ACSH News Vol. 10 No. 2 2002 Vol. 11 No. 1 & 2 2003

By ACSH Staff — Jan 15, 2004
Letter from the Editor It has been over 18 months since our last ACSH News, released winter 2002. A constrained budget continues to limit and delay the release of ACSH News. But as you will see inside, ACSH remains as prolific as ever. We hope that you are subscribed to both our Updates and HealthFactsandFears.comemail alert bulletins that regularly bring current ACSH news to you as it unfolds at ACSH.This special double volume of ACSH News covers quite an expansive period. It includes a review of ACSH activities from January to December 2003, as well as selected excerpts of ACSH events from July 2002 to December 2002 that are subsequent to our last report to you. The topics are diverse reflecting the spectrum of health issues that we have addressed and our programs and activities are exhaustive. We hope that you will enjoy this special update on all of ACSH's past and current happenings.

As always, we welcome your comments and feedback.

ACSH Turns 25 Years Old!

Over a quarter-century ago, a young Harvard graduate student trained in epidemiology was conducting independent research on the Delaney Clause (part of the 1958 Food Additive Amendment that banned any food additive that caused cancer in laboratory animals) when she observed an interesting dichotomy in food regulatory policy: the science did not necessarily support the worries that motivated regulators. Continued research led to similar conclusions about a myriad of other useful products being targeted.

That research sparked the question that proved to be both the catalyst and genesis of what is now the American Council on Science and Health. Why didn't scientists vehemently speak out? The young graduate student was ACSH's president and co-founder, Dr. Elizabeth Whelan.

Twenty-five years later, ACSH has grown to comprise over 350 of the nation's most distinguished and accomplished scientists, physicians, academicians and policy experts, who serve without compensation on ACSH's board of directors and advisors because of their commitment to speaking out on behalf of science.

On December 4, 2003, ACSH hosted a gala dinner in New York City to celebrate its 25th anniversary. The evening was an impressive affair honoring ACSH's science and success and the roster of distinguished guests and award recipients, read like a page from Who's Who in America.

ACSH presented its award for distinguished achievement in medicine and public health to Mark B. McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Although severe weather conditions precluded Dr. McClellan's attendance that day, notably accepting the award and presenting the keynote remarks on his behalf was Commissioner McClellan's special deputy assistant, Dr. Scott Gottlieb. Other awardees included Wall Street Journal editor emeritus Robert Bartley (who, we are saddened to report, died on December 10, a week after receiving ACSH's honor); Nobel Laureate Dr. Norman Borlaug; former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop; Dr. D.A. Henderson, who orchestrated the eradication of smallpox from the world; and Dr. Bruce Ames, inventor of the infamous Ames test used to screen mutagens.

ABC News' John Stossel served as Master of Ceremonies. On the same day, Stossel's commentary "The Anti-Junk Scientists," honoring ACSH's milestone, was published in the New York Post.

Special guest speakers included Christopher Buckley, humorist and author of Thank You for Smoking and No Way to Treat a First Lady, and Barry Farber, host of The Barry Farber Show.

Surprisingly, ACSH learned earlier in the week that President Bush issued the Presidential Medal of Freedom to one of its award recipients Robert Bartley. However, not until after the event did ACSH realize that three other ACSH awardees Drs. Borlaug (1977), Koop (1995) and Henderson (2002) each had already been recipients of this award, the highest national honor given to a civilian. Most Americans will never be in the presence of even one Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient yet on that night ACSH was honored with the presence of four.

The stellar group of individuals both associated with and assembled by ACSH on that evening some of the most erudite individuals this nation has to offer, whose contributions have changed the course of history crystallized Dr. Whelan's vision of more than 25 years ago.

