in the ability of obese individuals to lose body weight. Int J Obes 2013 Jun;37(6):759-64, here.) Yet no wellness program provider of weight management services appears to offer anything to employees after a period of initial weight loss.

Definition of “Voluntary”

The proposed EEOC regulation provide that “employee health programs” that include disability-related inquiries or medical examinations must be voluntary and must have a reasonable chance of improving the health of, or preventing disease, in participating employees in order not to violate provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act generally banning such inquiries and examinations. Proposed rules provide that, for a program to be “voluntary”, the employer may not require employee participation and may not deny coverage as a result of non-participation.

However, the EEOC, in a twist of the English language that would make Orwell swoon, says a program is “voluntary” if the penalty for not participating is no more that 30% of the cost of single employee health care insurance cost, including the share already paid by the employee. This provision can run, today, around $2,000 on average. Of course, many health plans would have much higher premiums.

Another Reuters article, (Begley, S. Obama Administration to remove hurdles to ‘wellness’ penalties, April 16, 2015) quotes a business lawyer as stating that wellness programs with hefty penalties are voluntary “because employees can elect to participate or pay the penalty.” Of course, this is like the robber threatening “Your money or your life!” It strains credulity to believe that the EEOC would undertake such a distortion of plain meaning. Black’s Law Dictionary defines “voluntary” as “not impelled by outside influence” and “without valuable consideration”. Merriam Webster Dictionary “unconstrained by interference” and “without valuable consideration.” It is commonly used to mean an act undertaken by one’s free will. In law, for waiving of Miranda warnings or making a confession, the acts must be truly voluntary and not subject to some coercion, such as the EEOC support here.

 

EEOC Comments on Employer Wellness Programs

June 23rd, 2015 No comments »

Below are comments I filed last week with the EEOC concerning their employer wellness program proposed regulations. Because of space limitations, I had to shorten my original draft. However, I will be posting sections of the long version in the near future.

 

These comments are primarily addressed to employer health-contingent, or outcomes based, wellness programs which include weight management programs.

In this regulation, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (hereinafter “EEOC”) eliminates a crucial protection for these Americans, penalizes them an additional 30% of the cost of health insurance premium (including the share they pay) and provides them with weight loss programs which are ineffective. These programs are highly intrusive. The privacy of the most sensitive personal records is an illusion. The EEOC’s notice provisions are terribly flawed.

The proposed regulations represent an Orwellian distortion of the English language in a transparent and crass political deal by the Obama Administration to buy the political support of Corporate America at the expense of millions of poor and middle class workers for decades into the future. See Reuters, Begley S, Exclusive: U.S. CEOs threaten to pull tacit Obamacare support over ‘wellness’ spat, Nov. 29, 20144). This regulation, allowing employers to claw-back compensation from employees. It provides employers with protection against future health premium increases at a great and burdensome expense to millions of employees.

Successful, long-term weight loss occurs in only about 10% of persons who voluntarily join the best and most rigorous weight loss programs for motivated consumers. There is no data, to the best of my knowledge, regarding weight loss in mandatory health outcome programs. A RAND study found weight loss in voluntary ‘wellness’ programs at about an insignificant 1 kg a year. (Downeyobesityreport, June 13, 2013)

The EEOC, in a perversion of the English language that would make Orwell swoon, says a program is “voluntary” if the penalty for not participating is no more that 30% of the cost of single employee health care insurance cost, including the share already paid by the employee. This provision can run, today, around $2,000 on average. Of course, many health plans would have much higher premiums, and the amount will only increase over time.

Another Reuters article, (Begley, S. Obama Administration to remove hurdles to ‘wellness’ penalties, April 16, 2015) quotes a business lawyer as stating that wellness programs with hefty penalties are voluntary “because employees can elect to participate or pay the penalty.” Of course, this is like the robber threatening “Your money or your life!” It strains credulity to believe that the EEOC would undertake such a distortion of plain meaning. Black’s Law Dictionary defines “voluntary” as “not impelled by outside influence”. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines it as “unconstrained by interference” and “without valuable consideration.” It is commonly used to mean an act undertaken by one’s free will. In law, waiving Miranda warnings or the making a confession, must be truly voluntary and not subject to the type of coercion, such as the EEOC here supports.

The proposed 30% penalty is a major penalty, comparable to that of fines for commission of felonies. Federal Reserve Board published Report on the Economic Well-being of U.S. Households in 2013 in July 2014. The report found that 47% of respondents say that they either could not cover an emergency expense costing $400 or would cover it by selling something or borrowing the money. 31% of respondents report going without some form of medical care in the 12 months before the survey because they could not afford it.

The result is that many have gone without medical treatment or have not filled a prescription.

The EEOC proposed regulation omits from the notice requirement the most important elements of the joint HHS, Labor and Treasury regulations requiring access to reasonable alternatives to the wellness program, leaving the final decision in the hands of the employee’s physician. (See Downey Obesity Report, May 30, 2013.)

