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Consumer Daily Reports

Trusted reliable news sources from around the web. We offer special news reports, topic news videos, and related content stories. Truly a birds eye view on news.

Consumer News: New study finds that smartphones are quickly becoming the go-to online device

PhotoAs the density of Americans owning a smartphone continues to grow -- currently at 87 percent -- the use of those smartphones as the consumer’s go-to digital device is also growing.

However, a new Pew Research Center study discovers that smartphone owners who use a phone as their online connector, use them differently than they might with a regular computer.

If you’re guessing it’s the younger consumer -- the 18-to 29-year-olds -- leading the way, you’d be right. That group’s use is trending from 41 percent in 2013 to 58 percent in 2019. But, the growth is consistent across all demographics. Take the share of adults ages 30 to 49, for instance. Their use of a smartphone to go online has nearly doubled – from 24 percent in 2013 to 47 percent today.

“These trends are part of a broader shift toward mobile technology that has changed the way people do everything from getting news to applying for jobs,” wrote Monica Anderson, a senior researcher at Pew.

“Indeed, mobile devices are not simply being used more often to go online – some Americans are forgoing traditional broadband at home altogether in favor of their smartphone. A majority of adults say they subscribe to home broadband, but about one-in-four (27 percent) do not. And growing shares of these non-adopters cite their mobile phone as a reason for not subscribing to these services.”

Wait a minute

Dropping broadband to do… everything via the phone? Like watch movies, listen to music, and shop everything?

Yep. And there are two simple reasons:

  • For one, smartphones have become so, well, smart, that digital consumers can do everything they want or need to do online. Pew found that the 45 percent who go that route has nearly doubled, many citing the savings from ditching their monthly home broadband subscription. In addition, 80 percent of those non-broadband users say they’re simply not interested in getting high-speed connections at home.

  • And, two, consumers are simply moving away from buying desktops, laptops, and tablets. That piece of the pie has fallen from 53 percent in 2013 to 30 percent today.

I’m fine as it is, thanks

Don’t care about broadband? You’re represented in the study, too. On the non-broadband user side, Pew notes that crowd never had high-speed internet at home to begin with, don’t show much interest in having it in the future.

“In previous Center surveys, Americans of all kinds have linked not having broadband to a number of disadvantages -- including difficulties finding job information or less access to government services,” Anderson said. “Despite these perceived challenges, non-adopters show little interest in becoming home broadband users in the future.”

Read more ...

Consumer News: Lawmakers in New York vote to eliminate religious exemptions to vaccines

PhotoLawmakers in New York voted Thursday to end non-medical vaccine exemptions for school-age children in an effort to combat the high number of measles cases in the state.

The legislation, which will go into effect immediately, comes the same week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that cases of measles in the U.S. have now exceeded 1,000.

New York has been hit particularly hard by the ongoing outbreak. As of June 3, 566 cases of measles have been confirmed in New York City. In Rockland County, another area of New York, 259 cases have been confirmed as of June 6. A majority of cases have been confirmed in areas of New York with Orthodox Jewish communities.  

Vaccine hesitancy

Federal health officials have attributed the resurgence in cases of measles, which was declared to have been entirely eliminated in 2000, to the increase in parents who oppose vaccination based on false information about the risks of vaccines.

Supporters of the new legislation suggest some parents may be citing religious reasons for allowing their children to go unvaccinated even though their opposition is actually rooted in discredited beliefs, such as the belief that vaccines cause autism.

“The science is crystal clear: Vaccines are safe, effective and the best way to keep our children safe. This administration has taken aggressive action to contain the measles outbreak, but given its scale, additional steps are needed to end this public health crisis,” Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, who signed the legislation, said in a statement.

“While I understand and respect freedom of religion, our first job is to protect the public health and by signing this measure into law, we will help prevent further transmissions and stop this outbreak right in its tracks,” Cuomo said.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) said the measure will help improve public health by ensuring children receive the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella (or “MMR), which prevents the disease.

"We are in the midst of a measles epidemic which is completely preventable given proper immunizations,” Stewart-Cousins said in a statement.

Lawmakers in several other states are working toward introducing legislation to prevent parents from citing religious reasons for opting out of having their children vaccinated. California has already removed personal belief vaccine exemptions for children in both public and private schools, and Maine ended its religious exemption earlier this year.

Read more ...

Consumer News: Model year 2013 Ford F-150 pickup trucks recalled

PhotoFord Motor Company is recalling 107,857 model year 2013 F-150 pickup trucks equipped with 5.0L or 6.2L gasoline engines, that previously had the powertrain control module (PCM) software reprogrammed under an earlier recall.

The software used to reprogram the PCM did not have the necessary updates to prevent the transmission from unexpectedly downshifting into first gear, regardless of vehicle speed.

Unexpectedly downshifting into first gear may result in a loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash.

What to do

Ford will notify owners, and dealers will reprogram the powertrain control module free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin June 24, 2019.

Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 19S19.

Read more ...

Consumer News: Young children who are overweight are at an increased risk of high blood pressure

PhotoHealthy habits should start at a young age, and a new study shows just how important it is for parents to prioritize their young children’s health.