Perhaps the greatest affirmation of ACSH's success came in the form of a press release and letter sent to Commissioner McClellan by The Center for Science in the Public Interest's Michael Jacobson. The strongly worded letter warned the Commissioner that accepting the ACSH honor would "tarnish [his] reputation and credibility." Rather than calling ACSH's scientific positions into question by pointing to hard scientific evidence, Jacobson was forced instead to once again use innuendo in attacking the credibility of the country's creme de la creme scientists and health professionals. Amidst such an impressive gathering of minds one can only wonder about the clarity of Jacobson's own mind as he attempted to silence ACSH an organization that continues to challenge the likes of CSPI and their junk science pronouncements.

We encourage you to visit to view other photos, and to read remarks from this important and memorable occasion.

ACSH's Public Impact: ACSH is frequently #1 on Google!

A recent survey of the extent of coverage ACSH receives in Google, the top-ranked Internet search engine, reveals that ACSH's scientific positions are readily accessed by Internet users and indeed in many cases, ACSH reports appear at the top of the Google search. A search on a very broad range of public health topics from smoking to drug-supplement interactions repeatedly points the searcher to the websites of the American Council on Science and Health, indicating that ACSH's message is being widely received. To read the full report, please log onto

Selected sample of the search topics and ACSH's Google ranking as of October 23, 2003

ACSH Hosts Press Conference to Release Two New Books on Terrorism PreparednessAt a press conference in New York on September 17, 2003, ACSH was joined by a panel of experts to release A Citizen's Guide to Terrorism Preparedness and Response: Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear, and the companion New Yorker's Guide to Terrorism Preparedness and Response similar in content, but written specifically for residents of New York City.

The 92-page guides address all aspects of terrorism preparedness from hard facts about weapons of mass destruction to the psychological effects of terrorism dispelling myths and citing facts on how citizens can be prepared for possible future terrorist attacks. Panelists joining ACSH president Dr. Elizabeth Whelan and executive and medical director Dr. Gilbert Ross to respond to media inquiries included: Dr. Ronald C. Crystal, Department of Genetic Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University; Dr. P. Andrew Karam, Radiation Safety Officer, the University of Rochester; Dr. Henry I. Miller, Fellow, Hoover Institution; Dr. Marc K. Siegel, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases, NYU Medical Center; and Randal L. West, a retired Major General who served as the senior advisor for the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Chemical and Biological Protection from July 1999 to February 2001.

Complimentary copies of the book were widely distributed both locally and nationally to the media, federal and state homeland security organizations, NYC government agencies and opinion leaders, and public health associations and institutions.

Fox Evening News featured ACSH president Dr. Elizabeth Whelan in a segment on terrorism preparedness the same day. While the guides received a great deal of press coverage, a New York Daily News headline that appeared on the following day neatly summed it up in an article entitled "Disaster Guide: Don't Get Stuck with Duct Tape" the title itself highlighting the misinformation the guides were intended to quell.

The ACSH terrorism guides were funded by generous grants received from the Achelis and Bodman Foundations, the Milbank Foundation for Rehabilitation, and the Dodge Jones Foundation.

Children and Environmental ChemicalsEdited by toxicologist Dr. Daland Juberg with a foreword by former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop

In January 2003, ACSH published its long-awaited book Are Children More Vulnerable to Environmental Chemicals? Protecting children from environmental chemicals has become the mantra of many advocates who believe that without strict regulatory action, our children are in danger. We are at a juncture where emotion, fear, and uncertainty compete with scientific data, toxicological principles, and proper risk analysis. This book evaluates the science behind the scares from several critical perspectives and reveals that there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that children are more vulnerable to all environmental chemicals. It also unveils a disturbing pattern in which activists with a non-science agenda manipulate the public's legitimate and appropriate concern for children's health in an effort to promote legislation, litigation, and regulation.

Highlights of media coverage of the book in 2003 include the February 10 Washington Times article "Koop Backs Book Minimizing Danger of Toxins to Children," Steve Milloy's January 30 review of the book on the FoxNews website, Steve Milloy's January 17 article "Greens to Launch New Scare Campaign," a February 27 op-ed in the San Marcos Daily Record, a February 16 editorial in the Chattanooga Times Free Press, a February 20 Copley News Service commentary by Doug Bandow titled "Chemical Hysteria and Environmental Politics," and Dr. Stephen Barrett's February 16 commentary in the Chattanooga Times "Phony Health Crises Manipulate Parents."

