Calls for a government-led investigation of the potential negative health effects of crumb rubber turf are getting louder, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission is listening. Crumb rubber turf infill consists of black pellets of ground-up rubber, and it’s become increasingly popular in the construction of sports fields. Some are concerned, however, that crumb rubber turf may expose athletes to cancer-causing chemicals.

On Wednesday, January 27, CPSC chairman Elliot F. Kaye, in statements to a Florida television station, indicated that CPSC will investigate the potential risks of rubber turf.

Continue Reading Government Turf: Will the CPSC Investigate Rubber Infill?

Last week, the US Supreme Court ruled that an offer of judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68 made to the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit, in addition to a separate free-standing settlement offer in the same amount, does not render the lawsuit moot.

In Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, No. 14-857, 2016 WL 228345 (U.S. Jan. 20, 2016), Jose Gomez filed a class-action lawsuit seeking damages under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act as a result of unwanted text messages he and others received from Campbell-Ewald Company.  Before Gomez had filed his motion for class certification, Campbell made an offer of judgment to him under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68 which would have satisfied his personal claim entirely.  Gomez allowed this offer to lapse after 14 days, as specified by the rule.  Campbell then moved to dismiss the case, claiming that no controversy remained after its offer provided Gomez with complete relief.  Both the District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed with Campbell.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Says Offering to Settle Cannot Moot Class Action Suits

On Tuesday June 9th, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a concussion policy for youth sports programs. The policy comes amid growing concerns surrounding head trauma both in sports at the professional and amateur levels. The Physicians News Digest reports that emergency room visits for sports-related concussions have increased more than 60 percent over the last ten years, and more than 90 percent of repeat injuries happen within 10 days of the initial incident. Up to 3.8 million sports-related traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, occur annually in the United States according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Continue Reading Heads-Up Play: AMA Adopts Concussion Policy for Youth Sports

In response to mounting pressure, the FDA issued warnings to five supplement companies last week regarding the risks associated with beta-methylphenethylamine, or BMPEA. BMPEA is widely used in weight loss and energy supplements, but has an ingredient similar to amphetamine.

Supplement makers claimed that BMPEA was allowed in dietary supplements because it occurred naturally in a shrub known as Acacia rigidula. Dr. Pieter Cohen of Harvard University, who has criticized the FDA’s slow action on BMPEA, conducted a study of products listing Acacia rigidula as an ingredient, suspecting it signified the presence of BMPEA.

In its letters to the supplement companies, the FDA stated that it was “aware of no evidence to support an assertion that BMPEA is, in fact, a constituent of this botanical [Acacia rigidula].”

Continue Reading UPDATE: FDA Speeds Up the BMPEA Battle

Whether you’re a bodybuilder trying to lose that last percentage of body fat or an average person looking to lose a few extra pounds, weight loss supplements can offer a quick fix. But a number of popular fat-burning weight loss supplements may contain the chemical known as Beta-methylphenylethylamine (BMPEA), a stimulant recently criticized for its “amphetamine-like” qualities. A recently published study led by Dr. Pieter Cohen of Harvard Medical School found BMPEA in eleven supplements on the shelves at various vitamin or supplement stores.

Continue Reading Bodybuilder Beware: Study Raises Concerns About Speed-Like Substance in Supplements

CrossFit, the widely popular fitness methodology, has a noise problem.  Each day, loyal CrossFitters flock to their local gym, or “box,” for the workout of the day (WOD).  In line with CrossFit’s philosophy of constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity, these WODs often involve high repetitions of pull-ups, kettlebell swings, box jumps and barbell movements, such as squats, presses and Olympic lifts.  Couple that with WOD formats requiring as many repetitions as possible in a certain time, or a certain amount of repetitions as quickly as possible, and the result is a measurable level of performance.  While the CrossFit community is united by its dedication to the program, neighbors to local boxes are not as appreciative of the cacophony of sounds that accompany the WODs.
Continue Reading Boxing Your Ears: CrossFit’s Noise Conundrum

California’s attempt to become the first state to require warning labels on soft drinks and other sugary beverages has failed.  State Senator Bill Monning’s proposed legislation would have required sodas and other sugar-sweetened drinks to carry a label reading, “CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.”  Drinks required to carry the labels would have included those which contain added sweeteners and have seventy-five (75) or more calories per twelve (12) ounces.  Milk-based beverages, including frappucinos, lattes, and chocolate milk, would have been exempt from the bill.  The bill was voted down by the California Assembly Committee on Health by an 8-7 vote on Tuesday, June 17th.  The bill needed 10 votes to pass.
Continue Reading California Sugar Rush: Proposal Requiring Warning Labels for Sweet Drinks Falls Short