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Fiat Chrysler Adds 1.6 Million Vehicles to Takata Airbag Recall

Fiat Chrysler has added another 1.6 million vehicles worldwide to its Takata airbag recall list, becoming the third major automaker to expand its recall of airbag inflators that can trigger deadly explosions. Most of the vehicles included in this latest recall – 1.4 million – are in the U.S., the automaker said.  They cover the front passenger-side airbags in the following models: 2010-2016 Jeep Wrangler SUV 2010 Ram 3500 pickup and 4500/5500 Chassis Cab trucks 2010 and 2011 Dodge Dakota pickup 2010-2014 Dodge Challenger muscle car 2011-2015 Dodge Charger sedan 2010-2015 Chrysler 300 sedan According to the Associated Press, U.S. ... Read More

Jury told J&J knew its talc was contaminated with asbestos

The environmental health scientist who opened and ran an asbestos laboratory for the state of New York for more than 30 years beginning in the late 1970s told a California jury last week that based on studies he’d seen over the past three decades, it was “clear” that potentially millions of cancer-causing asbestos fibers were nestled in each gram of talcum powder allegedly used in Johnson & Johnson products like Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower body powder, Law360 reports. “The testing I have seen (shows) that (asbestos) was present at least as early as 1971 and up through the ... Read More

Town hall meeting to warn factory workers about benzene exposure risks

A woman whose father died after years of being exposed to the carcinogenic chemical benzene is calling a town meeting in Kokomo, Indiana, in hopes of connecting with factory workers who may have become ill to help them should they wish to take legal action. “It’s always been my goal to help the retirees, the workers that are there,” said Sherry Roe, whose father, Glenn Dukes, worked for Delco Electronics for 28 years. In 2009, he was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer called acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and died two months later. His death certificate listed AML and “history ... Read More

FDA food inspectors head back to work without pay

Four hundred Food and Drug Administration (FDA) workers furloughed during the partial government shutdown have been called back into work – without pay – to conduct much needed inspections for food, drugs and medical devices, according to a Tweet from FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb. The activities are necessary, he Tweeted, “to identify and respond to threats to safety of humans.” The FDA inspects 80 percent of the American food supply to ensure its safety to consumers. Of the agency’s 5,000 inspectors, 150 will be conducting food inspections at facilities considered high risk, such as those with a history of ... Read More

Louis C.K. makes crude jokes about sexual harassment accusations against him

Louis C.K. apparently hasn’t learned his lesson. The comedic actor got caught in the #MeToo riptide in 2017 when he was accused of taking women he worked with into private rooms, taking his clothes off, and asking if he could masturbate in front of them. At the time, he issued a statement, “There is nothing about this that I forgive myself for.” Then he pledged to “step back and take a long time to listen.” But did he really mean it? Nine months after those remarks, Louis C.K. took the stage at New York’s Comedy Cellar riffing on racism and rape ... Read More

Johnson & Johnson will pay for $4.69 billion talc verdict one way or the other

Last July, Johnson & Johnson was hit with a staggering $4.69 billion verdict – one of the largest jury awards in the country – over claims that its Johnson’s Baby Powder and other talcum powder products contain asbestos – a known carcinogen – and contributed to the ovarian cancer diagnoses of 22 women. The news sent the company’s stock into its biggest annual share loss in a decade. But the company may never pay a dime of that verdict. The consumer health care giant is appealing the massive verdict. Its chances of seeing the award slashed or even stricken completely ... Read More

Genetics testing companies sometimes sell consumer DNA data to drug companies

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced six months ago it was acquiring a $300 million stake in consumer genetics testing company 23andMe, and as part of the four-year deal, GSK will have 23andMe’s genetic data at its disposal to fuel ideas on what new drugs to develop and better understand how to pick patients for clinical trials to test new drugs. Sound illegal? It’s not. In fact, genetics-testing companies often have “biobanking consent documents” in their materials that consumers – perhaps unknowingly – agree to when they submit their spit for testing. For 23andMe, that consent document looks like this: “By choosing to ... Read More

Use of Narcan increased twofold among Nashville firefighters

Last year, Nashville, Tennessee, firefighters administered the opioid reversal drug Narcan 1,777 times – more than twice as much as the year before. The staggering statistic shows just how dire the nation’s opioid epidemic has become, according to WSMW News 4. More than 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, including illicit drugs (like heroin), prescription opioids (like OyxContin and hydrocodone), and synthetic opioids (predominantly fentanyl) – a two-fold increase in a decade, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The United States is paying in more than human ... Read More

Monsanto tries to skirt bellwether trials in Roundup MDL

A scant six weeks before the first bellwether case goes to trial alleging Monsanto failed to warn consumers that its weed killer Roundup contains an ingredient that has been linked to cancer, the company told the California federal judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation (MDL) that consumers’ failure to warn claims are preempted by federal insecticide law. Citing the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, attorneys for Monsanto filed a motion for summary judgement claiming that the company cannot change its labeling or the formulation of its weed killer without approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Monsanto’s attorneys further argued ... Read More

Trump EPA pick proposes new uses for cancer-causing asbestos

Former coal-industry lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), fielded questions from senators at his confirmation hearing this week about his position on key actions he’s taken in the past six months as acting EPA chief, actions that forward Trump’s agenda of deregulating industries that harm the environment. Wheeler became acting director of the EPA in July when Scott Pruitt resigned, but was formally nominated to the position last week. With Republicans holding a 53 to 47 majority in the Senate, it is expected he will be confirmed. “There is no more important ... Read More