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A feed additive for animals made by Greenfield-based Elanco Animal Health sparked two federal lawsuits last week filed by environmental and public health groups against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. According to Reuters, the suit seeks to reverse the FDA’s recent approvals of products containing ractopamine that are used to boost the weight of cattle and pigs. In the lawsuits, the Humane Society of the United States, United Farm Workers of America and the Center for Food Safety and other groups say the FDA failed to adequately assess environmental and health issues related to ractopamine. The FDA first approved ractopamine for use in commercially raised swine in 1999. According to Reuters, idustry analysts estimate that more than half of all U.S. hogs currently raised for meat are fed ractopamine. Elanco, which is one of multiple companies that make feed additives with ractopamine, is a subsidiary of Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co.

Indianapolis-based health law firm Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman PC is opening two more offices, expanding its presence around the country. Hall Render will now operate out of Denver and Philadelphia, in addition to its existing offices in Detroit, Indianapolis, Louisville, Milwaukee and Washington, D.C. The firm’s more than 160 attorneys represent more than 1,000 hospitals and health care providers in all 50 states. Attorney Dave Snow of Hall Render’s Milwaukee office will lead the Denver office as office managing partner. Delphine O’Rourke, who is in-house general counsel to a hospital in Binghampton, New York, will lead the Philadelphia office.

A new business development organization called AgriNovus has attracted nearly $1 million to help Indiana’s agricultural businesses and researchers figure out ways to produce more food to feed the world’s growing population. Global population is expected to grow from 7 billion to more than 9 billion in the next two decades, spurring huge demand for innovative companies to wring more food out of the same amount of land and water available for raising crops, according to a report released Nov. 5 by the new group. Beth Bechdol, a former deputy director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, will serve as executive director of AgriNovus, which is being launched by the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. The state of Indiana will contribute $300,000 toward the effort, with the rest of the money coming from 13 ag businesses and Purdue University. All told, both farms and ag-related businesses employ nearly 134,000 Hoosiers, paying total wages of $5.8 billion per year, according to the report, which was produced by Ohio-based consulting firm Battelle.

The year-old Eskenazi Health hospital took the top honor at the 2014 Monumental Awards for excellence in architecture, engineering and construction. The $754 million facility on the IUPUI campus opened in December and replaced the aging Wishard Hospital about a block away. St. Louis-based HOK was the lead architect on the project, and the Indiana office of Chicago-based Pepper Construction Co. the construction manager. Pepper won for its construction of Eskenazi Health, putting the hospital in contention for the Monumental Award along with eight other projects.

Two Florida residents pleaded guilty Nov. 5 to a 2010 Connecticut warehouse theft that prosecutors say involved $50 million to $100 million in prescription drugs produced by Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. According to the Associated Press, Yosmany Nunez, 42, and Alexander Marquez, 41, each could face up to 10 years in prison at sentencing in February. Prosecutors said Nunez, Marquez and three others broke into a Lilly warehouse in March 2010 and stole thousands of boxes of drugs, including Zyprexa, Cymbalta, Prozac and Gemzar. The group drove the drugs to Miami-area self-storage units, where some were recovered. Two Miami-area brothers, Amaury Villa and Amed Villa, also Cuban citizens, have pleaded guilty to charges in the Connecticut case and are awaiting sentencing.
 

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