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Archive for November 2nd, 2007

CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION CHIEF TRAVELS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE INDUSTRIES SHE’S SUPPOSED TO REGULATE

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Corruption Watch, News Brief on November 2nd, 2007

SOME OF THE THIRTY TRIPS WERE SPONSORED BY LOBBYING GROUPS AND LAWYERS REPRESENTING THE MAKERS OF TOYS, APPLIANCE AND CHILDREN’S FURNITURE INDUSTRIES LINKED TO CONSUMER HAZARDS

toys.jpgThe chief of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and her predecessor have taken dozens of trips at the expense of the toy, appliance and children’s furniture industries and others they regulate, according to internal records obtained by The Washington Post. Some of the trips were sponsored by lobbying groups and lawyers representing the makers of products linked to consumer hazards.

The records document nearly 30 trips since 2002 by the agency’s acting chairman, Nancy Nord, and the previous chairman, Hal Stratton, that were paid for in full or in part by trade associations or manufacturers of products ranging from space heaters to disinfectants. The airfares, hotels and meals totaled nearly $60,000, and the destinations included China, Spain, San Francisco, New Orleans and a golf resort on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

MORE….

Source: WaPo

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CAR-SHARING SERVICES ON BOTH COASTS, MERGE

Posted in Cool Products, Eco Warriors, Sustainable Transportation on November 2nd, 2007

ZIPCAR BACKED BY BENCHMARK, GREYLOCK AND GLOBESPAN AND FLEXCAR BACKED BY STEVE CASE’S REVOLUTION, MERGE

flexcar2.jpgVenture-backed Zipcar, whose by-the-hour car-sharing service is used by college students and urban dwellers, is merging with Flexcar, a cross-continent rival service funded by Steve Case’s Revolution, the companies said Wednesday.

In a conference call, Scott Griffith, chairman and chief executive of the combined company, said the top post-merger shareholders will be venture capital funders Benchmark Capital, Greylock Partners, Globespan Capital Partners, and Revolution.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Jonathan Seelig, a managing director at Boston-based Globespan, said in a telephone interview that bigger is better in the car-share business. “This business is better at scale,” he said. “I love that I can use cars in San Francisco, where I travel frequently and Seattle, where I also spend some time. It’s about more people, more cars, more places.”

The only markets where the companies compete head-to-head are San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Zipcar operates in markets including New York City, Boston, Toronto, and London. Flexcar operates in Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Seattle, where its headquarters were located.

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HEALTH ALERT! MILLIONS OF FROZEN PEPPERONI PIZZAS RECALLED

Posted in Corporate Carelessness, Health Watch, News Brief, Toxic Food on November 2nd, 2007

NEARLY 5 MILLION TOTINO’S AND JENO’S PEPPERONI FROZEN PIZZAS RECALLED BECAUSE OF POSSIBLE E. COLI CONTAMINATION

totinosrecall.jpg This latest recall of the approximately five million pizzas confirms what I have been saying in these pages for some time now; that the meat industry, like so much of corporate America, is incapable of maintaining voluntary quality- control standards and needs to be subjected, once again, to regular federal inspection.

The alternative, of doing nothing and leaving it to the market to police itself, as it has these past six years under George Bush, can only lead to disaster.

To date, we have been lucky and most of the products recalled have been discovered before racking up any significant number of casualties. Though I am sure that those unfortunate enough to have sustained permanent kidney damage and face a life on dialysis, merely from eating e-coli tainted food products, would disagree.

If the meat industry was thinking long term and not just to the next quarterly profit statement, they would welcome federal regulation. While it may affect their bottom line initially, it would insure their continued presence in the marketplace

Otherwise, the alternative is that consumers, concerned for the health of their families and tired of the constant recalls and the collateral damage that comes along with it, start opting out of purchasing ANY packaged products from the companies involved. This would result in a financial hit to the meat industry far greater than would be incurred by the companies maintaining higher safety standards and working with the federal regulators.

But then, maybe things are as they should be….

Think about it, what better way to convince consumers to become more conscious of their food choices then to scare them into becoming aware of what goes into the products that they eat. On a positive note, maybe people will finally see for themselves how unhealthy most of these packaged products really are.

I’s also possible that this latest recall will have the positive effect of driving more and more shoppers to the smaller product brands, which while they may cost a little more, maintain high quality control standards. These companies do exist. Amy’s, a particular favorite here in the EarthWatch newsroom, offers a complete line of frozen food products, including several pizzas that are delicious and equally important, safe to eat. It’s a hell of a thing when we have to
rate our food by whether it is safe or not to eat. But unfortunately, we must. As I see it, life is enough of a crapshoot. My diet doesn’t’ need to be.

-LIB

The recall includes about 5 million pizza products that are in stores, as well as any that are in consumers’ freezers, according to General Mills, which makes both of the brands being

Consumers are urged to check their refrigerator for the following Totino’s and Jeno’s frozen pizzas:

Totino’s Party Supreme (SKU number 42800-10700)
Totino’s Three Meat (SKU number 42800-10800)
Totino’s Pepperoni (SKU numbers 42800-11400 and 42800-92114)
Totino’s Classic Pepperoni (SKU number 42800-11402)
Totino’s Pepperoni Trio (SKU number 42800-72157)
Totino’s Party Combo (SKU number 42800-11600)
Totino’s Combo (SKU number 42800-92116)
Jeno’s Crisp ‘n Tasty Supreme (SKU number 35300-00561)
Jeno’s Crisp ‘n Tasty Pepperoni (SKU number 35300-00572)
Jeno’s Crisp ‘n Tasty Combo (SKU number 35300-00576)

E. coli bacteria can cause diarrhea (which may be bloody) and abdominal cramps. Most people recover within a week without treatment, but severe cases can occur and are more common in babies, elders, and people with weak immune systems.

MORE….

Source: WebMD Medical News

THE MOST COMMON COMPLICATION FROM E. COLI INFECTION
is called hemolytic uremic syndrome. People with this problem get hemolytic anemia (which is a low red blood cell count), thrombocytopenia (which is a low platelet count) and renal failure (which is kidney damage).

Hemolytic uremic syndrome is more common in children. It can cause acute renal failure in children. This problem starts about 5 to 10 days after the diarrhea starts. People with this problem must go to a hospital for medical care.

Source: Family DOctor.org

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