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OIL

BP subsidiary to pay $25M for Alaska spills

ANCHORAGE | BP PLC’s subsidiary in Alaska has agreed to pay a $25 million civil penalty as part of a settlement for spilling more than 200,000 gallons of crude oil from company pipelines on the North Slope in 2006.

BP Exploration Alaska Inc. also will be required to install a systemwide pipeline integrity management program.

The settlement was announced Tuesday in Washington.

Assistant Attorney General Ignacia S. Moreno said the penalty should serve as a wake-up call to all pipeline operators that they will be held accountable for the safety of their operations and environmental laws.

U.S. Attorney for Alaska Karen Loeffler said BP Alaska admitted that it cut corners and failed to do what was required to adequately maintain its pipelines.

FDA

Feds act against bogus STD cures

Federal health officials are cracking down on bogus pills and supplements that their makers claim will cure or prevent sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, herpes and genital warts.

The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that it has sent warning letters to a dozen companies selling nonprescription products with names like Medavir, Herpaflor and C-Cure. The agency said none of the products has been proved to treat any disease.

“These products are dangerous because they are targeted to patients with serious conditions, where treatment options proven to be safe and effective are available,” Deborah Autor, the FDA’s director of drug compliance, said in a statement.

FDA scientists warned that patients could waste time taking the substances and delay seeking medical care. Most of the products are sold over the Internet, though some may be available at drugstores.

“Health scams that endanger the public health will not be tolerated,” said Richard Cleland, assistant director for advertising at the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC and FDA both oversee advertising of health care products and announced Tuesday’s action together.

A website for Medavir, made by Medavir Medical Advances, claims that the product “has been proven effective in several official university research studies - including an official FDA trial.”

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