The book was distributed nationally to various government branches, including the Centers for Disease Control. To order your own copy of Are Children More Vulnerable to Environmental Chemicals? please complete an order form that can be downloaded from and fax it to 212-362-4919, or email Discounts are available for bulk orders.

Harm Reduction Symposium, Part II

On September 15, 2003, ACSH hosted a special symposium in New York to discuss smokeless tobacco as a harm reduction intervention for cigarette smokers. Unlike ACSH's previous educational harm reduction symposium in June 2002, which was open to the media and the public, the purpose of this forum was to initiate a scientific discussion between leading proponents and opponents of smokeless tobacco use as a harm reduction alternative. The goal was to establish a scientific discourse between the two groups and, perhaps, bridge some of the differences on this controversial public health alternative.

While no position statement or consensus was formulated at this meeting, the forum was successful in getting each side to recognize the passion they share in decreasing the devastating toll of cigarette smoking on health. The task at hand is to determine how the two groups can reach an accord that will best serve the public interest.

ACSH Receives Technology GrantACSH was recently awarded a generous technology grant by the E. L. Wiegand Foundation to upgrade its computer infrastructure and website technology. The redesigned ACSH websites will be more user-friendly and include new features such as a "My ACSH" personalized webpage option, an online shopping cart for easy ordering of ACSH publications, an "email to a friend" option for all ACSH articles, a new "blog" site with automatic posting and response, automated email alert bulletins selected by the subscribers' area of interest, a special "news center" covering current topics, and much, much more. Please watch for the launch of the newly designed websites in March 2004.

ACSH Responds to America's War on FatIn 2001 the Surgeon General issued a call to action in response to a growing obesity problem in America. This urgent and earnest plea, however, has resulted in many misguided efforts to reduce America's growing waistline. Advocacy groups have pushed to ban popular food products and to impose fat taxes while trial lawyers have rushed to sue fast food companies for their high caloric food products. Missing from the obesity dialog are such commonsense solutions as educating the public about good diets, exercise, and how an excess of calories consumed relative to calories expended causes weight gain.

As the media repeatedly calls upon ACSH to deliver science-based information, ACSH plays a prominent role in bringing rationality to the obesity controversy by targeting the underlying causes of obesity and advising the public to steer clear of simplistic gimmicks like fast food lawsuits, efforts to ban Oreo cookies, and fat taxes.

  • On July 31, 2003, ACSH director of nutrition Dr. Ruth Kava appeared on MSNBC's Buchanan and Pressshow to discuss the obesity epidemic with former Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman.

  • On July 9, 2003, ACSH's Medical/Executive Director Dr. Ross appeared on The Current, which broadcasts throughout Canada, to discuss the recent slew of obesity lawsuits spearheaded by John Banzhaf.
  • ACSH's Dr. Kava signed a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson, expressing concerns that Secretary Thompson was "promoting a climate for frivolous lawsuits and campaigns for government mandates that affect consumers' choices and pocketbooks."
  • On July 7, 2003, Dr. Kava did a radio interview with Canadian Broadcasting Co. discussing the Chamber of Commerce report, for which she wrote the foreword, addressing obesity and fast food lawsuits. That same day, viewers of CNN's Q&A with Jim Clancy saw Jeff Stier debate the validity of lawsuits targeting the fast food industry.
  • On July 2, 2003, ACSH president Dr. Elizabeth Whelan and ACSH associate director Jeff Stier, Esq. made separate appearances on MSNBC to discuss the problem of obesity in America and the recent wave of lawsuits targeting fast food companies. That same day, Dr. Kava spoke at the Chamber of Commerce and at the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, finishing out the day with TV interviews on Mexican TV, CNN-FN, and internationally shown Fox Sky News.
  • On June 30, 2003, ACSH president Dr. Elizabeth Whelan's New York Post editorial "Fast Food Fallacy" challenged the growing tide of lawsuits that attempt to place fast foods and cigarettes in the same boat. The editorial highlighted the obvious difference between tobacco and fast food, noting that tobacco is addictive and "hazardous when used as directed," while fast foods are not addictive and, when eaten in moderation as a part of a balanced diet, not harmful to health.
  • June 21, 2003, Dr. Elizabeth Whelan appeared on MSNBC to discuss the myth of fast food addiction.
  • On June 12, 2003, Dr. Elizabeth Whelan appeared on the Today Show opposite Assemblyman Felix Ortiz to discuss his proposed NYC fat tax. The same day, Dr. Kava participated in the American Enterprise Institute's conference on obesity, individual responsibility and public policy.

