Tagged Articles

legislation 18 articles

Should our DNA be used for corporate profit? Human Rights Committee reviews future of Canadian genetic testing

According to CBC News thousands of Canadians are still opting out of genetic testing that could give them valuable information to possibly reduce risks for debilitating or life-threatening illnesses in their own lives, or knowledge that could inform their children’s medical futures. With Canada being the only G7 country with no form of protection against genetic discrimination, its citizens have reason to fear that such tests will be reported to insurance companies, raising premiums or hurting their chances of being eligible for coverage. In some cases, they fear employers requesting this information and that it might compromise their careers. A senate ... Read More

Legislation aims to revoke FDA’s approval of new opioid Zohydro

A group of lawmakers concerned about health risks and a growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse has introduced legislation to revoke the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the new, highly potent opioid painkiller Zohydro ER. “I have tried reasoning with the FDA, and I’ve repeatedly requested the agency change its course on this dangerous drug. Their refusal to budge forces me to introduce legislation,” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said in a statement. He teamed up with Rep. Stephen Lynch D-Mass, and Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., on the bill. Zohydro ER is the first pure hydrocodone drug to be approved ... 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

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

Alabama governor signs concussion bill into law

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed a new bill into law this month that aims to reduce the number of concussions among state athletes and mitigate the damage that these mild head injuries can cause over the long term. Members of the Alabama Statewide Sports Concussion Taskforce (ASCT) helped write and sponsor the legislation with the help of several state legislators and Steve Savarese, director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association. The new bill passed amid rising concerns that athletes aren’t adequately protected from concussions during play. Many players also return to the game too soon after ... Read More

Legislators agree on recovery and restoration plan for BP oil spill fine money

A landmark new bill that would direct billions of dollars in BP oil spill fine money to Gulf Coast recovery and restoration efforts cleared the Senate today with broad bipartisan support. Senators from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida — the Gulf states most affected by the BP oil spill – negotiated the long-awaited plan for months before coming to an agreement Thursday. The legislation is being welcomed throughout the country as a refreshing bit of progress made by a hyper-partisan government. The federal government will collect the funds under the Clean Water Act, which penalizes companies for polluting the nation’s ... Read More

Alabama’s new concussion law aims to protect young athletes

A new law barring young athletes from immediately returning to play after suffering a concussion will help raise awareness of the dangers of these brain injuries, especially when ignored or improperly treated. The law, signed by Governor Bentley on June 9, could also have an enormous impact on the way sports are played. From now on, all youth sports programs and recreational organizations must distribute information sheets detailing the symptoms and risks of concussions and other forms of traumatic brain injury. Athletes and their parents or guardians must sign the sheets, acknowledging they have read and understood the material. Coaches ... Read More

CPSC’s product-safety database survives budget cuts, goes online

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s new public database of safety information, part of the www.saferproducts.gov website, offers American consumers for the first time ever a world of valuable safety information at their fingertips. The database went online earlier March 11, but its future appeared bleak when budgets battles raging on Capitol Hill threatened to take the website down before it had a chance to prove its worth. Fortunately, the database was taken off the chopping block and the project remains safe for now. Developed at a cost of $3 million, this new database offers American consumers an easier way ... Read More

Florida bill lets automakers off hook, burdens taxpayers

Last month, the Florida State Senate approved a bill that makes it much more difficult for people harmed by automotive defects to hold carmakers responsible for their injuries. The legislation, which the St. Petersburg Times considers to be the latest attack in the “interminable war” waged by Republican legislators against trial lawyers, will actually hurt Floridians by removing liability for car crash victims from carmakers and placing it on the shoulders of Florida taxpayers. The Crashworthiness Doctrine mandates that because vehicular crashes are inevitable, automakers must be held to a duty to keep the safety of crash victims in mind ... Read More

Lawmakers use budget cuts in attempt to kill new consumer safety database

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s first public database of consumer product safety complaints, scheduled to launch this month, could be killed by federal budget cuts before it gets off the ground. Part of the www.SaferProducts.gov website, the new database is to offer American consumers an easier way to look up safety information on thousands of consumer products as well as facilitate filing reports and complaints about potentially dangerous products with the CPSC. But like so many other things intended to help consumers, the database has been criticized as anti-business by some legislators because, they assert, it would be filled ... Read More