FDA sued over list of tainted papaya sellers
The Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration refused to disclose the supermarkets that sold Salmonella-contaminated papayas which are linked to one death and 65 hospitalizations. CSPI said the FDA has confirmed it has 451 pages of documents, but cited the FOIA’s exemption for “trade secret and confidential information” as its reason for denying the request.
Wildfires cause early shutdown of Goat Haunt
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said a threat posed by wildfires led to the early seasonal closure of the Goat Haunt port of entry. The port, which will re-open in 2018, is located at the south end of Waterton Lake and can be accessed only by a ferry boat that operates from Waterton, Alberta, Canada, or by trail from the North Fork area of Glacier National Park in Montana.
Finally, some good news for Harvey and Irma victims
Victims of the Harvey and Irma hurricanes will not be taxed on disaster assistance funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Grants paid to storm survivors for home repairs, replacement of personal property or other disaster-related needs are not taxable income, nor will receipt of money from FEMA cause a reduction in Social Security or Medicare benefits.
9/11 victims collect over $3 billion
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which was reopened by Congress in 2011 and is administered by the Department of Justice, has distributed over $3 billion to the fund’s claimants. As the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks neared, the VCF said it has paid claims to more than 11,500 responders, and to 2,400 others who lived, worked or traveled through areas of lower Manhattan and suffered physical health conditions caused by their exposure to debris and toxins.
CEO gets 57 months for exporting to Iran
Erdal Kuyumcu, 45, of Woodside, N.Y., the chief executive officer of a metallurgical company, was handed a 57-month prison sentence for exporting specialty metals to Iran. The Department of Justice said Kuyumcu sold a cobalt-nickel powder that has potential military and nuclear applications. Kuyumcu was accused of dodging detection by shipping more than 1,000 pounds of the powder to a co-conspirator in Turkey who forwarded the shipment to Iran.
CDC data confirms health role in classrooms
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data that confirms what everybody already knows; namely, that there is a close correlation between good student health and school performance. According to the CDC, students who receive mostly D’s and F’s were nine times more likely to report ever injecting illegal drugs than were students who receive mostly A’s, and four times more likely to report they had four or more sexual partners.
Feeding peanuts to infants may reduce allergies
U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb advised parents of newborns that feeding smooth peanut butter to babies as early as four months old can reduce their risk of developing a peanut allergy later in childhood by about 80%. A new FDA-approved food label will recommend that parents check with their infant’s healthcare provider before introducing foods containing ground peanuts, he said.
Influencers settle deception charges with FTC
The Federal Trade Commission, extending its authority into unfamiliar territory for the first time, applied its anti-deception regulations to two social media “influencers” who steered their followers to two online gambling websites without disclosing they were the websites’ owners. Trevor Martin and Thomas Casell, described by the FTC as widely-followed influencers, also paid other well-known influencers to promote their CSGO Lotto site on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook without disclosing they were paid for their recommendations.
Rip ‘n Read is a daily compilation of press releases found on hundreds of websites that are maintained by the federal government, think tanks, watchdog groups and national advocacy organizations. Press releases selected for this feature are, in the opinion of the editor, exceptionally newsworthy, interesting or just plain curious.
The press releases and documents linked to this report were posted on their websites on Thursday, September 7