Consumer Lawsuit Challenges Coconut Oil Maker’s “Healthy” Label Claims

A proposed class action filed by a California woman claims that a coconut oil maker deceives consumers with “healthy” label claims.

The lawsuit alleges that labeling on Carrington Tea Co. LLC’s Carrington Farms extra virgin coconut oil and coconut cooking oil violate U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines, California’s False Advertising Law, Unfair Competition Law, and Consumer Legal Remedies Act. Continue reading Consumer Lawsuit Challenges Coconut Oil Maker’s “Healthy” Label Claims

NHTSA Says Fiat Chrysler Under-Reported Injuries and Deaths

NHTSA Says Fiat Chrysler Under-Reported Injuries and Deaths
NHTSA Says Fiat Chrysler Under-Reported Injuries and Deaths

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Fiat Chrysler under-reported the number of deaths, injuries and legal claims it is required to report to regulators. NHTSA says the number of under-reported incidents is “significant”. Under the Tread Act, carmakers are obliged to report certain information to regulators. Financial Times reports that Fiat Chrysler found “deficiencies” in its system while looking into discrepancies.

NHTSA’s administration Mark Rosekind said “FCA [Fiat Chrysler] has informed NHTSA that in investigating that discrepancy, it has found significant under-reported notices and claims of deaths, injuries and other information required as part of the early warning reporting system,” according to Financial Times. The under-reporting stemmed from “a number of problems” said Mr. Rosekind. “This represents a significant failure to meet a manufacturer’s safety responsibilities.”

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3 Cigarette Companies Receive FDA Warning Letters

3 Cigarette Companies Receive FDA Warning Letters
3 Cigarette Companies Receive FDA Warning Letters

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent warning letters to three cigarette companies for making “additive-free” and/or “natural claims. ITG Brands LLC for Winston and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company Inc. for Natural American Spirit cigarettes were cited for making “additive-free” claims. The FDA also warned Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company and Sherman’s 1400 Broadway N.Y.C. Ltd. for Nat Sherman cigarettes for labeling their products as natural.

In 2009, the FDA gained authority to regulate cigarettes and other tobacco products. The warning letters mark the first time the agency has ever exercised that authority. Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, said in an FDA news release, “The FDA’s job is to ensure tobacco products are not marketed in a way that leads consumers to believe cigarettes with descriptors like ‘additive-free’ and ‘natural’ pose fewer health risks than other cigarettes, unless the claims have been scientifically supported,”

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Government Data Shows Rise in Recalls of Organic Foods

Government Data Shows Rise in Recalls of Organic Foods
Data Shows Rise in Recalls of Organic Foods

Data from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Agriculture shows a sharp increase in the number of recalls of organic food products.

Stericycle, a company that handles recalls for businesses, uses this government data to compile quarterly reports on food recalls. Organic food products accounted for 7 percent of all food units recalled so far this year, compared with 2 percent of those recalled last year, according to the New York Times.

Organic food accounted for only 1 percent of the total units recalled in 2012 and 2013. Kevin Pollack, Stericycle vice president, said the growing demand for organic ingredients was at least partly responsible for the increase in organic food recalls. Pollack said it is “striking” that since 2012, “all organic recalls have been driven by bacterial contamination, like salmonella, listeria and hepatitis A, rather than a problem with a label.” Bacterial contamination can cause serious illnesses and deaths, especially for the very young, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that food-borne illnesses cause about 3,000 deaths annually. The overall amount of food recalled because of suspected bacterial contamination has increased this year, adding to an upward trend in food recalls since 2012, according to the Times. Stericycle predicts a 24 percent increase in the number of food units that will be recalled this year, the Times reports.

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FDA Asks for More Research on Hospital Sanitizers

FDA Asks for More Research on Hospital Sanitizers
FDA Asks for More Research on Hospital Sanitizers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that more research is needed on whether or not hand sanitizers and hand washes used at hospitals are safe and effective. Associated Press reports that the agency is asking manufacturers to submit additional data looking at long-term effects. On Thursday, a proposed rule was published stating that companies must submit research investigating important safety issues. Some main concerns focus around potential hormonal effects and how much sanitizers and washes contribute to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Products must be reformulated or removed from the market if they are not shown to be safe and effective by 2018. The newly requested studies and requirements may cost companies between $64 million and $90 million, according to an FDA estimate. The FDA emphasized that healthcare workers should continue to use these products in the meantime, as they are vital to preventing infections in a health care setting.

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Anti-Aging Cream Claims “Mostly Bunk,” Experts Say

Anti-Aging Cream Claims “Mostly Bunk,” Experts Say
Anti-Aging Cream Claims “Mostly Bunk,” Experts Say

If you’ve ever wondered if all those anti-wrinkle creams on the market are truly effective, at least one doctor is offering a blunt answer: “It’s not a magical wand. It’s not going to take away your wrinkles.”

Those were the words of Dr. Tyler Hollmig, director of Laser and Aesthetic Dermatology at Stanford Health Care. Hollmig told ABC News that anti-wrinkle creams “can certainly help mitigate and minimize wrinkles,” but they cannot make them disappear. Continue reading Anti-Aging Cream Claims “Mostly Bunk,” Experts Say

International Art Scandal may Reveal Art World’s Deepest, Darkest Secrets

International Art Scandal may Reveal Art World’s Deepest
International Art Scandal may Reveal Art World’s Deepest

An art scandal unfolding in Monaco and Singapore is threatening to blow the lid off of the fraudulent dealings of art dealers specializing in multimillion-dollar art.

The controversy involves a Swiss businessman and art dealer named Yves Bouvier who stores billions of dollars’ worth of art in giant storage centers in Switzerland, Luxembourg and Singapore for the some of the world’s richest people. Bouvier was nabbed by Monacan authorities in February as part of a fraud investigation focusing on several works purchased by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev. Rybolovlev alleges that Bouvier inflated or misrepresented prices by millions of dollars, according to CNBC. Continue reading International Art Scandal may Reveal Art World’s Deepest, Darkest Secrets

DirecTV is Facing an FTC Lawsuit Over Allegations the Company Defrauded More than 20 Million Customers

DirecTV is Facing an FTC Lawsuit Over Allegations of Fraud
DirecTV is Facing an FTC Lawsuit Over Allegations of Fraud

A lawsuit brought against DirecTV involves pricing allegations from customers who say the company deceptively advertised costs of a two-year service promotion.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is suing the satellite television company on behalf of the more than 20 million subscribers in the United States who were affected, an agency spokesman said Wednesday. Jessica L. Rich, director of the FTC’s bureau of consumer protection, said the agency is seeking millions of dollars in refunds, according to The New York Times (The Times). Continue reading DirecTV is Facing an FTC Lawsuit Over Allegations the Company Defrauded More than 20 Million Customers

Federal Health Officials Issue Second Warning to L’Oreal Over Marketing Claims

Federal Health Officials Issue 2nd Warning to L’Oreal
Federal Health Officials Issue 2nd Warning to L’Oreal

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued cosmetic company L’Oreal its second warning letter in two years concerning the marketing of several of its skin care products.

In 2012, the FDA sent five cosmetic companies warning letters for allegedly marketing their products using claims which caused these products to be classified as drugs under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). L’Oreal subsidiary Lancome was among those companies, as was Avon. Both companies claimed their products could, among other things, rebuild collagen, regenerate hydroproteins, repair micro-injuries, increase the activity of genes and stimulate cell regeneration, according to RAPS.org. Continue reading Federal Health Officials Issue Second Warning to L’Oreal Over Marketing Claims