Researchers found that children who are overweight by age four are over two times as likely to develop high blood pressure by age six, while also being vulnerable to other health conditions as they grow into adulthood.

“The myth that excess weight in children has no consequences hampers the prevention and control of this health problem,” said researcher Dr. Iñaki Galán. “Parents need to be more physically active with young children and provide a healthy diet.”

Knowing the risks

The researchers had nearly 1,800 four-year-olds participate in the study, with each child evaluated for body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and blood pressure. Two years later, the children were reevaluated for the same measures.

The study revealed that children who gained weight over the course of the two years were over two times as likely to have high blood pressure by the time they were six-years-old.

Children who experienced persistent abdominal obesity increased their risk of high blood pressure by 3.5 times, whereas children with persistent weight gain over the two years increased their risk of high blood pressure by over 2.5 times.

“There is a chain of risk, whereby overweight and obesity lead to high blood pressure, which heightens the chance of cardiovascular disease if allowed to track into adulthood,” said Dr. Galán. “But the results show that children who return to a normal weight also regain a healthy blood pressure.”

Dr. Galán was adamant that young children have their blood pressure checked regularly in order to track any cases that could potentially escalate into the high blood pressure range.

Many children aren’t moving enough, and the researchers stress the importance of a healthy diet and regular exercise, as well as interventions by parents to promote healthy lifestyles, and the efforts of schools to initiate activities that get kids moving during the day and providing healthy lunches.

Overall, the researchers hope that doctors treat these risks as such, regardless of how young the patients might be.

“Some pediatricians think the harms of overweight and obesity begin in adolescence but our study shows they are mistaken,” said Dr. Galán. “We need to detect excess weight as soon as possible so the damaging impact on blood pressure can be reversed.”

Keeping health at the forefront

In a similar vein, researchers recently found that half of children and teens in the U.S. are struggling with keeping healthy cholesterol levels. This is particularly troublesome because similar to blood pressure, high cholesterol during childhood and adolescence can linger into adulthood, leading to a slew of other health issues.

“High cholesterol in childhood is one of the key risk factors for developing heart disease later in life,” said Dr. Marma Perak. “Although we see favorable trends in all measures of cholesterol in children and adolescents over the years, we still need to work harder to ensure that many more kids have healthy cholesterol levels.”

Read more ...

Consumer News: Bayer to invest $5.6 billion in developing alternatives to glyphosate

PhotoAmid mounting legal claims that the herbicide glyphosate causes cancer, Bayer has announced that it plans to invest $5.6 billion in developing new weedkillers over the next ten years. Bayer, which now owns Monsanto, says the move is intended to address public concerns about the risks of the ingredient.

While Bayer has maintained that glyphosate is safe, thousands of plaintiffs have claimed that long-term exposure to Monsanto's glyphosate-based Roundup was a factor in their cancer diagnoses.

Last August, a San Francisco jury awarded a former school groundskeeper $289 million after finding that his cancer was the result of years of using Roundup. More recently, a California jury awarded a couple $2 billion in damages after finding that sustained exposure to Roundup led to their cancer diagnoses.

Four years ago, the World Health Organization's cancer agency classified glyphosate as a “probable” carcinogen. The herbicide has been detected in beers and wines, pet food, oat-based cereals and even linked to shorter pregnancies.

To date, more than 13,000 lawsuits claim glyphosate is carcinogenic.

Developing alternative options

In a statement on Friday, Bayer said its multi-billion dollar investment won’t put an end to the use of glyphosate, but it will hopefully expand the number of comparable weed-killing options available to growers.

"While glyphosate will continue to play an important role in agriculture and in Bayer’s portfolio, the company is committed to offering more choices for growers," the company said.

Through its research and development investments, Bayer aims to create “tailored integrated weed management solutions” as well as “help develop customized solutions for farmers at a local level.” Additionally, Bayer says it’s aiming to "reduce the environmental impact” of its products by 30 percent by 2030.

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Consumer News: Brodt Zenatti Holding recalls Karawan & SoCo brands of tahini

PhotoBrodt Zenatti Holding of Jupiter, Florida is recalling all retail and bulk Karawan brand tahini and SoCo Brand tahini.

The products may be contaminated with Salmonella.

Four illnesses have been reported to date.

The following products are being recalled:

  • Karawan Tahini imported from Palestine from December 2018, to April 2019: Unit size: 15.87-oz (450g) jar, 599.6 oz (17kgO and (599.6 oz) and 105.822-oz (3 kg) bucket; storage conditions: No refrigeration needed; expiration Date (s): Two years from the production. The expiration date is located on the lid of the containers.
  • SoCo Tahini: Unit size: 13.4-oz (380g) container; storage conditions: No refrigeration needed; expiration Date (s): Two years from the production. The expiration date is located on the lid of the containers.

Karawan brand Tahini was shipped directly to distributors in New York and Texas, who then shipped it to Massachusetts and Virginia.

What to do

Consumers who purchased the recalled products should destroy or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Consumers with questions may contact Brodt Zenatti Holding at (305) 570-9050, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Read more ...

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