food and nutrition

New York, NY, November 18, 1998. Consumers should use caution when interpreting a new study on the possible hazards of eating well cooked meats, say scientists from the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH).

This study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, compared the preparation and consumption of meats by women who did and did not have breast cancer. Women who regularly ate well done red meats were shown to have a higher risk of breast cancer than those who consistently preferred their meats cooked rare or medium. The authors of the study point to heterocyclic amines compounds formed in meats cooked at high temperatures (by broiling or grilling, for example) until well done as the likely culprits.

But scientists from ACSH warn...

New York, November 16, 1998 The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) today rejected the irresponsible and unfounded claims pushed by NBC Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Bob Arnot in his book, The Breast Cancer Prevention Diet: The Powerful Food, Supplements, and Drugs That Can Save Your Life. ACSH found that Dr. Arnot s book is a misrepresentation of science and a disservice to women. In an effort to offer a more scientific perspective on the subject of breast cancer prevention, ACSH today issued a peer reviewed critique refuting the specific recommendations and claims set forth in Dr. Arnot s book.

The Breast Cancer Prevention Diet, which topped the New York Times Best Seller list this week, offers a 12 step regimen, and an array of bizarre diet plans which are...

New York, NY, November 13, 1998 The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) today announced the formation of a blue ribbon committee of independent scientists and physicians, chaired by Dr. C. Everett Koop, to review all available scientific research relative to the safety of phthalate esters in consumer products made with flexible vinyl plastic.

Dr. Koop will oversee the blue ribbon committee s work and ensure that the most qualified scientists are recruited to look at the science on phthalates,

New York, New York, November, 1998 Scientists associated with the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) have analyzed the foods that make up a traditional American holiday dinner and found them full of carcinogens

New York, NY October 21,1998.

The American Council on Science and Health rejects the Center for Science in the Public Interest s claims that soda necessarily contributes to poor dietary status and/or ill health in children. ACSH President Dr. Elizabeth Whelan and ACSH Director of Nutrition Dr. Ruth Kava offer this perspective:

1. Parents of young children and teens should take seriously their role in educating their children on eating patterns which result in a balanced, varied, moderate diet. In contrast to the position taken by CSPI, there are no good foods or bad foods. The problem is not any one food, but one of dietary immoderation, imbalance and lack of variety.

2. As long as young children or teens consume a well balanced, healthful diet, moderate...

Nearly three decades ago, in response to America's growing fear of a most elusive and deadly foe, Richard Nixon declared a "war on cancer." Behind this charge was the notion that personifying cancer as a battlefield enemy would lead to its "defeat." Politicians, keen on the potency of this issue, have followed his lead, picking up votes along the way. This "war" may contribute more to a congressman's longevity in the house than to a constituent's longevity. Yet, as politicians funnel money towards a "good cause," cancer provides the perfect alibi for dubious motives and wasteful appropriations.

The political obsession with cancer is out of proportion to its real risks. Contrary to the warnings of more apocalyptic observers, there is no cancer epidemic in this country. The irony...

Is your reproductive system in danger? (Science & Technology, Sept. 14) was misleading. Rates of breast cancer are stable, not "soaring." The increased incidence of this disease from 1980 to 1992 was due to improved detection methods. Screening mammography became widespread, and more low grade tumors were detected; note that mortality rates were level during this same period and now show a slight decline.

The article also alludes to a report by John Brock, who found an association between high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBS) and non Hodgkin's Iymphoma in a small, retrospective study. There are many other studies that found decreased incidence of cancer in workers who had been occupationally exposed to PCBS for decades.


by Kenneth E. Legins

In 1903 Mark Twain wrote of Christian Science: "The power which a man's imagination has over his body to heal it or make it sick is a force which none of us is born without. The first man had it, the last one will possess it." The power of the mind over the body is often indisputable, even among the staunchest defenders of the scientific method. The biologic effect of hope or faith, which scientists sometimes refer to as the placebo effect, is little understood in the medical community.

At Stanford University 86 women with metastatic breast cancer were divided into two groups. In one, the patients were encouraged to examine their fear of dying and to take charge of their lives. The...

Americans tried living with an unregulated marketplace in the last century. Even medical licensure was undone under Jacksonian democracy. But the tide began to turn early in this century: A response to abuses in the patent-medicine industry was the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act, which required ingredient disclosure on product labels and thus eliminated secret-formula "remedies." In 1910 Medical Education in the United States and Canada now more popularly known as the Flexner report was published. It cited many diploma mills and paved the way for new medical-school standards. Major reforms in medical education followed, medical licensure was re-established, and eclecticism* and homeopathy practically disappeared. The 1912 Sherley Amendment illegalized false health-related...

Development of the hair-removal method called "electrolysis" began in 1869. By 1875 St. Louis ophthalmologist Charles Michel effectively used a very thin wire attached to a battery to remove ingrown eyelashes (which can cause blindness) permanently. In the field of cosmetology, "electrolysis," "electrology," and "traditional probe electrolysis" refer to an approach to permanent hair removal whose objective is to destroy papillae vascular connective-tissue structures that enable hair growth only with hair-thin, needle-shaped metal instruments called "filaments," "needles," "probes," or "wires." There are three basic modes of electrology:

* Electrolysis destroys papillae by producing sodium hydroxide (caustic soda, or lye) and is characterized by...