Writer: Myron Levin

Myron Levin is editor of FairWarning.

Environment

EPA Takes a Back Seat as Citizens Confront the Plastics Industry Over an Insidious Pollutant

The plastics industry has presented itself as a constructive force in battling plastic pollution, while blaming the problem on messy consumers and weak disposal and recycling programs. Whatever the weight of that argument, it falls apart when it comes to tiny plastic pellets, which have escaped into waterways by the countless billions as a result of failures by industry, not consumers.

Consumer Protection

Engulfed in Lawsuits, Johnson & Johnson to Halt North American Sales of Talc-Based Johnson’s Baby Powder

Johnson & Johnson announced that it will halt North American sales of its talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder, a product that for decades evoked images of cherubic infants and adoring moms, but in recent years has dragged the company into a quagmire of expensive litigation.

Consumer Protection

What’s in a Name? Ghostly Spirits, Spinning Science to Sell Drugs, Stalk the Medical Literature

Court proceedings, investigations and whistleblower accounts have revealed a long history of drug companies manipulating the literature to promote their drugs or disparage rival products--with the aim of getting doctors to prescribe more of their meds.

Consumer Protection

Safety Agency Probes Data Breach Amid Complaints About Muzzling of Hazard Information

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has directed people to destroy information it says it inadvertently gave them, but some have refused.

Consumer Protection

Lawmakers Question Industry Influence at Consumer Product Safety Commission

Members of Congress are demanding information about the CPSC chair's ties with industry, citing FairWarning's report on Bracewell lobbyists.

Consumer Protection

ATV Deaths Top 15,000 Threshold in Latest Government Report

Federal officials concede that the death toll is an undercount. Fatalities involving some trail machines are not included.

Consumer Protection

Industries Turn to Bracewell Lobbyists to Scuttle Product Safety Rules

Business groups call on well-connected lobbying firm to help thwart unwanted federal standards. They have not been disappointed.

Consumer Protection

Apple Has Swatted Away Distracted Driving Lawsuits Without Much Trouble So Far

Apple grasps the danger of drivers fiddling with their iPhones. But the company hasn't implemented technology to prevent this distraction, and courts have ruled it has no legal duty to do so.

Public Health

Mistrial Declared in High-Stakes Johnson & Johnson Talc-Cancer Case

A mistrial was declared today after a California state court jury deadlocked on whether Johnson & Johnson was responsible for the asbestos-related cancer of a woman who blamed her illness on longtime use of contaminated baby powder.

Consumer Protection

Safety Would Take a Back Seat if Senate Passes Bill on Driverless Cars, Critics Say

Consumer advocates are attacking a bill heading for a vote soon in the U.S. Senate that would clear legal obstacles for the deployment of driverless cars.

Transportation Safety

Study Finds Apple’s CarPlay, Google’s Android Less Distracting, But Still Not Safe

Automakers have packed many of their new models with distracting infotainment features that allow drivers not only to play music and get directions, but to talk, text and use social media while tooling down the road.

Public Health

J&J Absorbs Another Big Loss in Baby Powder-Mesothelioma Case

For the second time in less than two months, Johnson & Johnson has suffered a big courtroom loss in a case that blamed a rare asbestos-related cancer on long-term use of contaminated baby powder.

Labor

California Conservation Corps Failed to Heed Warning Signs Before Fatal Van Crash

A deadly collision that killed three members of the California Conservation Corps appeared to be a simple case of one person’s carelessness. Yet facts and circumstances never disclosed until now tell a more complicated story about the state agency’s own role in the incident.

Consumer Protection

Jury Tacks on $80 Million in Punitive Damages; Total Award $117 MM Against Johnson & Johnson and Imerys

A New Jersey jury today ordered Johnson & Johnson and its main talc supplier to pay $80 million in punitive damages to a mesothelioma victim who claimed he contracted the asbestos-related cancer from years of using Johnson’s baby powder.