Sunday, July 3, 2011

The American Council on Science and Health, 2011: Week 25

The presence of linked articles here are merely a way of showing what is going on, whether I agree or disagree with the positions presented. Rich Kozlovich

Points to Ponder

Our Dr. Bloom calls attention to America’s disappearing scientists
Writing in today's New York Post, ACSH's Dr. Josh Bloom points out a troubling trend that may be hindering America's ability to compete globally on the scientific front: science jobs are quickly vanishing in the U.S.

Supremes protect generic makers after dissing innovators
The Supreme Court handed down a decision yesterday that represents a significant victory for the pharmaceutical industry.

Activist Scaremongering

Unwarranted chemical fears leach into the delivery room
The precautionary principle has given birth to fears that infants delivered via Cesarean section or with the aid of forceps are at risk of phthalate and bisphenol A (BPA) "contamination."

More on the EWG’s dirty dealings on fruits and veggies
The Environmental Working Group's (EWG) most recent alarmist Dirty Dozen list is meant to scare folks about the trace levels of pesticides on fruits and vegetables - especially apples. Why? See Dr. Joe Schwarcz's smart riposte.

Dr. Nestle takes on the scaremongers of EWG
ACSH staffers were pleasantly surprised to find an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times underlining the scientific illiteracy and irresponsibility of the anti-pesticide scare tactics consistently used by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in their semi-annual Dirty Dozen reports.

Cancer

CT scans may detect lung cancer early enough to help
A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that screening for lung cancer with low-dose spiral computed tomography (CT) does reduce mortality; however, the screening method's high rate of false positives means that it should be used judiciously.

The FDA makes a very difficult (but correct) decision on Avastin
Should the cancer drug Avastin be approved as a treatment for metastatic breast cancer?

Finally we know for sure: sunscreens really do protect against melanoma
In case you're still wondering whether you really need to have someone rub sunscreen on your back at the beach, new evidence for the benefits of sun block have been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Fears High price to pay for late-stage prostate cancer drugs?
In the past 15 months, the FDA has approved three new drugs for the treatment of late-stage prostate cancer. Two of them - Dendreon's Provenge and Johnson & Johnson's Zytiga - were shown in recent clinical trials to add between two and five months to median survival (about a year and a half after using docetaxel, the current standard of care approved in 2004) for men with late-stage cancer. Though some experts are hopeful that we are on the verge of a breakthrough in finding more effective

Breast cancer updates: Screening saves, and so does post-op radiation
On the breast cancer front, new studies are promoting the use of two well known preventive measures.

Diabetes

Disappointing relative benefits for intensive treatment of diabetes
In a recent study of over 3,000 type 2 diabetes patients diagnosed through screening, intensive multifaceted treatment led to a small but statistically significant reduction in risk factors, compared to a usual care treatment group.

For some diabetics, metformin might bring sweeter news
The findings of a study to be presented at Saturday's annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association in San Diego show that people aged 65 or older being treated with metformin for type-2 diabetes face a lower risk of heart problems or stroke compared to individuals taking sulfonylureas to control their blood sugar.

Can surgery cure diabetes? Maybe — for a while, at least.
In other weight loss news, one of the authors of a new study recommends that weight loss surgeries, such as gastric bypass and gastric banding, become front line type 2 diabetes treatments.

Obesity

LA Times replaces soda with potatoes, tongue in cheek
What's next, a tater tax? asks the Los Angeles Times, noting the trend toward "imposing taxes on the culinary villain du jour."

Possibly the worst dietary study ever conducted
Every now and then, a new study turns up warning consumers that diet soda is too good to be true...

News from all over on the obesity front
Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls: there are obesity updates for all.

AAP’s junk stance on fast food ads
Quick, run for cover: junk food ads are out to get your children and make them fat. Or at least that's what the American Academy of Pediatrics'(AAP) is now preaching.

Regulations

Made-up cosmetics concerns
The Safe Cosmetics Act, now in a 2011 edition, is back in Congress - and its claims about cosmetics ingredient safety are about as superficial as the products it's intended to regulate.

STD’S

ACSH’s Dr. Bloom looks at “How Far We’ve Come in the Battle Against AIDS”
In the June 24 issue of Medical Progress Today, ACSH's Dr. Josh Bloom considers how we will one day recognize May 2011 as "a remarkable turning point in the history of the struggle against AIDS."

Prescriptions better than love letters for STDs
Epidemiologically speaking, having your doctor write a prescription for your lover may be preferable to sending a love letter.

Tobacco

Brad Rodu counters prohibitionists’ attacks on smokeless tobacco
"Smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes are being recognized as safer, satisfying cigarette substitutes by increasing numbers of American smokers," writes ACSH advisor and professor of medicine at the University of Louisville Brad Rodu.

Graphic cigarette labels. Is the FDA blowing smoke?
Writing in the Chicago Tribune, columnist Steve Chapman harshly criticizes the FDA's latest mandate requiring cigarette packs to prominently display graphic warning labels.

Tobacco companies contest cigarette plain packaging proposal in Australia
On the heels of the new graphic cigarette warning labels comes a proposed law in Australia that aims to institute plain packaging for all cigarette brands.

Vaccinations

Liz Szabo talks science, finally!
After publishing a consistent stream of fear-mongering, anti-chemical stories for USA Today, we'd like to finally applaud journalist Liz Szabo for her article yesterday on the importance of childhood vaccinations.

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: