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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The head of a British biotech company that has developed a genetically modified mosquito in an effort to lower the population of the insects that spread the Zika virus called for federal regulators Wednesday to expedite a decision on conducting a test of these mosquitoes in Florida.

Hadyn Parry, the CEO of Oxitec, spoke at a congressional hearing Wednesday about his company's mosquitoes, which are genetically modified in an effort to reduce the population of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the species primarily responsible for the spread of the Zika virus.

The GMO mosquitoes are all male and hence do not bite. When released into the wild, they mate with females and produce nonviable offspring, thereby reducing the mosquito population without the need for pesticides. They have already been used in Brazil and the Cayman Islands to fight the spread of the Zika virus.

Parry said the company received a "complicated" answer from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about its initial 2011 filling to test the GMO mosquito called "Oxitec OX513A" in the U.S.

"We are being treated as an investigational animal drug," Parry testified at the congressional hearing Wednesday, noting that that means from the FDA's perspective "they need to approve an animal drug in order to provide a public health benefit."

The FDA has given an initial "Finding of No Significant Impact" regarding the proposed test in the Florida Keys. In a statement to ABC News, the FDA explained that the agency is "reviewing relevant comments" about the proposed trial before making a final assessment. The agency would not speculate on the timeframe for how long this will take.

Parry said at the hearing that he hoped the FDA would act quickly to allow the testing.

"I think we should encourage them to find the processes to make this happen," Parry said, noting that an emergency route for approval may be appropriate in this case. He pointed out that the GMO mosquitoes can reach mosquitoes in areas where traditional spraying can't, such as in indoor areas.

In previous tests outside of the U.S., the GMO mosquito has helped reduce the population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes by 90 percent in urban areas, Perry said.

"We can target the mosquito as an integrated approach. We have now the technology to control the mosquito in an urban environment and focus as a priority," he said.

The congressional Committee on Science, Space and Technology held the hearing on the Zika virus and the research being done to understand and fight the virus.

Currently, at least 500 people have been diagnosed with the Zika virus in the U.S., though virtually all contracted the disease while outside the country. In limited cases, the disease was spread through sexual contact, according to health officials.

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iStock/Thinkstock(BELTON, S.C.) -- An 11-year-old South Carolina boy who was born deaf has made it to the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Neil Maes of Belton, South Carolina, received cochlear implants when he was 1 and 5 years old and, through therapy, was able to learn spoken language.

Now, the fifth-grader is one of the top spellers in the nation, knowing words like weissnichtwo (an indefinite, unknown, or imaginary place) and pfeffernuss (a small, hard, highly spiced cookie).

"It seems like a bad situation: 'Your child can't hear.’ But so much good has come out of it," mom Christy Maes told ABC News Wednesday. "We thought for him to win the regionals and come into the nationals, that would be a great platform to encourage and inspire hearing-impaired individuals. It makes a child feel so hopeful, saying, 'I could do this.' It's things like this that mean the most to me."

When Neil was born July 13, 2004, doctors informed Christy and Peter Maes that he was deaf, news that Christy said was a shock to the entire family.

"There's no other hearing-impaired member on either side of the family," she said. "Life goes on -- he’s 11 now, but it’s a genetic mutation. From my understanding, it's not uncommon."

Neil began therapy at 6 months old. He soon received cochlear implants and relied on his hearing to learn how to speak.

One day, when Neil was in third-grade, he came home and informed his mother that he had won his classroom spelling bee.

That same year, he won his school spelling bee, beating out every student in grades 3, 4 and 5.

"He was the first third-grade winner," Christy said. "We studied hard and then went to regionals. He had a goal and wanted to win. We tried to make it fun."

In fourth-grade, Neil never made it through his classroom spelling bee. This year, he made it to regionals and won. The final word he spelled was ecru, granting him a spot in the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Neil is speller number 213 in group 2. He was competing Wednesday at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, from 10 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., ET. There are 285 spellers in the entire competition.

"The Scripps National Spelling Bee celebrates our spellers and their incredible talents," a spokesman from the organization told ABC News Wednesday. "For those who overcome adversity and special challenges in their lives to reach the National Finals is a testament to their determination and grit. Each speller is unique and wonderful and the reason this competition is such a national treasure."

The winner of the spelling bee will receive a $40,000 cash prize and the Scripps National Spelling Bee engraved trophy, among other prizes.

Neil prepared for the event through fun spelling activities like sidewalk chalk and shaving cream on a cookie sheet, mom Christy said.