  • In a February 2003 press release, ACSH denounced as unscientific the filing of a second "fat suit," which called McDonald's food "non-nutritious" because it contains preservatives and other "chemicals." ACSH scientists noted that not only are chemicals such as preservatives not harmful, they help protect health by preventing spoilage, and all have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • In an interview that aired in November 2002, the Korean Broadcasting System asked Dr. Kava whether fast food was good or bad and if it was responsible for America's obesity epidemic.

Media SpotlightIn addition to the aforementioned special events and releases, ACSH representatives continue to serve as media watchdogs speaking out on a host of other public and environmental health topics. Many of these articles, editorials and letters can be read in the December 2003 issue of Media Update or on ACSH's website.

Food Safety and Nutrition

  • ACSH director of nutrition Dr. Ruth Kava appeared as an expert commentator at a seminar on "Nutrition, Myths and Caveats" hosted by the Association of Former International Civil Servants at the United Nations on October 15, 2003. The seminar informed senior citizens about changes in nutritional needs that occur with aging and warned about some supplements.
  • On September 23, 2003, Fox News interviewed Dr. Ruth Kava about fast food restaurants' recent efforts to provide "healthier" food.
  • The Washington Times published "Giving Green Light to Frankenfood" by Dr. Kava on July 13, 2003 a review of journalist Peter Pringles' book Food, Inc exploring the controversies surrounding bioengineered food and gene-spliced crops. Dr. Kava emphasized the positive aspects of engineered food often overlooked by activists protesting its use and noted that the book provided some interesting food for thought.
  • Dr. Ruth Kava appeared on the National Public Radio show The People's Pharmacy on June 7, 2003. Dr. Kava discussed whether or not supplementation of infant formulas with certain long-chain fatty acids would be safe and beneficial for babies. Dr. Kava was interviewed alongside South Carolina pediatrician Russell Greenfield.
  • On April 30, 2003, Dr. Kava gave a radio interview about vitamins on Morning Edge with Trey Ware on a CBS radio station in San Antonio, TX.
  • Dr. Ruth Kava was interviewed on the USA Radio Network's Judicial Watch Report with Jane Chastain and Russ Verney on November 27, 2002 about ACSH's "Holiday Dinner Menu" and the lack of a threat to human health from animal carcinogens whether natural or synthetic.
  • On November 21, 2002, John Labarca interviewed Dr. Kava on Bridgeport, Connecticut's radio station WICC about ACSH's "Holiday Dinner Menu."
  • On November 7, 2002, Dr. Ruth Kava appeared on CNN with correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and anchor Leon Harris to discuss fish consumption and related safety and nutrition issues.
  • BBC radio interviewed Dr. Kava about food scares and current nutrition news on October 24, 2002.
  • ACSH associate director Jeff Stier appeared on October 22, 2002 on the National Public Radio show The Connection, which airs in 60 cities, discussing the new organic rules.
  • On September 22, 2002, Dr. Kava was interviewed by the radio show America Live!, broadcast out of Seattle, Washington and aired in 27 markets across the country. The interview began with a discussion about vegetarianism and then broadened to a discussion on current nutrition issues, such as soda machines in schools.
  • On July 22, 2002, ACSH's Dr. Ruth Kava was interviewed by the Washington State National Public Radio affiliate KUOW on the ConAgra beef recall and beef safety, including the irradiation of meat.
  • Jeff Stier appeared on The Gary Nolan Show on July 15, 2002, to discuss ACSH's California Proposition 65 lawsuit against Whole Foods. This show is syndicated in 50 markets all over the country, and reaches 30,000 listeners each weekday.
  • On June 21, 2002, Dr. Ruth Kava appeared on Virginia's WLNI-FI morning talk radio program to discuss food scares.

