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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.

Consumer Protection

Safety Agency Tied in Knots in Bid to Prevent Harm to Children from Powerful Magnets 

In May, a nine-year old girl was taken to the emergency room after swallowing three powerful magnets that punched holes through her intestines. Such tiny rare earth magnets were to have been banned several years ago to prevent just this kind of life-threatening injury. But the Consumer Product Safety Commission was blocked by litigation that was decided in the agency’s favor just weeks ago.   

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

Privacy Fears Rising as DNA Test Companies Shift to New Ventures

As genetic testing companies increasingly engage in medical and pharmaceutical ventures, a regulatory gap in consumer privacy protections is drawing calls for change and even legislative proposals.

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.

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.

Consumer Protection

Controversial E-Cigarette Company Puff Bar Says It’s Suspending U.S. Sales

A shadowy e-cigarette company that has reaped millions of dollars by exploiting a loophole to sell kid-friendly flavored nicotine products says it is suspending sales in the U.S following revelations about its owners.  

Consumer Protection

Lifting the Veil on a Controversial E-Cigarette Company—Sort of

In recent months, mystery has surrounded the ownership of a controversial e-cigarette company that has reaped millions of dollars in sales of flavored, kid-friendly nicotine products by exploiting a loophole in federal regulations. 

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.