PHOENIX -- Maricopa County Environmental Services and the Maricopa County Department of Public Health are warning Phoenix residents about an unapproved food coloring agent that was added to raw pork and beef products.
The additive, Cemix, contains two forms of iron oxide and is used to color concrete.
MCES traced the additive to a local distributor and learned that other carnicerías and meat markets were also using the coloring agent.
“Our department’s inspectors are working on removing products with this coloring agent from retailers, and consumers should know that if they bought these products from any of the identified locations, they should stop using them,” said John Kolman, director of the Maricopa County Environmental Services department, in a news release. “We sent inspectors to survey more locations and try to isolate products with this unapproved food additive,” Kolman added.
So far chorizo and marinated meat containing Cemix have been found at Carnicería el Camino and two Phoenix Farms Supermercado locations.
Because MCES has not yet determined the extent of the distribution of Cemix, there could be meat products containing it at other stores.
Iron oxide, which is what is in Cemix, has health effects similar to those of iron supplements and prenatal vitamins, including abdominal discomfort, vomiting and diarrhea. While the effects can be uncomfortable, they generally are not dangerous.
“If it has been more than six hours and you feel fine, there’s very little risk of any health effects at all,” said Dr. Bob England, director of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health in a news release. “But [Cemix] wasn’t intended for human consumption, not manufactured in a manner that would be considered appropriate for food production, so it is only prudent to not eat this stuff.”
Wow, cement in meat??? What’s next, drywall paste in the butter? Why would someone do this?? Meat is God’s gift to man! In at least three (3) states, the state bird is a pig! I have a friend who has a shirt that says “If God did not want us to eat animals, why did he make them of meat?”
OK, let’s now get serious for a moment and talk “liability”. If you got sick as described, would you have a case against the company that added cement to the meat? Probably. Would it be worth anything for a few hours of nausea? No. Long terms effects? Possibly, but may be hard to prove.
What if your body had a violent reaction to the cement and you got seriously ill or worse? Would you have a case then? (I hope that no one aspires to this) The answer is, yes, most likely. As “cement” is not a natural additive of meat, and not a substance naturally found in meat, you likely would have a claim if serious injuries or damages resulted from the ingestion of such. You would have a claim for “product liability” against the people or entities that 1) added the cement, 2) distributed the product and 3) sold you the product. Under AZ law, each would be responsible for the portion of negligence deemed contributory to the end product.
This is a very odd story, one that I hope goes away quickly with little fanfare or problems to anyone.
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If you believe most members of the US Congress, medical malpractice is ripping apart our healthcare system. Frivolous lawsuits are destroying America. We need “Tort Reform” to save us. Sound familiar?
Question: Is there really a medical malpractice crisis in the United States? Or perhaps, is something else afoot? What are the real facts?
The United States does indeed have a malpractice crisis: Malpractice kills more people every year than car wrecks. And that's not according to trial lawyers, but rather, from the American Hospital Association and the New England Journal of Medicine. Our healthcare is more dangerous than our highways. That has to count as a crisis in anyone's book.
Indeed, a study by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences confirms these numbers. It is estimated that as many as 98,000 patients die each year as a result of medical errors. It is further estimated that at least 1% of doctors in the US deserve some serious disciplinary action each year. This would amount to 7,703 physicians being disciplined each year, a number that, unfortunately far exceeds the actual number of physicians that are disciplined.
Presently, there is a bill in Congress that would sharply limit the amount a victim could receive for a medical malpractice mistake. The legislation would, among other things, limit damages for pain and suffering in malpractice cases to $250,000 (no matter how egregious the injury or damage), restrict fees paid to lawyers representing patients and create alternative means to lawsuits for resolving medical disputes.
Okay. Let’s think about this for a moment. We all know that Congress is completely controlled by lobby money. In this case, whose lobby money? Who could possibly be behind this? Have medical malpractice lawsuits really run amok, or, is this “big business” (the American Medical Association (i.e doctors), the insurance industry, etc…) trying to buy legislation to limit their responsibility and exposure for their own wrongdoing?
What is happening in Arizona? Our state is one of the few remaining that has no limit on the recovery one can receive when injured by another. Arizona voters have rejected “tort reform” measures on multiple occasions. In Arizona, we still believe in personal responsibility, that “if you break it, you should pay for it”. It truly is the cornerstone of the justice system.
What about medical malpractice and frivolous lawsuits? Is the medical and court system broken in Arizona, such that we need more legislation to protect doctors and their insurers? Hardly.
