|From "Ground Zero" to Heroes: A Nation Resolves to Stand Tall
The horrific and intolerable events of September 11, 2001, will be etched in history as one of America's darkest and most vulnerable moments. On that fateful day the ACSH staff gathered silently together, in front of our small conference room television set in New York, and witnessed a live chain of events unfolding less than 100 blocks away. We sat helplessly as the two towering symbolic pillars of America's financial wealth and economic success collapsed. We watched humbly as our nation's capital fell under attack. Like millions of Americans across the nation we gazed in utter disbelief, attempting to comprehend the enormity of an event that would forever redefine America.
What followed the days and weeks of dark billowing clouds of smoke, dust and rubble now visually synonymous with that tragic day, however, was not the morbid sense of a nation in defeat. Instead emerging from this demented darkness was the even mightier beacon of a nation's resolve. America's most precious and unassailable asset laid not in the crumbled, twisted bricks and mortars of "ground zero," but in the heroism, bravery, strength, unity and resilience of its people.
In the aftermath of this tragedy, ACSH wishes to honor the thousands of Americans firefighters, police, doctors, nurses, construction workers, military, and citizens alike who volunteered, sacrificed and toiled relentlessly in the rescue efforts. We particularly wish to acknowledge the bravery and heroism of our local firehouse, Engine Co. 40/Ladder Co. 35 who lost all eleven men that responded on that ill-fated day.
Other heroes include ACSH Scientific Advisor Emil W. Chynn, M.D., an ophthalmologist, and eye trauma and cornea surgeon affiliated with St. Vincent's Hospital. On the day of the World Trade Center catastrophe, Dr. Chynn rushed to "ground zero" on his own and volunteered there daily for six consecutive days. There is also the heroic efforts of the thousands of citizens who donated blood, including ACSH staffers Drs. Elizabeth Whelan, Gilbert Ross, Ruth Kava, and Mr. Jeff Stier and Ms. Melissa Crespo. And ACSH praises the outspoken voices of ACSH Director Dr. Henry I. Miller ("Bioterror: The Facts," New York Post, October 2), and ACSH Scientific Advisors Dr. Michael Osterholm (interviewed September 24, NBC's Today Show) and Dr. Donald A Henderson (testified before a Senate panel October 9, and interviewed by host Art Bell, WABC radio, October 8). During this critical time of fear and uncertainty they provided insightful media commentary on the future threats and dangers of bioterrorism and chemical warfare. They are all heroes, and there are many others too numerous to mention.
Finally, ACSH extends its deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the thousands of families whose loved ones perished at this tragic event. May they find solace in knowing that their personal loss has helped to solidify the spirit of an already great nation.
ACSH Scientists Call for Calm in the Wake of Florida Anthrax Cases
The threat of biological and chemical warfare has become a fear of most Americans in the aftermath of the horrendous terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This fear was heightened further when a few cases of anthrax were reported in Florida, one of which resulted in the death of the victim.
On October 11, ACSH issued a news release advising Americans to remain calm in the wake of this isolated event. In the press release, ACSH Medical Director Dr. Gilbert Ross cautioned that the danger of bioterrorism should not be blown out of proportion. The news release cited that this isolated event was not a cause for alarm related to widespread bioterrorist activity, adding that the rush to buy gas masks would not be a productive response.
ACSH scientists agree, however, that we should not let our vigilance lapse. Indeed, our alertness to possible communicable threats should remain high, pending definitive elimination of such a possibility, although this might take years to accomplish. But ACSH advises the public to remain calm, and to follow the directives issued by the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, based in Atlanta, which is actively investigating the source of the infection.
Nine New Members Join the ACSH Board of Directors
This Spring ACSH announced the addition of nine distinguished scientists, physicians, and policy experts to its Board of Directors. Directors are responsible for the overall direction of ACSH, such as setting organizational policy and overseeing the executive staff. The new directors are:
Terry L. Anderson, Ph.D., M.S.
Executive Director, Political Economy Research Center (PERC), Bozeman, MT. Dr. Anderson's career in law and environmental economics enables him to provide insight to ACSH on such issues.
Elissa P. Benedek, M.D.
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Dr. Benedek is a psychiatrist particularly interested in risk assessment and women's, and children's health.
