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Congresswoman Calls for Avandia Recall

Calls for an Avandia recall are increasing. The latest has come from Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D., Conn.), the chairwoman of the House appropriations panel that controls the FDA’s budget, is the latest to call on the agency to do so.

According to The Wall Street Journal, DeLauro said yesterday that it is “reprehensible that many people might have suffered heart attacks or heart failure as a result of taking this drug, especially if a safer alternative exists.”
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Lawmakers Doubt Toyota’s Unintended Acceleration Explanations

Some lawmakers have expressed skepticism that faulty floor mats and defective accelerator pedals are behind Toyota’s unintended acceleration problems, and have accused the automaker of making misleading statements regarding its latest recalls.

According to The Washington Post, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee – one of three congressional committees investigating the Toyota debacle – faulted the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for conducting “cursory and ineffective” investigations of Toyota defects. (more…)

Avandia Faces More Scrutiny

Could Avandia’s days on the market be numbered? According to a New York Times report, some officials at the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) think the controversial diabetes drug should be pulled from the market because of its link to heart attacks. Meanwhile, a Senate Finance Committee report released over the weekend claims GlaxoSmithKline knew for years about Avandia’s heart attack risks, but took steps to keep the public in the dark.

According to The New York Times, Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s drug center, ordered that another FDA panel be convened to reconsider whether Avandia should stay on the market, after writing in a December 2009 memo that “there are multiple conflicting opinions” about Avandia within the agency. The advisory panel meeting is expected to take place this summer. (more…)

Canadian Accutane Public Alert Warns of Skin Reactions

Stevens-Johnson syndrome [SJS], toxic epidermal necrolysis [TEN] and other serious skin reactions have been associated with the use of Accutane, according to a public health alert issued by Health Canada.

In the alert, Health Canada said a review of the Roche global safety database found that as of November 22, 2009, 66 cases of severe skin reactions including SJS and TEN, in adults and children have been reported worldwide in association with Accutane side effects. Since two of the cases were fatal, everyone who associates his/her health problems with taking this drug should contact his/her doctor immediately and may start thinking to initiate an Accutane lawsuit in Canada or elsewhere to get both moral and financial compensation.

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Toyota Complaints Piling Up

It seems the recent spate of Toyota recalls have prompted consumers to file more complaints involving sudden acceleration and faulty breaks with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

When Toyota recalled millions of cars in January to fix accelerator pedals, unintended acceleration crashes had allegedly caused 21 deaths between 2000 and the end of 2009. Now according to the Associated Press, since the January recall, consumers have reported nine crashes involving 13 alleged deaths between 2005 and 2010 due to accelerator problem to the NHTSA database, bringing that total to 34. Since January 27, the NHTSA has processed 686 complaints from consumers about problems related to speed control involving Toyota-manufactured vehicles, the Associated Press said. (more…)

More Evidence Hydroxycut Causes Liver Damage

A new study is providing more evidence that using Hydroxycut dietary supplements can cause liver damage. The new Hydroxycut study was recently published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Hydroxycut was recalled last spring, after the FDA warned consumers to stop using the products. At the time, the FDA said it had received 23 reports of serious liver problems ranging from jaundice and elevated liver enzymes, an indicator of potential liver injury, to liver damage requiring liver transplant, linked to use of Hydroxycut products. In one case, a 20-year-old died as a result of Hydroxycut-associated liver damage.
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NHTSA Faces Questions Over Toyota Issues

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is coming under increasing fire for its failures relating to the Toyota unintended acceleration debacle. Now, Reuters is reporting that at least two former NHTSA regulators now work at Toyota. What’s more, these individuals may have helped bring to an end four separate NHTSA investigations into Toyota vehicles and unintended acceleration.

According to Reuters, Christopher Tinto, vice president of regulatory affairs in Toyota’s Washington office, joined the automaker in 1994, right after leaving the NHTSA. Christopher Santucci – who now works for Tinto – did the same in 2003. (more…)

Calls Increase for Toyota Head to Testify at Congressional Hearing

A U.S. Congressman has suggested issuing a subpoena for the head of Toyota when he visits the U.S. in March. Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the top Republican on the House Oversight and Government committee, recently wrote to the committee’s chair suggesting the subpoena as a way to compel Akio Toyoda to answer the panel’s questions about Toyota’s recent safety problems and recalls.

“Whether it is for a microprocessor engineer or the top executive, we have a duty to determine what Toyota knew, when they knew it and if they met their full obligation of disclosure to U.S. regulators and the American people,” the letter said. (more…)

Diacetyl May Cause Popcorn Lung in Consumers

It appears that consumers are being sickened with “Popcorn Lung“, a disease that once was thought limited to workers in the snack food industry. Popcorn Lung, or Bronchiolitis obliterans, has been associated with diacetyl, a food additive used to give foods like microwave popcorn a buttery flavor.

Some of the larger microwave popcorn manufacturers, such as ConAgra, have stopped using diacetyl. But the chemical is still used in thousands of products, including microwave popcorn, frozen foods, cake mixes and butter-flavored cooking oils. Unfortunately, it is not often listed on ingredient labels, so there is no way for consumers to protect themselves from exposure. (more…)

NHTSA Reviewing Toyota Corolla Complaints

Complaints about steering problems with the Toyota Corolla are being reviewed by U.S. regulators, and could prove to be the newest safety headache for the automaker.

Toyota has recalled millions of vehicles for safety problems over the past several weeks. In January, it recalled eight models for problems with unintended acceleration. And just yesterday, the automaker recalled 400,000 hybrid vehicles, including the 2010 Prius and the Lexus HS250h, to fix their breaks. (more…)

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