Consumer Catch-up: Straw ban on governor's desk, FDA extends EpiPen expirations, airlines adding fees

Michael Finney Image
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
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Governor Jerry Brown is now considering a bill to ban straws in restaurants. Plus, the FDA is extending the expiration dates of some EpiPens to combat a shortage. The consumer news you need to know for Tuesday, August 21, 2018.

Governor considering restaurant straw ban

California Governor Jerry Brown is considering a bill to ban plastic straws in full service restaurants. The bill would prohibit restaurants from providing the straws unless specifically asked by the customer.

The bill is on the governor's desk now. It excludes fast food restaurants, because some critics argue that customers should be able to use straws while in the car.

If signed by the governor, the law would take effect January 1.

FDA extends EpiPen expiration dates

The Food and Drug Administration is extending the dates of some EpiPens by four months. The move is to help combat shortages of the life-saving drug as children head back to school.

This only applies to specific lots of 0.3 milligram products from Mylan. Normally, EpiPens are approved for a 20-month shelf life.

The drugs have an expiration date between April and December 2018. It does not apply to EpiPen Jr.

Last week we reported the FDA approved the first generic versions of EpiPen.

About 1 in every 50 Americans can suffer life-threatening allergic reactions to food items, insect bites or stings, and latex.

You can see the full list of impacted EpiPens here.

Southwest, United add fees

Two big airlines are adding additional fees for passengers.

Southwest announced it will switch to variable pricing for its EarlyBird Check-In on some flights.

Instead of a flat $15 rate, Southwest will charge $15, $20, or $25 depending on the flight and the popularity of early check-in.

That change begins August 29.

United is joining Delta and American in charging economy ticket holders more for choosing seats near the front of the plane.

No word just how much it will cost you to sit a little closer to the front.

The airline says that change is coming later this year.

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