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Volkswagen’s CEO has apologized after news that the German automaker has been deliberately cheating on smog tests. Since 2009, nearly 500,000 diesel-powered Audis and Volkswagens were pre-installed with illegal software known as “defeat devices.” The software detects when the car is in for smog testing, and only then do emissions control systems kick in that allow the car to pass the test. But on the open road, the cars produce up to 40 times as much pollution as allowed by the Clean Air Act.

Then, in 1994, Johnson & Johnson started selling an anti-psychotic drug called Risperdal. The FDA approved it for adults with schizophrenia, but it expressly forbade Johnson & Johnson from marketing Risperdal to treat children and the elderly—there were too many dangerous side effects. Nevertheless, for more than a decade, that’s exactly what Johnson & Johnson did. And despite government sanctions for its behavior, and thousands of lawsuits, the company made billions in profits.

Next, a look at Paxil. A new study says it is not safe or effective for teenagers.

And Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez spent a day as an Uber driver and wrote about it in his latest piece. Finally, we round up the Emmys.

Banner Image Credit: Josh Garrett

Producers:
Matt Holzman
Anna Scott
Jolie Myers
Christian Bordal
Ryan Kailath

Volkswagen Fraud 8 MIN, 40 SEC

Volkswagen’s CEO has apologized after news that the German automaker has been deliberately cheating on smog tests. Since 2009, nearly 500,000 diesel-powered Audis and Volkswagens have been pre-installed with illegal software known as “defeat devices.” The software detects when the car is in for smog testing, and only then do emissions control systems kick in that allow the car to pass the test. But on the open road, the cars produce up to 40 times as much pollution as allowed by the Clean Air Act.

Guests:
Tyson Slocum, Director of Public Citizen's Energy Program

Johnson & Johnson Under Fire 13 MIN, 35 SEC

In 1994, Johnson & Johnson started selling an anti-psychotic drug called Risperdal. The FDA approved it for adults with schizophrenia, but it expressly forbade Johnson & Johnson from marketing Risperdal to treat children and the elderly—there were too many dangerous side effects. Nevertheless, for more than a decade, that’s exactly what Johnson & Johnson did. And despite government sanctions for its behavior, and thousands of lawsuits, the company made billions in profits.


Photo by Housed

Guests:
Steven Brill, journalist and author (@StevenBrill)

Paxil Unsafe for Teenagers 8 MIN, 47 SEC

According to a new analysis, the popular antidepressant Paxil is not safe or effective for teenagers. The finding doesn’t come from new research, but reworked data from an earlier study that came to exactly the opposite conclusion. Meanwhile, the argument continues over whether antidepressants can actually make kids more prone to suicide. Then the question becomes: To prescribe or not to prescribe?

Guests:
Adam Kaplin, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Undercover Uber 6 MIN, 54 SEC

If you rode in an Uber last Wednesday, you might’ve seen your name in the Los Angeles Times over the weekend. Times columnist Steve Lopez spent a day as an Uber driver and wrote about it in his latest piece.

Guests:
Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times (@LATstevelopez)

TV Roundup: The Emmys 7 MIN, 16 SEC

The Emmys were last night, and host Andy Samberg opened the show with a bit of existential TV angst: So much TV, so little time.

Guests:
Michael Schneider, Indiewire / Variety (@Franklinavenue)
Alan Sepinwall, HitFlix (@sepinwall)

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