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Dow Chemical Indian Subsidiary Under Fire for Dursban

India is threatening to “blacklist” a subsidiary of Dow Chemical for allegedly bribing an official there to allow the sale of the pesticide, Dursban.

In 2007, Dow Chemical was fined $325,000 by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over Indian bribery charges. According to the SEC, a Dow subsidiary had been trying to circumvent the Indian registration process for three pesticides, one of which was Dursban. (more…)

No Money Yet For BP Oil Spill Compensation Fund

It appears the details of the $20 billion BP oil spill compensation fund have yet to be worked out. As a result, BP has yet to make a deposit into the escrow account it agreed to establish earlier this month.

Ken Feinberg, who has been tapped to administer the $20 billion BP oil spill compensation fund, has said he could not begin making payments to businesses and individuals until BP makes a deposit. (more…)

Bausch & Lomb Recalls PreserVision Eye Vitamins in US

Bausch & Lomb is issuing another recall this week, this time for its PreserVision® Eye Vitamin AREDS 2 Formula with Omega 3 Soft Gels. The recall comes just weeks after Bausch & Lomb recalled some of its ReNu contact lens solutions overseas.

The recalled PreserVision® Eye Vitamin AREDS 2 Formula with Omega 3 Soft Gels are only available within the United States. This recall involves lot numbers 0923BK103, 0924BK103, 0924BK103A, 0925BK103A, 0926BK103A, 0927BK103A, 0928BK103A, 0929BK103A, 0930BK103A. The UPC Code is 24208 62584 and the expiration date is 08/31/2011. PreserVision Eye Vitamin AREDS 2 Formula with Omega 3 soft gels are packaged in 60 count bottles. The current dosage for the AREDS 2 formulation is two soft gels per day. (more…)

Another Oil Gusher Reported in Gulf of Mexic

Just as the massive BP oil spill looks close to being contained, another gushing well is threatening Louisiana’s marshes. According to several media reports, a wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico near Barataria Bay has been spewing oil since it was hit by a tugboat early this morning.

Since then, a 20-foot high plume of oil and natural gas has been coming from the well. However, officials expect it to be capped soon. (more…)

Glaxo Cops to Mistakes in Paid Supplement

GlaxoSmithKline has apologized for the way it handled a paid supplement that appeared in the journal Urology last May. According to Dow Jones Newswire, Glaxo also disciplined the employees involved in creating the supplement, and made a report to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general’s office. Under previous settlements with the federal government involving its marketing practices, Glaxo is required to report any possible violations of certain federal laws to HHS, Dow Jones said.

The Glaxo-funded supplement contained articles on prostate cancer written by several doctors. Glaxo helped develop the supplement’s content and select the doctors who were listed as authors of the articles, Dow Jones said. Some of those included information regarding clinical testing of Avodart as a treatment for men at high risk for the disease. One article also went so far as to state that Avodart “might prove to be more effective than” a competing drug, Merck & Co. Proscar, in prostate-cancer risk reduction. (more…)

BP CEO Hayward On His Way Out

BP announced this morning that CEO Tony Hayward will step down from his post on October 1. Hayward’s handling of the massive BP oil spill has been a source of criticism and embarrassment for several months now, and its been widely speculated that he would be removed from the CEO job.

BP’s board met yesterday to discuss Hayward’s fate. The 53-year-old Hayward will stay on the BP board until November 30. BP also plans to nominate him as a non-executive director of TNK-BP, the company’s Russian joint venture. (more…)

Baby Recliners Recalled, Implicated in One Death

Nap Nanny® Recliners have been implicated in the death of an infant, prompting
Baby Matters of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, to recall the product. The Nap Nanny® is a portable recliner designed for sleeping, resting and playing. The recliner includes a foam base with an inclined indentation for the infant to sit in and a fitted fabric cover and a three-point harness.

The Consumer Products Safeyt Commission (CPSC) is investigating a report of a four-month-old girl from Royal Oak, Michigan who died in a Nap Nanny® being used in a crib. According to preliminary reports, the infant was in her harness and found hanging over the side of the product, caught between the Nap Nanny® and the crib bumper. (more…)

Chief Engineer Says Alarms on Deepwater Horizon Disabled

In the days and weeks following the April 20 explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, some workers aboard have said they received no notice of an emergency until after the first of two blasts occurred on the rig. Now we may know why.

According to the rig’s chief engineer, Transocean Ltd. employee Micheal Williams, alarm systems on the oil rig were partially disabled when it exploded. This was done because Transocean rig managers “did not want people woken up at 3 a.m. with false alarms.” (more…)

Boston Scientific Issues Advisory for Some Implantable Defibrillators

Boston Scientific has issued an advisory to doctors about problems with three brands of its implantable defibrillators. The advisory says that because of a a defect in Contak Renewal 3, Contak Renewal 4 and Vitality HE ICD models, they may not work.

This is the third time in less than a year that Boston Scientific has had issues with some of its implantable defibrillators. As we reported previously, in March the company recalled seven brands of implantable defibrillators because it did not get approval from federal regulators for changes to its manufacturing processes. The brands impacted by that recall included: Cognis, Confient, Livian, Prizm, Renewal, Teligen and Vitality.

According to The Wall Street Journal, this past December, Boston Scientific warned that its Cognis and Teligen defibrillators had a design flaw that could result in the devices delivering unnecessary shocks to the small number of patients who had the defibrillators implanted under their chest muscles. The company later said it had fixed the problem.

In the most recent advisory, Boston Scientific said a magnetic switch on the implantable defibrillators can get stuck, stopping the devices from delivering an electric shock to the hearts of patients who need the therapy. The switch prevents the device from delivering shocks when doctors are performing an emergency procedure on a patient using a magnet that could trigger the defibrillator, the Journal said. Once the magnet is taken away, the switch should open and allow the device to resume normal functioning. According to the advisory, the switch would in rare instances stay shut.

The company maintains the risk of harm is remote, and it hasn’t received any reports of deaths or injuries. According to the Journal, some doctors have removed the defective devices from their patients, but Boston Scientific is recommending against this. The company says doctors can reprogram the defibrillators to correct the problem.

The defibrillators affected by the advisory were made in 2006 and 2007. They have been implanted in some 34,000 patients.

Lawsuit Seeks Ban on Common Agricultural Pesticide

Two environmental groups are trying to force the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban a pesticide commonly used in agriculture. The household form of the pesticide chlorpyrifos, sold by Dow Chemical under the brand name Dursban, was already banned in 2001. The agricultural version, Lorsban, is still on the market.

In June 2000, after a lengthy review, the EPA reached an agreement with Dow Chemical to ban most home and garden uses of Dursban, citing health risks to children. The agency also required that Dursban use be phased out in areas where children would be most likely to be exposed – schools, daycare centers, parks and recreation areas, stores and malls. (more…)

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