Saturday, August 13, 2011

American Council on Science and Health, 2011: Week 31

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
We'd like to take a moment to remember former New York Governor Hugh Carey.

Junk Science, Junk Legislation

Sen. Gillibrand’s proposal more toxic than the chemicals she warns of

In yesterday's Huffington Post, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) writes how she was "shocked to learn that regulators have been prevented from testing all of the 70,000 chemicals found in everyday home products."

Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines

More orphan drugs getting Big Pharma parents
Though they often gain widespread media attention, genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis and Crohn's disease are actually considered rare.

Dr. Dudley, ACSH (and even USA Today!) agree: Vaccination is a no-brainer
In a special article for the Los Angeles Times, Dr. Steve Dudley reminds parents that, since their kids don't live in a vacuum, there should be no delay in getting them immunized.

Scares and Consequences

Eradicating West Nile virus would have been easy — in 1999
The season of West Nile virus is upon us and, accordingly, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reports that the virus has been identified in mosquito pools (standing water such as that in discarded tires and birdbaths) in all New York City boroughs except Manhattan.

We’d like to clarify...
"The widespread West Nile virus epidemic could have been easily prevented if more rigorous insecticide spraying had been implemented in the summer of 1999, when the virus was first detected in birds in the NY region," said ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross, in yesterday's Dispatch.

Treating the trauma of 9/11
As we approach the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, there's no doubt that those who were most closely involved are still grappling with the aftermath.

Studies

A real scientific study crosses everything off EWG’s list
A new study published in the Journal of Toxicology lays to rest any claims about "toxic pesticide residues" that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) publicized with their annual "Dirty Dozen" list.

Health studies in the media: What should you pay attention to?
Dr. Gary Gutting, a professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, is tired of opening the paper only to read about yet another new study describing the purported health benefits of various vitamins, supplements, or lifestyle habits.

Where’s the beef? Another observational study fails to bring home the bacon
Speaking of how the media is prone to broadcasting flawed observational studies, an article in yesterday's The New York Times reports on research claiming that eating even a little daily meat may increase a person's risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Supplements

Antioxidants: No there there
Antioxidants are the panacea that has never quite panned out.

Soy good for sauce — and not much else
And, speaking of mistruths in advertising, soy supplements are another product whose health claims have not panned out.

This and That

Falling under the radar of high blood pressure treatment
It seems that clinicians need to learn not to judge the proverbial book solely by its cover.

Progress in stem cell research may lead to better Alzheimer’s treatment
Nerve cells, or neurons, process and transmit information. Skin cells, by contrast, don't have that capacity. It's quite exciting, then, that researchers from Columbia University have discovered a way to transform skin cells into fully functioning neurons.

Tobacco

(Even more) casual teenage smokers at risk
Pack-a-day smokers are increasingly rare in the average U.S. high school; however, a study just published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine has found that teenagers are more likely to be casual, or social, smokers

Are stats on morning lung cancer risk just smoke and mirrors?
For those smokers who don't feel the need to light up first thing in the morning, a new study published in the journal Cancer provides some seemingly good news.

Lead by example: Catherine Zeta-Jones gives smokers lesson on harm reduction
Speaking of smokers, ACSH would like to applaud famed actress Catherine Zeta-Jones for her recent efforts to quit smoking by using electronic cigarettes.

Clarification on teen smoking: Not as bad as we were told
On Monday, we reported that, "while heavy smoking among teenagers has dropped from 18 percent to below 8 percent between 1991 and 2009, those who smoke occasionally now comprise close to 80 percent of the teenage population - a significant increase."

Women have one more reason to kick the butt to the curb
The adverse health effects associated with smoking have been well documented, but now a new study from The Lancet suggests that the outcomes could be even worse for women.

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?

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