"One of his favorite words is abecedarius," Christy said. "He likes the German words, the fun ones to say. He loves spelling long dog breeds like Chihuahua. He's nervous, so I'm trying to play it cool, give him some space."

“He did want to come and watch the first group spell. These kids, you watch them spell and they miss some words and you want to hug them. Everybody's for each other. No one's competing against each other. It’s a good vibe here," she continued.

She added: "Neil's just a good-hearted kid. He shows a lot of love to everyone around him. We love him just for who he is, not for any trophies that he wins."

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iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

A new social media trend that resembles something out of a cartoon could potentially cause people to sustain real injuries.

The "Banana Peel Challenge" has kids walking on banana peels to see if they're as slippery as the classic cartoon cliché leads us to believe. The falls that result from the challenge, however, are anything but funny. They can lead to long-term or even permanent damage.

This isn't the first dangerous challenge to become a fad on social media. There was the cinnamon challenge, which in some cases caused potentially long-term lung damage, and the duct tape challenge, which ended with a brain aneurysm for one teen.

So how do you bring this up with your kid?

Try your best to stay current with what's in their world. Remember that the developmental job of a teenager is to push limits and take risks.

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Children's Healthcare of Atlanta(ATLANTA) — Those in need of a pick-me-up need look no further than this video of doctors’ dancing with their kid patients.

As ABC's Dancing With the Stars wrapped up for the season, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta posted a sweet video to its Facebook page featuring a hepatologist, an oncologist, a physiatrist and a cardiologist dancing with their (sometimes very tiny) patients.

One patient had a liver transplant and is now thriving. One is battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma for the third time. There are several rehabilitation patients featured, and a 7-month-old awaiting a heart transplant.

Dr. Martha Clabby, the cardiologist seen dancing with the baby, said, “At Children’s, we have some of the toughest patients who face battles that many people couldn’t imagine. In those tough times, dancing and having fun can be the best medicine for staying positive. We made the video to show our patients that we are here not only to help them heal, but to celebrate their strength and triumphs.”

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Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald says he "deeply regrets" comparing wait times at VA hospitals and facilities to lines at Disney parks.

“At VA we take our mission of caring for those who ‘shall have borne the battle’ very seriously; we have the best and most noble mission in government," McDonald said in the statement, released a day after the remarks.

"If my comments Monday led any Veterans to believe that I, or the dedicated workforce I am privileged to lead, don't take that noble mission seriously, I deeply regret that. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

At a Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington on Tuesday, McDonald was speaking about veterans’ satisfaction when he made the controversial comparison.

"When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line?" he asked. "What's important? What's important is: What's your satisfaction with the experience?"

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

In Tuesday afternoon’s statement, McDonald elaborated on his original remarks.

“On Monday, I made some remarks on how we’re working to improve Veterans' satisfaction with the care they receive from VA. It was never my intention to suggest that I don't take our mission of serving Veterans very seriously," he said. "In fact, improving access to care is my number one priority and the priority I have set for the entire department. For the last two years, the huge majority of VA employees have worked tirelessly to improve the timeliness of the care and benefits we provides to Veterans.”

Wait times for veterans erupted into scandal two years ago and led to former head of the VA, Gen. Eric Shinseki's resignation.

As of May 1 wait times were seven days for primary care and 10 days for specialists, according to department data.

In a statement, the VA said that it takes veterans' care "seriously" and acknowledge that "veterans are still waiting too long for care."

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Huntstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Physicians are increasingly prescribing antidepressants for a variety of conditions unrelated directly to depression, including pain, attention deficit disorder and digestive system disorders, according to a new report published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Using electronic medical records to examine data from 100,000 patients and 185 physicians in Quebec, Canada, researchers from McGill University and the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences looked at data from 2006 to 2015 for answers as to why prescriptions for antidepressants have been going up in the last two decades.

They found that 55 percent of antidepressant prescriptions were specifically for depression. Approximately 18 percent was for anxiety disorders, 10 percent was for pain and 4 percent was for panic disorders.

A significant portion of the prescriptions were for off-label uses, including digestive disorder, insomnia and migraine. The findings suggest that antidepressants don't correlate with depression rates, the authors said.

The results "highlight the need to evaluate the evidence supporting off-label antidepressant use," the authors wrote in the study.

Heather Carey, a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, said she did not find the study surprising as some antidepressant medications are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat conditions other than depression, such as fibromyalgia. She also said primary care doctors often prescribe antidepressants for off-label conditions in an attempt to help patients who aren't able or don't want to see a specialist.

