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Consumer Protection

Patients Pay Thousands for a Back Pain Treatment Promoted by Exaggerated Claims

For three decades, the spinal decompression industry has promised relief to back pain patients. But stupendous claims of success are not backed up by scientifically rigorous research.

Warning Wire

CDC Experiences a Crisis of Credibility As Global Covid-19 Deaths Top 1 Million

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—once “the world’s most admired public health agency”—has suffered a loss of institutional credibility during the Covid-19 pandemic, at the time it was most needed. The CDC responded to the pandemic with technical mistakes and botched messaging, while also facing false accusations and interference from the Trump administration.

Warning Wire

As U.S. Reaches 7 Million Cases, Covid-19 “Long Haulers” Suffer Debilitating Symptoms

Even after appearing to have recovered from Covid-19, many ''long haulers'' continue to suffer headaches, muscle weakness, fatigue and cognitive difficulties, such as an inability to concentrate, for weeks or even months.

Warning Wire

As Deaths Hit 200,000, CDC Provides Information on Airborne Covid Transmission, Then Deletes It

The federal agency changed information on its website saying the virus can be transmitted more than six feet and ventilation is key, then removed it, saying it had been posted in error. Experts say the information would have been of value to the public.

Warning Wire

As U.S. Death Toll Nears 200,000, U.N. Secretary General Calls Coronavirus Pandemic the World’s Number One Security Threat

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres called the Covid-19 pandemic the “number one threat to global security in our world today.” After marked declines, new coronavirus cases have come roaring back in Europe, while the U.S. death toll nears 200,000.

Environment

EPA Takes a Back Seat as Citizens Confront the Plastics Industry Over an Insidious Pollutant

The plastics industry has presented itself as a constructive force in battling plastic pollution, while blaming the problem on messy consumers and weak disposal and recycling programs. Whatever the weight of that argument, it falls apart when it comes to tiny plastic pellets, which have escaped into waterways by the countless billions as a result of failures by industry, not consumers.

Consumer Protection

States Are Trying to Cap the Price of Insulin. Big Drug Companies Are Pushing Back

Spurred by stories that diabetics are spending thousands of dollars a year on insulin, or even dying trying to ration it, lawmakers in at least 36 states are trying to tackle the issue. But the lawmakers are finding that the drug industry is working full-time to weaken or kill insulin price caps.

Labor

Some Workers Sickened by Covid-19 Face an Extra Burden: Proving Where They Got It

Across the United States, workers face wildly varying rules about whether Covid-19 is covered as a workplace injury. More than a dozen states have changed their laws or rules since the pandemic—often forcing workers to prove they contracted the virus on the job.

Consumer Protection

Serious Concerns Raised Over FDA’s Capacity to Inspect Overseas Drug Makers

With the U.S. increasingly dependent on foreign manufacturers for prescription and generic drugs, the Food and Drug Administration's problem-plagued efforts to inspect overseas plants are under growing scrutiny.

Environment

Dirty Air and the Human Brain: Does Pollution Poison the Mind?

In recent years, new areas of study have opened up into how air pollution might affect our minds and the way we think and feel. Epidemiologists and neuroscientists have found evidence linking long-term exposure to air pollution with increased incidence of dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease and other brain maladies.

Environment

Frustrated Advocates Increasingly Turn to the Courts to Fight Climate Change

A rising tide of climate-related lawsuits across the U.S. could represent an important new front in the fight to limit harm from a warming planet, and force energy companies to foot the bill for measures to address it. But against the staunch opposition of energy producers and federal agencies also targeted in some of the suits, it's uncertain how much impact the litigation will have.

Warning Wire

Is the National Rifle Association a Foreign Asset?

An 18-month probe by Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee produced a report, provocatively titled: "The NRA and Russia: How a Tax-Exempt Organization Became a Foreign Asset." It accuses NRA officers, board members and donors of helping to facilitate Russia's illegal influence campaign during the 2016 presidential race.

Environment

Even at Legal Levels, Contaminants Found in Tap Water Are a Cancer Risk

A recent study found that contaminants in tap water could cause 100,000 cases of cancer over the course of 70 years.