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Catherine O'Neill | August 20, 2009

USGS’s Study on Mercury in Fish: Trouble in the Water

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) issued a report today finding widespread mercury contamination in U.S. streams. The USGS found methylmercury in every fish that it sampled – an extraordinary indictment of the health of our nation’s waters. The USGS reported that the fish at 27% of the sites contain mercury at levels exceeding the […]

Matt Shudtz | August 19, 2009

Update on BPA and the FDA

On Monday, the big news out of FDA was the announcement that they’re going to publish a new assessment of the risks posed by BPA in food packaging, due out by the end of November. Jesse Goodman, FDA’s Chief Scientist, made the announcement at a meeting of the agency’s Science Board, which also heard two […]

Matt Shudtz | August 5, 2009

Thoughts on Tuesday’s Senate Hearing on Preemption

Following up on Ben’s post about Tuesday’s Senate HELP Committee hearing on medical device preemption, I’d like to respond to three issues that came up during the question-and-answer session. Innovation: Senators Harkin and Hatch had a bit of a disagreement about whether the possibility of tort liability stifles innovation by medical device firms. Peter Barton […]

Ben Somberg | August 4, 2009

McGarity Testifies on Medical Device Safety

CPR Member Scholar Thomas McGarity testified this afternoon at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on the issue of medical device safety (written testimony, press release). Currently, individuals injured by a faulty medical device generally cannot sue the device manufacturer in state courts if that device was fully approved […]

Ben Somberg | July 31, 2009

In NYC Area, Contaminated Fish on the Plate

More New Yorkers are fishing off area piers in this economy, and, in many cases, eating unsafe amounts of fish contaminated with PCBs and mercury. That was the thrust of a NY Daily News report earlier this month. They also reported that there were extremely few signs alerting the public to any kind of danger. […]

Sidney A. Shapiro | July 30, 2009

Reviving OSHA: The New Administrator’s Big Challenge

On Tuesday, the White House announced the appointment of Dr. David Michaels to head the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). An epidemiologist and a professor at George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services, Michaels will bring substantial expertise and experience to the job. Besides being an active health research – he studies the health effects of occupational exposure to toxic chemicals – he has also written impressively on science and regulatory policy. His book, Doubt Is Their Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health, offers extensive evidence of how regulatory entities spend millions of dollars attempting to dismantle public health protections using the playbook that originated with the tobacco industry’s efforts to deny the risks of smoking. He is also an experienced public health administrator, having served as the Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environment, Safety and Health in the Clinton Administration.

Rena Steinzor | July 23, 2009

Wanted: A Wise Latina

This post is co-written by CPR President Rena Steinzor and Policy Analyst Matt Shudtz. Just as the traditional media finished a breathless cycle of reporting on how prospective Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor had renounced her claim that a “wise Latina” would make different decisions than a white man, an article in USA Today reminded […]

Yee Huang | July 13, 2009

Bursting the Bubble: Bottled Water & the Myth of Quality

Perhaps – as a byproduct of a recent, revealing report by the Government Accountability Office and the economic downturn – the bubble of market growth for the bottled water industry may finally deflate, if not outright burst.  Pop!  The report, released last Wednesday, further debunks the myth that the quality of bottled water is better […]

Catherine O'Neill | July 2, 2009

New Fish Consumption Advisory in California Another Lesson in the Problems with ‘Risk Avoidance’ Approach

California has expanded its fish consumption advisory, warning people to curtail or eliminate entirely their consumption of nineteen species of fish caught off the Palos Verdes Peninsula in Los Angeles County.  Among the new advisory’s recommendations is that humans should avoid eating white croaker, topsmelt, or barred sand bass caught in an area extending more […]