Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

A Denver Man Files Lawsuit for “Popcorn Lung”

A man from Denver, Wayne Watson, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Tuesday claiming injury from the ingredient used for artificial butter flavoring in microwave popcorn. Watson is believed to be one of the only consumers to develop the condition “popcorn lung” from eating microwave popcorn on a daily basis.

The lawsuit involves the Kroger Company, Dillon Companies Inc., and Inter-American Products Inc.

Doctors from National Jewish Hospital initially diagnosed Watson with the condition in 2007. “Popcorn lung” is said to be linked to the flavor ingredient, diacetyl.

In December of 2007, the nation’s four largest makers of microwave popcorn stated that they have removed a flavoring chemical that has been linked to a lung ailment in popcorn plant workers from their products.

The Weaver Popcorn Company, ConAgra Foods Inc., General Mills Inc., and the American Pop Corn Co. have all promised to change their microwave popcorn recipes by January 2008. These companies sell Orville Redenbacher, Act II, Pop Secret and Jolly Time microwave popcorn.

The FDA has approved the use of diacetyl as a flavor ingredient and can be found naturally in butter, cheese and fruits.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has increased their inspections of microwave popcorn plants that use diacetyl. The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill in the fall that would limit worker exposure to the chemical at microwave popcorn plants.

There have been more than 500 lawsuits against the companies that produce or use the butter flavoring with the chemical. $50 million has been awarded in verdicts and another 100 cases have been settled for around tens of millions of dollars.

Strasburg Teen Killed in Car Accident

15-year-old Tanya Dmitruk was killed in a car accident on Saturday night, November 24th. Dmitruk was driving west on County Road 10 when she lost control of the car and went airborne, dying at the scene. According to the Colorado State Patrol, Dmitruk was driving without having a learner’s permit.
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Beware of Downtown Shuttles

A 12 year old boy visiting from out of state ran into a mall ride shuttle between Arapahoe and Curtis Streets last night. The incident serves as a reminder for all of us to take care when walking on the 16th Street Mall as there are numerous shuttles and the chances of accident is great. His injuries are not life threatening but he was taken to a hospital.