Product Hazards and Recalls

Very Safe, Except for One Thing... FairWarining Reports

Very Safe, Except for One Thing…

Legal Clash with FTC on Marketing of Used Cars

Can a used car be marketed as “safe” or “certified” even if it has defective air bags, a faulty ignition switch or other potentially lethal problems? Yes, so long as the used car dealer discloses that the vehicle may be subject to a pending safety recall. That stance, taken by the Federal Trade Commission, is…

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

Johnson & Johnson Wins Its First Talc-Ovarian Cancer Case

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 Reports

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…

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…

Advocacy Groups Tout Product Hazards Database to Give Consumers a Fair Warning FairWarining Reports

Advocacy Groups Tout Product Hazards Database to Give Consumers a Fair Warning

In the years since the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission launched SaferProducts.gov in March 2011, more than 29,000 reports of potentially dangerous products have been filed with the searchable database. Now, five leading consumer groups, have analyzed the data collected on the site, finding that it provides a valuable, but underutilized, resource for anyone buying…

The Loss of a Consumer Champion

The Loss of a Consumer Champion

In Memoriam: Clarence Ditlow The long-time head of the Center for Auto Safety died last week at the age of 72. His passing triggered an outpouring of tributes from colleagues, friends and others, including these: Ben Kelley, board member of the Center for Auto Safety: There are very few activists who deserve the appellation “sui…

Johnson & Johnson Hammered Again in Talc-Ovarian Cancer Verdict of $70 Million FairWarining Reports

Johnson & Johnson Hammered Again in Talc-Ovarian Cancer Verdict of $70 Million

Health care products giant Johnson & Johnson suffered another big legal defeat late Thursday, when a St. Louis jury ordered the company and its talc supplier to pay about $70 million in damages to a woman who blamed her ovarian cancer on the use of talc powders for feminine hygiene. The award marked the third…

Elliot Kaye FairWarining Reports

Furniture Tip-Over Deaths and Injuries Spur Threat of Federal Action

The chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission threatened Wednesday to hit furniture makers with mandatory federal rules if the industry doesn’t strengthen its voluntary standards to prevent its products from tipping over and killing children. “The current standard just does not get the job done and it needs to be revised now,” said…