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Morning headlines: Monday, December 26, 2011

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Illinois-based Mead Johnson says another batch of tests done on its Enfamil Premium Newborn Infant formula found no trace of the bacteria tied to the death of a Mo. baby.

Tests on infant formula find no trace of deadly bacteria

Illinois-based Mead Johnson says another batch of tests done on its Enfamil Premium Newborn infant formula found no trace of the bacteria tied to the death of a Missouri baby.

Preliminary hospital tests indicated 10-day-old Avery Cornett died Dec. 18 of a rare infection caused by bacteria known as Cronobacter sakazakii. The source of the bacteria hasn't been determined, but it can be found in powdered formula. Avery had consumed Enfamil Newborn formula.

National retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Walgreen Co., Kroger Co. and Safeway have since pulled a batch of the powdered infant formula from their shelves. The Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and the Missouri Department of Health are investigating Avery's death. Mead Johnson said Sunday it shared its test results with investigators.

Ameren Missouri seeks to renew license for state's only nuclear power plant

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Ameren has submitted a 1,500-page filing with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The power company's current license for its Callaway plant expires in 2024, and the utility wants it extended to 2044.

St. Louis-based Ameren considers the plant especially valuable because it can run almost continuously between refueling and because the utility faces pressure to clean up other power plants that burn coal. The nuclear power plant is about 25 miles northeast of the state Capitol in Callaway County.

Ill. measure promoting comprehensive sex education in schools could be back before lawmakers

The measure would require schools already teaching sex education to students in grades 6 through 12 to teach contraceptive use as well as abstinence.

William Beckman, Executive Director of the Illinois Right to Life Committee, says the law would be too overreaching.

“It's a mandate from a state level to basically say that the only thing that's acceptable is comprehensive sex education," said Beckman.

Representative Robyn Gabel, is a sponsor. She's a Democrat from Evanston, where contraception is already taught in the public schools. 

“Children and  youth need to know accurate information about how to prevent pregnancy and how to prevent sexually transmitted diseases," said Gabel.

Gabel says the law would promote accurate medical information. She says she's met youth with very misinformed ideas about their reproductive health. Parents would still have the option of taking their kids out of the classes.

The plan narrowly passed the state Senate last spring.  Gabel says it will be brought up in the House during the upcoming session.  

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