Michael B. Bracken, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Professor and Head, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Dr. Bracken is an epidemiologist with a special interest in biotechnology.
Christine M. Bruhn, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Consumer Research, University of Califor-nia, Davis, CA. Dr. Bruhn's specialties lie in consumer behavior, food science and technology, and human nutrition. She is particularly interested in biotechnology and food irradiation.
Thomas R. DeGregori, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics, University of Houston, Houston, TX. Dr. DeGregori, a prolific writer, has expertise in economic development, technology, and science and public policy.
John H. Moore, Ph.D., M.B.A.
President, Grove City College, Grove City, PA. Dr. Moore is both an economist and a chemist.
Kenneth M. Prager, M.D.
Clinical Professor of Medicine, Director, Clinical Ethics, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, NY. Dr. Prager's areas of expertise are pulmonary medicine and medical ethics.
Mark C. Taylor, M.D.
President, Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, Department of Surgery, St. Boniface Hospital, Winnipeg, MB, Canada. Dr. Taylor is a surgeon and an expert on smoking and health.
Kimberly M. Thompson, Sc.D.
Assistant Professor of Risk Analysis and Decision Science, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, Boston, MA. Dr. Thompson has a special interest in risk assessment regarding children and health.
Fredric M. Steinberg, M.D., M.B.A., was also recently elected Chairman of the Board, replacing Alan Moghissi, Ph.D., who remains a member of the board. Other current members on the board are: Norman E. Borlaug, Ph.D., Texas A&M University; Taiwo K. Danmola, C.P.A., Arthur Andersen LLP; Henry I. Miller, M.D., Hoover Institution; Albert G. Nickel, Lyons Lavey Nickel Swift, Inc.; Fredrick J. Stare, Ph.D., M.D., Harvard School of Public Health; Lorraine Thelian, Ketchum Public Relations; Elizabeth M. Whelan, Sc.D., M.P.H., American Council on Science and Health; and Robert J. White, M.D., Ph.D., Case, Western Reserve University.
If You Can't Beat the Science Slander the Scientists?
Those who disagree with ACSH's science prefer to focus on things other than ACSH's science. For instance, in May, the Center in Science for the Public Interest (CSPI) launched an online database it calls "Integrity in Science." The "Integrity in Science" website purports to be "concerned about the link between industry and science, and how the demands of the former can undermine the public interest mission of the latter." The database provides information about hundreds of scientists' and nonprofit organizations' direct, indirect, current and/or past relations with industries. An article about the online, searchable database appeared in the May 26 issue of the journal Lancet.
But ACSH, one of many organizations referenced in the CSPI database, is very unimpressed with the database. In an interview with The Lancet, ACSH President Dr. Elizabeth Whelan stated that the CSPI database initiative was "self-serving." She also noted that raising the issue of "integrity" in the very name of the webpage immediately brings up the question: Are those who accept industry funding as credible and as imbued with "integrity" as scientists who do not receive industry money?
In a more in-depth editorial, "Critics of Corporate Science out to Chill Science Debate," Dr. Whelan explains that what matters in science is not funding, but the accuracy and legitimacy of the data generated and the conclusions drawn. ACSH has been the target of numerous attacks by CSPI and other such groups in the past.
ACSH Participates in Roundtable Discussion with Nation's New EPA Administrator
On May 16, ACSH President Dr. Elizabeth Whelan visited the nation's capital to join an elite group of public interest organizations and scientists in a roundtable discussion with The Honorable Christine Whitman. Ms. Whitman is the former governor of New Jersey who was recently appointed as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency by President George W. Bush. The roundtable discussion was organized by the Heritage Foundation to provide a resource of prominent public interest groups and scientists to the new EPA Deputy Administrator. Others organizations attending included: American Enterprise Institute, Institute for Regulatory Science, Capital Research Center, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Reason Public Policy Institute, and the Heritage Foundation.
New Members Join ACSH's Board of Scientific Advisors
The number of national scientists, physicians and policy advisors joining ACSH's Board of Scientific Advisors continues to swell. Mem-bers of ACSH's Advisory Board serve without compensation. They peer-review ACSH booklets and reports; author ACSH-related articles and editorials; provide expert counsel and testimony in behalf of ACSH; participate in ACSH-sponsored forums and discussions; and represent ACSH in the media. ACSH is honored to welcome the following eight new members:
Alwynelle S. Ahl, Ph.D., D.V.M.
