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consumer safety 20 articles

Gas fireplaces, inserts and gas logs recalled due to risk of gas leak and fire hazard

Twenty thousand Hearth & Home Technologies®, Heat-N-Glo®, Heatilator®, Outdoor Lifestyles® and Quadra Fire® natural or propane gas indoor and outdoor fireplaces, stoves, inserts and log sets have been recalled, effective immediately, due to a hazardous gas valve leak in the products, creating a fire hazard. The recalled products were sold in fireplace stores around the country from May 2014 through July 2014 for between $1,200 and $8,000. The company is instructing customers to stop using the gas fireplaces, stoves, inserts and log sets, turn off the gas to the unites and contact the fireplace store where the unit was purchased to ... Read More

Louisiana sues State Farm for endangering motorists with cheap auto repairs

State Farm Auto Insurance endangers the lives of its policyholders by effectively forcing auto body and repair shops to perform repairs as cheaply and quickly as possible, the Louisiana Attorney General’s office alleges in a lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, filed August 19 in a Baton Rouge federal court, State Farm repeatedly broke state laws against unfair trade practices and monopolies by directing consumers to preferred repair shops or “direct repair facilities.” The repair shops are then effectively forced to conform to insurance estimates by using cheap, imitation, and used parts “rather than in accordance with consumer safety and vehicle ... Read More

New Jersey business groups urge court to toss Ethicon whistleblower case again

The New Jersey Supreme Court’s Appellate Division last year decided to revive a whistleblower lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit, triggering a backlash from state business groups who argue that the case effectively would allow employees in watchdog positions to file improper whistleblower lawsuits. Law360 reports that the New Jersey Business & Industry Association and the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute filed a brief June 2 urging the high court to overturn the Appellate court’s decision. They are the latest tort-reform minded groups to push back against the decision, saying that it improperly broadens the state’s whistleblower law by ... Read More

President Obama urged to reject USDA rule loosening poultry plant inspections

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is nearly ready to implement a new rule that will increase line speeds at chicken processing plants, saying it will improve efficiency and enhance food safety, but the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a number of consumer-safety groups, and other organizations are urging President Barack Obama to reject the rule. Most significantly, the new rule would increase chicken processing line speeds – the number of birds inspectors visually check per minute — from 140 per minute to 175 per minute. The rule also would effectively remove most USDA inspectors from the line to focus on ... Read More

Court says former Johnson & Johnson executive’s whistleblower complaint can go to trial

A former Ethicon executive who claims he was fired in retaliation for voicing concerns about product safety and efficacy has had his case upheld and remanded for jury trial by a judicial panel in New Jersey Superior Court. Joel Lippman, former vice president of clinical trials for Johnson & Johnson‘s unit Ethicon, claims he was fired in May 2006 for raising concerns about the safety and effectiveness of several medical products, which resulted in delayed product launches, recalls, and other setbacks for the medical products conglomerate. Mr. Lippman alleges Ethicon retaliated against him even though calling out safety and efficacy ... Read More

Nap Nanny and Chill infant recliners recalled after five infant deaths

Baby Matters LLC of Berwyn, Penn., in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced a voluntary recall of all models of its Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill infant recliners and covers. Since 2009, the CPSC has received 92 reports of incidents involving these products, including five infant deaths. Four of the deaths were related to the Nap Nanny Generation Two recliners and one death involved the Chill model. According to the incident reports received by CPSC, infants were able to fall or hang over the side of the product, including infants who were supposedly restrained ... Read More

Beef jerky recalled by Alabama manufacturer for potential food allergens

Hickory Hollow Jerky, LLC, based in Eufaula, Ala., has issued a recall on 1,800 pounds of flavored beef jerky products due to improper labeling that does not notify consumers of a potential allergen. The products contain Worcestershire sauce and anchovy paste (fish), a known allergen, which could pose a hazard to consumers with allergies. Products included in the recall are: 3-oz. Original Recipe “HICKORY HOLLOW BEEF JERKY” bearing the establishment number “EST. 34550” inside the USDA mark of inspection on the label. 3-oz. Sweet Heat BBQ “HICKORY HOLLOW BEEF JERKY” bearing the establishment number “EST. 34550” inside the USDA mark ... Read More

Toxic chemical use in chicken plants set to rise, posing serious health risks to workers, public

With U.S. chicken consumption rising steadily, poultry processing plants nationwide are poised to implement changes that will injure and sicken many workers. Instead of meeting rising demand by expanding facilities and hiring additional workers, the poultry processing industry is poised to increase maximum line speeds and rely more heavily on the use of highly toxic chemicals to treat contaminated chicken. A number of reports have been published explaining the dangers of increasing the already-maximized line speeds in chicken plants, which will boost the number of chickens line workers must inspect from 140 per minute to 175 per minute. Regulations that ... Read More

Absence of safety culture in poultry industry demonstrated by recent worker deaths

Alabama and several other southern states have a thriving chicken industry that represents a healthy percentage of the annual GDP, especially in the Deep South from Georgia to Louisiana where chicken production rockets year after year. Unfortunately, as we have seen in the past, this unrestrained growth is accompanied by a corporate push to loosen the rules and regulations that protect the environment and keep factory workers relatively safe and healthy, as more recent worker fatalities demonstrate. In Mississippi, Southern Hens Inc., a poultry processor with facilities in Moselle, was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administrations (OSHA) for ... Read More

Louisiana meat company recalls 468,000 pounds of product for possible bacterial contamination

The Manda Packing Company is recalling 468,000 pounds of meat products produced at its Baker, La., facility between Feb. 27 and April 9 because of a possible bacterial contamination. The recall includes roast beef, ham, turkey breast, tasso pork, ham shanks, hog headcheese, corned beef and pastrami. These products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The affected products were distributed to retailers in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. The recall includes eight types of meat sold under 41 different names with various “sell by” dates. Some of the product may ... Read More