Writer: Paul Feldman

Paul Feldman is a FairWarning staff writer.

Transportation Safety

Amid Dramatic Growth of U.S. Drone Fleet, Federal Safety Oversight Lags

As the nation's fleet of small recreational and commercial drones keeps soaring -- the government projects nearly 3 million will be in the skies by 2022 -- safety concerns are rising even as federal enforcement stalls.

Consumer Protection

San Francisco’s Sweeping Ban on Flavored Tobacco Products Upheld by Voters

In a closely watched election contest, San Francisco voters have upheld a first-in-the-nation ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products, overwhelmingly rejecting an $11.6 million campaign by R.J. Reynolds to scuttle the law.

Environment

Pesticide Use on California Farms at Near-Record Levels

Farmers in California, the nation’s top agricultural state, are applying near-record levels of pesticides despite the rising popularity of organic produce and concerns about the health of farmworkers and rural schoolchildren.

Environment

High-Stakes Pesticide Battle Pits Farmer Against Farmer

Dicamba, an herbicide sold by agribusiness giants Monsanto, BASF and DowDupont, doesn’t just kill weeds. Last year, dicamba damaged an estimated 3.6 million acres of soybeans across 25 states when it drifted from farms planted with seeds genetically engineered to resist the chemical onto regular soybean fields.

Consumer Protection

AARP, a Critic of Scams Aimed at Seniors, Draws Flak Over Its Membership Marketing Practices

In its newsletters and magazines, in congressional testimony and on its website, AARP warns seniors about deceptive direct mail and other dubious marketing come-ons as part of its mission to protect members from financial abuses. But the huge advocacy group's own aggressive efforts to coax seniors to join or renew [...]

Public Health

Use of Smartphones and Recreational Marijuana Cited in Rising Pedestrian Deaths

The increasing use of smartphones and recreational marijuana may be contributing to a surge in the numbers of pedestrians killed in traffic crashes, according to a new analysis.

Consumer Protection

What Happens When a Driver Kills Someone While Fiddling With A Cellphone? Often, Not Much

There are no national statistics on the results of prosecutions brought against distracted drivers who kill or severely injure someone, but light punishment appears to be the norm.

Public Health

California and 5 Other States Get Best Ratings for Highway Safety Laws

Amid a resurgence in U.S. traffic fatalities now taking roughly 100 lives a day, an advocacy group today issued a report card identifying states that do the most, and least, to improve highway safety.

Consumer Protection

Amid Rush to Deploy Driverless Cars, Federal Regulators Urged to Keep Hands on the Wheel

Federal transportation authorities haven't done nearly enough to prepare for the challenges of regulating self-driving cars and trucks, according to a new report.

Consumer Protection

Tired of Waiting for the Feds, Local Groups Target Menthol Cigarettes

In recent months, cities ranging from Oakland and Los Gatos, Calif., to Minneapolis and St. Paul have passed laws limiting the availability of menthol cigarettes, which health advocates say have a particular appeal to beginning smokers.

Consumer Protection

Hit by Complaints About Fumes, Ford to Begin Providing Free Fixes for Explorers

A Ford Explorer on display at the 2015 Detroit International Auto Show. (iStock) Amid complaints by consumers about fumes and carbon monoxide seeping into the cabins of Ford Explorers, the nation’s No. 2 automaker next week will launch a free servicing program. Ford continues to insist that the [...]

Environment

Report Spotlights Nitrate Contamination in Drinking Water Across the U.S.

Recent evidence suggests that long-term ingestion of drinking water with nitrates at just half that federal limit can prove dangerous to children and adults alike, potentially raising the risk of bladder, thyroid, kidney, ovarian and colon cancers.

Consumer Protection

Survey Finds 27% of Autos Being Sold by CarMax Are Targets of Safety Recalls

More than one in every four vehicles being sold by used car giant CarMax are under recall for safety flaws, including some with potentially deadly defects, according to a survey by auto safety groups.

Consumer Protection

Lots of Love for Driverless Cars, Except From One Group–Drivers

As tech companies and automakers race to test and promote autonomous vehicles, several surveys show that most motorists don't want to drive, ride in or be on the road anywhere near them.