Writer: Bridget Huber

Bridget Huber is a FairWarning contributor.

Public Health

Collision Course: With Wary Eye on Big Trucks, Bike Riders Seek Safe Space on City Streets

Heavy trucks like 18-wheelers and box trucks, along with garbage and dump trucks, make up a fraction of the vehicles on the road, but they are involved in a disproportionate share of accidents that kill bicyclists and pedestrians, according to federal data.

Environment

Killing Coyotes, Bobcats and Foxes for Fun and Profit

Standing in a West Texas sporting goods store parking lot on a recent Sunday morning, Margaret Lloyd felt like she’d wandered onto the set of a gory movie. The lot was packed with trucks full of dead coyotes, foxes and the occasional bobcat; one pickup had a cage welded to its bed, and it was crammed with carcasses. “It was one wave of fur, tails on top of ears and ears on top of tails,” she said. “It was just horrifying.” This video, 'Fur Fever,' celebrates coyote killing by showing a dozen of the animals being mowed down in just over two minutes. Around back, participants in the West Texas Big Bobcat Contest were weighing their kill in a competition to see who had shot the biggest bobcat and the most coyotes, gray foxes and bobcats in a 23-hour period.

Consumer Protection

Warning Sounded on Heavy Metals in Chocolates

Just in time for Valentine's Day, news that may break a chocolate-lover's heart: A consumer group is taking legal action against an array of major chocolate manufacturers and retailers, saying they've failed to warn consumers about the potentially harmful levels of lead and cadmium in their products.

Labor

Labor Department’s ‘Hot Goods’ Case Charging Underpayment of Farmworkers Goes Up in Smoke

An attempted crackdown on wage and hour violations on two Oregon berry farms has ended in a retreat by the U.S. Labor Department, which dropped all charges against two growers it had accused of failing to pay the minimum wage to about 1,000 workers.

Categories: Labor  Tags: Workplace | 3 Comments
Public Health

Consumer Advocates Urge Banning ATVs From Roadways, Citing Crash Hazards

A leading consumer group is warning that the increasing use of all-terrain vehicles on the nation's roads poses a “growing public health crisis" and is calling for immediate action by U.S., state and local officials. Despite these warnings, ATV riders’ clubs across the country are pushing state and local laws that would open more roads to the vehicles.

Public Health

Despite High Death Toll, Push Is On To Open More Public Roads to ATVs

All-terrain vehicles' high center of gravity and low-pressure tires mean they’re likely to tip over or go out of control on pavement. What’s more, the vehicles aren’t held to federal safety standards for cars and trucks, such as the requirement for seat belts, even though they can reach highway speeds. Nevertheless, a push is under way in states, counties and towns across the country to open more roads to ATVs.

Environment

As Factory Farms Spread, Government Efforts to Curb Threat From Livestock Waste Bog Down

Large livestock farms, which can generate as much waste as people in a large city, have been growing in size and number for the last 30 years. In many areas, they pose a serious threat to water supplies.

Public Health

Stigma of ‘Smokers’ Disease’ Stifles Fight Against No. 1 Killer, Lung Cancer

This year lung cancer will kill about 160,000 Americans—more than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. Yet the government spends far less for research on lung cancer than for other common cancers, and corporate sponsors of cancer awareness campaigns have steered clear of the disease.

Consumer Protection

Compared to Other Youth, Young Blacks Awash in Alcohol Ads, Study Says

African American youth culture is steeped in alcohol. References to booze have long been rife in rap music, and Jay Z, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and Ludacris are among the hip-hop luminaries who have promoted alcohol. Now, a new study puts some fresh data behind concerns about alcohol marketing to young blacks.

Consumer Protection

Burned by Health Warnings, Defiant Tanning Industry Assails Doctors, ‘Sun Scare’ Conspiracy

The $4.9 billion tanning salon industry repeatedly has faced charges of misrepresenting health risks. So how is the industry responding? By going on the offensive with an audacious campaign to blunt skin cancer fears by discrediting physicians and health groups as members of a ‘Sun Scare’ conspiracy. Using tactics that seem cribbed from Big Tobacco’s playbook, the industry has challenged widely accepted scientific findings and funded advocacy groups to spread its message that sunbed use is a healthful source of vitamin D.