Saturday, April 2, 2011

The American Council on Science and Heatlh, 2011: Week 12

Posted by Rich Kozlovich

Mini-strokes may cause major consequences
Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) may be referred to as "mini-strokes," but there's nothing mini about the increased risk for stroke and heart attack which comes in their wake.

Expanded approval for shingles vaccine
Varicella zoster virus (VZV), the pathogen that causes chickenpox when first encountered in early childhood, can reawaken decades later and cause the painful skin eruption known as shingles.

New melanoma drug gets green light from FDA
Bristol-Myers Squibb's new melanoma drug Yervoy won approval from the FDA on Friday after a randomized clinical trial showed that patients with metastatic melanoma treated with the drug lived about four months longer than patients in the control group - although the median survival among the treated patients was only ten months.

Can Actos Prevent Diabetes?
After allegations were made linking the diabetes drug rosiglitazone (Avandia) to an increased risk of heart attack, it was taken off the market in Europe, and its use was severely restricted here by the FDA.

ER cases higher among Ecstasy users
Known to invoke feelings of ecstasy, the eponymous illicit party drug, also known as MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), is the cause of an increasing number of medical emergencies, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

In defense of vaccines
ACSH staffers were pleased to encounter a variety of pieces defending vaccines as a vital public health practice. A book review in today's The New York Times, for instance, features an excellent work by informed consumer and Vanity Fair Contributing Editor Seth Mnookin.

The EPA: More trouble than it’s worth and should be abolished, says Dr. Miller
Happy 40th Birthday, EPA, and may it be the last, says Hoover Institution Fellow and former ACSH trustee Dr. Henry Miller.

CSPI dyeing to link food coloring to ADHD
Like the mole in the whack-a-mole game, the Center for Science in the Public Interest's Michael Jacobson just keeps coming back for a good whack in the head. This time, he has tried to resurrect the unfounded claim that food dyes trigger Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in kids who are predisposed to it - an issue first introduced in the 1970s by Dr. Ben Feingold.

My Take - Another day, another scare.  Their ability to recycle these things is uncanny.  Then again....there is another generation out there that didn't hear this unfounded scare before.  Another generation that can be misled and misinformed.  Another fallacious scare that can generate money and recruit ignorant protestors. 

Running and knees: perfect together
Yesterday, National Public Radio (NPR) ran a timely health story countering the popular notion that running poses a threat to knee health.

The X-Ray(t)ed Truth: Airport scanners pose no health threat
After the Transportation Security Administration announced the installation of new body scanners in airports last year, the mass media ran amok, hyping up the public's fears of excess radiation exposure and privacy violations.

Elderly excluded from many drug trials for treatments aimed at them
A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that 43 percent of 251 clinical trials investigating heart failure show evidence of ageism.

Biodiversity doesn’t feed people, but GM crops do
During a United Nations meeting in Bali to discuss a treaty on plant genetics, La Via Campesina, which according to an article in The Atlantic, is said to be an international farmers' movement comprised of 150 organizations in 70 countries, decided not to waste time addressing real agricultural problems like the rising cost of food, starvation in underdeveloped nations and the poor crop yields in certain areas.

My Take - If there was ever an obvious and hysterically insane cause this is it. Norman Borlaug saved untold millions of lives because of his Green Revolution which emphasized high yield crops, pesticides and fertilizers.....and the greenies vilified him for it. Now that he is dead; what is his legacy? He saved untold millions and untold millions more are surviving now and untold millions more will survive into the future because of his work.

Borlaug supported GM foods because they are necessary and no harm to society or the environment has ever been shown by their use. We have lost our minds when we listen to these madmen who would rather see millions die than use GM foods. Since their policies are going to kill untold numbers of children why should we believe them when they tell us to adopt their policies because "it’s for the children"? The legacy of the greenies is that untold millions have suffered and died; untold millions will suffer and die long into the future because of them.  This insane resistance to GM foods must be brought to a halt and the greenies need to be prosecuted!


Surprise: FDA tells Star Scientific its dissolvable tobacco lozenge not regulated under tobacco law
In a surprise ruling, the FDA determined last week that tobacco product maker Star Scientific Inc. is free to market and sell its Ariva-BDL and Stonewall-BDL dissolvable tobacco lozenges independent of FDA regulation since the products do not fall under the jurisdiction of the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Study lauds BPA- and DEHP-free diet: But where’s the harm?
If it were up to The Silent Spring Institute and the Breast Cancer Fund, both activist groups disguised as environmental and health advocacy organizations, they would have you believe that the results of their newest study, with funding from the Passport Foundation, justify the need to convert to a non-packaged, organic food (and maybe raw?) diet.

My Take - I would like to recommend viewing Alan Caruba's BPA Series. This link will take you to the first three articles in his six part series.

FDA counters KV’s premature warning against compounding early-labor prevention drug
KV pharmaceuticals recently won exclusive rights to the marketing of the pre-term labor prevention drug they've branded Makena. Priced at a whopping $1500 per shot, the therapy may cost up to $30,000 per pregnancy since it usually requires 20 weekly injections to prevent premature labor in patients who have a predisposition to or a history of going into premature labor.

The (Minnesota) clone wars: Is there a scientist in the House (or Senate)?Sometimes politics and science do not mix, as illustrated by the GOP effort in Minnesota to push a so-called cloning ban that, as written, would bring the state's stem cell research to a halt.

Fewer lung cancer deaths among women, but smoking’s toll keeps rising
In a survey asking approximately 250,000 people about their current and past smoking habits, researchers learned that smoking causes half a million deaths annually in the U.S. - an increase from the prior estimates of about 450,000 deaths.

Seat belts, not plastic bans, save lives
Lung cancer deaths aren't the only fatality on the decline.

My Take - If the greenies and their allies irrational scares were accurate the risk charts would be upside down.  Why?  Because all of the things that they claim are so disastrous are at the bottom of the charts.  Pesticides are at the very bottom, yet you would believe from the hysteria they generate that people are dropping dead all over the place.  Since that, very obviously, isn't happening they resort to logical fallacies and claim that exposure can cause cancer in old age.  Since cancer is an affliction of the aged they can claim they are correct, yet cancer has been on the decline for decades and if you were to compare the demographics between the population one hundred years ago and the demographics of our population you would notice two startling and obvious differences regarding cancer.  There were very few people who lived to be over 65 (that is why they picked 65 as the retirement age for Social Security) and there were very few smokers; the two top cancer demographics.  When that is taken into consideration the cancer rate really drops. In point of fact; name their hysterical claims that didn't turn out to be a red herrings!

PSA tests: When screening may cause more harm than good
Over the past few years, prostate cancer screening using the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test has received a lot of media flack while various health organizations and physicians struggle to outline specific guidelines for the exam.

My Take - For men over forty....go see your doctor every year.  As we age...twice a year. 

White-coat effect responsible for almost 40 percent of resistant hypertension
While sitting at the physician's office, some people may become anxious as they await their looming encounter with The Doctor.

HCV triumph: Taming the “silent killer”
For patients with hepatitis C, the only available treatment up till now has limited efficacy and debilitating side effects. But that is all about to change.

If there is a health scare today, the American Council on Science and Health will most likely have the answer by tomorrow; and for members it will appear in your e-mail. No effort on your part, except to read the answer. All that the ACSH is interested in are the facts and they are prepared to follow them wherever they lead. Who can ask for more?  Please Donate Now!

###

No comments: