Health Highlights: Feb. 26, 2019
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Facebook to Crack Down on Anti-Vaxxers
Facebook said Monday it will soon take action to stem the spread of misinformation about vaccines on its platform.
Social media companies have come under heavy fire from public health officials who say false claims about the dangers of childhood vaccination have circulated on social media and scared many parents into refusing vaccines for their young children. They point to measles outbreaks in Washington state and Massachusetts as inevitable consequences of that misinformation.
A Facebook official who would not be named
told CNN that the social media giant is working with health experts to decide what changes to make and considering a combination of approaches to handle vaccine misinformation.
These approaches wouldn't take misinformation off Facebook but rather make it less prominent, the official added.
Some of the ideas being considered include groups that promote vaccine misinformation not showing up in the list of groups that Facebook recommends users join, or posts containing vaccine misinformation appearing farther down in a user's newsfeed, CNN reported.
Public health and technology experts welcomed the planned changes.
"This is good news," Art Caplan, head of the Division of Medical Ethics at the New York University School of Medicine, told CNN. "They're incremental steps, but they're heading in the right direction."
Darrell West, director of the Center for Technology Innovation at the nonprofit Brookings Institute, agreed. "Facebook is on the side of science," he told CNN. "They're acting in accordance with the scientific consensus."
Facebook has been under considerable pressure to do something about the anti-vaccine information on its site; other social media platforms have already gotten tough on such content.
YouTube doesn't allow ads to appear on videos that promote anti-vaccine messages. Pinterest has taken the most restrictive steps: users can't link to certain sites that have misinformation, according to CNN.
Almost 87 Tons of Boston Market Pork Ribs Recalled
Nearly 174,00 pounds of frozen boneless pork rib entrees made by Ohio-based Bellisio Foods and sold under the Boston Market brand have been recalled due to possible contamination with pieces of glass or hard plastic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) says.
The frozen, not ready-to-eat boneless pork rib patties were produced on various dates between Dec. 7, 2018 and Feb. 15, 2019.
The recall is for 14-oz. packages of Boston Market Home Style Meals Boneless Pork Rib Shaped Patty with BBQ Sauce & Mashed Potatoes, with "Best By" dates of: 12/07/2019, lot code 8341; 01/04/2020, lot code 9004; 01/24/2020, lot code 9024; and 02/15/2020, lot code 9046.
There have been no confirmed reports of anyone suffering harm from the products, which were shipped across the U.S., FSIS said.
These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.
For more information, contact Boston Market at (855) 871-9977.