Sunday, June 19, 2011

American Council on Science and Health, 2011: Week 23


Dr. Gil Ross has allowed me to reproduce articles from the ASCH in the past, and as a result I have taken the liberty of reproducing this article in its entirety because I consider this issue so overwhelmingly important.

It must really difficult for those who actually know what is going on to hear the words of a quack and an ex-Playboy Bunny being touted and promoted by the likes of Oprah and her ilk as scientific fact.  So many believe this nonsense because we have been without the old plagues for so long we have come to believe that life without them is a right; well… isn’t.

I feel like a broken record on this issue, but this is an issue on which we must never remain silent because the lives of so many children are at stake. I often wonder at the heartbreak parents must feel when a child dies from some affliction that could have been prevented by a simple vaccination. Parents are natually concerned about their children’s health and yet they listened to quacks and celebrities who must be insane to tout the things they promote. Why? Because the main stream media, who promote all of this horsepucky, are corrupt, stupid and unaccountable for their actions.

Although Ex-Dr. Wakefield was stripped of his medical license, did he ever get prosecuted for his fraudulent science? Children have died as a result of his claims. Why hasn’t he been prosecuted for crimes against humanity? At the very least he should be prosecuted for fraud! I have been led to believe that it is still considered a crime. These people don’t even seem to get sued over this. Where are all the ambulance chasing attorney’s when you need them?

Life without these plagues have come into being because dedicated doctors and researches created products that gave us this largely plague free existence.  At least in advanced societies. What is it like in those societies that do not vaccinate their population? These afflictions are common. We need to get this….everything we are told should bear some resemblance to what we see going in reality. Virtually everything we have done in the modern world to extend and protect human life (and it has worked) is under attack by the activists; whether it is chlorine in our water, pesticides, or vaccination. Why? Because to be green is to be irrational and misanthropic, and these characters are all part and parcel of that same philosophical "back to nature" mentality. Well….that is a suicide pact. RK

Parents, have no fear: Vaccines are here (to save the day)!

A series of studies published in the journal Health Affairs offers both hopeful and discouraging news on the vaccine front. In one study by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and the Results for Development Institute, public health experts and scientists predict that 6.4 million lives could be saved over the next ten years if 90 percent of the children in 72 of the world’s poorest nations are vaccinated against diseases such as pneumococcal pneumonia, diphtheria, pertussis, measles, and rotavirus. The study, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, also found that such a program would save over $151 billion in treatment costs and lost productivity over the next decade.

“This is a case where an investment in health care pays off huge dividends for those with the foresight to look down the road and see the vast benefits that vaccines have to offer,” adds ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross.

But just as things are looking up, another study published in Health Affairs finds that out of 376 parents with young children surveyed, 77 percent still have concerns about vaccines. As part of a special series in The Lancet, lead author Heidi Larson from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine confirms these results, as she and her co-authors write that vaccines are “losing public confidence.”

What are some of the reasons people gave to justify their unfounded fears? One was attributed to the lack of familiarity with the diseases that vaccines protect against since most of those epidemics have basically disappeared. And that, Dr. Ross points out, is thanks to vaccines.

Others believe that the vaccine schedule may be too complex and are afraid that kids receive too many shots at once, but this has no basis in science or immunology, says Dr. Ross. “Kids are exposed to greater numbers of antigens on a daily basis,” he explains, “and their immune systems are not overwhelmed, nor would they be by a few concurrent inoculations.”

And, as the Health Affairs survey conducted by the CDC pointed out, 30 percent of parents still worry about a potential link between autism and the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine infamously proposed by Dr. Andrew Wakefield in a Lancet study the journal later retracted (ironic, perhaps, that now the same publication is underscoring the importance of vaccines in their most recent issue).

Of course, such a survey is fraught with potential biases and confounders, notes ACSH’s Dr. Josh Bloom: “If the survey went out to 3,000 parents and 376 responded, you’re going to get a skewed response since those most averse to vaccines are far more likely to respond, while others will probably not bother.”

Again, this is a scientifically baseless fear of vaccines, says ACSH’s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan. “All credible scientists believe they’re major lifesaving tools, but sadly, facts are not always enough to allay people’s concerns. Indeed, the rise of social media and the Internet further exacerbates the situation since quacks all over the country can get on their soapbox to promote their anti-vaccine agendas.”

“Well,” adds Dr. Ross,“while we may wish there could be a scientist nearby every time this happens, most scientists don’t want to lower themselves by participating in such loaded debates with media-savvy quacks.”


The presence of linked articles here is merely a way of showing what is going on, whether I agree or disagree with the positions presented. I have placed what I think are "must read" articles here at the beginning. Rich Kozlovich

My Must Read Articles

CDC’s magical mystery tour: What’s the deal with the meningitis vaccine?The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) seems to be delaying its decision on whether to approve a new meningococcal (meningitis) vaccine for infants younger than nine months. ACIP - in an unprecedented move - has announced its intent to host four public meetings over the summer in order to gain feedback from parents and health care providers on this decision.

