Amid Controversy Over Delayed Recalls, General Motors Names a Safety Chief

Veteran engineer chosen for GM’s newly created post overseeing recalls and other safety issues. The new safety chief, Jeff Boyer, 58, will serve in a role that “elevates and integrates our safety process under a single leader,” GM Chief Executive Mary Barra said today. The move comes a day after Barra vowed to revamp how GM handles reports of safety issues following its recall last month of 1.6 million vehicles for faulty ignition switches. The switches have been linked to 12 deaths and the delay in the recall — GM knew about the problem for more than a decade –is the subject of four U.S. investigations. GM on Monday also issued new recalls of 1.5 million vehicles, part of an effort to assure buyers that it’s moving faster to fix safety defects. The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal

Concerns arise among U.S. doctors about the quality of generic drugs from Indian manufacturers. The concerns have emerged following a flurry of recalls and import bans by the Food and Drug Administration. India provides about 40 percent of generic and over-the-counter drugs used in the U.S., making it the second-biggest supplier after Canada. In recent months, the FDA, citing quality control problems ranging from data manipulation to sanitation issues, has banned the import of products from Ranbaxy Laboratories, Wockhardt and, most recently, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries. “I’m just beginning to realize the gravity of the problem,” said Dr. Steven Nissen, head of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic. “It’s terrible and it is starting to get a lot of traction among physicians.” Reuters

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urged to abandon the planned overhaul of the U.S. poultry inspection system. Sixty-eight members of the House of Representatives, all but one Democrats, made their case in a letter to Vilsack. The lawmakers say plans to remove some U.S. inspectors from turkey and chicken slaughterhouses while allowing speeded up production would threaten the safety of employees and the food supply. President Obama’s 2015 budget contains millions of dollars of projected savings from the new rules being considered by the Agriculture Department. The rules, backed by industry groups, would shift U.S. resources from production lines and put more emphasis on sampling for pathogens in poultry bound for grocery stores. The Hill, The Washington Post

France halts a partial ban on traffic in Paris after a day, as air pollution levels recede from last week’s peak. The first partial driving ban in the French capital in 17 years, which halved the number of automobiles circulating in Paris and neighboring towns, and other temporary restrictions were lifted as of midnight Monday. The measures were imposed after fine particulates in Paris peaked at noon on Friday at 110 micrograms per cubic meter, exceeding the level in Beijing and creating a hazy dome over the city that obscured the Eiffel Tower. Along with banning autos with license plates ending in even numbers from the roads on Monday, officials made mass transit and the city’s bicycle and car-sharing programs free for more than three days. French officials said the temporary measures, along with weather conditions, helped clear the air. Bloomberg, The Guardian

Sri Lanka, spurred by a kidney disease that’s killing farm workers, bans the key ingredient in a Monsanto herbicide. The chemical, glyphosate, is the active ingredient in the world’s top-selling herbicide, Roundup. The action comes weeks after a new study in Sri Lanka presented a detailed theory that the use of glyphosate in areas with heavy metals in the drinking water is hazardous because the chemical carries the metals to the kidney. Monsanto said the new study is based on an untested theory rather than hard data. The action by Sri Lanka is the most dramatic measure taken by any nation to combat a chronic kidney disease that has killed tens of thousands of agricultural workers in Central America, Sri Lanka and India. The Center for Public Integrity

Compiled by Stuart Silverstein

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One comment to “Amid Controversy Over Delayed Recalls, General Motors Names a Safety Chief”

  1. Kulbhash

    Its strange that GM has to recall so many vehicles knowing the problems for so many years. There is some thing serious about the thought process within as such a big problem does not build up soon.

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