Archives for March, 2009

Workers Comp Nightmares and Opportunities

The New York Times’ R.N. Kleinfield and Steven Greenhouse offer us a glimpse of the nightmare known as the workers’ compensation system.  In their article A World of Hurt: For Injured Workers, a Costly Legal Swamp,* they report from the Queens NY office of the NY State Workers’ Compensation Board and explain that injured workers: “come to the board…

by revere, cross-posted from Effect Measure Tufts University is the latest institution to step in the Conflict of Interest mess and come out with shoes that smell. The University had organized a conference on conflict of interest in medicine and research, with Iowa’s Republican Senator Charles Grassley as the keynoter. Grassley has been an indefatigable…

Fixing the US Food Safety System

Trust For America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have released a report on improving food safety, and one of the chief problems they identify with the current system is a lack of centralized food-safety authority: The report calls for the immediate consolidation of food safety leadership within the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)…

EPA’s endangerment finding

by revere, cross-posted from Effect Measure A little over a week ago the Environmental Protection Agency sent the White House its finding that global warming endangers public health and welfare. This doesn’t sound like news, and except for a minority of scientists out there it is very, very old news. But in the context of…

Friday Blog Roundup

Bloggers weigh in on some of the questions in US healthcare reform: Ezra Klein explains what a public insurance option is, and describes three different forms it could take. Maggie Mahar at Health Beat asks whether health insurers are really giving up much ground when they promise community ratings in exchange for an individual mandate,…

DuPont’s Washington Works plant near Parkersburg, West Virginia used a chemical called perfulorooctampic acid – abbreviated as PFOA or C8 – to manufacture Teflon. A group of Parkersburg-area residents sued DuPont over PFOA contamination in their drinking water, and they eventually reached a $107.6-million settlement with the company. The settlement required DuPont to clean up…

It’s Cover the Uninsured Week, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is working to “highlight the fact that too many Americans are living without health insurance and demand solutions from our nation’s leaders.” Concern about uninsurance is growing as more people lose jobs that provided them with health insurance. But most of the factors behind…

Chevron’s Mess in the Amazon

By Dick Clapp A critically important verdict with far-reaching implications is soon to be rendered in an Ecuadorian Court.  The court case involves the rights of 30,000 indigenous Ecuadorians to compensation from the Chevron oil company for destruction of their land and for devastating ecological and public health consequences throughout the Amazon region in Eastern…

A Food Activist with Farm-State Cred

Our food production system is unsustainable, but those who advocate for healthier agriculture and diets often find themselves dismissed as elitists. While I think this is often an unfair criticism , it’s clear that it hampers advocates’ effectiveness. So, I was delighted to read in the Washington Post this morning about a good-food advocate from…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Whistleblowers often play key roles in uncovering problems, from unsafe working conditions to embezzlement and fraud. Yet when the Project on Government Oversight examined the Inspectors General system, which receives and investigates complaints about federal agencies, it found that IGs too often treat whistleblowers as afterthoughts and fail to protect them from retaliation. The Washington…