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Group asks FDA to investigate Hennepin Healthcare over ketamine trials

Plus: Paulsen raised $3.7 million for CD3 race; DNR released first deer management plan; watchdog groups says several Minnesota communities have a potentially harmful chemical in their drinking water; and more.

A vial of Ketamine

More on ketamine. The Star Tribune’s Andy Mannix reports: “Public Citizen, a consumer rights advocacy group, has asked the Food and Drug Administration and the Office for Human Research Protection to conduct investigations into whether [Hennepin Healthcare] complied with federal regulations during two clinical trials … involving paramedics sedating people with ketamine before bringing them to the hospital. In a statement Tuesday, Hennepin Healthcare spokesman Thomas Hayes said the hospital is aware of the Public Citizen complaint.”

About that $12 billion. Says a quartet of writers at Politico: “Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Tuesday unveiled a three-part, $12 billion plan to ease the sting of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. farmers through a mix of payments, purchases and trade promotion efforts. The plan seeks to ensure that U.S. farmers and ranchers — a key constituency for President Donald Trump and Republicans — don’t bear the brunt of an escalating trade fight as the administration pursues an aggressive course to rebalance America’s trade relationships. … The administration’s trade aid plan, first reported by POLITICO, is also a bid to shore up support among a slice of the rural electorate ahead of the midterm elections.” 

Related. According to the AP, “Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, of Wisconsin, is blasting President Donald Trump’s trade policy, saying ‘This is becoming more and more like a Soviet-type of economy.’ Johnson says, ‘Commissars deciding who’s going to be granted waivers, commissars in the administration figuring out how they’re going to sprinkle around benefits.’ … ‘I’m very exasperated. This is serious.’” Now it’s serious?

Big money in Paulsen-Phillips race. Stribber Maya Rao reports, “Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen has an early fundraising lead as he battles for re-election in his suburban Minneapolis congressional district, a race that is already shaping up to be one of the most expensive in the state. Paulsen raised $3.7 million over the past 18 months, much of it from the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. The Eden Prairie congressman said he needs to raise large sums to defend himself, given the outside money spent on ads attacking him in the last election. This time, he faces an aggressive challenge from DFLer Dean Phillips, a wealthy businessman who has raised $2.9 million and calls Paulsen a prop of corporate interests.”

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Alarming. From MPR’s Catherine Richert: “ An environmental watchdog says several Minnesota communities have a potentially harmful chemical in their drinking water. The Washington D.C.-based Environmental Working Group looked at data from 2010 though 2015, and found that the drinking water supplies in at least 15 Minnesota communities test positive for trichloroethylene, or TCE, though none exceed the federal limit of 5 parts per billion. TCE is linked to cancer and birth defects, among other things, and the Environmental Working Group argues that exposure to even small quantities can be harmful.”

What’s the plan to keep them from jumping in front of my car? The Pioneer Press’ Tiffany Bui writes: “The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released its first deer management plan Tuesday that aims for a disease-free population and strives to boost public involvement. The plan features 8 goals that range from deer research to funding deer management strategies. It comes after two years of planning, dozens of public meetings and the help of a citizen advisory committee. Results are meant to guide deer management from 2019 to 2028. State residents still have opportunities to provide input.”

Worth a read. From Erik Shilling at Jalopnik (the car site). “Highway noise barriers are a pretty common blight on American interstates, there to protect nearby homes and businesses from the motoring sounds of cars and trucks whizzing by. But what if I told you they don’t shield noise all that well, and may even amplify it? … The barriers are largely made of concrete, and cost over $2 million per mile, with some $6 billion spent on them through 2013. For me, though, the most astounding figure in the story is that some walls cost up to $92,000 per impacted home. … Why do states keep building the barriers? Because the Federal Highway Administration says that states ‘must implement’ noise abatement measures ‘where reasonable’, and the only noise abatement measures that the feds will fund are noise barriers, even as experts have long said that quieter pavements would be a better use of funds.”