Lilly Fowler

Lilly Fowler is assistant editor at FairWarning.

Obama Election-Year Pullbacks on Safety, Environment Dismay Advocates FairWarining Reports

Obama Election-Year Pullbacks on Safety, Environment Dismay Advocates

Safety and environmental advocates say the Obama administration is sacrificing public health protections to blunt conservative attacks on government regulation. While it is common for presidential candidates to move to the middle before a tough election, the shift has dismayed Obama supporters who had counted on him to push a raft of progressive reforms.

Criminal Probe Spotlights Tree Poisoning to Make Way for Billboards FairWarining Investigates

Criminal Probe Spotlights Tree Poisoning to Make Way for Billboards

As long as there have been billboards, trees have been getting in the way. And billboard companies have been removing them–sometimes legally, sometimes not. Now a rash of alleged tree poisonings in Florida have implicated a top billboard company and sparked a criminal investigation. But it turns out that rogue behavior by billboard operators is nothing new.

State Investigators, Workers Cite Labor Abuses in Warehouse Empire FairWarining Investigates

State Investigators, Workers Cite Labor Abuses in Warehouse Empire

In the arid flatlands of the Inland Empire east of Los Angeles, a vast warehouse industry serves as a staging point for Apple computers, Gerber baby clothes, Polo apparel and other brand-name imports shipped from Asia to Southern California, to be distributed around the U.S. Warehouse workers in the Inland Empire — as well as in the next two biggest distribution hubs, the Chicago area and central New Jersey — are cogs in a system that stock the shelves of stores such as Walmart, Target and Foot Locker. But the industry, critics say, has an underside.

Bad Shock: Automated Devices for Jolting Hearts May Save Fewer Lives in Hospitals FairWarining Investigates

Bad Shock: Automated Devices for Jolting Hearts May Save Fewer Lives in Hospitals

Just over a decade ago, hospitals began spending millions of dollars to buy automated defibrillators to save the lives of more patients who go into sudden cardiac arrest. The purchases were spurred by a recommendation from an American Heart Association committee. But today the costly equipment switchover increasingly seems to have been a mistake. By one estimate, the shortcomings of the automated equipment mean that close to 1,000 more hospital cardiac arrest patients die every year in the U.S.

Stop Smoking Drug Chantix Linked to Heart Problems, FDA Warns

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has added heart problems to the growing list of concerns about the smoking cessation pill Chantix. The Pfizer drug may increase the risk of heart attacks among those who already have cardiovascular disease, according to a statement released by the agency. FDA officials said they will change the label…

Watchdog Group Says Pfizer Played Down Suicides Tied to Chantix

Pfizer failed to adequately alert federal authorities for several years about more than half of the suicides suspected of being related to its anti-smoking drug Chantix, according to a report by a nonprofit watchdog group. The analysis by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices found that Pfizer did not submit 589 cases of serious psychiatric…

Parents Want Genetic Tests for Their Children, Study Finds

Despite questions about the merits of genetic test kits sold to consumers, many parents apparently are interested in such evaluations for their children. A  study published in the journal Pediatrics found that parents were “moderately” interested in genetic tests to find out whether their children might be at high risk later in life for diseases…

Assuming You Want to Know, Genetic Tests Are No Crystal Ball

Assuming You Want to Know, Genetic Tests Are No Crystal Ball

Genetic test kits, which promise a crystal ball into a person’s medical future, have drawn withering criticism since 2006, when the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that the test firms make medically unproven predictions and provide results so ambiguous that they are meaningless. The controversy led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to hold two days of hearings on the kits last month. All the same, the home test kits have tantalized many consumers. The FDA estimates that 150,000 to 200,000 have been sold in this country. Given my family’s sad medical history, I felt some of the allure.

Deadly Tour Bus Crashes Spur Calls for Safety Measures

Following two tour bus crashes that took 17 lives in recent days in the New York City area, lawmakers are pushing for tougher safety measures aimed at cheap-fare companies. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who chairs a subcommittee on surface transportation, said he will call hearings to speed the adoption of safety rules proposed by the…

Japanese Puffers Plead for Controversial Antismoking Drug, Amid Short Supplies

Thanks largely to the introduction of a hefty cigarette tax in Japan this fall, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company is scrambling to meet surging demand for a controversial drug for quitting smoking. Japanese smokers are begging for Pfizer’s Chantix or, as it is known there, Champix — a pill that works by altering the way…