In the News
Many red flags preceded the recall of e. coli-tainted meat from Topps factory. As output of beef patties rose this summer, Topps neglected critical safeguards that protect consumers. After at least 40 people were made sick, the company initiated the second-largest beef recall in history. The NYT points out "broader problems in the nation’s system for protecting consumers from food-borne illness... While noting that the amount of harmful E. coli in beef may be increasing as part of a natural cycle or for other reasons outside the control of the meat industry... 'some of the plants that may have had less-than-stellar systems in place are getting caught.'"
Mortgage lawsuits bill will let borrowers sue lenders for predatory loans. House Democrats introduced it yesterday. The measure, which is expected to generate intense opposition from the financial services industry, addresses some of the problems tied to the transformation of the mortgage lending industry from an often local business into a trillion-dollar global market for investors in search of higher returns.
The Oversight Committee will review the FDA's methods for testing and approving heart devices. This comes after last week's Medtronic recall (covered here). The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform asked FDA officials about its oversight of leads, the wires that carry electrical information between an implanted defibrillator and the heart. This included a request for "information about how it determines how much to test leads before marketing and why the agency does not give leads the same scrutiny that it has given in recent years to defibrillators."
A thing that makes you go "Hmmm..." Executives at AT&T and Verizon contributed big money to Senator John D. Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee... and oh, by the way, also sought his support for legal immunity for businesses participating in National Security Agency eavesdropping. Which they got. Mr. Rockefeller emerged last week as the most important supporter of immunity, but his office told NYT that the contributions had no influence on his support for immunity. A spokeswoman said: “He made his decision to support limited immunity based on the Intelligence Committee’s careful review of the situation and our national security interests.” Mr. Rockefeller, we've got your number.