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PR news in brief

Our weekly round-up of PR and medical education stories.

Teachers support abortion advice

Two out of three secondary teachers believe sex education should contain advice for pupils on how to obtain an abortion, according to a survey published today. They want the information to be available despite concern that it could encourage girls under 16 to terminate pregnancies without their parents' knowledge. More than eight in 10 teachers favour the inclusion of information about the "morning after" pill but they also feel strongly that under-age girls should lose the right to confidentiality over pregnancy and abortion and that their parents should be informed.

Kellogg's responds to pressure

Kellogg's has bowed to pressure from health campaigners by prominently displaying levels of sugar, salt and fat on the front of cereal packets for the first time. The markings include a bar chart showing how a typical bowl contributes to the guideline daily amounts (GDA) of seven nutrients. Kellogg's says it is the first food manufacturer to include easy to read GDAs and follows public demand for clearer nutritional information. However, the labels - which will also appear on its snack bars - fall short of the colour-coded traffic light labels favoured by campaigners.

Guidelines cause controversy

New guidelines that restrict which patients GPs can refer to hospital will mean cancers are missed, warn doctors. By sending only patients with the most worrying symptoms of indigestion for checks on the gullet, cancer may be too advanced to treat, they say. Surgeons are advising doctors to ignore the National Institute for Clinical Excellence's advice and continue to refer whenever in doubt. NICE stood by its guidance, saying it took account of all available evidence. The watchdog says routine endoscopy - where a small camera is put down into the gullet - is not necessary for any patients unless there are "alarm" signs, such as bleeding.

Femmeherb goes Live

Potters Herbal Medicines has launched a new website www.femmeherb.co.uk to support their new Femmeherb range. Featuring information such as medicinal uses and how to obtain the products, there is advice on how to take herbal medicines and why. Detailed information on the products' ingredients can also be found to ensure customers know what they are taking. Access to www.herbal-medicines.org is available on the site, offering in-depth details on herbs and the benefits of natural remedies.

2nd September 2008

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