Friday, August 14, 2015

American Council on Science and Health

Agriculture

 Scotland plans to ban GMO agriculture to protect their "image" - Scotland is set to ban GMOs. Why? To preserve its idyllic "clean, green" image, according to the region's Rural Affairs Secretary. Despite that nonsense, they are able to do it because the EU's rule allow it. Europe has become a relic of the dark ages in science. Read more.

 GE crops could save the planet, if Organic advocates let them - The initial promise of agricultural GMOs was to breed better crops more efficiently than we had been doing through techniques like selective breeding, mutagenesis and radiation. Now that we perfected the technique we can use it to reduce emissions but will organic advocates let us? Read more.

No excuses to be against science now: Monsanto patent expires - After the anti-science mentality that infested environmental groups was exposed, they scrambled to shore up their base to find a new reason to distrust science. The solution: Claim it was not a distrust of science, but a distrust of corporations. Now Monsanto's patents are expiring who will these "activists" turn on? Read more.

Colony Collapse Disorder

 Environmental activists are ignoring the real bee killer - Greenpeace really loves bees – they regularly hold bee “die ins”. Environmental activists have also given eulogies and created memorials for dead bees, as well as organized petitions to ban “bee killing” pesticides. But what is really killing the bees? Read more.

 Drugs

 The Agony of the Ecstasy - Drug addiction, a growing and dangerous threat in the US is typically seen as arising from abuse of opioid narcotics and methamphetamine. These highly addictive drugs have destroyed and ended many lives. Ecstasy, a hallucinogenic stimulant often gets a free pass. It shouldn't. Read more.

EPA

John Stossel rips the EPA and NRDC too. Because they’re practically the same thing - ACSH friend John Stossel, writing for Reason.org, calls out the EPA for its much-too-cozy relationship with activist groups espousing “environmental” causes. But the NGOs’ goals are ideological, not scientific. Perhaps the best example: NRDC and its revolving-door with the federal environmental agency. Read more.

The EPA is polluting our rivers. Where's the outrage? - The EPA announced that some of its regulators working in Colorado dumped a million gallons of orange waste water containing sediments and metals into the Animas river. The EPA and its leaders should be held accountable the same way. Read more.

Health

Here's why that "184,000 deaths from soda" story is bogus - It was a little over a month ago when the headlines blared, "sugary soda kills 184,000 worldwide." Now a new analysis of that claim from STATS.org reveals the numerous statistical and epidemiological fallacies underlying that claim, rendering it wholly unbelievable, likely the work of ideologues, not scientists. Read more.

Schools' controversial "BMI report cards" aren't proving effective - Currently, 25 US states conduct annual assessments of students' BMIs in public schools. However, there's not any substantial evidence that such a tactic accomplishes anything on the childhood and adolescent obesity front. Read more.

Advocates push for variable tax level on nicotine products - Today’s New England Journal of Medicine has a Perspective article by three tobacco experts. Their discussion, Differential Taxes for Differential Risks, contains some important policy recommendations, some clearly salutary, and some not so much. Read more.

HRT 13 Years After the Women’s Health Initiative Study - It's been 13 years since the publication of the Women’s Health Initiative studies that examined the role HRT in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. The studies generated unrivaled controversy by the media and scientific community. The results are still being debated, reinterpreted and misinterpreted. Read more.

Scientists: Oops, NYC subway won't give you Bubonic Plague after all - The New York City subway system is notorious for its filth and grime. This was reinforced by a study earlier this year that found that the plague and anthrax were lurking on the trains. But now the scientists are backtracking on those claims. Read more.

Mexican cilantro linked to hundreds of US foodborne illness cases - No, Mr. Trump, the danger from Mexico is not rapists, it's something seemingly much more innocuous -- cilantro! The CDC and FDA have documented nearly 400 cases of Cyclospora infection that are linked to cilantro imported from the Mexican state of Puebla. Read more.

ACSH's publications on Aspartame - Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners pose no health threats to humans, a conclusion reached by decades of research and rigorous, science-based testing. This is supported further when compare to the deleterious effects of sugar, which is widely believed to have fueled America’s current obesity epidemic. Read more.

Breast cancer in young women is rarer than media make it seem - A recent article published online in JAMA Oncology raises the question as to whether breast cancer in young women is a rare disease or public health problem. The small increased incidence is not enough to warrant panic. Read more.

Medicine

Punishing patients to enforce laws - a cruel and misguided effort - It is hardly a surprise when our government does something stupid. But the DEA hit the jackpot, when it decided that it was more important to fight an unwinnable war against addiction than to consider the needs of patients who live in terrible pain. Boy, did they screw this one up. Read more.