USDA Fellow, College of Veterinary Medicine
George E. Ehrlich, M.D., F.A.C.P., M.A.C.R., FRCP
International Consultant on Health Care Issues,
Pharmaceutical Development, Pharmacoeconmis and Pharmacoepidemiology
Adjunct Professor of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
Adjunct Professor of Clinical Medicine
New York University
Kenneth Green, D.Env.
Deputy Director and Director of Environmental Program
Reason Public Policy Institute
James D. Herbert, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
Director, Social Anxiety Treatment Program
MCP Hahneman University
Tom B. Leamon, Ph.D.
Vice President, Research Center for Society and Health
Liberty Mutual Insurance Company
Michael T. Osterholm, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Chairman and Founder
Eden Prairie, MN
Joel M. Schwartz, M.S.
Senior Policy Analyst
Reason Public Policy Institute
Janet S. Weiss, M.D.
Director of Toxicology
University of California at San Francisco
ACSH News Briefs
ACSH Advisor Heads New Commission on Bioterrorism
ACSH Scientific Advisor Dr. Donald A. Henderson, Director of the John Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies, Johns Hopkins University, was recently appointed by Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson to head a new commission advising on bioterrorism preparedness. Dr. Henderson led the global effort to wipe out smallpox in the 1970s.
The Department of Defense Links to ACSH's Vaccine Report
ACSH Medical Director Dr. Gilbert Ross recently granted permission to the Department of Defense to link to ACSH's new publication, The Promise of Vaccines: The Science and the Controversy. The report's executive summary will also be posted on the immunizations and vaccines section of their Deployment LINK website. In contacting ACSH, the special assistant to the Under- secretary of Defense praised the ACSH report, noting that they thought it would be of value to service members who are looking for good information on the effects of vaccines. ACSH offered its services to the Department of Defense for further work they may undertake related to the issues of vaccination and the threat of bioterrorism.
ACSH Applauds New Food Safety Nomination
In a special news release on July 10, ACSH applauded the nomination of Dr. Elsa Murano for the office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Undersecretary for Food Safety by President George W. Bush. Noting that Dr. Murano is a recognized expert on the use of food irradiation, ACSH expressed confidence that Dr. Murano's reputation for using science to disarm unfounded fear campaigns against food will be perpetuated further in the nation's highest food safety office. The USDA is responsible for overseeing the production, inspection, grading, and safety of meat and poultry products.
ACSH Scientists Speak Out . . .
ACSH President Dr. Elizabeth Whelan was one of three panelists to participate in a forum hosted by the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences on July 6. The topic was "Why Pseudoscience is More Believable than True Science," and panelists examined how the media frequently distorts medical science by oversimplifying, exaggerating and/or misrepresenting the facts.
On March 28, ACSH Director of Nutrition, Dr. Ruth Kava, presented a talk on drug-supplement-interaction to residents of the William Residence, an assisted-living residence run by the Salvation Army in New York City. Dr. Kava's talk was based on the ACSH brochure, What's the Story? Drug Supplement Interactions.
ACSH Medical Director Dr. Gilbert Ross was breakfast speaker at the American Legislative Exchange Council, Environmental Task Force meeting in Boston, MA on March 24. Dr. Ross was one of six experts invited to address over 40 state legislators and policy leaders on the scientific aspects of public health policy. The umbrella topic was "Technophobia: Why Are Americans Afraid of Scientific Progress?"
Dr. Whelan was also keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the National Pest Control Association in Washington DC, February 27 where she presented a talk on "The Toxic Terrorist Guide to Instant Fame, Success and Media Coverage."
ACSH's AIDS in NYC Update Spurs New York Times to Revisit Topic
Quoting ACSH President Dr. Whelan, and using the newly-released ACSH AIDS in New York City: Update 2001 as a primary reference (see Recent ACSH publications), New York Times columnist John Tierney takes a critical look at the history of AIDS in New York in his article "The Big City: In 80's, Fear Spread Faster than AIDS."
