Defective Products

Another Ford Truck Recall

In the largest vehicle in history, Ford has announced that it will be forced to recall 1.2 million of its trucks, SUVs, and vans due to a faulty speed deactivation switch. The models affected include: 1994-2002 F-250, F-350, F-450, and F-550, 2000-02 Ford Excursion SUVs, 1994-96 Econoline vans and Mountaineers. This latest recall comes in the wake of mounting troubles for the US automaker.

Clinical Prof. Noticed Problems with ReNu Two Years Ago

Christine Sindt, a University of Iowa clinical assistant professor of ophthalmology noticed a disturbing problem with ReNu contact lens solution after doing her own study of the product. “I always like to test the new products – test drive them, so I can develop an opinion,” Sindt said.
Contact lenses sat soaked in three different solutions overnight. The following day, Sindt examined five volunteers from her office for corneal staining, the presence of dead cells on the eye. Volunteers then wore a pair of the contacts for one to two hours and were examined again.
Sindt, also the director of UIHC’s contact-lens service, said the lenses soaked in MoistureLoc produced an “unusual” amount of staining, named because of a dye’s adherence to dead cells.
She immediately expressed her concern with Bausch & Lomb’s public-relations director, who told her he was certain the solution had undergone appropriate studies and had passed. When the director, Fred Edmunds, said the company had not conducted tests that could measure corneal damage over time, she urged him to do so.

University of Miami Study Raises More Questions About Fusarium Fungus

A report from researchers at the University of Miami raises more questions about the recent problems associated with Bausch & Lomb’s ReNu contact lens solution.
The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine reports 34 cases of fungal keratitis associated with soft contact lens use between January 2004 and April 2006. Compare that to the previous numbers from the same institution: only three cases of fungal keratitis between 1969 and 1977, two between 1977 and 1982 and five between 1982 and 1992.
The most recent 34 cases were all associated with a particular kind of fungus known as Fusarium. Only 13 of the patients could remember what kind of contact lens solution they used. Of the 13, 12 reported they used some sort of ReNu brand solution. The study underlined the importance of obtaining a quick diagnosis of the fungus followed by prompt, targeted, and aggressive treatment.

Guidant Wrote Warning Letter it Never Sent

In a letter dated January 2005, Guidant Corp. executives were prepared to warn doctors of potential flaws in their heart device product. However, the letter was never sent because these same officials were concerned about the potential consequences and backlash from sending such a letter. Guidant stated that two company models had an electrical flaw. It also told physicians that it had pulled back all units not yet implanted into patients.

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Large Corporations Pressure EPA to Approve Dangerous Pesticides

Agricultural and chemical companies are lobbying the EPA to approve license extensions for approximately 20 pesticides that are suspected to retard brain growth in unborn babies and children. The pesticides include Orthene, Trithion, Nemacur and Dursban, are generally sold for use on farms rather than in homes. In spite of its function as a regulatory agency, the EPA has been criticized for its regulatory handling of dangerous pesticides, according to environmental watchdog groups.

If You’re Going to Get Tasered, Snort Some Coke First

The title to this post is no joke. I found this on the Motley Fool website. Taser International has issued the following statement: “TASER International, Inc. … announced today that … a standard electrical discharge from a TASER brand device does not induce ventricular fibrillation, and that cocaine intoxication increases the safety margin even further.” Maybe Taser’s PR department should take a vacation.

In Public Relations World It’s Botch & Lomb

There’s an interesting article published in Advertising Ageabout how Bausch & Lomb botched the crisis surrounding its $500 million contact lens solution products market. In spite of a public relations blitz in which the company took out full page advertisements in 12 major daily newspapers, Bausch & Lomb was slow to react to the public health problems surrounding its products. Because of their tardiness, many are now suffering from the effects of the painful fungus known as fusarium keratitis.

Doctor Links Fusarium Keratitis to Bausch & Lomb Solution

Dr. Deepinder Dhaliwal, Director of Refractive Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, has tested the ReNu with MoistureLoc contact lens solution and found the fusarium keratitis fungus growing within it. The results were turned over to the CDC. This is a significant discovery since, in all likelihood, Bausch & Lomb officials will blame contact lens solution users for the fungus. This finding makes that harder to do.