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Michelle Obama lauds Olive Garden, Red Lobster plan for healthier fare

Healthier menu plans praised

First lady Michelle Obama said Thursday that a pledge by the Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants and their sister chains to serve healthier meals is a "breakthrough moment" for the industry. Darden Restaurants Inc. is pledging to cut calories and sodium in its meals by 10 percent by 2016, and 20 percent over a decade. Among changes for kids: no more french fries, and a fruit or vegetable side becomes standard. One percent milk will be served unless an alternative drink is ordered. Obama was joined by executives of Orlando-based Darden for the announcement at an Olive Garden restaurant in Hyattsville, Md.

'Dr. Oz' claim on arsenic disputed

The federal Food and Drug Administration is disputing suggestions by television show host Dr. Mehmet Oz that trace amounts of arsenic in many apple juice products pose a health concern. Oz said on his show Wednesday that testing by a New Jersey lab found what he implied are troubling levels of arsenic in many juices. The FDA said the lab methods were not appropriate and that its own tests show much lower arsenic levels. A spokesman for The Dr. Oz Show stood by the results.

Bee attack kills 1,000-pound hog

Thousands of bees swarmed a 1,000-pound hog during an attack that lasted about two hours, a farmer in Bisbee, Ariz., said Thursday. Farmers were trying to move a 200-pound hive when about 250,000 Africanized bees attacked animals and workers, KOLD-TV reported. June Hewitt said the attack killed a male pig. An 800-pound pregnant sow that was badly stung went into a coma and lost her litter. Bee expert Reed Booth said he can't explain why the bees are so agitated.

Australia offers 'X' gender option

Australian passports will now have three gender options — male, female and 'X' for indeterminate — under new guidelines to remove discrimination against transgender people, the government said Thursday. The 'X' must be supported by a doctor's statement.

Michelle Obama lauds Olive Garden, Red Lobster plan for healthier fare 09/15/11 [Last modified: Thursday, September 15, 2011 9:43pm]

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