"We certainly see that the main dilemma that a lot of folks get into is they don’t have access to specialists," Carey explained, noting that it's very common for primary care doctors to prescribe antidepressants for insomnia and pain to help patients.

While primary care physicians can provide a needed safety net for people unable to get to a specialist to help with sleep disorders or pain management, Carey said it's important that patients at some point see a specialist who can give a definitive diagnosis.

"On the other side of the coin, there are a lot of providers out there who maybe aren't quite as a familiar with diagnosing people," she said of primary care physicians. "We see a lot of people admitted and they were seeing a primary physician in the community and we see the medical regimen might not make sense."

Antidepressants can have side effects that can be serious for patients, especially if they are older or taking many other medications at the same time, Carey noted.

"My opinion is that everyone should try to see a specialist at some point," she said.

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Courtesy Jenny Deputy (FRANKLIN, Ind.) -- One Indiana teen's overwhelmingly joyful reaction while reading her college acceptance letter has gone viral, after her mother captured the moment on video.

Mickey Deputy, 19, who has Down syndrome, was surrounded by her family on May 18 when she sat down to open a letter from her preferred college. She waited for three agonizing weeks to find out whether or not she would be accepted into Franklin College's INSPIRE program, geared toward students with special needs.

"The anticipation was building," her mother, Jenny Deputy, told ABC News.

After realizing she was accepted into the two-year program, a thrilled Mickey danced in her seat and screamed in excitement, slapping her knee. The heart-warming video has now been viewed thousands of times.

"I was really excited because I didn't know if I was going to get in," Mickey told ABC News.

"She loved school," Deputy said. "She loved learning, and she was so thrilled that she got in because there are more students than available spots."

This achievement is nothing surprising to those who know Mickey. She also wanted to become the first Miss America with Down syndrome and competed in a local division of the pageant last month. While she did not win the contest, she did receive a Spirit Award, which is like Miss Congeniality.

"Nothing has stopped her from trying what she wants to accomplish," Deputy said. "She doesn’t see anything that stands in her way."

Indiana governor Mike Pence awarded Mickey one of the state's most prestigious civilian honors, Sagamore of the Wabash, for her determination and inspiration to others in pursuing the Miss America crown.

"Its been very rare for her dad and I to tell her no you can't," Deputy said.

Mickey loves to dance and says she hopes to become a dance teacher to students with special needs. She starts her studies at Franklin College in the fall.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Federal health officials on Tuesday said they believe "thousands" of people may have contracted the Zika virus before returning to the U.S. as they remain concerned that the virus might start to have ongoing transmission in the U.S.

Speaking at a panel at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the Zika virus remains "pretty concerning" for experts as they learn how it affects pregnant women.

"The reality is one bite, and if you’re pregnant, your baby might be harmed," Schuchat said at the panel Tuesday. "That’s a phenomenal problem."

Common symptoms of the Zika virus include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis, according to the CDC. Approximately one in five people infected with the virus show symptoms. Severe complications from the virus that require hospitalization are rare, according to the CDC.

The virus has also been linked to the serious birth defect microcephaly. The birth defect is characterized by a malformed or smaller head and brain, and can result in serious developmental delays.

At Tuesday's panel government, health officials said they are concerned about local transmission of the virus if travelers spread the virus to mosquitoes in the U.S., which can then infect other people who have not traveled abroad where Zika transmission is ongoing.

Schuchat said approximately 500 people in the U.S. were found to have likely been infected with Zika. However, since 80 percent of people with a Zika infection do not show symptoms, she estimates that thousands may have arrived in the U.S. unaware they were infected with the Zika virus and potentially able to start an outbreak through the mosquito population.

She explained this number is especially concerning since local mosquito control has diminished in recent years.

"We’re not starting in a good place. We used to have a lot stronger mosquito control and mosquito surveillance," said Schuchat. "We really have a patchwork nation around mosquito capacity. The local governments are really concerned."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, said at the panel that the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the main type of mosquito that spreads Zika and other diseases, is notoriously difficult to kill. He added that he expects to see some local transmission of the virus in the same way there were limited outbreaks of the Dengue virus and Chickungunya virus.

"History has told us this is a really difficult mosquito to deal with," said Fauci, adding that a mosquito-based outbreak is far different from an outbreak that spreads from person to person. "It’s a whole new venue of transmission."

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iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- More Americans seem to be kicking the habit.

A new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the rate of Americans smoking has dropped to 15 percent, falling two percentage points from 2014 in a large national survey.

