Home/Stuart Silverstein

Writer: Stuart Silverstein

Stuart Silverstein is assistant editor at FairWarning.

Environment

Unicorns, the Tooth Fairy, and 54.5 MPG

The Obama administration has repeatedly trumpeted its plan to boost the average fuel economy of new cars and light trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon by the 2025 model year. The deal will produce real mileage gains, and has been hailed by many environmentalists as a landmark advance in combating global warming. But there’s a catch: The 54.5 mpg number is a fiction.

Consumer Protection

Bread, Milk and Mayhem II

March, 2011 crash at a 7-Eleven store in Midland, Texas (Photo by Roger Primera) See update at bottom of story. Spurred by deadly crashes involving cars plunging into stores, day care centers and other sites, a California lawmaker has introduced a bill to prod commercial property owners to [...]

Public Health

Advocates Duel Over Who’s Winning Gun Control Battle in the States

After being thwarted in Congress following the 2012 school shooting rampage in Newtown, Conn., gun control activists have scored some important victories in states around the country. But which side has the momentum in the struggle around the nation pitting advocates of tighter controls against supporters of expanded gun rights? That remains a tough call.

Environment

Crying Foul Over Flaring

The drilling companies rushing to capture North Dakota’s rich oil reserves often wind up with unwanted natural gas. In other words, they literally have surplus energy to burn. So they do just that, torching vast amounts of the cheap gas — a practice that critics say is tremendously wasteful and a threat to the environment and public health.

Consumer Protection

They Say ‘Drink Responsibly,’ But What Does It Mean?

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found that 87 percent of magazine ads for liquor, beer and so-called alcopop beverages contained a responsibility message. Yet among the 1,795 ads reviewed, not one had a responsibility message that gave specifics.

Consumer Protection

Green Light for Effort to Prevent Storefront Car Crashes

March, 2011 crash at a 7-Eleven store in Midland, Texas. (Photo by Roger Primera). Almost every day, somewhere in the U.S., a car jumps over a curb and smashes into a convenience store, coffee shop or restaurant. Some of these crashes hurt or kill innocent bystanders, while also [...]

Consumer Protection

FDA Panels Vote to Keep ‘Black Box’ Warning on Stop Smoking Drug Chantix

On every package of the quit-smoking drug Chantix, a warning label alerts doctors and consumers that some people taking the tablets have reported “serious neuropsychiatric events.” Now, members of two Food and Drug Administration advisory panels rejected a bid by the pharmaceutical giant that sells Chantix, Pfizer Inc., to remove the so-called black box warning—the government’s strongest alert.

Labor

Investigation of Pay Practices Targets Two More Major League Teams, the Orioles and A’s

A federal investigation of pay practices in Major League Baseball has been expanded to include two more teams—the Baltimore Orioles and Oakland A’s—bringing to four the number of clubs that have come under scrutiny for possible violations of U.S. wage standards.

Transportation Safety

Obama Administration Heeds Industry Call to Ease Rail Safety Rules

The Obama administration will scale back federal rail safety rules spurred by a Southern California train wreck in 2008 that killed 25 people and hurt 135 others. The administration will slash by 10,000 miles the amount of railroad track that needs to be covered by systems that can override human error and automatically put the brakes on trains about to collide or derail.

Consumer Protection

As Rail Tragedies Fade From Memory, Resistance to Safety Rule Gains Steam

Less than four years after a California train disaster spurred passage of major safety legislation, railroad companies are pushing hard to water down the law. They have won over key lawmakers in their bid to scale back and delay a system to prevent crashes such as the head-on collision that caused 25 deaths and 135 injuries in Chatsworth, Calif. The industry is bolstered by a political climate that is hostile to federal dictates. And as political currents have shifted and the issue has fallen out of the spotlight, the rule has fewer forceful advocates.

Warning Wire

Despite Fire and Flooding, Officials Say Nuke Plants Are Safe

Mother Nature is wreaking havoc around nuclear sites in two states, but authorities dismiss any risk of a radiation release. In northern New Mexico, as the Associated Press reports, firefighters are battling a wildfire in the mountains above Los Alamos, home to the government nuclear laboratory that produced the first [...]