LOS ANGELES

Give Plan B contraception to underage teens, group urges

Doctors should give prescriptions to underage teenagers for emergency contraceptives such as Plan B before they start having sex, instead of waiting until a young patient’s “plan A” goes awry, the American Academy of Pediatrics says in a new policy statement.

It says doctors also should counsel teens on the options for emergency birth control as part of an overall strategy to reduce teen pregnancy.

The academy is issuing the new position paper, published online Monday by the journal Pediatrics, as physicians and other health experts struggle to reduce the nation’s high birth rate among adolescents.

Teen pregnancies in the U.S. have declined over the past 20 years, but the incidence is still the highest in the developed world, according to data released this year by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The birth rate among Americans ages 15 to 19 dropped 44 percent from 1991 to 2010, to 34.3 births per 1,000 women, the CDC reported. But that’s still about five times the teen birth rate in France and 2 1/2 times the rate in Canada, according to United Nations data. It also is higher than the rates in China and Russia.

WASHINGTON

FDA blocks the reopeningof peanut butter processor

The Food and Drug Administration has halted operations of the country’s largest organic peanut butter processor, cracking down on salmonella poisoning for the first time with a new enforcement authority that the agency gained in a 2011 food safety law.

The news came hours after Sunland Inc. said it planned to reopen its shuttered processing plant Tuesday.

FDA officials found salmonella all over Sunland’s New Mexico plant after 41 people in 20 states, most of them children, were sickened by peanut butter manufactured at the plant and sold at Trader Joe’s. The suspension will prevent the company from distributing any food.

The food safety law gave the FDA authority to suspend a company’s registration when food manufactured or held there has a “reasonable probability” of causing serious health problems or death. Sunland sold hundreds of products to many of the nation’s largest grocery chains.

MIAMI

Roach-eating contest winner choked to death on bug parts

A Florida man who died after winning a live roach-eating contest earlier this year choked to death from insect body parts, according to an autopsy released Monday.

Edward Archbold, 32, of West Palm Beach died as a result of “asphyxia due to choking and aspiration of gastric contents,” according to the report released by the Broward County medical examiner’s office.

It said his airway was obstructed by the roach body parts, which caused him to not be able to breathe.
“There is a flap called the epiglottis that is supposed to stop objects from going into the lungs,” medical examiner Craig T. Mallak wrote in an email to the AP. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work. In the video you could see him trying to swallow and breathe at the same time. We can’t do both simultaneously.”

Archbold also downed worms in the Oct. 6 contest at Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach. The winner’s grand prize was a python.

CHICAGO

Gang members wounded in ‘crazy’ shootings at funeral

Two reputed gang members were shot Monday afternoon at a funeral for a man who was slain on Chicago’s South Side last week. A minister at the services tweeted afterward, “This is Crazy.”

The two men were shot outside St. Columbanus Church, across the street from the A.A. Rayner & Sons Funeral Home, police said.

They were taken in critical condition to a nearby hospital. Both victims are convicted felons and known gang members, police said. Two guns were recovered at the scene.

The shooting occurred after the funeral for James Holman, 32, who was gunned down last week at an apartment building in the Washington Park neighborhood, according to police and the minister who was presiding, the Rev. Corey Brooks.

“I just preached at a funeral and gunfire has broke out,” Brooks tweeted. “Chaos, about 500 people here. This is Crazy!!

“Please pray for Chicago,” he added in a later tweet. “This is horrible.”

– From news service reports