Tobacco companies ordered to create ad campaigns highlight dangers of smoking

Big Tobacco has been ordered to create ads and marketing campaigns acknowledging health risks associated with smoking cigarettes. These are many of the same claims these companies have denied for decades.

This order from a federal judge was originally part of a ruling in response to a federal lawsuit. The tobacco companies opposed the order but in 2006 a federal judge denied their appeal and ordered them to create these ads. The final rules for these ads have just been released this week, according to a CNNMoney.com report. Continue reading Tobacco companies ordered to create ad campaigns highlight dangers of smoking

New Study Reveals Widespread and Copious Use of Toxic Flame Retardants

A new study published in the Environmental Science & Technology Journal shows that 85 percent of couches manufactured between 1985 and 2010 contain chemical flame retardants.

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), tris (1-3-dichloroisopropyl) phosphate (TDCPP), and the newer Firemaster 550 (FM 550) mixture, as well as tris (4-butylphenyl) phosphate (TBPP) are the most commonly used chemicals, according to the study. Until recently, TBPP was not reported to be used as a flame retardant. The PBDE mixture PentaBDE started being phased out in 2005 after it was linked to developmental and neurological problems in children. Many houses still have PentaBDE in them because couches tend to be long-term purchases. Firemaster started being used as a safe alternative, but there are growing concerns over the environmental and health effects of the chemical, PRWatch reported. Continue reading New Study Reveals Widespread and Copious Use of Toxic Flame Retardants

Holiday Gatherings A Good Opportunity To Inquire About Elder Fraud

Family holiday gatherings may be the perfect time to respectfully make certain that older relatives have not fallen victim to elder fraud.

The relaxed atmosphere of a family gathering can make it easier to ask older family members if they’ve been approached about investments or mortgage deals lately. If you suspect someone is trying to take advantage of an elderly person in your family, there are steps that can be taken to help protect that person. Learning how to avoid fraud and scams is the first step. According to Forbes Magazine, concerned family members can also: Continue reading Holiday Gatherings A Good Opportunity To Inquire About Elder Fraud

Greenpeace Finds Toxic Chemicals In Popular Clothing Brands

Greenpeace released a report on November 20 about how commonplace toxic chemicals are in popular, inexpensive clothing brands, testing 141 clothing items made by popular brands like Zara, Levi’s, Mango, Calvin Klein and H&M.

The group examined the items for phthalates, nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) and azo dyes, which can eventually break down into cancer-causing amines. Greenpeace found that 20 of the world’s most popular clothing brands contain hazardous chemicals. Not only that, the clothiers contribute to water pollution where the clothes are made and washed. The report, Toxic Threads: The Big Fashion Stitch-Up, revealed that four garments contained high levels of toxic phthalates, 89 garments contained NPEs and two items, both sold by Zara, had cancer-causing amines caused by azo dyes, The Huffington Post reported. Continue reading Greenpeace Finds Toxic Chemicals In Popular Clothing Brands

FDA Makes Red Bull Injury Data Public

Reports of injuries potentially caused by the energy drink Red Bull were made public on Friday by the U.S. government, only days after the beverage’s manufacturer said it was unaware of any reports.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted 21 reports online of injuries related to Red Bull, including hospitalizations for adverse events ranging from vomiting to heart problems. In recent weeks, the FDA has released 18 filings involving fatalities and over 150 injuries citing Red Bull, Monster Energy, Rockstar and 5-Hour Energy–the top-selling energy drinks in the country. A federal report found that over 13,000 emergency room visits in 2009 cited an energy drink as a possible cause, according to The New York Times. Continue reading FDA Makes Red Bull Injury Data Public

Owners of Firm Plead Guilty to Fraud Allegations

FBK Products, which sells Septic Remedy septic system treatment products, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud after federal authorities accused the company’s telemarketers of lying to prospective customers, particularly senior citizens.

FBK and its three owners accepted plea deals November 14 related to the marketing of Septic Remedy, which are soluble packets that are flushed down toilets to maintain septic tanks. The product had been under investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the last year after telemarketers made false claims that Septic Remedy was approved by the agency. The EPA says FBK telemarketers used high-pressure sales tactics to sell seniors large quantities of the product, according to the Sun Sentinel. Continue reading Owners of Firm Plead Guilty to Fraud Allegations

Montana woman claims defective trigger on husband’s Remington rifle caused unexpected fire, her serious injuries

The national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Montana woman who was shot unexpectedly when her husband’s Remington rifle fired unexpectedly.

According to an announcement of the filing of the lawsuit, the Montana couple was hunting in Carter County there in October 2007. At the end of the trip, the woman’s husband began unloading his Remington Model 600 Mohawk rifle. As he unloaded the gun by cycling the bolt, the gun fired and its charge hit his wife squarely on her left foot.

Corrective surgeries still were unable to preserve her great toe on her left foot and she continues to suffer from the effects of that gun shot wound to this day. Continue reading Montana woman claims defective trigger on husband’s Remington rifle caused unexpected fire, her serious injuries

Judges Overturns Consumer Fraud Lawsuits Filed Against Law Schools

Two consumer fraud lawsuits accusing John Marshall Law School and Chicago-Kent College of Law of inflating numbers that showed how many of their graduates found employment have been thrown out by a Chicago judge.

Five lawsuits like it have already been thrown out, and more than a dozen are still pending. Three in California have endured some major legal hurdles. Cook County Circuit Judge Mary Mikva said she agreed with her colleague, Judge Neil Cohen, who dismissed a case against DePaul University College of Law. Judge Cohen’s stance was that it wasn’t DePaul’s fault that graduates entered the workforce during “the height of a tumultuous and deep recession that seriously affected employment in the legal profession,” according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Lawyers for the law grads are expected to appeal. Continue reading Judges Overturns Consumer Fraud Lawsuits Filed Against Law Schools

Anti-Aging Products Make Big Promises, Offer Few Benefits

Anti-aging products promise to turn back the hands of time or prevent them from touching consumers in the first place. Unfortunately, many of them are not effective and some are downright dangerous.

Vitamins and minerals are safe in moderate doses and may even do some good, but they can be dangerous in excess. Supplements were found to make big promises but deliver little by way of health benefits. Tod Cooperman, president of ConsumerLab.com, testified before the Senate in 2010 that when his company performed quality control tests on various vitamins and supplements, they found safety issues in about 25 percent of the 2,000 products it had tested over an 11-year period, including the presence of toxic heavy metals, according to U.S. News. Continue reading Anti-Aging Products Make Big Promises, Offer Few Benefits

MoneyGram to Pay for Fraudulent Customer Interactions

MoneyGram International has agreed to pay $100 million to settle charges brought by United States and Canadian agents who accused the company of defrauding tens of thousands of customers and failing to maintain an effectiv,e anti-money laundering program.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), MoneyGram knew some of its agents were actively working to defraud consumers, who were “fraudulently induced to send money” through the service, said MarketWatch. As part of the schemes, agents offered major discounts on expensive items for sale online and promised victims big cash prizes and lottery winnings. Agents also allegedly posed as family members asking for money. MoneyGram customers filed tens of thousands of consumer fraud complaints involving about $128.4 million worth of fraudulent charges, said MarketWatch. The DOJ said it has no doubt that MoneyGram knew the transactions were taking place, and the company rarely took the fraud department’s termination recommendations. Continue reading MoneyGram to Pay for Fraudulent Customer Interactions