It's the largest drop-off in more than 20 years. Typically, the rate falls by about 1 percent a year.

The decrease seems to coincide with increased public awareness of the health risks of smoking. About 50 years ago, 42 percent of American adults smoked.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Parents should beware that predators may be using online gaming to target their children.

“I honestly didn’t think anything like that would ever happen to anybody in my family,” one mother, who requested we not use her real name, told ABC News.

This woman, whom Good Morning America is referring to as Susan, says a stranger approached her son while he was playing “Clash of Clans” online with a group of friends.

Her son, whom Good Morning America is referring to as Simon, was 8 years old at the time, and within a matter of minutes, gave his phone number, last name, and even sent the stranger a picture of himself.

Meanwhile, his mother was at the grocery store and was able to watch this conversation live because her smartphone is synced with the device her son was using at home.

“My son sends a picture, just a goofy little boy picture of his face, and the other person sends a picture of a teenage girl, but it’s a picture of a picture, not a selfie,” she explained of the interaction. “And now I’m starting to realize, OK, this is not good. I think, ‘I have to get him off this game.’ I’m calling my husband at home, just saying, ‘Get the iPad away from him. He’s on with a stranger.’”

And they’re not the only ones. It happened to 10-year-old Olivia, who was playing the popular game “Minecraft.” A person calling himself “Ben” told Olivia he was 12 years old and they texted for weeks.

“He sent me a photo, and it really kind of looked like he was 12,” Olivia explained.

Olivia’s mom, Jessica Stribley, was suspicious that something just wasn’t right, so she took her daughter’s phone one night.

“I said, ‘My mom’s asleep. Send me a picture,’” Stribley recalled. “He said, ‘Well, if I take a picture of every inch of my body, will you do the same?’ And I said, ‘Yes, but I’m running out of time.’ He sent three within 30 seconds.”

According to the FBI’s website, there are 750,000 predators online at any given time and they all could have a virtual key to your house via the Internet.

“A lot of the online games have multiplayer features where you are connected to people all over the world, whether that’s live chat over a microphone or live chat on a keyboard. You can be connected to almost anybody,” child advocate Callahan Walsh of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said.

“Simon,” who is now 10, says his alarming interaction has changed his gaming experience and how he uses the Internet.

“It just makes me more careful when I’m playing games that can have other people join,” he said. “I always make a code name, like, not a last name or anything that they could find out.”

His mother is grateful for the early warning.

“Whenever I get tired and think, ‘Oh, I can’t figure out another new game or another new way that you’re on,’ I just remind myself we were given a little blessing in a situation that keeps us vigilant,” she said.

The maker of “Clash of Clans,” Supercell, pointed ABC News to the parental guide on its site with tips for families to make sure kids play safely.

Microsoft, which owns “Minecraft,” said in a statement, “Helping keep kids safer online has always been a priority for us at Microsoft. We encourage parents to also play an active role in their children’s online activities.”

ABC News also learned from the Entertainment Software Association that all games come with instructional information from an independent board about how to manage or prevent online game chatting.

Ericka Souter, editor of Mom.me, outlined her top three rules that parents should use with their kids to police these dangers.

Keep personal information private. No last names, locations, school information, phone numbers or photos.

Online friends should be real friends. Only interact with the people that you know in real life. Anyone can lie about who they are online, making virtual conversations with strangers is dangerous.

Never visit random chat rooms. Refuse to engage strangers in online conversations.

Souter also outlined how parents themselves can help prevent such dangerous online interactions.

  • Turn off the location services.
  • No in-app purchases allowed. Do not give your children your passcode.
  • No posting content without consent. They are not allowed to post anything without your knowing it.

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DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital(PORTLAND, Ore.) — After an adorable Sheltie named Ollie became paralyzed, he was moments away from being put to sleep when a veterinary student found a tick lodged in his fur — leading to the diagnosis that ultimately saved him and a recovery his owner called "miraculous."

About a week after 10-year-old Ollie returned home to Portland, Oregon, from an outdoor trip, his owner Al — who asked that his last name not be used — noticed the usually active dog seemed increasingly lethargic and weak. Ollie's regular veterinarian conducted tests, including blood work and X-rays, but could not figure out what was wrong with the pup, according to the DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital.

Ollie eventually became almost completely paralyzed and was unable to eat.

On May 4, two weeks after the camping trip, Al and his family made the difficult decision to put Ollie to sleep, according to the hospital.

As Neena Golden, a visiting veterinary student, prepared Ollie for the procedure, she took a moment to comfort him — and while scratching behind his ears, she found a tick, the hospital said.

