Friday, July 31, 2015

American Council on Science and Health

Former Greenpeace founder criticizes organization’s “lack of science” in video - When Patrick Moore helped start GreenPeace his intent was to stop nuclear war, and to prevent whales from becoming extinct. However, somewhere along the way he realized he was the only scientist in the group. So he left. In a recent video he explains why. Read more.

Playing the name game with autism - There is a wealth of data that shows an increase in prevalence of autism over the past few decades. There is also a wealth of activities, such as pesticide use and vaccines, that have been blamed for this increase. However, a new study from researchers might finally have the answer to the cause of this increase. Read more.

Does organic food contain prohibited substances? USDA says many do. - Organic food aficionados proclaim that their preferred products are ‘healthier’ because they contain no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. But a recent report from the USDA suggests this really isn’t true. We question whether it even matters. Read more.

A new class of cholesterol drugs. But are they worth it? - Since 1987, the year in which the first of the statin-class drugs, Mevacor/lovastatin, was approved, statin drugs have been the standard of care for reducing high cholesterol, especially LDL (‘bad”) cholesterol. Now, there is a new option for reducing LDL cholesterol but is it worth the cost? Read more.

Data suggest we’re seeing a real decrease in Americans’ calorie consumption - The good news is that Americans seem to be buying and consuming fewer calories than before — perhaps signaling a slowing of the obesity epidemic. In spite of difficulties with data acquisition and analysis, the trend seems to be solid, and lends hope for the health of future generations. Read more.

Why GMO labeling is confusing, misleading, and ultimately pointless - On Thursday, the US House of Representatives passed the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 – a bill that would ban states from requiring labels for all genetically modified foods. James Hamblin, MD, in The Atlantic explains why such a label is totally unnecessary. Read more.

Reduced nicotine in cigarettes failed to help smokers quit: Study - One tactic promulgated by anti-smoking advocates over the years has been lowering the nicotine content of cigarettes to less-addictive levels. A new study by one such advocate seems to show that method will not help reduce the toll of smoking. Read more.

Exploration of the HIV epidemic in rural Indiana finds ideology over health - A perspective article in the NEJM re-explores in depth the ongoing epidemic of HIV in rural southeastern Scott County, IN. The authors (from San Diego, CA and Baltimore, MD) discuss the various factors responsible for the onset and spread of HIV — and HCV as well. Read more.

USPSTF recommends all adults should be screened for depression - The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is updating their recommendation for depression screening. Now they urge family physicians to regularly screen all adults for symptoms using standardized questionnaires. Read more.

Swan song for antibiotics? Can phage therapy and gene editing fill the gap? - It’s time to face the music: the golden age of antibiotics is over. They revolutionized medicine in the 20th century, and have together with vaccination led to the near eradication of many diseases in the developed world. But its time to move on to something thing new: phage therapy. Read more.

Will Aspartame Critics Now Be Less Bitter? - I’ve been writing about artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame (NutraSweet) for years. Why Well, the same reason that I write anything—to cut through the crap. And if you want to find more junk, you’d better get yourself tickets to a political debate. Read more.

Pepsi exchanges one artificial chemical sweetener for another artificial chemical sweetener - Pepsi has joined the ranks of Chipotle, Kraft, and many others who have forgone science in an attempt to win customer approval. In just a few days, Diet Pepsi will no longer contain aspartame, but it will contain a different artificial sweetener. Read more.

Changes in attitudes about obesity led to drop in Americans’ calorie consumption - Why have Americans’ calorie intake dropped over the last several years? Was it a shift in professionals’ attitudes? Perhaps the public’s perception of obesity as a health threat changed? Or was it the public’s recognition of the obesity-linked increase in chronic disease? Probably all of the above played a role. Read more.

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