Smoking and Health

  • ACSH president Dr. Elizabeth Whelan was interviewed by Insight magazine's John Berlau for "Smoking Out Big Tobacco," published November 10, 2003. Berlau asked Dr. Whelan why America's largest cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris, formerly opposed to FDA regulation of the tobacco industry, is now supporting regulatory efforts outlined in Sen. Gregg's bill, dubbed the "Marlboro monopoly act." Dr. Whelan maintains that what Philip Morris is really after is the FDA's blessing, and public trust, for a dangerous product.
  • ACSH's medical/executive director Dr. Gilbert Ross wrote an editorial in USA Today, "Rate Films With Smoking 'R' for Their Influence On Kids," published on August 20, 2003, lamenting the irresponsibility of Hollywood producers for featuring films with key characters smoking cigarettes. Dr. Ross cited the findings of a study published in Britain's esteemed medical journal Lancet that documented the cause-effect relationship between kids seeing smoking in movies and taking up the habit themselves.
  • Dr. Gilbert Ross' letter critiquing an author's decision to exclude smoking in analysis of oral contraceptive use in cervical cancer appeared in the August 3, 2002 issue of Lancet.
  • On July 3, 2002, Heather Nauert interviewed Dr. Ross for Fox News' show The Big Story with John Gibson about harm reduction strategies for inveterate smokers and problem drinkers.

  • On June 18, 2003, Dr. Ross went on the Ruth Koscielak Show, a radio program broadcast in and around Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, to discuss ACSH's new book Cigarettes: What the Warning Label Doesn't Tell You.
  • Dr. Ross' letter titled "Snuff Use and Smoking in U.S. Men: Implications for Harm Reduction" appeared in the April 2003 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Chemicals and the Environment

  • ACSH associate director Jeff Stier, Esq. was interviewed for the article "Tech Industry Warily Watches IBM Toxics Trial: Case Could Mark Start of Long Legal Battle Similar to Tobacco Industry's" that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, November 17, 2003. Stier commented that a lot of these scares are driven by the potential profits for plaintiff's attorneys rather than by an interest in promoting the public's health. The same day, Stier was interviewed on KPSAR's Morning Show in Berkeley, CA. to discuss the IBM trial.
  • "Salmon Scare Smells Fishy" by ACSH president Dr. Elizabeth Whelan was published in the New York Post on August 29, 2003. In the editorial, Dr. Whelan states, "there is absolutely no credible evidence that environmental exposure to PCBs (including ingesting the trace levels in the fish) poses any risk of human cancer."
  • ACSH medical/executive director Dr. Gilbert Ross's editorial, "Don't Be Fooled By Fishy Scare Stories," in the New York Sun on August 27, 2003, argued that there is no scientific evidence behind the assertion that PCBs at levels found in farmed salmon are harmful to humans.
  • On July 14, 2003, ACSH advisor Michael Pariza, director of the Food Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin, was quoted in an article on acrylamide levels in processed food featured in the Washington Post.
  • On June 23, 2003, Dr. Ross testified before the New York City Council on whether to tighten lead regulations.
  • In early June, 2003, a public announcement about ACSH's new book Are Children More Vulnerable to Environmental Chemicals? was released by Talk Radio News.
  • Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop was quoted on, May 31, 2003, commenting on ACSH's book Are Children More Vulnerable to Environmental Chemicals? Dr. Koop highlighted society's inverted priorities in attempting to "eliminate purely hypothetical risks to children, while the real risks to children prevail, almost unattended."
  • Dr. Whelan discussed the relative safety of low levels of acrylamide in a May 2003 article in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, "Beyond the Headlines Acrylamide: Not so Bad?"
  • On April 28, 2003, ACSH associate director Jeff Stier discussed the new ACSH book, Are Children More Vulnerable to Environmental Chemicals? on the "American Breakfast" radio show, which is aired by over 200 stations across the country.
  • In the April 1, 2003 issue of Reason magazine, ACSH director of publications and editor of Todd Seavey reviewed Devra Lee Davis' new book, When Smoke Ran Like Water: Tales of Environmental Deception and the Battle Against Pollution, and he questioned the validity and scientific basis of her arguments.

