Archives for September, 2007

The Truth Is Not Free

The following post is by Dr. David Egilman, a familiar figure to those who have been following the case of Eli Lilly’s schizophrenia drug Zyprexa. See Alex Berenson’s New York Times articles on the case for more background, or read David Michaels’s post about Zyprexa and sequestered science. — Editor “The Truth is Not Free”…

By David Michaels It is time for Congress to enlist the nation’s science and policy experts to help develop a federal workers’ compensation program for 9/11 rescue, recovery, and cleanup workers. The inadequacy of state worker programs led Congress to legislate special compensation programs for uranium miners, and civilian workers in nuclear weapons facilities. We…

CPSC: The Toy Chickens Come Home to Roost

By David Michaels In a few short months, the country has awakened to several potential hazards associated with Chinese toys. Mattel and other manufacturers have already recalled millions of toys, some for lead paint and others because they contained magnets that, if swallowed, could cause severe injuries. Now, Louise Story of New York Times reports…

By David Michaels The popcorn festival has just ended in Marion, Ohio (nickname: “popcorn capital of the world”), attended by more than 100,000 revelers. The Orville Redenbacher Parade is one of the festivals’ highlights. Redenbacher, who developed the hybrid corn strain that pops so uniformly, was actually from Indiana, but ConAgra Foods manufactures the best…

Friday Blog Roundup*

While we here at The Pump Handle have been focusing on popcorn problems (the big story is here, the latest installment here), other bloggers have been keeping tabs on public health issues in Congress: At RH Reality Check, Anika Rahman and Tod Preston explain the Global Gag Rule and why it’s a good thing that…

By David Michaels Over a year ago, unions petitioned the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to adopt an emergency temporary standard for diacetyl (PDF). More than 40 leading occupational health physicians and scientists sent a supporting letter (PDF) to Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao summarizing the strong scientific evidence linking exposure to the artificial butter…

 By Susan F. Wood, PhD  In an article in the New England Journal of Medicine today, Sheila Weiss Smith points out that the FDA has not been responsive to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on Drug Safety.  That study and its recommendations took on the question of how to improve our nation’s drug safety…

By David Michaels Earlier this week, we broke the story of the first case of “popcorn lung” occurring in person whose exposure to diacetyl was not workplace-related. Now more details are coming out, including an interview with Wayne Watson, the Colorado furniture salesman with disease. In today’s AP article, P. Solomon Banda writes that “When…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Workers who manufacture microwave popcorn for ConAgra and Pop Weaver will soon be able to breathe easier, since both companies have announced that they will stop using diacetyl to flavor their popcorn. Other workers – including those who make flavorings, baked goods, and other companies’ microwave popcorn – may still be exposed to the artificial…

Will OSHA Meet its Deadlines?

With summer vacation over and school back in session, my thoughts naturally turn to homework, term papers and due dates.  Perhaps if Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and OSHA’s Asst. Secretary Edwin Foulke viewed their responsibilities to the nation’s workers like students with homework assignments, they’d take more responsibility for completely their assignments well and on time.  Right now, OSHA (and the Secretary) seem to treat deadlines like those students who…