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Consumer Reports 20 articles

Some sunscreens don’t contain posted SPF amount

Consumers should not put too much faith into the strength of the sunscreen they are putting on their bodies, Consumer Reports warns in its July 2017 issue. Many of the lotions and oils sold in stores don’t always have the SPF level listed on their labels. Sunscreen is vital to protect against sunburn and skin cancer. The SPF, or sun protection factor, is a measure to help consumers understand how well a sunscreen protects against ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. How long a sunscreen will protect depends on a variety of factors from the strength of the UVB rays at any ... Read More

FDA Cleared Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants without Clinical Testing

When Consumer Reports did an investigation regarding the FDA and approved medical devices designed to be implanted into the body, what they found was disturbing to say the least. “Medical devices often aren’t tested before they come on the market,” Consumer Reports says. That was the case for the DePuy ASR XL metal-on-metal hip that has allegedly injured thousands of patients, including Stephen Tower, M.D., a 55-year-old orthopedic surgeon. About a year after receiving his hip implant, Tower could tell that something was wrong. He experienced pain from his hip “pretty much constantly”, his chromium and cobalt blood levels were through the roof, ... Read More

FDA panel recommends safety testing on sunscreen ingredients

New safety testing standards for sunscreen ingredients are being proposed by a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee in an effort to ensure product safety. Sunscreens, designed to prevent sunburns and to reduce the risk of skin cancer and aging, are regulated by the FDA in the same fashion as over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. The active ingredients have been on the market for decades. Manufacturers of sunscreens are not required to submit new drug applications as long as they stick to one or more of the 16 drug ingredients identified in the OTC Drug Monograph. Many of these drugs date ... Read More

Spray-on sunscreen use discouraged for children while FDA safety investigation is ongoing

Health officials are warning parents not to use spray sunscreen on their children. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began an investigation into this type of sunscreen in 2011 and we are still awaiting its verdict. “We now say that until the FDA completes its analysis, the products should generally not be used by or on children,” says Consumer Reports. “We have also removed one sunscreen spray — Ocean Potion Kids Instant Dry Mist SPF 50 — from the group of recommended sunscreens in our sunscreen Ratings, because it is marketed especially for children.” Consumer Reports has tested sunscreens in ... Read More

Foster Farms chicken recall expanded, linked to salmonella outbreak

The recall of Foster Farms chicken is expanding. It is believed that the chicken that has been sent to military bases in five different states is contaminated and linked to a salmonella outbreak. The suspected chicken reached the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine bases in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada and Washington. Federal regulators have issued a recall of all this chicken. Twenty-five Arizona residents, along with 621 people nationwide, have fallen ill with salmonella linked to recalled Foster Farms fresh chicken products, according to a July 2 report from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There were actually ... Read More

Consumer Reports finds excessive levels of carcinogen in Pepsi One

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that it would conduct new studies on the safety of caramel coloring in food and drink after a Consumer Reports analysis found that Pepsi One contained excessive levels of a carcinogenic caramel coloring byproduct called 4-methylimidazole, also known as 4-Mel. 4-Mel forms in some caramel coloring during the manufacturing process. It is a known cancer-causing substance that can occur in trace amounts in certain food items when they are introduced to heat. Consumer Reports’ study, however, found that 4-Mel is present in more than just trace amounts in Pepsi One and another ... Read More

Poor crash-test ratings prompt Consumer Reports to pull Toyotas from recommended list

Consumer Reports has withdrawn its recommendations for three Toyota vehicles, including its top-selling Camry sedan, after newly expanded crash-test reports showed they performed poorly. The trusted consumer magazine, which millions of readers turn to for its reviews and ratings of a broad spectrum of consumer products, said that the Camry, Prius V, and RAV4 sport utility vehicle performed poorly on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) overlap crash tests, which the non-profit industry group introduced last year. The Corolla, another of Toyota’s top-selling models in the U.S., received a “marginal” rating on the overlap crash test. Despite the poor ... Read More

Most ground turkey products contaminated with fecal bacteria, new study finds

Nearly seventy percent of ground turkey samples tested by Consumer Reports researchers contained enterococcus, harmful bacteria harbored by fecal matter, and 60 percent of the samples also contained Escherichia coli (E. coli), another pathogen associated with the fecal contamination. According to Consumer Reports, a test of 257 retail samples of ground turkey taken from 21 states and encompassing 27 different brands found that more than 90 percent of the samples contained at least one of five bacteria researchers were watching for: Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, enterococcus, and campylobacter. The Consumer Reports study also found the disease-causing pathogens were resistant to ... Read More

Consumer Reports: Avoid brand name, generic versions of diabetes drug Actos

Consumer Reports, the American consumer products reviewer, is telling its readers to avoid both the brand-name and the new generic versions of the type 2 diabetes drug Actos. “Our medical advisors say that people with diabetes should use pioglitazone, generic or brand-name Actos, only as a last resport,” says the organization’s blog site. Generic versions of Actos, also known by the name pioglitazone, from three different manufacturers became eligible this week to be sold in the United States. The average retail price of brand-name Actos is about $377 for a 30-day prescription. The cost for generics should remain close to the ... Read More

Consumer Reports uncovers hidden risks of “natural” supplements

More than half of all Americans take vitamins and supplements, but these “natural” remedies may not be all natural, and in some cases they could be doing more harm than good, says a new report published in the September issue of Consumer Reports. To uncover some of the hidden dangers of taking vitamins, minerals, herbs, and nutritional supplements, Consumer Reports interviewed a number of health care experts, consulted published research, and conducted its own analysis of serious adverse events reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Although the FDA ... Read More