Every Friday our Personal Finance team will round up consumer news you need to know ahead of the weekend, on a segment we call “Family First” for YFi PM. Read below for this week’s round-up.
New concerns over contaminated kale
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is out with its annual list of the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” when it comes to pesticides in produce. The worst three are strawberries, spinach and kale — as the most likely to remain contaminated after being washed. Kale has been under the radar since 2009, but recent reports showed 92% of kale samples had two or more — sometimes up to 18 different pesticide residues.
Avocados and sweet corn topped the Clean15 list, with less than 1% of their samples showing detectable levels of pesticides. Check out the full list of 50 fruits and vegetables here.
Tax returns on pace with last year
So far, of the expected 150 million returns to be filed, the IRS has received about half. Average returns are pretty much on par from last year, down 0.1% — or $3 from last year’s average return. Total refunds issued by the IRS are behind by 3%.
For those who have not yet filed, the April 15 deadline is about three weeks away and we’re here to help. Send us your last-minute tax questions to email@example.com and we’ll get your questions answered with the help of our network of certified public accountants who can break it all down.
A medical breakthrough for new mothers
For one out of nine mothers who suffer from postpartum depression, the FDA has approved the first ever medication to treat postpartum depression. The drug, brexanolone, will be sold as Zulpresso, is an intravenous drug that can take effect within 48 hours, whereas pills can take up to four weeks to take effect.
FDA director, Dr. Tiffany Farchione, addressed the side effects of the drug earlier this week, stating in part: “Because of concerns about serious risks, including excessive sedation or sudden loss of consciousness during administration, Zulpresso has been approved with a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) and is only available to patients through restricted distribution program at certified healthcare facilities where the healthcare provider can carefully monitor the patient.”
While this is a step in the right direction, the $34,000 price tag for the new anti-depressant treatment is likely to be cost-prohibitive for patients struggling with this mental illness. The manufacturer, Sage Therapeutics, says it expects insurance companies to cover part of the costs, but it’s still too early to tell as insurance providers are still in the process of evaluating the drug and its effects.
Follow Jeanie Ahn on Twitter.