Dr. Adam Stone of the DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital diagnosed Ollie with tick paralysis — a rare condition he had never seen before, but learned about in school.

The hospital said Ollie was wearing a tick collar during the outdoor trip when the tick likely latched on.

Doctors removed the tick, and the staff shaved Ollie to make sure he didn't have any more ticks on him. Then, Dr. Stone sent Ollie home, telling Al that Ollie should show signs of improvement in a few days if indeed he was suffering from tick paralysis.

Ollie was moving again by that night.

Al said he credits the doctor and the student with saving Ollie's life.

"He was one minute away from euthanasia," Al told ABC News Tuesday. "The doctor walked in and remembered that he heard about this in school -- he told me it was just one little thing, one slide, and they mentioned it, and [that] it was rare, and that was it. He had never seen a case before in his career."

Al said Ollie has now made a miraculous comeback.

"He's bright-eyed, active, chasing the squirrels around," Al said. "He has a spring in his step that he hasn't had in quite awhile.

"Our neighbors, our friends and my daughter's youth group all told us after Ollie's miraculous recovery that they were all praying for him," Al said.

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WPVI-TV(WILMINGTON, Del.) — Nearly 17 years after being shot in the face, Dwayne Adams is finally free of the bullet that nearly killed him.

In 1998 he had been sitting on his mother's porch when a stray bullet hit him. The bullet went through his left eye, across his face, and lodged below his right eye, knocking out his sense of smell and stopping just short of his brain. The vision in his left eye was gone and the bullet became stuck in a delicate part of his face.

"If they removed [the bullet] it might hurt some nerves and cause me to lose some vision," Adams of Wilmington, Delaware, told ABC News Tuesday. The injury disrupted his life, but Adams said it unexpectedly spurred him to do the thing he always admired: rowing.

"Believe it or not, I never started rowing in my first race until nine months after my shooting," Adams said, explaining how he always admired the sport during the Olympics. "I rowed three miles and fell in love with it and I just tried to get better."

Adams realized that rowing was an ideal sport since he didn't need good eyesight to take part.

"Your body has to work together to get that boat moving, and with my vision, there’s not a lot of other sports I can really play," he told ABC News. "All in all, this is the perfect sport for me."

In the years since the shooting, Adams even qualified for the U.S. rowing team for the disabled and said the injury spurred him to start the non-profit Breaking Barriers, which aims to introduce Delaware teens to rowing.

"Ninety-five percent of high school and college rowers graduate, so that’s a high percentage. If we can implement those [lessons learned from rowing] a lot of the violence and some of these other ailments will probably be decreased," he said.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Every pet owner should know this list: azaleas, tulips, chocolates, onions and grapes. Any of these items can make your pet sick. But there’s another dangerous item that most pet owners don’t know about -- and in South Carolina, it’s the top call to Animal Poison Control.

It’s the Sago Palm -- an everyday plant that grows in homes across America. Even taking one small bite of the plant is enough to kill a pet, according to veterinarians.

“Many pet owners don’t know that these can actually be toxic to their dogs and cats,” Dr. Tina Wismer, medical director of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Animal Poison Control Center, told ABC News. “One or two seeds is enough to kill a dog, or even a child.”

A longtime fixture in backyards in the southern U.S., the plant's popularity has spread over the last decade.

“Now you can actually go to your local store or nursery and buy Sago Palms as little potted house plants,” Wismer said. “Many pet owners don't know that these can actually be toxic to their dogs and cats.”

Tiffany and Taylor Smith, of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, say they lost a piece of their heart when their 4-year-old bulldog, Walter, died just two days before Christmas Day in 2014.

“We never knew what happened to Walter,” Taylor Smith said. “The doctor gave us all kinds of different answers. None of them ever made sense.”

But it all made sense when history repeated itself with their new puppy, Wilbur, who suffered seizures just hours after they saw him chewing on a Sago Palm plant.

Taylor Smith said he immediately did a Google search for the plant.

“And the first thing I saw was, poison control and emergency vet,” Smith said.

The Smiths took their dog to the emergency room, where they were given frightening news.

“The veterinarian came in and he said 'he has a 50-50 chance,'" Tiffany Smith said. “He was already in stage-three liver failure.”

This time, their dog survived. But the Smiths said it was one of the most difficult things they’ve ever dealt with.

“It’s like losing a family member or a child,” Taylor Smith said.

Over the last 10 years, more than 1,400 dogs have been poisoned by Sago Palms, according to the ASPCA. Thirty-four of the dogs died.