  • Todd Seavey's editorial "A Chemical (Over) Reaction" appeared on on January 30, 2003, discussing environmental groups' use of scare tactics to instill fear in the public about chemicals in the environment.
  • On October 24, 2002, ACSH director of nutrition Dr. Ruth Kava was interviewed about the new organic food labels on a radio call-in show on Wisconsin Public Radio. According to Dr. Kava, there are no data supporting the idea that organic is healthier for people to eat, and levels of pesticides found on all foods are minimal and pose no health risk.
  • Commenting on the findings of the National Cancer Institute's "Breast Cancer and the Environment on Long Island" study, in an August 18, 2002, New York Times letter to the editor Dr. Gilbert Ross writes, "Despite many efforts to tie cancer causation to trace levels of environmental chemicals, especially pesticides, no such relationship has ever been shown."
  • In his August 4, 2002, Los Angeles Times commentary "The Boy Who Cried Rodent Carcinogen" about ACSH's Proposition 65 lawsuit, ACSH advisor Dr. Henry I. Miller asserts: "Proposition 65 simply ignores the reality that we live in a sea of chemicals whose dose and potential hazard fluctuate widely. The ubiquity of the 'warning' signs about dangerous chemicals is the legal equivalent of 'the boy who cried wolf."
  • Todd Seavey appeared on The Gary Nolan Show on June 27, 2002 discussing DDT.
  • On February 28, 2002, Jeff Stier appeared on Hartford, Connecticut's radio show Mornings with Ray and Diane, aired on WTIC AM Newstalk 1080, a CBS affiliate, about the Children book.


  • Dr. Mark Siegel, who worked with ACSH on its Terrorism Preparedness manual, wrote an article featured in The Nation entitled "Fear and Its Discontents: Fear of Bioterrorism." The article advised readers not to succumb to fears of unlikely bioterrorist attacks.
  • In November 2002, ACSH medical/executive director Dr. Ross appeared on Fox News three times (November 7, 10 and 11) to shed light on issues related to bioterrorism including anthrax, smallpox, bubonic plague and risk associated with vaccinations.

  • On November 1, 2002, Dr. Elizabeth Whelan was interviewed about smallpox vaccinations on The Joan Hamburg Show that aired on WOR Radio.
  • On October 16, 2002, Dr. Elizabeth Whelan's Wall Street Journal letter to the editor corrected a previous letter that asserted there was a two-week incubation period with smallpox. She responded: "There is essentially no 'silent' period during which infected individuals are communicable."
  • On October 10, 2002, Arnie Arnesen interviewed Dr. Gilbert Ross about smallpox vaccination and bioterrorism on New Hampshire's #1 talk radio station, WNTK.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Whelan's commentary "Smallpox Questions" appeared in the Wall Street Journal on October 3, 2002. Days later this article was linked to by the UCLA School of Public Health's Department of Epidemiology website.
  • Host Jimmy Barrett of Richmond, Virginia's WRVA radio station interviewed Dr. Ross on October 1, 2002, about the smallpox vaccine.
  • In October 2002, Dr. Whelan appeared on a series of 1010 Wins News Radio programs to discuss the threat of bioterrorism, ACSH's new books on terrorism preparedness, and what Americans need to know to protect themselves.
  • In a September 26, 2002 letter to the editor of the New York Times, Dr. Gilbert Ross questioned the public and media's focus on the hypothetical threat of smallpox versus the very real threat of anthrax.
  • Dr. Gilbert Ross' July 25, 2002 letter to the editor of The Wall Street Journal warned: "With all the ongoing debate about whether, when or which Americans should receive smallpox vaccine, I wonder why no one seems to be discussing the anthrax vaccine. The risk of a smallpox attack is unknown, but small. The threat of another anthrax attack is at least as large. We should be prepared."
  • Dr. Elizabeth Whelan appeared on Fox News on July 8, 2002, discussing smallpox.