Docs fail to treat vein clots, and then fail to learn from their mistakes - A new study shows that, despite ongoing educational efforts, doctors caring for patients with vein leg clots fail a significant fraction of the time to prescribe clot-dissolving anticoagulants ("blood thinners") to vulnerable patients. Read more.

RSV: The devil you don’t know - It’s not an infection that sits on the tip of your tongue, but an effective treatment for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an unmet medical need that has been shrugging off attempts to control it for many years. Now there may be a vaccine to help prevent it. Read more.

Sandra Lee: Food Network hostess post-op problems need not have occurred - We sympathize deeply with Sandra Lee's travails related to her recent post-bilateral-mastectomy complications. But her decision to have bilateral mastectomies made her vulnerable, and her problems should be a cautionary tale for other women. Read more.

Egg freezing revolutionizes “family planning” - Female fertility begins to decline at after age 35. However, more and more women are delaying having children. Reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Robert Greene advocates for egg freezing and its benefit of being a “technologic bridge” from a woman’s reproductive prime to her preferred conception age. Read more.

Africa celebrates one year without polio - The campaign to end polio achieved a major milestone: one year without a new case in Africa. A huge accomplishment indeed! However, many obstacles stand in the way to reach eradication including resistance from religious leaders in Kenya. Read more.

Not all types of bariatric surgery are equally effective long term - It has been well established that bariatric surgery is perhaps the most effective means of reducing both body weight and comorbid conditions associated with obesity. It clearly has a greater impact than any lifestyle changes. But not all types of bariatric surgery are equally effective. Read more.

Nutrition

Nutrition tip: Don’t look to the media for what to eat - Here’s a hard truth: We don’t know enough about human nutrition. With all the discrepancies that have been reported lately in collecting data for nutrition studies we should probably throw out everything we’ve learned about nutrition over the past century. Read more.

Food myths debunked by solid science - How many scary food myths are circulating right now? Let me count the scares! No, let’s not, there are way too many. But here’s a cogent antidote to many of them, from experts’ opinions publicized in an unexpected manner: a small NBC-affiliate radio station in Alabama. Good work! Read more.

Yes, not all hamburger meat is from the same cow - Washington Post writer Roberto Ferdman may be shocking the public by noting that not all hamburgers are made of meat from the same cow. We should hope not. To scientists and the food-savvy public, such a process would be an alarming waste of resources. Read more.

Gary Hirshberg: Organic yogurt guru’s credibility under attack - The loss of credibility of formerly responsible corporate leader Gary Hirshberg, VIP of Stonyfield Organic, is bemoaned by a science journalist and an expert in agricultural technology. Hirshberg once led the so-called corporate social responsibility movement, but now he’s anti-GMO. Read more.

Pharmaceuticals

The Cure for Ignorance About the Pharmaceutical Industry - We at ACSH deal with idiotic nonsense on a regular basis. Nothing surprises us anymore. That was true until Jeffrey Sachs re-wrote the Communist Manifesto in the Huffington Post. He wants a groundbreaking hepatitis C drug to be provided universally by the company that had the misfortunate to invent it. Read more.

Adverse drug side effects reporting is slow - then the real problem starts - A new study found that about 10 percent of serious and unexpected drug side effects are not reported to the FDA by pharmaceutical companies within the federally required time. A MedPage Today op-ed reveals additional problems in drug safety. Read more.

Thalidomide whistle-blower Dr. Frances Kelsey has passed away - Dr. Frances Kelsey, who prevented thousands of birth defects by refusing to allow thalidomide sales in the US, has died at 101. Her action (or inaction) saved many families from tragedy as well as changed the way new drugs are evaluated. Read more.

Excessive or inadequate? Confusion about medication rampant - What’s a person to do, when on the one hand it’s clear that many Americans are being under-treated for a dangerous condition, while on the other, too many of us are getting way too much “care.” The lesson: especially when it comes to our health, too much is as bad as too little. Read more.

Radiation

Nuclear power plants are not nearly as risky as some would have us believe - What's clean and green and doesn't kill birds? Nuclear energy, that's what. "Environmentalist" fear-mongers exaggerate risks and ignore benefits when they pressure regulators into decommissioning nuclear plants. Read more.

Vaccinations

Jon Stewart never apologized for putting millions of children in danger - It was ten years ago, but we here at ACSH still remember when Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show, gave an open mic to RFK Jr. to spew anti-vax and anti-science rhetoric. Not only did Stewart let this monster speak, he heaped him with praise. Will Stewart ever apologize? Read more.

Pregnant women need vaccines too! - In her latest NYT column, Jane Brody encourages pregnant women to get vaccinated, and explains the two-for-one-benefit of protection for both women and their babies. Not only are the babies then protected for months after birth, but also immunization can reduce the risk of pregnancy complications and birth defects. Read more.

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