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Daily Rounds: Drug Co. Money Flows To Docs; Recalled Walmart Peas May Contain Glass; How To Live To 100; Organizing Boston Hospitals

Docs on Pharma Payroll Have Blemished Records, Limited Credentials – ProPublica “Drug companies say they hire the most-respected doctors in their fields for the critical task of teaching about the benefits and risks of their drugs. But an investigation by ProPublica uncovered hundreds of doctors on company payrolls who had been accused of professional misconduct, were disciplined by state boards or lacked credentials as researchers or specialists.” (ProPublica)

And here’s another, related story:

Mass. doctors earn drug firms’ dollars – The Boston Globe “While some doctors who gave speeches once or twice during 2009 and 2010 earned $2,000 to $3,000, more than two dozen Massachusetts psychiatrists, endocrinologists, and other specialists who gave frequent talks brought in $40,000 to $100,000 and, in a few cases, more. Dr. Lawrence DuBuske, an allergy specialist, earned the most: $219,775. The Globe reported earlier this year that he resigned from Brigham and Women’s Hospital largely because of its new speaking ban.” (Boston Globe)

Frozen Vegetables Sold at Kroger and Walmart Recalled – Parenting.com “PR Newswire reported that the Pictsweet Company announced a voluntary recall of certain codes of store brand products containing frozen green peas after the company learned that some of the packages may contain glass fragments, which may cause injury if ingested. Products subject to this recall were distributed only to Kroger stores in the Southeast United States and Walmart stores throughout the United States.” (parenting.com)

Personal Health – Three R’s for Extreme Longevity – NYTimes.com Esther Tuttle is pushing age 100. "Her memoir and replies to (a reporter's) queries revealed three critical attributes that might be dubbed longevity’s version of the three R’s: resolution, resourcefulness and resilience. Throughout her long life, she’s taken hardships in stride, traipsed blithely over obstacles and converted many into building blocks. And she has adhered to a regimen of a careful diet, hard work, regular exercise and a very long list of community service, all while raising three children." (The New York Times)

Running a hospital: Tactical update on SEIU Paul Levy on union organizing at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: “There has been a theory circulating around town that this tactical decision to avoid MGH and Brigham and Women's Hospital might have its origins in the personal relationship between the former head of the SEIU and the Chief Operating Officer of PHS [Partners Health System], who served as an Deputy Secretary of Labor under President Clinton. Will SEIU's reluctance to take on the PHS hospitals be put aside now that Mr. Stern has left the SEIU and the COO [Tom Glynn] is leaving Partners?” (Running A Hospital)

Wal-Mart Goes Locavore: Will Double Its Local Produce Offerings

The local food movement meets the world's largest grocer

The words “Wal-Mart” and “sustainability” aren’t generally spoken in the same breath, but there’s news today that might change that: the world’s largest grocer is embracing the “locavore” movement in a big way, reports The New York Times, with more local produce on its shelves, support for small to medium-sized farmers and an efficiency index to track producers environmental waste.

In the United States, Wal-Mart plans to double the percentage of locally grown produce, to 9 percent. Wal-Mart defines local produce as that grown and sold in the same state. Still, the program is far less ambitious than in some other countries — in Canada, for instance, Wal-Mart expects to buy 30 percent of produce locally by the end of 2013, and, when local produce is available, increase that to 100 percent.

In emerging markets, Wal-Mart has pledged to sell $1 billion of food from small and medium farmers (which it defines as farmers with fewer than 20 hectares, about 50 acres). It will also provide training for the farmers and their laborers on how to choose crops that are in demand as well as the proper application of water and pesticides.

…And, it will begin creating an agriculture-specific index to measure waste and efficiency among produce suppliers. It will be asking its biggest producers to answer questions about water, fertilizer and chemical use. The eventual goal is to include that information in a sustainability rating that customers would see, so they could decide whether to choose one avocado over another based on how much waste it had created.