Join ACSH Update
More than 1,000 new subscribers have joined the ACSH UPDATE listserve since our last reporting, bringing the total number of members to more than 8,500. UPDATE subscribers receive periodic email bulletins from ACSH that keep them abreast of ACSH's activities and publications. To join UPDATE visit the ACSH homepage at www.acsh.org and submit your email address directly, or send an email message to email@example.com. The body of the email message should include the phrase "subscribe update."
ACSH Medical Director Joins Editorial Board of Professional Journal
ACSH Executive and Medical Director Dr. Gilbert Ross recently accepted an invitation to serve on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology. The quarterly journal is guided by an international editorial board comprising experts from the fields of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. The professional journal publishes in-depth, peer-reviewed articles by leading biotechnology experts, consultants and academics at the forefront of thinking and practice in biotech business, strategy and management.
ACSH Author Wins Award
Kudos to ACSH author and scientific advisor Alan McHughen, D.Phil., for being the 2000 General Audience Winner of Canada's national 2000 Science in Society Book Awards competition. The award was presented April 23 by the Canadian Science Writers Association during Canada Book Day. Dr. McHughen received the honor for his book Pandora's Picnic Basket: The Potential and Hazards of Genetically Modified Foods, Oxford University. Dr. McHughen is also author of ACSH's popular report Biotechnology and Food (second edition).
Lessons from Starlink Scare
"Eat, drink and be wary of those who try to scare you about the safety of your food" was the message of a June 15 press release from ACSH that responds to a recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) report on scares about Starlink corn and bioengineered foods. When tests first showed traces of Starlink corn in Taco Bell tacos, anti-biotechnology activists jumped on the fact that the corn was approved for animal, but not human use. But, as the new CDC finding supports, activists went too far in insisting that people who ate the corn would become sick from it. While there was a theory behind why the corn might provoke allergic reactions in some people, the question was whether that hypothesis alone should have been enough to instigate the drastic reaction it prompted. The science shows that it did not but activists did such a good job telling us that we'd get sick from the corn, that people actually felt ill. Applauding the CDC report the ACSH release warned that this should be a lesson to us.
Starbucks, BST and Milk
Several consumer groups joined ACSH in signing a March 20 letter to Mr. Orin Smith, President and CEO of Starbucks Corporation. The letter was written to express concern about Starbucks' recent announcement that they would begin to serve milk products only from cows not treated with BST the bovine growth hormone. Noting that consumers deserve choice and accurate information about food safety that letter charged that Starbucks' action was scientifically unfounded and challenged Starbucks to step up to the plate and be a responsible corporate citizen. The letter was picked up by PR Newswire and received coverage internationally. Other signers include the Center for Global Food Issues, Citizens for the Integrity of Science, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Consumer Alert, and the National Center for Public Policy Research.
ACSH Papers and Letters in Professional Journals
"It is time to dismiss calls to ban DDT," was the headline that summarized a letter by ACSH Chairman Dr. Fredric Steinberg, appearing in the March 17 British Medical Journal. BMJ 2001;322:676.
The Volume 3, No. 2, Spring 2001 issue of Cerebrum: The Dana Forum on Brain Science published ACSH Medical Director Dr. Gilbert Ross's article "The Great Brain Supplement Free-for-All." In the article Dr. Ross argues that the deregulation of nutrition supplements in 1994 has made the public guinea pigs to fraudulent supplement claims.
ACSH in the Classrooms
The Ohio State University's class on Plant Pathology encourages critical thinking about issues in pesticides, biotechnology and the environment. Recently, the professor wrote enthusiastically to inform us that our reports on pesticides, biotechnology, and environmental chemicals were being used as primary resources to help students dig into the issues, present alternative views, and to evaluate positions that are not necessarily their own.
The ACSH report Alar Five Years Later will also be distributed as part of required reading for a New York University course on "Environmental Effects on Food and Nutrition."
Short Takes on ACSH Editorials, Commentaries and Letters
ACSH letters, commentaries and op-eds on important public health issues are published regularly in major national and local newspapers and on the ACSH website www.acsh.org) and are distributed via the ACSH newswire service. Summarized below are highlights of recent ACSH commentaries. Most of these editorials can be read in their entirety at www.acsh.org or in the July 2001 ACSH Media Update.
