National briefs (11/13/12)
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WASHINGTON -- Federal health inspectors found numerous potential sources of contamination, including leaky ceilings and insects, at a drug-making facility that has the same founders as the specialty pharmacy linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak.
The Food and Drug Administration on Monday released the results of a monthlong inspection of Ameridose, a Westborough, Mass.-based company that makes injectable drugs. The agency's report, posted online, lists a host of problems at the plant, ranging from manufacturing to sterility to quality control.
Inspectors said they found insects within 10 feet of a supposedly sterile area where drugs were manufactured. In another case, inspectors reported a bird flying into a storage room.
Elsewhere, the report cites leaks and cracks in the ceiling and walls of a clean room used to manufacture sterile drugs. The same room contained "thick residues that were orange, brown, and green" on equipment used for sterilization.
FDA inspectors also said the company did not investigate at least 53 incidents of bacterial contamination that arose during testing of stock drug solution.
Ameridose agreed to shut down for inspection in October after tainted steroids from its sister company, the New England Compounding Center, were linked to a fungal meningitis outbreak that has caused 32 deaths.
ATLANTA -- The philanthropic arm of shipping giant UPS said it will no longer give money to the Boy Scouts of America as long as the group discriminates against gays, the second major corporation to recently strip funding from the scouts.
The UPS Foundation made the change Thursday after an online petition protesting its annual grants to the Boy Scouts attracted more than 80,000 signatures. UPS, based in Atlanta, follows computer chip maker Intel in withdrawing corporate support for the Boy Scouts.
The UPS Foundation gave more than $85,000 to the Boy Scouts in 2011, according to its federal tax return.
INDIANAPOLIS -- The search for what caused a massive, deadly explosion that rocked an Indianapolis neighborhood turned to natural gas Monday, with the National Transportation Safety Board checking gas lines and a homeowner saying a problem furnace could be to blame.
Local gas supplier Citizens Energy said it also was checking gas lines and a meter at the home that exploded. But officials cautioned that it was too soon to rule out other causes, saying only that they do not believe a meth lab was to blame.
John Shirley, 50, owner of one of the homes that was destroyed, said there was a problem with the furnace in the last few weeks. The malfunction had forced his daughter, her mother and her mother's boyfriend to stay in a hotel, but the daughter later told him it had been fixed.
DALLAS -- Hostess Brands Inc. is permanently closing three bakeries following a nationwide strike by its bakers union.
The maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread said Monday that the strike has prevented it from producing and delivering products, and it is closing bakeries in Seattle, St. Louis and Cincinnati. The facilities employ 627 workers.
Hostess, based in Irving, Texas, operates 36 bakeries nationwide and has about 18,300 employees. It warned earlier this month that the strike, by about 30 percent of its workforce, could lead to bakery closures.
-- Compiled from news services
First Published November 13, 2012 12:00 am