One-Foot High Step Stool Causes Fractured Wrists, Pelvis and Hip and Is Recalled

Target Corporation of Minneapolis, Minnesota recalled 206,000 wooden step stools with storage the wooden step stools can break apart or collapse under the weight of the user, posing a fall hazard. This recall announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) follows 26 reports of the stools breaking or collapsing. Fourteen incidents involved children, seven involved adults, and five incidents where the users age was unknown. Two adults fractured their wrists, and of those victims, one also fractured her hip and pelvis. Additionally, six children and one adult suffered scrapes and bruising. The wooden step stool has two … Read the rest

Cheers for a New U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Rule That Exposes Renegade Manufacturers to Greater Civil Penalties

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted last week to approve (4-1) a final rule interpreting factors to be considered when seeking a civil penalty amount for knowing violations of CPSC laws.

The new factors required to be considered are: (1) the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation, including the nature of the product defect or the substance; (2) the appropriateness of the penalty in relation to the size of the business or of the person charged, including how to mitigate undue adverse economic impacts on small businesses; and (3) other factors as appropriate.

These factors are … Read the rest

Should Television Ads for Chantix Be Required to State That Its Side Effects are the Subject of an FDA Black Box?

Yesterday morning an advertisement for smoking cessation drug Chantix came on my television. The ad featured a man extolling how much better his life is now that Chantix (and support, slips in the ad) has helped him kick his smoking habit. Then an announcer came on and read, for what seemed like an extraordinary time for the disclaimers usually heard on drug commercials, a litany of side-effects and warnings. These warnings included suicidal thoughts, personality changes, and skin rashes. The announcer did not state, however, that many of the side-effects announced are the subject of a FDA-mandated black box … Read the rest

Gas Buyers, Ever Wonder Who Checks the Pumps For Accuracy? (Who Checks the High Price, You Ask? Fuggedaboudit!)

Under New York City’s Weights and Measures law, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) tests all gas pumps for accuracy. In the past year, DCA has performed more than 1,800 gas station inspections, checking more than 12,000 individual gas pumps throughout the five boroughs. The Department condemned 227 gas pumps for inaccurately dispensing fuel over the past year.

On average, DCA’s gas squad inspects each gas station in the City approximately twice a year. In a press release dated July 1, 2009, the DCA announced a 98 percent compliance rate for the City’s gas pumps, which the Department considers to … Read the rest

Fallout from Salmonella in Tainted Peanuts Continues Unabated as President Obama Announces Creation of Food Safety Working Group

Recall after recall has resulted from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expansion of the Peanut Corporation of America’s (PCA) Salmonella related recall to include all peanut ingredient products produced in PCA’s Plainview, Texas facility since January 1, 2007. Just last week, the FDA announced recalls of 18 peanut-containing products because the products have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. The government fails to inspect 95 percent of food processing plants. Referring to … Read the rest

Protect Your Children from Exposure to Lead Resulting From Home Renovation, Repair, and Painting Activities

Home renovation, repair, and painting activities cause elevated blood lead levels in children no doubt about it. A 1997 analysis conducted by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) indicated that home renovation, repair, and painting (RRP) activities were important sources of lead exposure among children with blood lead levels (BLLs) >20 g/dL in New York state. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report dated January 30, 2009 identified RRP activities as being the probable source of lead exposure in 139 (14%) of the 972 children in New York with BLLs of over 20 … Read the rest

Court Rebuffs Attempt to Dilute New Childrens Products Safety Law

Last year was a record-setter when it came to recalls and warnings about dangerous children’s toys, especially lead paint laden toys imported from China. In response to the much-publicized controversy, Congress strengthened the Consumer Product Safety Act of 1972 (CPSA) to prohibit the sale and distribution of children’s toy or child care articles containing excessive levels of toxic substances beginning on February 10th, 2009.

Almost incredibly, the agency charged with enforcing the CPSA, the General Counsel of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (the Commission), actually tried to weaken the enforcement of the law by issuing an … Read the rest

Ovarian Cancer Test OvaSure Being Marketed Without Necessary FDA Approval

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned clinical test giant Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings that it was marketing OvaSure, an ovarian cancer test, in violation of the law in that it did not have marketing clearance or approval from the FDA.

OvaSure measures six proteins in blood samples and calculates the chances that the woman has ovarian cancer. LabCorp made the $220 test available in June, under a provision that exempts tests developed and offered by a single lab from the usual FDA review. Thus OvaSure did not go through an FDA review.

But in a letter dated September … Read the rest

“Google Transit” To Help Customers Navigate New York City Transit System, But At What Cost to the Privacy of Its Customers?

This is cool! Google Transit, a feature of the Google Maps online mapping service, provides point-to-point public transit trip planning. Google Transit will now allow travelers to access streamlined, regional trip-planning based on up-to-date schedule data across the subway, bus and rail systems, including walking directions for the beginning or end of the trip.

The new service will include transit services throughout the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) service territory including: New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, MTA Bus, Long Island Bus and Staten Island Railway, as well as other regional connecting services participating in the initiative, … Read the rest

Governor Paterson Busy Protecting Citizens from Harmful Doctors, Drugs, Toys and Sexual Predators – Part 2

Part 2 of this topic discusses new legislation regarding dangerous drugsdefective toys and sexual predators using the internet to prowl and prey. The information herein is set forth in press releases issued by the governor’s office. Proposed legislation designed to protect patients from medical malpractice was discussed in Part 1 of this blog. Governor David A. Paterson has proposed legislation to limit the influence of pharmaceutical manufacturers over prescription decisions by banning gifts and payments from drug companies to physicians and other prescribers in excess of $50 per year; these actions are to be monitored by pharmacy benefit … Read the rest