Saturday, February 5, 2011

American Council on Science and Health, 2011: Week Four

By Rich Kozlovich,

Once again I am behind.  The green movement and their allies in the press never stop, no matter what all the science in the world may show.  Connie Schultz, a Pulitizer Prize winning journalist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer threw her hat in the ring declaring that dioxin (agent orange) is an on going nighmare in Vietnam and we must clean it up because people are sick. 

This emotion laden article is long on emotion and finger pointing and devoid of factual science.  The claims made by this journalist reminds me of a puppet on strings, mouthing all the scare tactics the green movement can muster.   This weeks Daily Dispatch doesn't deal with this article as of yet, and may not, because so much has been written to show what nonsense all of this is, however, there is a great deal of information here showing the difference between emotional scare mongering and science. 


Many still not immune to nonsensical vaccine-autism link
Due to inclement weather in New York City, ACSH was closed yesterday and was unable to distribute our daily Dispatch. We're happy to be back on the anti-junk science crusade today with this lineup of great stories.

Taco Bell reasons with consumers who have a beef with their tacos Yo quiero Taco Bell, with 88 percent beef please.

Cancer, retinyl palmitate and triclosan, oh my!
As ACSH is preparing to release its new publication Scared to Death: How Chemophobia Threatens Public Health, we were not so surprised to read about three new stories linking chemicals to a multitude of adverse health effects - which is what sadly seems to be a media-fueled national trend these days.

Getting more Army recruits? Fat chance
While visiting the Army's largest basic training facility in Fort Jackson, S.C., first lady Michelle Obama harped on the importance of reducing childhood obesity.

The acrylamide-free potato diet?
The FDA may issue stronger health warnings about acrylamide following the release of new toxicological information about the chemical, which is found in many foods when cooked at high temperatures.

Proposed energy drink ban should make folks jumpy
Does it make sense that teenagers should be able to buy coffee at Starbucks but not energy drinks at 7-Eleven? Even when each of their Mocha Grandes has almost twice as much caffeine as one Red Bull?That peculiar idea is the subject of an editorial which appeared Friday in TheDailyCaller co-authored by ACSH's Dr. Elizabeth Whelan.

Center For Biological Diversity files uniformly predictable lawsuit
A radical environmentalist group called the Center for Biological Diversity in San Francisco filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), accusing them of being lax on pesticides.

Good news: USDA chief Vilsack backtracks on GM alfalfa
Radical environmentalists lost a round in an important fight with the USDA. Working in tandem with organic farmers, they had previously succeeded in getting USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to say that he was considering limitations on the planting of genetically modified (GM) alfalfa plants. Thankfully though, Vilsack reversed himself and agreed to allow unlimited growing of the GM alfalfa, which is distinguishable from other alfalfa in that it has been genetically engineered to more easily

American Lung Association: Are they smoking those “funny” cigarettes?
ACSH has long been a leader in the fight against cigarettes, and we take pride in the work we have done to inform the public about the vast (and little-known) spectrum of real risks posed by cigarettes.At the same time, we firmly believe that educating the public on this important issue requires truth-telling and not appealing to hysteria. Yet we're afraid that this may be what's behind a recent report released by the American Lung Association entitled "State of Tobacco Control 2010."

Give patients bang for buck without government rationing
Efforts to reduce health care spending should not come at the cost of fewer drug options, ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross argues in an op-ed featured in yesterday's Des Moines Register.

Dear USDA and HHS: Lower calories, not salt!
The USDA and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released new dietary guidelines on Sunday. In addition to standard recommendations like eating more veggies and fish while reducing overall calorie intake, HHS calls for lower salt consumption across the board.

Recommended reading for getting health priorities straight
Hoover Institute Fellow and former ACSH trustee Dr. Henry Miller castigates Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin's single-minded focus on obesity while ignoring other very important health issues In addition, ACSH would like to compliment Margaret Wente for her op-ed featured in Saturday's Globe and Mail.

Boost to smokeless market equals boost to public health
The state of Tennessee, one of the largest growers of dark tobacco used in smokeless products such as Swedish snus, is seeing a comeback in smokeless tobacco use and is reaping the benefits.

EPA limits perchlorate in drinking water: What are they drinking?Yesterday we reported on a bizarre letter from EPA administrator Lisa Jackson that ran in USA Today. Coincident with the missive's appearance, the agency announced that it was setting new limits on the amount of "toxic substances" permitted in U.S. drinking water. Among the chemicals specified by the EPA as a target is perchlorate. The EPA's announcement came even though a recent National Academy of Science report, as well as several prior EPA assessments, had concluded that the

New data confirm the obvious: Unvaccinated health care workers put others at riskWhile the EPA was busy creating needless regulations, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) was warning Americans about a very real public health threat, one about which ACSH has also been an active voice. Shockingly, only about forty percent of U.S. health care workers have been vaccinated against the flu. APIC, like ACSH, believes that vaccination of health care workers should be mandatory.

A new antibiotic that could save lives must await FDA action The question of whether the federal government has its priorities straight arises again with news first reported in The New England Journal of Medicine. A new macrolide antibiotic called fidaxomicin has been found to be more effective in treating the common but deadly bacterial infection known as C. difficile than the standard antibiotic currently in use, oral vancomycin. Although fidaxomicin was found to be significantly better, it still must wait six months or more

Does vaccination prevent childhood leukemia?
A study published in The Journal of Pediatrics presents an interesting hypothesis: vaccination may lower a child's likelihood of suffering lymphoblastic leukemia.

New expos√© on DDT further damns UN opposition to needed pesticide A new report makes a devastating and overwhelming case that DDT spraying can save hundreds of thousands of lives every year and that UN and other NGO opposition to it is, as ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross puts it, "scientific fraud, as the author’s document with copious evidence." For any readers who may still have doubts about the issue, we suggest examining the evidence.

Expanded smoking ban offers cleaner air, but not cleaner bill of healthThe New York City Council approved a bill Wednesday expanding the City's public smoking ban to beaches and parks after a study showed 57 percent of New Yorkers had cotinine, a nicotine byproduct, in their blood compared with a 45 percent national average.

Valloney Baloney ReduxCity Council member Peter Vallone, Jr. was not happy with ACSH's recent response to his efforts to ban the fluoridation of New York's tap water.

All-natural hype: VitaminWater ad says consumers don’t need flu shotVitaminWater advertisements are under attack again, this time by the National Consumers League, for suggesting that the beverage can eliminate the need for flu shots.

Spider-Man could get caught in a web of wrong health info on the InternetThe most popular type of web search is for health information, according to a new study issued by the Pew Internet Project.

EPA inspections fail to shed new light on health — PCBs do not pose threatParental fears over trace levels of; PCBs in New York public schools made the front page of The New York Times today.

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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