Monthly Archives: October 2010

Friday Fun

I never imagined that working in a steel mill could be made to look beautiful. Magnitka. Camera man’s cut. from Sasha Aleksandrov on Vimeo.

Glaxo Agrees to Pay $750 Million to Settle Defective Drug Suit

The CBS Evening News reported, “Glaxo-Smith-Kline agreed to pay $750 million to settle a case involving defective drugs, including the anti-depressant Paxil [paroxetine].” NBC Nightly News reported pointed out that company “admits it sold drugs of questionable safety made at a huge plant in Puerto Rico.” It “now admits some were mislabeled in wrong packages, […]

Senator Says Government Should Investigate High-Prescribing Doctors

Medicare fraud is a huge problem in the United States, as I’ve written about several times before. The good news is that Congress finally seems to be figuring this out — probably because of the federal budget situation. Whatever the reason, any exposure of this situation is good, and Iowa Senator Charles Grassley is calling […]

Ethan Allen Recalls Drop-Side Cribs Due to Suffocation and Fall Hazards

I’m getting tired of writing about drop-side crib recalls. If you have any drop-side crib, it’s dangerous. Check online to find out if there has been a recall of your particular crib. Stop using it if you can. The latest crib recall by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is one produced by Ethan Allen, of Danbury, […]

Texas Orders Produce Plant Closed After Alleged Link to Four Listeria Deaths

USA Today reports, “Texas officials have ordered a plant that makes cut-fresh produce to close after its chopped celery was linked to at least four deaths and two other illnesses in the state over the past eight months.” The move to shutter Sangar Fresh Cut Produce’s plant in San Antonio follows “laboratory tests of its […]

Toyota to Repair More Than 1.5 Million Cars Worldwide

Here we go again with a Toyota recall. This one is worldwide, and really big. There is apparently a problem with the brake master cylinder seal and fuel pump wiring on Toyota Avalons and other vehicles. Only a couple of months ago Toyota recalled more than one million Corolla and Matrix cars that had defective […]

Friday Fun

Are you a procrastinator? Can you draw? If so, you may recognize yourself in this video. Thank goodness I have zero artistic ability, or this would be me too. Procrastination from ism studios on Vimeo.

U.S. Seeks Limits on Cadmium for Toys and Jewelry

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a report this week calling for limits to the amount of cadmium that toy and jewelry manufacturers can include in their products. Cadmium fumes can lead to lung disease. There has been a steady stream in recent months of recalls of toys and jewelry that have toxic levels […]

Featured Link – is a site with an interesting concept -— you not only search for a medical specialist in your area, but you actually schedule an appointment with that doctor right on the ZocDoc site. Not all doctors are listed there of course, but iI can foresee more and more doctors sign up for the service. […]

GM Recalls 300,000 Impalas Due To Seat Belt Problem

General Motors has announced the recall of more than 300,000 Chevrolet Impala sedans because the front seat belts may fail to restrain people in a collision. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the front-seat belt webbing may not be secured properly to a lap belt anchor on the side of the seat near the doors. […]

Featured Link – Senior Medicare Patrol

I had occasion last week to listen to an excellent presentation by volunteer Gary Travers, a member of the SMP, or Senior Medicare Patrol program. I have to admit I was not familiar with this group’s work, but their goal is to “…teach Medicare beneficiaries how to protect their personal identity, identify and report errors […]

Despite Washington State Law, Medical Errors Will Likely Go Unreported

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer recently ran an important story about the reporting of hospital errors, and the reasons why the Washington law requiring this reporting is inadequate. Even though the story is specific to Washington state, it has implications for any other states considering a reporting law. The article states the most serious problems with the Washington […]

Medtronic Agrees to Settle Sprint Fidelis Suits for $268 Million

The AP reports, “Medtronic said Thursday it has agreed to pay $268 million to settle US lawsuits and claims related to its Sprint Fidelis family of defibrillation leads which it recalled three years ago.” Last year, the company “estimated that at least 13 people may have died because of the problem.” Over “250,000 Sprint Fidelis […]

Toy Makers Fight for Exemptions From New Product Safety Rules

Under the new administration in Washington federal agencies are taking a tougher stance, weighted more toward consumer protection, than in the recent past. One example is the enforcement provisions of the 2008 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. And of course the agency is getting push-back from manufacturers, who want their products to be exempt from […]

Friday Fun

Wow, this is simply stunning. Do you have Google Chrome Web browser? If not (it’s what I’m using these days), you should get it just for this. It’s free at Download and open it, then go here: TheWildernessDowntown, and follow the instructions. Guaranteed safe, and worth the time.

High Court Considers State Lawsuits Against Vaccine Manufacturers

The AP (10/13, Sherman) reports, “The Supreme Court is trying to sort out whether drug companies can be sued for claims of serious side effects from childhood vaccines without driving vaccine makers from the market and risking a public health crisis.” The Justices “heard arguments Tuesday in an appeal filed by Pittsburgh-area parents who want […]

Social Security Fast-Track Disability Processes Get Even Faster

This press release was issued today by the Social Security Administration: New Rules Will Further Speed Benefits to Tens of Thousands of Americans with Disabilities Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, today announced that the agency has published final rules that will further reduce the time it takes to decide applications for disability benefits […]

Transportation Department Toughens Standards for 5-Star Safety Rating System

As further evidence the new administration in Washington is taking a greater interest in consumer safety, the Transportation Department has toughened its safety standards for vehicle testing. Getting a coveted five-star rating is going to be considerably more difficult now. The hope is that this will spur manufacturers to improve the safety of their autos […]

Obesity Drug Meridia Pulled From U.S. Market Due to FDA Safety Concerns

The New York Times reported, “The diet drug Meridia is being withdrawn from the market because it can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.” Meridia’s manufacturer, Abbott Laboratories, “said on Friday that it was taking the action voluntarily but under pressure from the Food and Drug Administration.” The “withdrawal of Meridia, also known […]

Don’t Hold Your Breath for a Social Security Cost-of-Living-Adjustment for 2011

The official announcement as to whether there will be a cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) to Social Security benefits for 2011 will come later in October. But as the situation stands now, the odds are good there will not be an adjustment. That would be two years in a row with no benefits increase. The COLA calculations are […]