Autism screening may do more harm than good Hyper-awareness of autism leads many parents to screen their toddlers as soon as possible for behaviors associated with the disorder.

Re autism: the fault is in our genes, perhapsA series of studies published in the journal Neuron find that genetic mutations may be the underlying cause of a major portion of autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Chemical-free humor For some comic relief applied with a dose of common sense, we recommend Deborah Blum's recent blog entry over at the Public Library of Science online.

My Take - This is worth the effort.

Dr. Ross’s media roundsWhen the Environmental Working Group this week declared much of American produce to be "tainted" with pesticides, ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross found more than a trace of irony in their latest, much publicized food scare. In his op-ed featured in yesterday's National Post, Dr. Ross observes that the source of a real public health threat - the E. coli outbreak in Europe - happened to come from an organic farm. Dr. Ross also speaks out against New York City Councilman Peter Vallone's (D-Queens)

Dr. Ross makes a “House Call”ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross made a guest appearance on Dr. Barry Dworkin's radio show, "Sunday House Call," which can be heard here.

Raw fear in the news: EWG still beating the organic drum — ignoring that nasty E. coli situation It's a shame that the The Wall Street Journal editors weren't tuning in to yesterday's "Sunday House Call," which featured ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross; otherwise the front page of Marketplace wouldn't have featured a chemophobic article on the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) annual Dirty Dozen publication.

The Times’ Kristof cultures another chemophobic theory on European E. coli outbreakSpeaking of organic sprouts, in his Sunday column for The New York Times, columnist Nicholas Kristof offers a strange alternative theory of how the E. coli outbreak occurred.

NYT spreads more fear of “carcinogens”The New York Times would have you believe that chemical industry lobbyists have been thwarting government efforts to reveal that formaldehyde is a carcinogen.

New FDA rules (sun) block chemophobiaAs the sunny summer season gets into full swing, the FDA announced yesterday new rules that will help consumers to determine which sunscreens offer the best protection against harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.

NSAIDs and heart complications revisitedPrevious studies have suggested that certain pain-relieving drugs, with the exception of aspirin and acetaminophen, may increase the risk of heart attack or death from a cardiovascular event.

My Take - All of this is well and good, but people with serious joint pain…are still in pain. I have no way of knowing for sure, but I would be willing to bet that most of them are older. Those who are realistic about this recognize that after 60 that life is much like a slide in a child’s playground set. They are getting to the end of the slide, they are moving faster, and in point of fact, aren’t going to get any better. It would be nice to be as pain free as possible allowing them to be as productive as possible until they reach the end of the slide.

Everyone will have their own picks, so here is the rest of the week

From East to West, laughable obesity “remedies” fatten the newsOn the eastern front, we have yet another example of Mayor Bloomberg's overreaching food bans - this time, he's targeting vending machines and concession stands in municipal buildings. Meanwhile, brown cows in California (as well as strawberry ones, we presume) must really be laughing, now that the board of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has voted almost unanimously to ban chocolate- and strawberry-flavored milk from school menus in the name of fighting childhood obesity.

Watch your weight, not the TVToo much time in front of the tube - as little as two hours a day - may increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes or heart disease, according to a new meta-analysis (an analysis of previous studies) published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Epidemiologists now seeking Facebook friend requestsWhen it was discovered that an outbreak of Legionnaire's Disease at the Playboy Mansion was responsible for sickening at least 24 attendees of the Domain Fest Global Conference in February, it was thanks to Facebook, not the Los Angeles County health authorities.

My Take - I really think this is interesting. The internet has changed everything.

Diet in the prevention of age-related macular degenerationAge-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects approximately 6.5 percent of Americans ages 40 and older and is the leading cause of vision loss among those over 55.

A painful decision: When to use opiatesTo prescribe, or not to prescribe: That is the question that many physicians will now face in light of a recent report published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, which claims that doctors are too trigger-happy when it comes to prescribing potent painkillers, especially opioids.

Preventable deaths from overcrowded ERsAmbulance diversion, the rerouting of emergency vehicles from emergency rooms due to overcrowding, has been tied to an increased risk of patient death.

Too much smoke in China — and not from air pollutionNearly 30 percent of adults in China smoke, a number that just about equals the entire population of the United States.

Another benefit from breastfeeding: decrease in SIDSExisting guidelines suggest that new mothers breastfeed exclusively for at least the first six months, and a new study may persuade even more women to do so.

Study pumps relief into the heart disease and coffee discussionThe results of a new study should provide ample relief for coffee-loving women who are worried about heart disease.

FDA chickens out by removing arsenic from feed 3-Nitro may sound like the name of a formidable opponent on American Gladiator, but it's actually an animal drug given to pigs and poultry to promote their growth and has been in use since 1944.

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!


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