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Health Highlights: Dec. 3, 2015

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

JEM Raw Brand Sprouted Nut Butter Spreads Recalled Due to Salmonella Fears

A salmonella outbreak that has sickened 11 people in nine states has been linked to JEM Raw brand sprouted nut butter spreads, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

No patients have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported.

Of the eight patients interviewed, all said they had been exposed to a nut butter or nut butter spread, and six said they had been exposed to a JEM Raw brand sprouted nut butter spread, the CDC said.

JEM Raw Chocolate, LLC has recalled its entire line of sprouted nut butter spreads, which were sold nationwide in retail stores and through mail order. The products came in glass jars ranging in size from 1.25 ounces to 16 ounces.

Consumers with the products should throw them away and contact JEM Raw about product replacement, the CDC said.


Marijuana Breathalyzer Could be Available Next Year

A breathalyzer to check drivers for marijuana will begin clinical trials early next year, according to researchers.

The device is designed to detect tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound in marijuana that produces a high. It can also detect alcohol, which means it would provide an all-in-one tool for police, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Sales of the Hounds Lab, Inc. devices to police and consumers could begin late next year, said company CEO Mike Lynn, an emergency room doctor in Oakland.

"It's not as if every breathalyzer will be replaced overnight [but] it will completely change the ability to recognize stoned drivers ... [and] our technology also will prevent the wrongful arrest of people who have some THC in their system but are not impaired," Lynn told U.S. News & World Report.


Petition for Research into Gun Violence Delivered to Congress Hours Before San Bernardino Shooting

Just hours before Wednesday's mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., a petition from doctors asking that a restriction on research into gun violence be lifted was delivered to Congress.

The petition signed by more than 2,000 doctors nationwide targets a nearly two decades-old amendment that blocks the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from doing research on gun violence, the Washington Post reported.

The doctors who delivered the petition said gun violence must be viewed as a public health epidemic in the United States and research is needed to find ways to solve the problem, as would be done with any other health issue that kills thousands of Americans each year.

"It is disappointing that we have made little progress over the past 20 years in finding solutions to gun violence," said New York physician Nina Agrawal, a member of the advocacy group Doctors for America, according to the group's Twitter feed, the Post reported.

The amendment restricting federal funding for research into gun violence and its impact on public health was authored by former Rep. Jay Dickey of Arkansas. He now agrees that research is needed, according to a letter cited by Doctors for America.

"Research could have been continued on gun violence without infringing on the rights of gun owners," Dickey wrote, the Post reported. "Somehow or someway we should slowly but methodically fund such research until a solution is reached. Doing nothing is no longer an acceptable solution."

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