The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "public health" ...

  • Military Quacks

    Carollo and Nesmith tell the stories of victims of medical accidents and misjudgments involving doctors employed by the U.S. military. "That means the patients were treated in an environment not governed by some of the most significant safeguards that help protect civilians from bad medicine." Under Defense Department rules, such incidents involving military doctors, are not even reported to the National Practitioners Data Bank.
  • Sludge: 'We're being poisoned'

    An investigation by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune found that the sludge industry is largely self-regulated -- despite the fact that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that sewage sludge can be dangerous.
  • Down on the factory; Cheap food, hidden costs

    A Dayton Daily News investigation revealed that "the supersizing of livestock farming, while revolutionizing food production in America, has overrun regulators, caused untold harm to the environment and public health, created an uproar over the treatment of animals and squeezed many small farmers out of business. The series showed that the operators of large livestock farms can go years without facing inspections, must violate rules repeatedly to risk harsh penalties and are exempt from many environmental standards."
  • A Failure of Public Health

    An investigation by the Detroit News revealed that the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan did little to slow a syphilis outbreak in Detroit, despite warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.This inaction has made Detroit the first in the nation for new syphilis cases.
  • Medical Rebels

    Public discontent with corporate medicine continues to grow and healthcare professionals have been crossing the line into subtly and overtly illegal acts--from manipulation of the system and defiance of laws they deem unjust to fraud and threats of violence--in defense of their patients.
  • Mad Cow Autopsies

    KY3 reports on the reluctance of Missouri hospitals to perform an autopsy of the corpse of Delmer Middleton, a resident of Lawrence county, MO, who died of Creuzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD). Although Middletown family suspected this was a case of mad cow disease in its human version, known as the new variant of CJD, doctors refused to examine the body because it would have been too dangerous for themselves. As mutated proteins typical for the mad cow disease cannot be destroyed by conventional sterilization, an autopsy would mean destroying some hospital equipment as well. The investigative team points out that the findings "raise serious questions about the effectiveness of mad cow disease surveillance in America."
  • Death in a small town

    NBC investigates a deadly mining operation near Libby, Montana, where more than 100 former workers and their relatives have died of asbestos-related illnesses. Although the mine closed in 1990, the dying continues, NBC reports. The story reveals that W.R. Grace, the company that operated the mine, was aware of the health risks years before warning the miners about the asbestos danger. "The program supplied a fresh alert to thousands around the country who may have products such as home insulation made from Libby's vermiculite ore in their homes."
  • Who's watching over Kansas City's restaurants?

    The Kansas City Star reports on severe sanitation problems at city's restaurants. The investigation main findings include that roughly 800 food establishments had gone a year or more without routine inspection; the inspection staff is generally inexperienced and poorly paid; the city food code lacks serious financial penalties and is based on 25-year-old federal standards many other cities abandoned years ago. The stories document about 20,000 food code violations discovered by city inspectors from 1996 to 1999. In some instances, inspectors ignored sanitation problems that could have led to closing of a restaurant.
  • Spending the tobacco money

    The Star-Tribune reports on the Minnesota Partnership for Action Against Tobacco, an organization created in 1998 to help smokers quit smoking. The investigation finds that the organization is spending most of its money on advocating smoking bans in bars and restaurants. A database created from court documents, which shows the connections between the organization and grant recipients, reveals heavy insider funding. MPAAT shifted course from the voluntary cessation oriented program even though its "own statewide survey (...) provided evidence that the smoking ban strategy would never work."
  • Rescuing the River

    A Journal News investigative series reports on the Environmental Protection Agency's $460-million plan "to perform the largest environmental dredging project in the nation's history on a 40-mile section of the Upper Hudson River." The river was contaminated with PCBs, deadly chemicals that have been dumped in the water by General Electric for decades. The toxins destroyed fishing and tainted a Mohawk reservation. The stories question the cost and effectiveness of the dredging plan, which "might not remove PCBs from the river but it would destroy marshes...." The investigation documents the GE high-dollar lobbying and advertising efforts in favor of the argument that "the river will clean itself."