In 2000, Arizona’s population was a little more than 2 million people. The number of medical malpractice filings in Arizona that year were approximately 325. Over the next few years, the population exploded to more than 4 million. What would you expect happened to the number of medical malpractice cases? If you guess “it went up”, you would be wrong. In fact, med mal filings in Arizona in 2008 went down, to about 275. Millions more people, but less filings? Does that sound like a “crisis” to you? With over 4 million people in Arizona, there were only 275 medical malpractice lawsuits filed?
Further, consider what is happening with what doctors pay for their malpractice insurance. The largest malpractice insurer in Arizona is Mutual Insurance Company of Arizona (MICA). In December 2010, MICA declared a dividend of Sixty Million Dollars ($60,000,000) would be paid to it’s policyholders, classified as “returned premiums”. That means, MICA decided that it did not need this money anymore, because the threat and amount of lawsuits is so drastically down. For physicians insured with MICA, this dividend amounted to approximately 42% of their annual 2010 premium. It brings the total dividends (returned premiums) paid to participating MICA members in the past five (5) years to One Hundred Eighty Million Dollars ($180,000,000).
An insurance company lowering rates and refunding $180 Million Dollars to policyholders?? Does this sound like there is a crisis in Arizona? Does this sound like a situation where “medical malpractice lawsuits” are ruining us? When is the last time your insurance company reduced your rates, or refunded ½ your costs of insurance?
In truth, medical malpractice lawsuits are way down. So why all the hype? Why is there a cry for “tort reform” for medical malpractice cases? Remember, “tort reform” is really just a fancy phrase for “taking away YOUR legal rights”. Why does Congress want to take away your rights to sue for medical mistakes? Answer: Because medical lobbyists and insurance lobbyists want more. How do they get more? Two ways: Blame “lawsuits” for a non-existent problem (i.e. create a crisis and scare people), and pay Congress-people lots of “campaign” money to agree.
Question: I thought this was only about “frivolous lawsuits”? What about them?
First, the proposed legislation makes no distinction between the most egregious medical errors and “frivolous” lawsuits. The worst medical mistakes imaginable will also be included. Is that really what we want? Do we really want to give health care providers and insurers a “pass”, a way to escape responsibility for their errors?
I promise you, there are systems in place in the courts that are well-equipped to deal with “frivolous” cases. Unless you meet certain conditions, you will never even see the inside of a courtroom. The Judge will dismiss the case before it gets that far.
How we begin to destroy our justice system? Limit the amount of money that can be awarded for damages, no matter how severe. Make it “not worth it” to anyone. This is what doctors and their insurers really want, and, if up to our Congress, they might just get it. Who loses? You. Your family. Your neighbor. Your co-workers. Your friends.
The United States does not need this legislation, and we certainly don’t need it in Arizona. “Tort Reform” is bad, no matter what lies they tell you or labels they put it.
An Apache Junction teacher was hit and killed by a car Wednesday morning after he was injured in an earlier accident while on his moped.
Sat Guru Singh Khalsa was riding his moped to work at the Mountain Shadows Education Center when he was hit by another vehicle and sustained minor injuries, Apache Junction Unified School District Public Information Officer Brian Killgore said.
A bystander went to check on Khalsa when the two were struck by another vehicle, authorities said. Khalsa died at the scene. The other bystander was transported to a local hospital in unknown condition, said Battalion Chief Chuck Fitzgerald of Rural Metro Fire Department.
Killgore said Khalsa worked with special-education elementary students at Mountain Shadows as a language-arts and reading teacher since July 2005.
"This is a great loss to the AJUSD family and to the community as a whole," said AJUSD Superintendent, Dr. Chad Wilson in a press release. "Sat was well-known and well-liked across the District, and regarded as an innovative and energetic instructor who touched the lives of his students and co-workers alike. Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time."
Counselors will be available to students, and the district will send a letter home to parents, Killgore said.
Here is the legal question that I find interesting: Could the driver who was responsible for causing the first collision ALSO be held responsible for the second collision that resulted in the death of Mr. Khalsa?
I would need to know more facts, but the simple response is, yes.
If the first collision put Mr. Khalsa in the position whereby he was able to be hit by the second vehicle, then yes, BOTH the first and second accident-causing-drivers could be held responsible for the damages sustained by Mr. Khalsa’s family.
More facts would need to be known, such as, what was the amount of time and/or distance between collision #1 and collision #2? What if anything did Mr. Khalsa do after the first collision, that he could have avoided to keep him from the position of being hit again? Would it have been within reason for him to do so? Was it within reason to do what he did in this case?
A lot of unknown facts and unanswered questions. Ultimately, these issues might be decided by a jury, which is sometimes called the “conscience of the community”.