MOM Brands Co., the makers of Malt-O-Meal cereal products was forced to recall 22,000 cases of cereal across five states. The product, Malt-O-Meal Marshmallow Mateys, used a Vitamin C supplement that MOM had purchased from a supplier in Libertyville, Illinois. The supplement was reportedly made in a plant China and was later discovered to contain ethylene glycol (antifreeze) and other toxic substances. MOM filed a lawsuit against the Illinois company to recoup the money lost in the recall. The two companies settled this week and the case was dismissed.
More information is coming to light concerning the hip implants recalled by Johnson & Johnson's DePuy Orthodpaedics division. According to Johnson & Johnson's internal documentation, the metal hip implants known as Articular Surface Replacement, or A.S.R., fail at a rate of almost 40 percent within the first five years after they are implanted. The company conducted that analysis shortly after it recalled the devices, but it never released the projection publicly. The spate of lawsuits concerning the defective medical product led to the release of this information.
The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database houses information regarding emergency department visits by children less than 18 years of age. A new study using that database has determined that a child is injured in an inflatable bounce house, castle, moonwalk or other inflatable device every 46 minutes nationwide. The author of the study is calling for stricter guidelines as to when and how these devices can be safely used, if ever. Injuries caused by such devices are 15 times more common now than they were in 1995.
Medtronic has been accused of violating patients' trust through heavy-handed participation in the content of medical journal articles concerning the product Infuse. A U.S. Senate report was commissioned after the company was alleged to have financial ties to physician authors who ignored dangerous side effects tied to the bone growth product. Medtronic issued a statement after the report denying that it improperly influenced the papers or intended to underreport adverse events associated with the use of Infuse.
Magnets on toys, clothes and other household items pose a serious risk to children who might swallow them. Products with magnets have been the subject of numerous recalls largely based on the possibility that children will ingest the magnets. The Consumer Products Safety Commission reports roughly 200 such cases since 2008. Once swallowed, the magnets clump together and can tear through intestines and cause significant damage, even death, in the young victims.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is a group committed to protecting the public from a wide array of unsafe consumer products. In 2011, the organization took aim at dangerous elements common in children's clothing: drawstrings. The use of drawstrings in hooded sweatshirts, sweaters, jackets, shirts and pants intended for children can pose a serious danger to children. Drawstrings can get caught in vehicle doors, playground equipment, escalators and other objects leading to serious injuries and even death. If a drawstring gets caught, a child can be drug, choked or otherwise harmed by their clothing.
Countless children are prescribed chewable fluoride tablets to help prevent tooth decay every year. A product mix-up at a pharmacy in New Jersey led to several children receiving the drug Tamoxifen, a breast cancer treatment, rather than the fluoride pills they had been prescribed. The error may have affected up to 50 families over nearly three months' time. CVS Caremark acknowledged the mistake, but has not explained how such a mistake could occur or why it went undetected for so long. Fortunately, at least one pharmaceutical expert is on record saying that it is unlikely that the ingestion of Tamoxifen would cause adverse health effects in the children who accidentally took the drug.
Novartis is recalling several over the counter products due to inappropriate mixing that may have occurred at their plant in Lincoln, Nebraska. The defective products include Bufferin, NoDoz, Excedrin and Gas-X Prevention. Consumers are urged to make sure their medications are not on the recall list before using. The affected products could cause a patient to overdose or have an unexpected allergic reaction if taken.
A 73-year-old man ordered the chicken on an American Airlines flight from Barcelona to New York. The meal was allegedly contaminated with deadly bacteria. He became ill and his condition worsened on the next leg of his flight from New York to Miami. The man died shortly after the flight emergency landed in Virginia. The surviving family members have filed a lawsuit naming the airline and the catering company used by the airline to supply its meals. The wrongful death suit is seeking more than $1 million in damages from the two companies.
In 2007, the drug maker Merck agreed to a $4.85 billion settlement with the individuals who suffered heart attacks, strokes or other injuries associated with the use of Vioxx, as well as with the families of those who died as a result of using the drug. The makers of this defective drug have now settled their case with the U.S. Justice Department for their illegal marketing of an off-label use for the medication. Despite the heavy financial toll, the company was quick to point out that the settlements do not indicate an admission of liability or wrongdoing.