- Do Americans really know enough about the dangers of smoking to make an "informed" decision to light up? According to ACSH Executive and Medical Director Dr. Gilbert Ross the answer is "No." In his compelling and personal editorial "Big Tobacco's No. 1 Lie Is That 'Everyone Knows,'" Dr. Ross tells of his own ignorance about the dangers of smoking despite his impressive medical education and more than 20 years of practice as an internist. The editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on August 2.
- On June 21 the Washington Times published Dr. Whelan's editorial "Girls just want to have fun," which questions our nation's drinking laws and advocates lowering the drinking age so that young adults can learn responsible drinking before the age of 21.
- In June a Los Angeles jury awarded a cancer-stricken smoker, 58-year-old Richard Boeken, more than $3 billion from cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris the largest judgment ever made in an individual smoker's suit. But while public health advocates applauded the verdict, the anti-tobacco verdict also seemed to have triggered a major public backlash against anti-tobacco causes and against litigation against tobacco companies. In Dr. Whelan's June 15 editorial "Tobacklash," published on www.salon.com, Dr. Whelan explains why the award is justified. The provocative editorial also, surprisingly, elicited the praise of a member of the Boeken jury.
- "Risky Remedies," a letter published in the March 26 U.S. News & World Report by Dr. Ruth Kava, states just because a supplement is "natural," does not mean that it is safe.
- May 25 was ACSH's day at The Wall Street Journal when two letters to the editor appeared on the same page. The Journal published Dr. Gilbert Ross's letter "If You're a Rat, Cut the Dioxin," which commented on the EPA's Scientific Advisory Board conclusion that "dioxin causes cancer in rodents," lacked scientific consensus in regards to its classification as a human carcinogen.
- On that same day, Jeff Stier's letter "Prescription Spending Looked at Positively" challenged the Naderite groups' call for less spending on prescription drugs. The letter stated that we must also consider the fact that drugs like Glucophage, Lipitor and Zocor, which are responsible for this rise in spending, help many patients.
- Earlier that month, on May 18, Mr. Stier published "Drug Innovation and Higher Costs: Public Health Boon, Not Bane" on the ACSH website. The editorial expounded more extensively on the subject of prescription drug spending and pharmaceutical pricing.
- On March 22, ACSH published "Hoof-and-Mouth Crisis Shows We've Come a Long Way," an editorial by Thomas R. De-Gregori, Ph.D., which explains how the epidemic actually points to the positive progress of agriculture. Dr. DeGregori is a newly elected member of ACSH's Board of Directors.
- The March 14 ACSH editorial, "Biotech Detractors Distort Science to Support Their Views," by Dr. Ruth Kava argues that opponents of foods altered by bioengineering cite a number of concerns ranging from human safety to environmental degradation to support their disapproval of the technology. Their latest twist is that the new golden rice will not be effective at treating the vitamin A deficiency that is a major cause of childhood blindness in the developing world.
- Tobacco and biotechnology, two frequent topics addressed separately by ACSH, was the subject of Jeff Stier's March 14 Wall Street Journal letter. In "Irrational Avoidance" Mr. Stier addressed fears of genetically modified tobacco and how ironic it would be if people quit smoking not because of the known dangers of smoking, but because of an irrational fear of a technology that is tested and safe when applied to other products.
ACSH on the Air
- On October 10 ACSH Medical Director Dr. Gilbert Ross appeared live on Fox News Channel with host Jon Scott to discuss public health approaches to threats of bioterrorism. Appearing with Dr. Ross was Dr. Mohammad N. Akhter, Executive Director of the American Public Health Association. Following his live appearance, Dr. Ross taped an interview with Fox News discussing various specific biological agents and what our approach should be. This interview will be scheduled to air at a later date.
- The toll of school bells this fall had ACSH Associate Director Jeff Stier busily fielding media inquiries about the accuracy of the environmental health chapters in textbooks. In a CNSNews.com interview Mr. Stier explains how school children learn about America's natural resources and the environment from teachers who are simply "going by the textbook." But according to a 1998 survey by ACSH, too often these textbooks are full of the propaganda being waged by environmental activists.
