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Product Safety: October 27

The latest American Association for Justice News Brief covers important product safety news.

Marijuana Carries Many Health Risks Similar to Tobacco

New York Times – Research suggests that smoking marijuana carries many of the same cardiovascular health hazards as smoking tobacco.

“Many people think that they have a free pass to smoke marijuana,” Dr. Salomeh Keyhani, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said. “I even heard a suggestion on public radio that tobacco companies should switch to marijuana because then they’d be selling life instead of selling death.”

However, medical evidence contradicts this view, especially for people with underlying cardiovascular diseases. Compared with tobacco, marijuana smoking causes a fivefold greater impairment of the blood’s oxygen-carrying capacity, Dr. Keyhani and colleagues reported. In a review of medical evidence published in January, researchers described a broad range of risks to the heart and blood vessels associated with the use of marijuana.

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Trader Joe’s Recall

Fox Business – Washington state-based seafood company Orca Bay Foods is recalling more than 4,450 pounds of Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Battered Halibut. The item contains undeclared wheat and milk allergens. Sold in 10-oz. boxes, the product could pose a serious risk to consumers with such allergies.

The fish, sold in Trader Joe’s locations across Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin, is marked with SKU 00503822. The package has code 537312620 and is marked with a best by date of Nov. 5, 2021, according to the FDA recall notice.

Trader Joe’s said all affected products had been removed from stores and destroyed. Customers should return the recalled product to the place of purchase for a full refund. More information can be found by contacting the company at 1-800-932-ORCA or Trader Joe’s Customer Relations at 626-599-3817.

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Reactions to Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta

NBC News – Telsa released a “full self-driving (FSD)” version of its autopilot system last week. However, the software upgrade isn’t capable of fully driving on its own. Concerns have been raised about whether the automaker is using its own customers as test subjects.

While the new software will let a Tesla handle both highway and urban driving duties, even responding to stop signs and red lights, a close look at an advisory Tesla posted reveals that motorists still will need to remain completely vigilant and ready to take over at a moment’s notice. Otherwise, the vehicle could “do the wrong thing.”

That has triggered warnings from safety and consumer groups, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It has also generated mixed reactions from Tesla owners.

“It’s actually not full self-driving (and) I’m getting a little skeptical Tesla will ever deliver what it promised,” Jim Alvrus from Huntsville, Alabama, told NBC News.

“I find [FSD] terrifying,” said Bill McGuire, who purchased a Tesla Model 3 in early September. He has serious concerns about the technology and the way he feels Tesla is promoting it.

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Recent Recalls and Withdrawals from the FDA

Click here for the latest recalls and product withdrawals from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.