In Focus

Advocacy Groups Tout Product Hazards Database to Give Consumers a Fair Warning FairWarining Reports

Advocacy Groups Tout Product Hazards Database to Give Consumers a Fair Warning

In the years since the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission launched SaferProducts.gov in March 2011, more than 29,000 reports of potentially dangerous products have been filed with the searchable database. Now, five leading consumer groups, have analyzed the data collected on the site, finding that it provides a valuable, but underutilized, resource for anyone buying…

The Loss of a Consumer Champion

The Loss of a Consumer Champion

In Memoriam: Clarence Ditlow Clarence Ditlow, the long-time head of the Center for Auto Safety, died last week at the age of 72. His passing triggered an outpouring of tributes from colleagues, friends and others, including these: Ben Kelley, board member of the Center for Auto Safety: There are very few activists who deserve the…

Johnson & Johnson Hammered Again in Talc-Ovarian Cancer Verdict of $70 Million

Johnson & Johnson Hammered Again in Talc-Ovarian Cancer Verdict of $70 Million

Health care products giant Johnson & Johnson suffered another big legal defeat late Thursday, when a St. Louis jury ordered the company and its talc supplier to pay about $70 million in damages to a woman who blamed her ovarian cancer on the use of talc powders for feminine hygiene. The award marked the third…

Swarms of Drug Industry Lobbyists and Campaign Cash Stymie Bid to Restrain Medicare Prescription Costs FairWarining Investigates

Swarms of Drug Industry Lobbyists and Campaign Cash Stymie Bid to Restrain Medicare Prescription Costs

See the editor’s note at the bottom of this story. When the Republican-controlled Congress approved a landmark program in 2003 to help seniors buy prescription drugs, it slapped on an unusual restriction: The federal government was barred from negotiating cheaper prices for those medicines. Instead, the job of holding down costs was outsourced to the…

Death Toll Climbs for Walkers and Cyclists as Traffic Safety Measures Take a Back Seat FairWarining Reports

Death Toll Climbs for Walkers and Cyclists as Traffic Safety Measures Take a Back Seat

More Americans are bicycling or walking to work these days, getting healthy exercise and doing their bit to reduce traffic and air pollution. But with little government investment in safety measures, such as protected bike lanes and sidewalks, more cyclists and pedestrians also are getting killed. Fatalities jumped nationally last year among bicyclists, rising 12.2…

Elliot Kaye FairWarining Reports

Furniture Tip-Over Deaths and Injuries Spur Threat of Federal Action

The chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission threatened Wednesday to hit furniture makers with mandatory federal rules if the industry doesn’t strengthen its voluntary standards to prevent its products from tipping over and killing children. “The current standard just does not get the job done and it needs to be revised now,” said…

Speed Limiters for Big Rigs FairWarining Reports

Speed Limiters for Big Rigs

After Moving at a Crawl, U.S. Revs Up Interest in Slowing Heavy Trucks and Buses

For more than a decade, most large commercial trucks have been equipped with electronic technology that can limit the speed at which they hurtle down the nation’s highways. But federal officials have not required the devices to be switched on, despite requests by safety advocates as well as by the industry’s top trade group, the…

Miles to Go on Highway Safety

Miles to Go on Highway Safety

The 50th anniversary of federal auto safety regulation approaches, but there’s not much to celebrate. Signing the regulatory laws on Sept. 9, 1966, President Johnson predicted they would “cure the highway disease.”  They haven’t. The “disease” was a deadly pandemic, and still is. The year the laws were passed, some 50,000 people were killed in…

Maker of Drain-Cleaning Fluid Getting Steady Drip of Complaints About Acid Burns FairWarining Reports

Maker of Drain-Cleaning Fluid Getting Steady Drip of Complaints About Acid Burns

On the afternoon of June 30, Michael Taillard and his wife and four kids emerged from the Shop-N-Save in Benzonia, Mich., with a shopping cart full of groceries. On the lower rack sat a 128-ounce bottle of Rooto Professional Drain Opener, a powerful cleaner made almost entirely of sulfuric acid and sold in a protective,…

Even Furniture That Meets Industry Standards Can Tip Over and Kill Kids, Report Says FairWarining Reports

Even Furniture That Meets Industry Standards Can Tip Over and Kill Kids, Report Says

Furniture manufacturers don’t always follow voluntary industry standards designed to prevent tip-overs that can injure and kill children. That was underscored by IKEA’s recent recall of 29 million chests and dressers after the company admitted that many of its products didn’t meet voluntary industry standards and that six children have been killed since 1989 in…