Regarding the privacy of health records, many vendors of employer ‘wellness’ programs are not health plans and, as such, not covered by HIPAA regulations. If the federal government, i.e. the National Security Agency, the Internal Revenue Service, the Office of Personnel Management, the Department of Health and Human Services and private companies such as Sony, Target, Premera Blue Cross, and Anthem Insurance cannot protect their data, why does the EEOC assume that small vendors of wellness programs can? The EEOC cannot credibly assume that these records will be protected against breaches. Indeed, the EEOC should assume that such data will not be kept confidential and will end up in the hands of employers.

Many programs are highly intrusive. Some companies, like Honeywell, take blood samples to test for nicotine, high cholesterol and irregular blood sugar, height and weight. CVS asked their employees whether they drink, and are sexually active. Johnson & Johnson’s wellness program asks about the employee’s mood, stress at work and home, eating and exercising habits. Some ask for the information from spouses, as well.

The proposed EEOC regulation provides no guidance on what is considered an intrusive wellness program. In addition to intrusive questions on health risk assessments, the expanded use of wearable technologies is under way. These devices track employees’ movements and behavior not only at work but off the job and in the privacy of their home.

The Affordable Care Act did not repeal or modify Americans with Disabilities Act, as noted in final wellness regulations of DOL, HHS and Treasury. In fact, Congress and sister agencies have assumed continuation of the protections afforded by the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The only value provided by ‘wellness’ programs is for corporations to shift costs to employees, which was distinctly not the intent of the ACA.

I urge the EEOC to reconsider this proposed regulation.

 

 

 

Does Oprah Have More Integrity Than the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons?

April 30th, 2015 No comments »

Oprah Winfrey has dumped Dr. Oz’s radio show from her media empire after numerous challenges to his scientific integrity, according to the New York Daily News story. This move comes after months of criticism of Dr. Oz’s endorsement of quack cures, often for weight loss.  Oz has hailed the discredited Ducan Diet,  and numerous other weight loss schemes. He defended a dubious clinical trial before a skeptical Senate Committee which was slammed by John Oliver.

Dr. Oz told the Senate that his on-air clinical trial of one weight loss product was exempt from the Institutional Review Board procedures of his employer, the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. After this, I wrote to Brenda Ruotolo, Executive Director, Human Research Protection Office. Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons asking if the Columbia IRB had exempted this research and, if so, on what basis. She responded,

“Dear Mr. Downey, Thank you for contacting us regarding your concerns. We have looked into the matter of whether Columbia IRB approval is required for activities conducted on the Dr. Oz show. The purview of the Columbia IRB is articulated in the Standard Operating Procedures for the Columbia IRB, which you referenced in your June 25 email. Because activities in which Dr. Oz engages on his show are not conducted in accordance with his institutional responsibilities, those activities do not fall under the scope of the Columbia IRB.”

Gee, I don’t think his research was conducted under auspices of Oprah’s radio shows, but that didn’t stop her for standing up for integrity.

 

EEOC punts on Employer Wellness Regulation

April 17th, 2015 No comments »

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has finally issued proposed amendments to the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) regarding employer wellness programs.

The proposed regulations are very disappointing. They re-define “voluntary” participation in a wellness program to mean being penalized 1/3 of an employee’s health insurance premium cost. The average cost of single coverage is $5,615, with employees paying $951 out of pocket. More and more of the cost is being shifted to employees. Many employees, especially white women, suffer a wage penalty because of their weight. And most employees’ health insurance plans do not cover the costs of FDA approved medicines for weight loss, bariatric surgery or intensive behavioral interventions.

In particular, the proposed regulations do not require employers to tell employees of the availability of alternative avenues to receive the reward or avoid the penalty. They do not require employers to leave the final word on alternative avenues with the employee’s physician, which is required in the DOL/HHS regulations. There is no obvious penalty if the employee’s personal health data is not adequately protected by the employer and personal health data is used to an employee’s detriment. On the other hand, one useful provision limits the penalty/reward to 30% of the premium cost of a single person. Obviously, this is lower than the cost of family coverage. Industry is sure to fight this limitation, as they want to increase the size of the penalty/reward.

Comments are open until June 19,2015.

See EEOC press release here. See proposed regulations here. For additional information, see Ted Kyle’s blog here, and Tim Jost’s blog in Health Affairs here.

In the meantime, the federal government’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has told federal agencies to promote workplace wellness programs.

 

FDA Spikes Concerns Over Dangerous Dietary Supplements

April 8th, 2015 No comments »

Anahad O’Connor, writing in the New York Times, discloses an upsetting picture of the Food and Drug Administration inaction on policing an amphetamine-like substance in dietary supplements. The article describes how the leadership of the FDA division responsible for policing dietary supplements has been and is led by highlevel executives from the Natural Products Association, the trade association representing dietary supplement makers.