food and nutrition

New York, NY January 30, 1998. In a new report on pesticide residues on America's fruits and vegetables, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has twisted data and misinterpreted basic scientific information in a way calculated to provoke fear among America's parents. This was the conclusion of the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), a consortium of over 250 leading scientists and physicians.

A look at this latest EWG report makes clear why consumers should view that organization and its reports with skepticism. The EWG an environmental group, not a health group has put its scientifically unwarranted wish for a pesticide-free environment above the very real public-health goal of increasing America's consumption of fresh fruit.

The EWG has released a "study"...

New York, NY January 13, 1998. The American Council on Science and Health today pointed to the results of a new study confirming what those who have studied the safety of the new fat substitute olestra have long known: that eating chips fried in olestra does not cause adverse gastrointestinal effects as olestra's now-discredited, highly vocal critics have been claiming.

The January 14 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association carries a report on research done on olestra by a group of scientists at Johns Hopkins University. In their article the researchers conclude that "consumption of olestra potato chips . . . is not associated with increased incidence or severity of GI symptoms, nor does the amount consumed predict who will report GI effects after short...

When they do a good job at reporting the facts, magazines can help consumers to adopt healthier eating practices. But misleading magazine reports can be counterproductive ("...what you eat can have a direct chemical effect on whether you're happy, sad, irritable, moody, alert, calm or sleepy") or misleading ("In many cases, diet alone could be the cause of and thus the solution to waning energy levels or plummeting moods"). Both of the foregoing quotes are from a popular women's magazine; such messages complicate learning and set consumers up for disappointment. Is it any wonder that an estimated 23 percent of consumers say they are confused by the nutrition reports they find in the media?
The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) has been tracking magazine nutrition...

A report by Mark Green, Public Advocate of the City of New York

Mark Green, the Public Advocate of the City of New York, recently released a report entitled Lead & Kids: Why Are 30,000 NYC Children Contaminated? The document reviews the issue of lead exposure in New York City and provides support for the proposed Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Bill (Int. 956).
The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) is a national consumer-education consortium concerned with providing reliable health and environmental information to ensure that both individual health decisions and public policies are based on sound scientific evidence. In December 1997 ACSH published a booklet called Lead and Human Health a comprehensive examination of lead and lead exposure and a...

Every day more than 5,500 Americans turn 65 and officially become senior citizens. For many of these people, the years ahead will bring significant changes: changes in their social roles, in their family lives, in their health concerns, and though they may not realize it in their nutritional needs and priorities. Many seniors are, of course, healthy, relatively independent, and well nourished. Some older adults, however, are beset with accumulating medical, performance, and social problems that can make adequate nourishment difficult.

More than 70 percent of senior citizens rate their health as "good" or "excellent," and only 4 percent live in nursing homes. Twenty-three percent of seniors report difficulties with such self-care actions as bathing and dressing; 28 percent report...

Lead poisoning is often cited as the number one environmental health concern for children. A panel of physicians and scientists affiliated with the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) has concluded, however, that for the majority of American children, lead poisoning is a condition of the past.

According to a new report from ACSH, Lead and Human Health, symptomatic childhood lead "poisoning," often seen until the 1970s, has ceased to exist as a widespread public health threat in the United States. Findings from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirm that only 0.4% of all children 1 to 5 years of age in the U.S. may be at greater risk for health complications due to lead exposure. Problems in localized areas continue to exist, however. And...

Americans can have a positive impact on their health and well-being by following some simple lifestyle pointers recently published by the American Council on Science and Health. ACSH, a consortium of over 250 physicians and scientists explains in this pamphlet that not smoking, avoiding driving while drinking alcohol, and having appropriate medical tests, among other tips, can go far toward improving and maintaining anyone's personal health.

The final resolution is "Focus your efforts on things that matter." In other words, focus on the real health risks, such as smoking and a couch-potato lifestyle, rather than on hypothetical risks such as exposure to trace amounts of synthetic chemicals or additives.

Last week The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) circulated a press release (enclosed) lauding television host Rosie O'Donnell for turning down an offer to become a spokesperson for Frito-Lay's "Wow" chips. CSPI is campaigning against the right of consumers to purchase snack foods that, like "Wow," contain the FDA-approved fat substitute olestra.

CSPI's use of Rosie O'Donnell in their scare campaign represents a new low for the group. CSPI implies falsely that Ms. O'Donnell turned down the endorsement deal because she agrees with CSPI that olestra is unsafe. The facts are entirely to the contrary. In an interview with the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), Ms. O'Donnell's agent, Risa Shapiro, explained that food-safety questions were never even...

A National Toxicology Program (NTP) subcommittee ignored a wealth of scientific data when it voted to continue listing the sweetener saccharin as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen." This was the assessment of the American Council on Science and Health, which recently reviewed the data available to the NTP subcommittee. The NTP is a program within the Department of Health and Human Services whose purpose is to "provide information about possibly toxic chemicals to regulatory and research agencies and the public."

ACSH, a consortium of more than 250 scientists, charged that the four members of the seven-person subcommittee who voted to continue to list saccharin did not take into account data that strongly indicate saccharin is not a human carcinogen. The four...

Fat replacers ingredients that can take the place of the fats in food can make it much easier to lower total fat consumption, concludes a panel of physicians and scientists affiliated with the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH).

For many people, decreasing fat intake is an important step toward a healthy diet. But according to a new report from ACSH, Fat Replacers: The Cutting Edge of Cutting Calories, simply removing fat from foods results in unpleasant changes in taste and texture and taste usually has the greatest effect on consumers' food selection. Adding fat replacers to foods from which fat has been removed restores some of the lost taste and texture. The use of fat...