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Picks of the Week: Child Labor, Supplements and Adult Care

POSTED: 07:31 PM ET, 11/14/2008 by Derek Kravitz

Each week, the editors at The Post's Investigations blog comb through in-depth and investigative reports from news outlets across the country and select notable projects of the week.

This week's top picks:

Adult Care Gaps in Washington State

Jamie, who is blind, nonverbal, infantlike in her mental ability and utterly dependent on her caregivers, was raped and impregnated in her own home. When she miscarried in March, a DNA match pointed to one of Jamie's nursing assistants.

It was the second time in two years Jamie was believed to have been raped.

Records obtained by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Ruth Teichroeb show troubling gaps in Washington's system of protecting vulnerable adults, from questions about whether male caregivers should work alone with vulnerable female clients to the adequacy of state oversight of home care agencies and their employees.

Dietary Supplements Have Some Surprising Ingredients

Some dietary supplements, which are not subject to government regulation, contain amounts of undisclosed prescription drugs, as well as food allergens, bacteria and human placenta, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found.

The Journal-Constitution's Alison Young purchased a drug online, called "Blue Steel," which was marketed as an "extreme sexual stimulant" but recalled after federal warnings. FDA tests showed that Blue Steel, a dietary supplement that is not regulated as a drug, was spiked with a chemical similar to the active ingredient in Viagra -- "putting unsuspecting users at risk of life-threatening side effects," federal records show.

Employers Ignoring The Rules For Young Workers

A two-part series detailing the risks to young workers in dangerous jobs showed that federal child labor enforcement has waned despite new evidence that many employers are ignoring the rules, the Charlotte Observer reports.

More than 20 former and current workers at three House of Raeford Farms chicken plants - in Greenville, West Columbia, S.C., and Raeford, N.C. - told the Observer's Franco OrdoƱez and Ames Alexander that the poultry company frequently hired underage workers.

"Six of them, all supervisors, said that top managers allowed the hiring to secure cheap, compliant labor," the Observer found.

By Derek Kravitz |  November 14, 2008; 7:31 PM ET Top Picks
Previous: Oil Office Employee Sentenced to Probation | Next: 12 Juveniles at Gitmo, College Leader's Salaries Climb, Bush Could Pardon Spies

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