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Ralphs, Food 4 Less support USO’s Operation Phone Home program

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES Two Kroger-owned grocery chains are raising funds for the United Service Organizations to support the nation’s military members.

Ralphs and Food 4 Less stores jointly announced that they would be supporting the USO’s Operation Phone Home program through their nonprofit arms — The Ralphs and Food 4 Less Funds. The USO Operation Phone Home fundraising campaign will run through Aug. 14.

Established in 2003, USO Operation Phone Home delivers prepaid international phone cards to deployed service members free of charge. The phone cards are distributed through USO centers both overseas and in the United States, where they are handed out to service members passing through, or are delivered directly to military units. Since the program began, more than 2.2 million phone cards have been distributed.

“We salute our troops and thank them for the sacrifices they make to protect us,” said Mike Donnelly, Ralphs president. “Ralphs is delighted to be able to help our troops reach out to their loved ones back home through our support of the USO’s Operation Phone Home program.”

Last year, Ralphs and Food 4 Less provided more than $8 million in cash and in-kind donations to organizations focused on health, education, the fight against hunger, developing our youth, and the environment.

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Boehringer Ingelheim’s cancer drug may be ‘next generation’ treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. Data from a late-stage clinical trial of an investigational drug by Boehringer Ingelheim could show that the drug is a “next generation” treatment for cancers of the lungs, head and neck, BI said Friday.

The German drug maker plans to present results of a phase 3 trial of BIBW 2992 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago, which will take place between June 4 and 8.

BIBW 2992 is a pharmaceutical drug that targets the epidermal growth factor receptor and human epidermal receptor 2, also known as EGFR and HER2. Both are proteins that are known to promote the growth of cancer cells. BI said the drug shrank tumors in 22% of head and neck cancer patients, compared with 13% among those taking Eli Lilly’s and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Erbitux (cetuximab).

The company also reported that the drug showed “significant” ability to fight tumors in patients with non-small cell lung cancer, and that 61% of patients with EGFR mutations had significant tumor shrinkage.

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Americans need more faith… in fiber

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT Not eating enough fiber doesn’t kill you. But the disease states that result from a poor fiber diet do. Not a believer? Then you too may be a victim of IDS (irrational disbelief syndrome), the tongue-in-cheek faux condition that Fiber One touts as being the No. 1 cause behind America’s lack of fiber faith.

(THE NEWS: Lack of fiber in Americans’ diet caused by negative perception, Mintel finds. For the full story, click here)

The IDS condition may have been created out the mind of a General Mills marketer, but the lack of fiber in the typical American’s diet is real. As are the disease states that fiber deficiency can trigger such disease states as cardiovascular disease, colorectal and esophageal cancer, obesity, atherosclerosis, and coronary heart disease. A number of other less severe conditions is also correlated with a low fiber intake — elevated cholesterol levels, hemorrhoids, constipation, diarrhea and flatulence.

The real conclusion you can draw from this study is that Americans don’t know what they don’t know — fiber doesn’t taste good; only people suffering from digestive issues need to supplement their diets with fiber; all fibers are created equal. False, false and false. And that spells opportunity for a whole host of manufacturers in moving the needle around fiber education.

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