- On September 7 Mr. Stier appeared on New York's Fox News Channel to further discuss the accuracy of high school textbooks. And on September 6 Mr. Stier conducted radio interviews on the topic with Adam McManus of KSLR in San Antonio, Tom Marr of WCBM 680 in Baltimore MD, and by Al Kresta, of WDEO in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
- This fall ACSH Director of Nutrition Dr. Ruth Kava appeared in a videotaped recording on rBST distributed by American Farm Review. The video has an introduction by Morley Safer (of CBS's "60 Minutes") and includes commentary by Dr. Dale Bauman. Dr. Bauman is currently revising the ACSH report on rBST.
- On August 9 Dr. Ross was on "The Michael Jackson Show" KLAC 570 AM radio, Los Angeles, to discuss his August 2 Los Angeles Timeseditorial "Big Tobacco's No. 1 Lie Is That 'Everyone Knows.'"
- On June 3 Dr. Ruth Kava participated in a radio discussion of dietary supplements on "Doc in the House," on WMAL Washing-ton, DC. The weekly show is moderated by an allergist, Dr. Henry Fishman. Dr. Kava discussed the ACSH position on dietary supplements and stated that supplements as they are now regulated do not provide enough accurate information to potential consumers, or have any real regulation of quality control. Other guests on the program included a representative of the supplement industry and a naturopathic doctor.
- Voice of America interviewed Drs. Whelan and Ross for World Tobacco Day on May 31. VOA reaches an international audience airing all over Africa, East Asia, India, and Latin America. Drs. Whelan and Ross appeared opposite psychologist Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D., who argued that smoking is l00% choice and not an addiction.
- In April an interview with Dr. Gilbert Ross on arsenic standards was distributed by the syndicated radio program "Just the Facts." The program airs on some 350 stations nationally, with an estimated listening audience of 300,000.
- Canadian Broadcasting Co. conducted a 40-minute interview on second hand smoke with Dr. Gilbert Ross on April 20. Dr. Ross critiqued a booklet written by two doctors who claim environmental tobacco smoke is not a health hazard.
- On April 2 Dr. Whelan recorded one-minute radio commercials for a "No More Scares" campaign organized by Steve Milloy at . Dr. Whelan discusses food safety, biotech, and unnecessary scares, with the overall message that our food supply is safe.
- On March 27 Dr. Whelan appeared on ABC's World News Tonight, anchored by Elizabeth Vargas, to discuss women and smoking.
- Dr. Ross appeared on Good Morning America on March 9 to discuss Almon Glenn Braswell, CEO of Gero Vita International, and his pardon for selling phony dietary supplements and herbs via the mail. Dr. Ross was interviewed opposite a lawyer for Gero Vita and debated the effectiveness of Gero Vita's products.
- The San Diego radio program, "Bree Walker on the Pulse" interviewed Dr. Ruth Kava February 27 on early puberty in girls.What's In Priorities?The Volume 13 Number 2 issue of Priorities for Health looked at the similarities between the wishes of literal Nazis and those of modern extremist advocates of alternative medicine, animal rights, environmental protection, organic farming and vegetarianism. Other articles include medicinal uses of marijuana, what is canola, and the benefits of milk.
The current issue of Priorities for Health (Volume 13 Number 3) includes articles on animal-rights-inspired trespassing, crypticness in alternative medicine, how to minimize harm from ultraviolet light exposure, peptic ulcer disease, and the precautionary principle.
Recent ACSH Publications
- The Promise of Vaccines: The Science and the Controversy (September 2001)Standing among the greatest achievements in public health, vaccines have had a greater impact on reducing death and disability from infectious diseases than almost any other public health intervention. This paper presents a comprehensive overview of vaccines and the science of immunity, including a discussion of the remarkable advances in disease prevention through the evolution of vaccines. ACSH focuses on several recent vaccine safety controversies that may prevent maximization of their potential.
- The Scientific Facts About the Dry-Cleaning Chemical Perc (July 2001)Perchloroethylene (PCE, or perc) has been the subject of close government and public scrutiny for more than 20 years. But government agencies in the U.S. and around the world have not agreed about the potential of environmental exposure to PCE to cause adverse health effects, including cancer, in humans. This report summarizes and evaluates the evidence behind these disparate views, and provides a balanced assessment of the possible risks of PCE based on the best available science.