“The fronds and the bark and the roots, all of it is toxic,” Wismer said.

People are getting sick, too. ABC's GMA Investigates has learned of at least 130 cases of Sago Palm poisoning in humans in the U.S. since 2009. In Florida, more than a quarter of the cases involved children under 5 years old.

But surprisingly, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says it does not have a regulation requiring warning labels on house plants.

In a statement to ABC News, the CPSC wrote: “Data provided to CPSC from hospitals across the country and from the National Clearinghouse for Poison Control Centers indicate that ingestion of household plants by children is infrequent.”

ABC News also found that no federal agency is responsible for warning pet owners about this plant either. That means it’s at each store’s discretion to let you know.

GMA Investigates wanted to find out how often Sago Palms were sold without warning labels, so we sent producers to 11 stores across the country on the hunt for those labels.

At one Walmart and one Home Depot, we found warnings on every plant.

But at the five Lowe's stores we visited, we found varied results from store to store. In one New Jersey store, there were no warning labels on any of the Sago Palms we found, but there were warning labels on each such plant we found at a California location of the chain. And at one location in Texas, we found only some Sago Palms for sale had warning labels.

ABC News producers also visited four independent gardening stores, none of which had warning labels on any Sago Palms. We asked a store clerk about it, and she told our producer that the Sago Palm would be harmful to animals if ingested. But when we asked whether the store cautions people if they’re buying the plant, the store clerk replied: “Only if they ask that question.”

That store did not respond to our repeated requests for comment.

According to a statement provided to ABC News, Lowe’s decided last year to start labeling all Sago Palms.

“It’s our intention that every Sago Palm available at Lowe’s be labeled with this information. It’s come to our attention that the tags may be removed or come off before they are purchased, so we are looking into ways the tags can be more consistently affixed,” the store wrote.

ASPCA officials say ultimately, buyers need to beware.

“We have to be able to protect ourselves and our pets by knowing what we're bringing into the house,” Wismer said.

Taylor Smith offered the following advice to Sago Palm owners.

“Remove the plants. Take them out of your yard, out of your house," he said. "They are not worth it."

If you think your pet ingested this plant, contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435. This call may incur a charge. People who may have ingested the plant should contact the American Association of Poison Control Centers 24/7 at 1-800-222-1222 for a free consultation.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Do you need to eat breakfast every single day?

For decades, the conventional wisdom has been that eating breakfast kick starts one's metabolism.

A new op-ed in The New York Times turns that idea on its head. The author, Aaron E. Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine, writes, “Our belief in the power of breakfast is based on misinterpreted research and biased studies.”

In the column titled, “Sorry, There’s Nothing Magical About Breakfast,” Carroll writes that breakfast has “no mystical powers” and should simply be eaten if a person is hungry after waking up.

ABC News Chief Women’s Health Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said Tuesday on Good Morning America that Carroll is correct that breakfast is not a one-size-fits-all meal.

“This concept that your body needs to eat as soon as you’re vertical because it’s in a fast, that is a complete myth,” said Ashton, who recently earned a master's degree in nutrition from Columbia University.

“From a medical and nutritional standpoint, we have to understand, the body doesn’t really enter a fasting mode until you’ve been without food for like 36 or more hours,” Ashton said. “Your liver is always supplying glucose into your bloodstream so this is an individual preference.”

Ashton said the studies that have linked breakfast to weight and good health were based on association and not causation -- two different measures in scientific study.

Ashton said her personal preference is to eat in the morning. She usually goes for eggs on Wasa toast, Greek yogurt with Chia seeds or a homemade smoothie.

She has similar advice for her patients.

“I say, ‘Look, if you’re going to make bad choices because you’re ravenous and you don’t eat breakfast, then you should eat breakfast, but it should be smart. It should be simple. It should be sustainable,’” Ashton said.

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TongRo Images/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

If you can't function without your morning coffee, you might be doing more than perking up your energy.

A new study reveals drinking coffee -- even decaf -- can greatly cut your risk of colorectal cancer.

According to researchers at the University of Southern California, a study of more than 5,000 people proved that drinking coffee boosted the chances of not being diagnosed with a deadly disease -- and the more coffee consumed, the lower the risk.

I've been convinced of the overall health benefits of coffee for years. But it's worth noting that this latest study was based on observation, not cause and effect, so we still need to figure out why and how coffee seems to be good for our health.

On another note: If you're pregnant, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends no more than 200mg of caffeine a day.

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