food and nutrition

The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) today called on the Food and Drug Administration to approve irradiation of beef to limit Americans' exposure to E. coli bacteria

ACSH noted that a petition to the FDA has been pending since 1994 to authorize the use of irradiation on beef but no action yet has been taken. At least five children have died from eating E. coli -contaminated Jack-in-the-Box hamburgers, and there have been at least 12 cases of illnesses due to the latest incident that resulted in a recall of 25 million pounds of hamburger by Hudson Beef. Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan, ACSH President noted that, "Had irradiation been used, these deaths and illnesses could have been avoided. But the government has failed to properly react to the situation. Instead of...

Last week's unprecedented recall of 25 million pounds of beef contaminated with the disease-causing Escherichia coli bacteria tells us a good deal about the futility of demanding zero risk in our food supply.The ensuing media frenzy tells us even more about America's naivete concerning food production.

But even more importantly, this incident highlights our government's refusal to allow an efficient, safe technology that could safeguard against food- borne disease: pasteurization, through irradiation. Instead of endorsing this technology to solve the problem once and for all, Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman responded to the meat recall with calls for more federal regulatory authorityincluding power "to order recalls and impose civil fines" on meat processors...

Scientists from the New York City Advisory Council on Health Priorities, an affiliate of the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), applaud Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's campaign to encourage taxicab passengers to buckle up. In an open letter to the mayor, the Advisory Council praises the campaign for mandating the provision of functional accessible seat belts, as well as the newly installed celebrity audio messages reminding patrons to fasten their seat belts in all 12,053 taxicabs licensed in New York City.

According to ACSH President Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan, "The deaths and injuries attributed to taxicab accidents are highly preventable. They can be avoided by simply buckling up. A few years back it was difficult to even find a seat belt in a cab. We at the ACSH Advisory...

Branding a substance a human carcinogen solely because cancer has occurred in laboratory animals force-fed the substance at unrealistically high doses diverts both attention and resources from far more significant threats to human health. So states a panel of experts affiliated with the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH).

Says ACSH President Dr. Elizabeth Whelan: "The problem is that cancer findings from animal experiments are too often applied uncritically to human health. Such extrapolation becomes fuel for unfounded health scares that distract consumers, politicians, and even some scientists from proven cancer causes." In a newly released booklet, Of Mice and Mandates: Animal...

A panel of scientists and physicians from The American Council on Science and Health has concluded that the widely touted health benefits of vegetarianism are not necessarily due to the absence of meat. In a new report, ACSH health experts review scientific data on the possible health benefits of vegetarianism, explain how vegetarians can plan healthful diets, and discuss the suitability of vegetarian diets for people with special needs. Dr. Ruth Kava, ACSH Director of Nutrition, says: "The mere fact that a diet is meatless does not guarantee that it is healthful. And although eliminating meat is a way to reduce saturated fat and increase plant foods in the diet, it is not the only way. Balance, moderation, and variety are the keys to a healthy eating plan."

The essentials of...

Executive Summary
¢ Survey results indicate that 2 to 7 percent of Americans regard themselves as vegetarians, but less than 1 percent completely exclude meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish from their diets. Even fewer Americans choose vegan diets that exclude all foods of animal origin.
¢ Some scientific studies indicate that vegetarians have lower risks of chronic diseases than do meat eaters. However, some of the apparent benefits of vegetarianism may be attributable to aspects of the vegetarian diet other than the absence of meat or to nondietary aspects of typical vegetarian lifestyles. It is not...

Have you ever forgotten where you put your keys and searched your apartment high and low? Or perhaps, more than once, you forgot the name of someone who had just told you his name. Or maybe you make a shopping list even when your prospective purchases are few.

Through its mail-order facility and health food stores in New York and New Jersey, The Vitamin Shoppe offers "energy boosters" such as "Memory Power" and "Recall Support." The company's June 1997 catalog describes Memory Power, whose regular retail price is $14.95 per 100-tablet bottle, as a provider of "a natural complex of herbs and nutrients that help brain functions." It describes Recall Support, whose regular price is $16.95 per 100-tablet bottle, as "a nutritional formula to enhance learning and memory." According to...

Yes
by Laurie Leiber

For nearly two decades, two U.S. Surgeon Generals C. Everett Koop and Antonia Novello and numerous public health organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Parent Teachers Association, the American Medical Association, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving have called upon manufacturers of alcoholic beverages to advertise more responsibly. National polls show that Americans increasingly favor either restricting or banning broadcast alcohol advertising.

But despite this widespread support for advertising reform, the alcohol industry using its considerable political clout and such preemptive PR strategies as public-service campaigns and voluntary advertising codes has averted...

Many people become vegetarians because they believe, in error, that vegetarianism is uniquely conducive to good health. The findings of several large epidemiologic studies indeed suggest that the death and chronic-disease rates of vegetarians primarily vegetarians who consume dairy products or both dairy products and eggs are lower than those of meat eaters. But this does not mean that maintaining or improving health requires abstention from eating meat.

Some vegetarian diets provide less fat, less saturated fat, and fewer calories than typical nonvegetarian diets and have a higher content of fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products. They thus conform more closely to official dietary guidelines. Eliminating meat from the diet can facilitate decreasing saturated-fat...

According to one account, the phoenix a legendary bird in Chinese and other mythologies died in flames, then rose from its own ashes to live again. Something similar has happened with acupuncture: Mao Zedong "restored" it as "New Acupuncture." Then New Acu-puncture based on fanciful prescientific theories and widely promoted in the United States as something of a cure-all inspired the development of a science-based mode of acupuncture that New Age opportunists largely ignore: neuro-electric acupuncture.

Acupuncture has hundreds of forms and variations. Nearly all forms lack a scientific basis. Many undiscriminating proponents of acupuncture use science as window dressing, while their true allegiance is to mysticism and superstitious quackery. But also misguided are those...