- Tobacco and Women's Health: A Survey of Popular Women's Magazines August 1999-August 2000 (July 2001)According to this new ACSH study, women's magazines publish a significant number of cigarette advertisements, while neglecting to include basic information on the negative health-related consequences of cigarette smoking and failing to adequately cover the number one cause of cancer death in women lung cancer.
- What's the Story? The Dry-Cleaning Chemical Perc (July 2001)Activists have frequently warned consumers to air dry-cleaned clothes thoroughly before wearing them, to rid them of any perchloroethylene (perc) residue. Is perc a danger to your health? This concise, consumer-friendly brochures provides consumers with answers to the basic questions about perc, emphasizing that there is no need for consumers to fear adverse health consequences from exposure to recently dry-cleaned clothes or from living near a dry-cleaning establishment.
- Special Report: AIDS in New York City: Update 2001 (June 2001)Back in 1990, the NYC Department of Health estimated that there were 200,000 New Yorkers infected with AIDS, suggesting an impending health care crisis. ACSH issued a report on AIDS in New York and our predictions for the future were also grim. Now in 2001, we realize that the initial estimates on HIV infection were significantly inflated, and we are observing the dramatic effect of antiviral medications, This updated report on AIDS in New York City concludes that although AIDS in New York is less urgent than predicted, the number of persons living with AIDS in NYC has increased dramatically and the disease still poses a threat to public health. It is released by the ACSH New York City Advisory Council on Health Priorities.
- What's the Story? The Role of Milk in Your Diet (June 2001)Most of the health concerns that have been raised about cows' milk appear to be based on misconceptions or incomplete understanding of the facts. This new What's the Story? brochure concludes that except in cases of milk allergy (an uncommon problem), cows' milk and its products are acceptable, nutritious foods for persons one year of age and older.
- Special Report: School Buses and Diesel Fuel (June 2001)A recent report released by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Coalition for Clean Air (CCA), claims that children riding diesel-powered school buses are at a significantly increased risk of developing cancer from exposure to diesel exhaust. This ACSH study reviewed the current scientific evidence and concludes that contrary to the claims of the NRDC, there is no scientific validity to fears that diesel exhaust emissions from school buses pose a cancer risk to schoolchildren.
- Special Report: Nutrition Accuracy in Popular Magazines [January 1997-December 1999] (June 2001)According to a recent survey, the American public has a great deal of confidence in the nutrition information presented in popular magazines. But is this confidence justified? ACSH assembled a panel of nutrition experts to survey the accuracy of nutrition articles in popular magazines. The panelists rate the articles on nutrition accuracy and helpfulness and reveal which publications provide sound nutritional advice to their readers, and which are best ignored by health-conscious consumers. Find out how your magazines ranked by reading ACSH's eighth survey of nutrition reporting by popular magazines. Also visit the ACSH website to review a comparative synopsis of how each magazine has fared in its nutrition coverage over the years since ACSH first began its survey in 1982.
Upcoming Publications Targeted for Release 2001-2002
The topics stated below are in various stages of development as ACSH booklets, special reports, special releases, journal articles, or brochures. As usual, however, we have more projects in the pipeline than we have funding to publish them. If you wish to make a contribution to the development of these publications, or if you wish to obtain more information about the projects, please contact ACSH Associate Director Jeff Stier, by telephone (212-362-7044, ext. 225), by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or by mail (ACSH, 1995 Broadway, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10023-5860). All contributions are tax-deductible as provided by law.
- What's the story? childhood immunizations
- Arsenic, drinking water and health
- Risk factors for prostate cancer
- Smoking cessation
- Nutriceuticals and functional foods
- Chemoprevention of coronary heart disease
- Children as hostages of the environmental movement.
- Alzheimer's disease: new approaches
- Cancer clusters
- Toxic mold
- rBST update
- With this issue you may notice that News from ACSH has been renamed ACSH News. "ACSH News" defines the purpose of this newsletter-which is to not only bring you news "from" ACSH, but also to bring you news "by" and "about" the American Council on Science and Health.