The plant responsible for a current massive recall of children's liquid Tylenol and other drugs was cited last year by the FDA for "knowingly" using an ingredient that tested positive for B. cepacia bacteria, according to a 2009 inspection report obtained by USA TODAY. The FDA cited the plant for a similar violation during an inspection last month that found numerous violations of good manufacturing practices and prompted the recall. Children's Tylenol plant cited for tainted ingredient in 2009
The Pennsylvania plant responsible for a current recall of children's liquid Tylenol and other medicines is not alone in being cited recently by federal regulators for serious violations of good manufacturing practices. At least 43 other plants have received warning letters from the FDA for shoddy drugmaking since January 2009, a USA TODAY review of records shows. Problems include companies using ingredients or equipment contaminated with bacteria or insects, failing to test for strength or purity, and ignoring consumer complaints. FDA warned dozens of drug factories since 2009
Serious injuries and deaths involving amusement park and carnival rides are relatively rare, data indicate. Still, out of the millions of riders each year, federal regulators estimate that more than 2,500 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries involving amusement rides. In Georgia, recent incidents have included a man being thrown off a whirling swing into a fence; girls’ legs badly cut when a trailer awning was opened into the path of their whirling ride; a little girl who fell from near the top of a Ferris wheel; and a decapitation involving a roller coaster. Regulators monitor amusement rides
Every vaccination given in Georgia is supposed to be recorded in a state immunization registry. But only 26 percent of private health care providers are following the law, state data show. Nationally just 37 percent of private providers record immunizations in registries, which are supposed to make it easier to keep children current on their shots. Georgia's registry will play a critical role in monitoring the safety of the new H1N1 flu vaccine, and state officials are refusing to give the vaccine to doctors who don't participate. Vaccination reporting spotty
An estimated 3 percent of prescriptions filled by pharmacies have potentially harmful errors: The wrong drug, wrong dosage or wrong directions. In Georgia, state regulators investigate dozens of prescription misfills each year. Patients have been given the blood thinner warfarin, instead of their prescribed diabetes drug; an Alzheimer's treatment instead of sleeping pills; an antidepressant instead of an allergy medication, according to a review of pharmacy board disciplinary records. The harm in pharmacy misfills
When hikers are injured, killed or have other incidents in Georgia's state parks, the trouble is usually of their own making, a review of Georgia Department of Natural Resources incident logs shows. While crime is rare, visitors find plenty of other ways to get into trouble. Dozens get so lost that park officials have to launch searches, according to search and rescue reports. Georgia state parks: How to avoid trouble
Does your neighborhood or apartment swimming pool contain germ-killing chlorine? It's supposed to, but many don't when inspectors test the water, inspection records obtained under the Georgia Open Records Act show. With waterborne disease outbreaks on the rise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends swimmers test the water themselves before diving in. Local pool might be hazardous to your health
The investments seemed like a good opportunity: Condos, a marina and a bank in Belize, and annuities that promised regular returns. But prosecutors allege that Frank Constantino was running an illegal scheme that collected millions of dollars from investors. Securities regulators in Missouri warned residents in their state about Constantino in 2003. Why did it take six years for Georgia regulators to take action against the Marietta financial adviser? Investors fight for their funds
So many veterans are seeking care at the Atlanta VA Medical Center the line to park wraps around the building most days. The head of Georgia's veterans services department says it's further evidence the metro area needs a second VA hospital. VA hospital tackles persistent parking problem
It used to be that safety watchdogs warned of the dangers of hand-me-down cribs made decades ago. But federal regulators are alarmed by threats posed by certain modern cribs, particularly those with drop sides. In the past two years more than 4.6 million have been recalled by multiple manufacturers. Experts say it's likely many of them are still in people's homes. Thirteen children have died in cribs and bassinets made by just one company; dozens have died in drop-side cribs involving multiple manufacturers.
Alison Young has more than 20 years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor at major U.S. newspapers. She is currently a member of USA TODAY's investigative team and is past president of Investigative Reporters and Editors, a national journalism training organization. Young is a frequent speaker on the techniques of watchdog journalism. This site is her personal portfolio of articles and reporting tips. You can reach her at email@example.com.