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Consumer Confidential: Fat kids, Facebook feds, flea-ridden pets

March 16, 2010 | 10:19 am

Here's your tipping-point Tuesday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

-- PepsiCo wants fewer fat kids. At least the company is making an effort to keep its sugary beverages out of kids' hands. PepsiCo says it will remove full-calorie, sweetened drinks from schools in more than 200 countries by 2012. This is significant because it will affect kids up to age 18. Rival Coca-Cola said this month that it won't sell its drinks in primary schools but might still pump sugar water in secondary schools. High-fructose drinks are a key reason for the obesity epidemic. Anything we can do to limit kids' exposure to this stuff it a step in the right direction.

-- Heads up: Your new Facebook friend could be the FBI. Law-enforcement agents are increasingly going undercover on social networking sites to root out and interact with suspects. A Justice Department memo obtained in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit says agents have been staking out cyber-venues such as  Facebook and MySpace. Of course, if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about. But still. You might want to take a closer look at your Twitter followers.

-- Another heads up: Our friends at the Environmental Protection Agency will release findings on Wednesday from a yearlong study of the effects of tick and flea products on pets. Some dog and cat owners say they've seen nasty side-effects related to the topical treatments. The info comes at the right time -- flea season is here. In fact, I was about to dose our cat this week. Now I think I'll wait a bit.

-- David Lazarus

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