Archive for October, 2009

Bicycle tires are faulty

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Some Schwalbe bicycle tires have treads that can separate and cause the rider to fall.
For a recall notice, click here.

Changing weather, changing prices

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Weary of seeing grocery prices climb while your buying power dwindles?
Brace yourself.
Amid the debate about ways to reduce climate change comes a new report from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) indicating that food prices could more than triple by 2050 as the climate changes.
The report, Climate Change: Impact on Agriculture and Costs of Adaptation, was developed for the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
Even without the effects of climate change, food prices still are expected to rise, by 40 per cent for wheat, and 60 per cent for both rice and corn by 2050, as the world population grows.
However, by drawing on climate and crop models, IFPRI predicts a much worse scenario, forecasting wheat prices to rise 170 to 194 per cent, rice prices 113 to 121 per cent, and corn to go up 148 to 153 per cent.
“Agriculture is extremely vulnerable to climate change, because farming is so weather-dependent,” said Mark Rosegrant, co-author of the report. “Small-scale farmers in developing countries will suffer the most. However, our study finds that this scenario of lower yields, higher prices, and increased child malnutrition can be avoided.”
The report claims that investment of about $7 billion a year could avert these problems by bringing new technologies to farmers and educating them about how they can adapt. To see the full report, click here.
To see more blog entries about climate change, visit

Sprouts linked to state salmonella outbreak

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Living Foods Inc. of Ionia, Mich. is voluntarily recalling alfalfa sprouts in response to a salmonella investigation being done by the Michigan Departments of Community Health and Agriculture. So far, 12 cases of salmonella in Michigan between Aug. 17 and Sept. 18 have been associated with the outbreak.
The sprouts were distributed to retail and food service facilities through wholesale produce suppliers in Michigan. Sprouts affected were sold under the Living Foods label with a sell by date of Oct. 22 or earlier: alfalfa sprouts, 5 lb. box; 1 lb. bag; 4 oz. bag; 4 oz. cup; spicy sprouts, 4 oz. cup; 7 sprout, 4 oz. cup; alfalfa/onion, 4 oz. cup; and alfalfa/garlic, 4 oz. cups.
Living Foods is working with state officials to determine the cause of this problem. To date, neither Living Foods nor state officials have any laboratory test data linking the sprouts to the illnesses or to the microorganism.
If consumers have any of the Living Foods sprouts in their possession, they should be discarded. Wholesale-retailers should remove the product from sale and cease distribution. Questions should be directed to the company at (616) 527-0911.

Swine flu remedy marketers: Pigs at the trough

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Products purporting to prevent or treat the Swine Flu are flooding the market. The problem is that the federal Food and Drug Administration says most of them have not been authorized, approved or confirmed to be effective at all in treating or relieving the symptoms.
Most of the products are marketed to the public through Web sites. The FDA published an advisory that includes a list of 138 products that make unsubstantiated claims about their effectiveness against swine flu.

Power washers, air compressors recalled

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

DeVilbiss is recalling several brands of power washers and some Porter-Cable air compressors because they have a plastic part that can break and injure users.
Details, including brands and model numbers, may be found by clicking here.

Lowe’s director’s chairs can collapse

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Red and blue folding director’s chairs with the name “Garden Treasures” on the packaging and sold exclusively at Lowe’s are being recalled because they can collapse and injure users.
Details may be found by clicking here.

Toyota launches massive recall

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Toyota Motor Corp. said today it will recall 3.8 million vehicles in the U.S. — the most ever — to address problems with a removable floor mat that could cause accelerators to get stuck and lead to a crash. The recall will involve popular models such as the Toyota Camry, the top-selling passenger car in America, and the Toyota Prius, the best-selling gas-electric hybrid.
Toyota said it was still working with officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to find a remedy to fix the problem and said owners could be notified about the recall as early as next week. Toyota spokesman Irv Miller said until the company finds a fix, owners should take out the removable floor mat on the driver’s side and not replace it.
“A stuck open accelerator pedal may result in very high vehicle speeds and make it difficult to stop a vehicle, which could cause a crash, serious injury or death,” Miller said.
NHTSA said it had received reports of 102 incidents in which the accelerator may have become stuck on the Toyota vehicles involved. It was unclear how many led to crashes but the inquiry was prompted by a high-speed crash in August in California of a Lexus barreling out of control. As the vehicle hit speeds exceeding 120 mph, family members made a frantic 911 call and said the accelerator was stuck and they couldn’t stop the vehicle.
The recall will affect 2007-2010 model year Toyota Camry, 2005-2010 Toyota Avalon, 2004-2009 Toyota Prius, 2005-2010 Tacoma, 2007-2010 Toyota Tundra, 2007-2010 Lexus ES350 and 2006-2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350.
For more information, consumers can contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s hotline at (888) 327-4236, Toyota at (800) 331-4331 or Lexus at (800) 255-3987.

FBI warns of new e-mail scams

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

The FBI is warning that three new e-mailed scams are afoot, claiming to be bulletins about intelligence information or homeland security.
For details, click here.