Tuesday, October 27, 2009
See story: Harvard: Lab workers poisoned by tainted coffee
Thursday, October 22, 2009
It won’t get you anywhere except in jail or in a straight jacket.
Unfortunately, injured workers find out too late, only after they are seriously injured, that the WC system is broken, leaving many of them without adequate medical care, no avenue for future employment and without adequate compensation. Many injured workers become desperate and angry, realizing that the system has failed them and their future.
It can lead to desperate measures like the one took by this rifle-toting man, demanding help at gunpoint.
I am almost certain that every injured worker who has been mistreated by Worker’s Compensation can empathize with the struggles that this man must have endured to make him act so desperately. But his desperate act was not the right choice and it doesn’t help anyone. The way to solve the problem is not with violence but with unity.
The problem, however, is that there is no adequate organization that is currently available to help injured workers who are getting dumped on by the Worker’s Compensation system.
Injured workers around the world must show leadership and organize as a group. There is no other group that understands the problems beset within the Worker’s Compensation system better than the injured worker.
Injured Workers need to unite to help educate other workers about the real problems that exist. Injured Workers also need to support union representation to protect worker and public health and safety.
If injured workers do not unite, nothing will get accomplished. Desperate times and desperate measures will continue and injured workers will remain abandoned and mistreated as they are today.
Excerpts from the article state that “…employers learn they can 'game the system.' " …” the OSHA process is stacked against regulators and employees.”
What happens is that companies appeal any violation that have been cited against them and the appeals board often dismisses or reduced fines. Coerced settlements are used also.
"The (appeal) board's actions have done more than save companies money. They have undermined Cal-OSHA's efforts to prevent future accidents, according to labor advocates, inspectors and state documents. "
OSHA's inability to enforce violations and to correct unsafe work conditions, unfortunately, has led to documented repeated injuries, deaths and amputations at companies that had been previously cited for workplace safety violations, but later dismissed by the board of appeals.
California OSHA’s appeal board had a backlog of 2500 cases indicating a serious problem with worker safety. There is pressure to dismiss these cases in order to get them off the docket.
For the complete story go to this link.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Many advanced biological endeavors such as nanotechnology, embryonic stem cell technologies, gene therapy and genetically engineered foods have moved into our lives with benefits promised but still to be discovered. Nevertheless, with the push to advance these technologies for discovery and profit and to endear them to the public, little research and money is given to understand the risks and threats that are inherent in developing these technologies. This is bad news for the public.
The dangers that these advanced technologies pose can impact our health, society and culture. Some of the health related threats to name a few are chronic illness, cancer and new emerging disease in humans and other species of life.
Within the past few years another new scientific advancement has been slowly emerging: Synthetic Biology.
Synthetic Biology is the science of creating new life, new biological systems and new biochemical pathways that are not found in nature. It can even create new pathogens.
Synthetic Biology employs a variety of interdisciplinary skills using microbiology, recombinant DNA technologies, bioinformatics, nanotechnology, biochemistry and cell biology.
As with other advanced technologies, synthetic biology is an open research field with little regulatory oversight to protect the public. It is another technology that the public needs to be concerned about as new advanced technologies are developed, patented and used on the public without appropriate risk management and public education.
Friday, October 9, 2009
McCollum is found saying, “It’s time Congress get serious about taxpayer funding of corporate cheats, crooks and criminals.”
Her position came after Pfizer had to pay $2.3 billion settlement with the Justice Department after Pfizer defrauded government health care programs and paid kickbacks to health care providers, inducing them to prescribe their off-labeled marketed drugs. All of this fraud cost the American taxpayers billions of dollars.
Apparently Pfizer is a habitual violator. They have intentionally violated the law over an extensive period of time and even continued to do so when settling prior cases with the government. As quoted by attorney general Tony West, Pfizer’s behavior “puts the public health at risk”, corrupts medical decisions by healthcare providers and costs the government billions of dollars.”
Despite Pfizer’s historical bad conduct, they continue to win massive government contracts. McCollum is mad as hell.
McCollum wants to place penalties onto corporate cheats like Pfizer by inhibiting their ability to obtain federal contracts, grants or any other form of benefit for a 5 year period beginning 30 days after the date of the criminal conviction. McCollum also wants to stop corporate cheats from contributing to campaign politicians for 5 years which will limit their political prowess. She is introducing her bill entitled, “Against Corporations Organizing to Rip-off the Nation Act of 2009” which ironically is abbreviated as ACORN Act.
I think McCollum is on to something here. Her bill won’t throw the criminals in jail (where actually they belong), but it will somewhat limit their political power for at least 5 years. It is a step in the right direction to dissuade big wealthy corporations from their continued unethical business practices which harm the American people, cost us billions of dollars and harm the integrity of the American system.
For more on this topic, see an excellent article by Jeremy Scahill, published in The Nation on Oct 5, 2009, entitled, “An ACORN Amendment for Pfizer.”