Home/Myron Levin

About Myron Levin

Myron Levin is an award-winning journalist, formally with the Los Angeles Times and now the chief editor of FairWarning Inc.
Environment

Which U.S. Cities Get Failing Grades on Parks

Being ranked among the most park-poor cities in America is a fitness test no city wants to flunk. But in 2020 amid the pandemic, the national “ParkScore” ratings issued by The Trust for Public Land took on greater meaning as overcrowding at home and lack of school recess put families in a bind.

Consumer Protection

In Battle Against “the Highway Disease,” Traffic Safety Agency Attacked as Asleep at the Wheel

NHTSA was established 50 years ago to reduce the toll of injuries and deaths on the nation's roads. But even as progress stalled, the agency cut back on key activities as part of the Trump administration's deregulatory crusade.

Labor

Under Attack for its Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic, OSHA is Playing Catch-up

Early In the pandemic, OSHA drew scathing criticism for a hands-off approach to a crisis that has claimed the lives of hundreds of essential workers. More recently, the agency began ramping up enforcement. Despite the burst of activity, a FairWarning review shows that inspectors are mostly responding to deaths or hospitalizations, as required by law, rather than flagging unsafe conditions before more workers get infected. 

Consumer Protection

In the Cannabis Patch, a Patchwork of Safety Standards–and in Some Cases None At All

Although 35 states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for recreational or medical use, there still are no uniform standards for regulating potentially harmful contaminants. And with five more states voting this November on whether to allow cannabis for the first time, the problem will only grow. 

Consumer Protection

String of Fatal Poisonings from Ingestion of Toxic Hand Sanitizer Highlights Limits of FDA Powers

Faced with a shortage of the usual active ingredient in hand sanitizer during the pandemic, some companies turned to a toxic alternative -- with sometimes fatal results.

Consumer Protection

Safety Advocates Assail Lack of Federal Action on Weak Vehicle Seats

Andrew Warner was driving his family home from a Christmas party near Houston when they were rear-ended. Warner’s seat buckled, slamming backward and killing his infant daughter, Taylor. Seatback failures caused by rear collisions have been injuring and killing people for decades.  Experts say the safety standard for seat strength is so weak that a lawn chair could pass.

Public Health

Growing Calls for FDA to Speed Approval of Quick, At-Home Coronavirus Tests

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is under fire for setting what critics say are near-impossible standards for quick, at-home Covid-19 tests that could provide a breakthrough in stemming the spread of the virus.

Recent Stories

Grim Prediction of Nearly 300,000 U.S. Coronavirus Deaths by December 1

Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. are predicted to reach almost 300,000 by December 1--135,000 above the current toll of more than 160,000 confirmed fatalities--according to an influential University of Washington model. With Democrats and Republicans in Congress in a stalemate over terms of another coronavirus relief package, President Trump says he might take unilateral action.

Consumer Protection

DOT Wants to Weaken Its Own Power to Penalize Airlines Over Consumer Complaints

With enforcement against airlines for consumer violations already falling sharply, the Department of Transportation is pushing for a rule change that consumer groups and some lawmakers say would serve no other purpose than further protecting airlines from civil fines.

Consumer Protection

Consumer Group Urges FDA to Crack Down on Unapproved ‘Abortion Reversal’ Procedure

A consumer watchdog group is asking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to shut down a group of websites advertising a so-called abortion pill reversal, a potentially dangerous treatment that is not FDA-approved.

Consumer Protection

Some Coronavirus Stimulus Funds Appear to be Junk Mail, and Are Getting Tossed

Orvie Nix, a retiree in Amarillo, Texas, had expected his family would get its stimulus funds with a letter signed by President Trump, or by direct deposit in his bank account. Instead, Nix got an envelope in the mail from “Money Network Cardholder Services”, containing a prepaid debit card. The plain envelope seemed typical of the unwanted financial offers that flood the mail. Like an unknown number of others, Nix assumed his payment was junk mail, and put it in the shredder.

Consumer Protection

Courtroom Battle Could Lead to Limits on Fluoridation of Drinking Water

A federal court trial underway in San Francisco could spell the beginning of the end of water fluoridation in America, potentially affecting drinking water supplies for hundreds of millions of people across the U.S.

Consumer Protection

Engulfed in Lawsuits, Johnson & Johnson to Halt North American Sales of Talc-Based Johnson’s Baby Powder

Johnson & Johnson announced that it will halt North American sales of its talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder, a product that for decades evoked images of cherubic infants and adoring moms, but in recent years has dragged the company into a quagmire of expensive litigation.

Consumer Protection

Precious Keepsake or Needless Risk? Ultrasound Businesses Peddle Fetal Photos to Anxious Parents

The FDA has repeatedly urged expectant mothers to avoid medically unnecessary ultrasounds, like those performed for entertainment's sake at keepsake ultrasound clinics. The situation reflects a misconception, even among some medical professionals, that repeated, long-term exposure is proven to be harmless to the developing fetus.

Consumer Protection

On the Prowl for Bogus Claims About Coronavirus Treatments, the FDA Targets Miracle Mineral Solution

In its attempted crackdown on bogus coronavirus remedies, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has encountered an old nemesis: a “miracle” solution made of chlorine dioxide that experts say is akin to drinking bleach.