Consumer Protection

Scientists Urge Tighter Scrutiny of Germ-Fighting Chemicals

Scientists Urge Tighter Scrutiny of Germ-Fighting Chemicals

More than 200 scientists and public health advocates are urging regulators to take a closer look at the potential dangers of antimicrobial chemicals including triclosan, an additive that has been banned from hand soaps but remains an active ingredient in products ranging from building materials to Colgate’s Total toothpaste. The call for better labeling and…

Tax Break for High-Alcohol Wine Sours Health Advocates FairWarining Reports

Tax Break for High-Alcohol Wine Sours Health Advocates

Winemakers could soon receive a tax break that would spur production of higher-alcohol wines, a move that would pad their bottom lines but that has health advocates seeing red. The proposal, which has strong bipartisan support in Congress, would cut taxes by 50 cents per gallon on wines with high alcohol content. Wineries that now take…

Headlight Recall Turns High Beams on GM's Safety Vow FairWarining Reports

Headlight Recall Turns High Beams on GM’s Safety Vow

Three years ago, General Motors chief executive Mary Barra admitted that for years the automaker had concealed an ignition-switch defect, which has now been linked to at least 124 deaths. And she assured federal regulators that there would be a new pro-safety and pro-consumer attitude at the company. But federal safety regulators are now investigating…

Gridlock on Anti-Lock Brakes Baffles Motorcycle Safety Advocates FairWarining Investigates

Gridlock on Anti-Lock Brakes Baffles Motorcycle Safety Advocates

After a long downward trend, U.S. traffic deaths are on the rise again, and a key factor is the stubbornly high fatality toll among some of the most exposed people on the road: motorcyclists. Nevertheless, federal regulators have balked at requiring a safety measure that, many experts say, could save hundreds of bikers’ lives every year.

Johnson & Johnson Wins Its First Talc-Ovarian Cancer Case FairWarining Reports

Johnson & Johnson Wins Its First Talc-Ovarian Cancer Case

Editor's note: See update at bottom of story.

Breaking a string of lopsided courtroom defeats, Johnson & Johnson scored a legal victory Friday when a St. Louis jury rejected the claim of an ovarian cancer victim that her use of talc powders for feminine hygiene caused the disease. The defense verdict in St. Louis Circuit Court followed three plaintiffs’ victories last year with…

Battling Menthol Restrictions, R.J. Reynolds Reaches Out to Sharpton, Other Black Leaders FairWarining Investigates

Battling Menthol Restrictions, R.J. Reynolds Reaches Out to Sharpton, Other Black Leaders

Tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds, the top seller of the menthol cigarettes favored by most black smokers, is seizing on the hot button issue of police harassment of blacks to counter efforts by public health advocates to restrict menthol sales. In recent months, the company has quietly enlisted black groups and leaders, including civil rights activist…

Ketchup or PFAS With Those Fries? FairWarining Reports

Ketchup or PFAS With Those Fries?

Researchers Raise Concerns About Chemicals in Fast-Food Packaging

As if cheeseburgers, fries and microwave popcorn weren’t enough of a dietary worry, now comes word that fast-food packaging is also a cause for concern. In a paper published today, federal government and university researchers report finding chemicals from a suspect family of compounds in the wrappers and containers of one out of every three…

Brain Boosters a Gold Mine for Supplements Industry But Benefits Are Hotly Disputed FairWarining Investigates

Brain Boosters a Gold Mine for Supplements Industry But Benefits Are Hotly Disputed

A few years ago, motivated by a family history of dementia, Bea Pena-Reames began using a dietary supplement that promised improved memory and brain health. It was advertised as safe and effective – but that was not her experience. “I’m typically a joyful person, but I couldn’t shake this depression and intense sense of sadness,”…

Once Meek Agency Flexes its Muscles, But Likely to Face Pushback Under Trump FairWarining Reports

Once Meek Agency Flexes its Muscles, But Likely to Face Pushback Under Trump

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is trying to change its image, one civil penalty at a time. For decades, the federal agency largely was seen as a doormat with few resources and a toothless enforcement record. But over the past few years, under its chairman, Elliot Kaye, the CPSC has dramatically increased the penalties imposed…

They're Everywhere! FairWarining Investigates

They’re Everywhere!

Big Companies in Legal Scrapes Turn to Science-for-Hire Giant Exponent

The Fall of Icarus is the Greek myth about a youth who gets a pair of wax-and-feather wings but soars too close to the sun–melting the wings and casting him into the sea. In the 1990s, a consulting firm called Failure Analysis Associates ran tongue-in-cheek ads aimed at corporate lawyers that retold the myth as…