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            TODAY'S CONSUMER - Tuesday, September 12, 2006
                       "News You Can Use"

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         Red Cross fined for blood-supply procedure

WASHINGTON, -- The federal government is fining the American 
Red Cross $4 million for procedural failures with the U.S. 
blood supply it says endangered public health. The Washington 
Post reported Saturday the Red Cross was accused of continued 
failures to "adequately protect the safety of the nation's 
blood supply," stemming from the recall of nearly 10,000 
units of blood between 2003 and 2005. The Food and Drug 
Administration, however, found no evidence that the viola-
tions resulted in any contaminated blood or any transfusion 
recipients becoming infected, the Post reported. Rather, it 
was the thorough history taking of the donors that was lack-
ing, officials said. Included was the failure to test blood 
properly and also failure to ask donors the required ques-
tions to determine their risk of carrying infectious agents 
that could be transmitted through their donated blood, such 
as previous exposure to malaria or mad-cow disease, the 
report said.


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          Air Canada banishes pets to cargo hold

TORONTO, -- Air Canada has banished pets from its passenger 
cabins on domestic flights.  The airline already had rules 
that limited pets to the cargo hold on international flights. 
They were also not allowed in business class. An airline 
spokesman told the Toronto Globe and Mail that there had 
been problems with passengers who were allergic to pets. He 
said that guide dogs will be able to travel in the cabin.
"The health and safety, as well as the comfort and general 
well-being of our passengers, is always our top priority," 
spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick told the newspaper. "We strive 
to offer our customers an allergy-free environment. It's a 
question of fairness to all our customers." Reptiles and 
amphibians have never been allowed to travel with 
passengers. WestJet Airlines Ltd., Air Canada's major com-
petitor, said it will continue to allow dogs and cats to 
travel with passengers as long as they are in containers 
that fit under seats.

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         Networks not 'free' to swear with impunity

NEW YORK, -- A New York court granted a stay on network 
challenges to the Federal Communications Commission's 
profanity ban but said the agency must withhold enforce-
ment. The FCC requested 60 days to review its rulings 
regarding four cases against networks that had broadcast 
the f-word and the s-word, Broadcasting & Cable reported.
"Hollywood argues that they should be able to say the f-
word on television whenever they want," the FCC said in 
a statement. "The commission continues to believe they 
are wrong, and there should be some limits on what can 
be shown on television." But Media Access Project 
President Andrew J. Schwartzman said allowing the broad-
cast of expletives in the interim undercuts the FCC's 
argument. "I don't see how it can be anything other than 
a general stay," John Crigler, a first amendment attorney 
with Garvey Schubert Barer, told Broadcasting & Cable, 
although he didn't think the FCC had been completely 
stripped of its authority. The commission was only 
temporarily unable to use its power. Another attorney 
who is advising broadcast clients regarding the Sept. 11 
documentary, said, "This appears to leave the matter 
still in doubt."

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