  • ACSH medical/executive director Dr. Gilbert Ross was interviewed on April 22, 2002 by Fox News about bioterrorism.

Pharmaceutical Issues

  • The December 19, 2003 Wall Street Journal published a letter by ACSH medical/executive director Dr. Gil Ross, "How 'Negative Subsidy' Affects Vaccine Supply," concerning the roots of the flu vaccine shortage. Dr. Ross explains that the problem can be traced to the government's power to dictate below-market prices for vaccines.
  • The December 16, 2003 New York Times published Dr. Ross's letter "Stamping Out Polio," concerning unfounded vaccination myths, endemic even in "sophisticated" societies like the U.S., where vaccination rates for toddlers are well below 90%.
  • Dr. Ross was also interviewed about vaccinations on WARL's live call-in show, airing in Providence, RI on December 11, 2003.
  • published ACSH medical/executive director Dr. Gil Ross's editorial "Bloomberg's Drug Problem" on November 6, 2003. In the editorial, Dr. Ross highlights the potential dangers of importing drugs from Canada and the devastating consequences such a policy would have on drug innovation in the U.S.
  • A letter by Dr. Gil Ross, "Anti-Science Hogwash Regarding Vaccinations," concerning children's vaccinations, appeared in the November 6, 2003 Wall Street Journal.
  • In a September 15, 2003 Washington Post editorial, Dr. Gilbert Ross reviewed Barbara Seaman's book The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on Women, for the accuracy of its discussion on hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
  • In his January 21, 2003 New York Times letter to the editor about parents seeking "religious'' exemptions from vaccinations for their kids, Dr. Gilbert Ross argued: "We should not elevate unreasonable fear of vaccines into bogus 'religious exemptions."
  • In December 2002, ACSH president Dr. Elizabeth Whelan posted an open letter to George W. Bush on about the administration's decisions on distribution of the smallpox vaccine: "As a public health professional, I understand the complexity and gravity of the decision you are facing, and I wanted to offer some perspective and advice."

Science and Technology

  • On December 21, 2003, The San Francisco Chronicle published "Science Council Replies to Critic," a letter by ACSH associate director Jeff Stier, Esq. that addressed proper identification of a source's potential bias.
  • ABC's John Stossel weighs in on ACSH's 25 years of sound science in "The Anti-Junk Scientists," published in the New York Post, December 4, 2003. Stossel candidly discusses media hyperbole, concluding that the safety of most food and chemicals "may not be good fodder for news broadcasts, but its good news for the human race."
  • "Don't Fear, Biotech Is Here" by ACSH president Elizabeth Whelan appeared in the New York Post, November 16, 2003. In the article, Dr. Whelan praises Michael Fumento's new book, Bio- Evolution: How Biotechnology Is Changing Our World.
  • "Science on Trial" by Dr. Whelan was published on, October 31, 2003. In the editorial, Dr. Whelan gives a seven-point crash course in epidemiology, explaining what jurors should know in the California case against IBM for exposing employees to "carcinogenic" chemicals, to help sort out facts from speculation.
  • The Wall Street Journal published a letter by ACSH medical/executive director Dr. Gilbert Ross on July 10, 2003 on "Colon Cancer Risk." Dr. Ross pointed out that the WSJ article "Getting Screened for Colon Cancer Isn't Just for the 50-and-Over Set" neglected to mention two very important risk factors for developing colon cancer: having active and extensive inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis in particular) and smoking.
  • Dr. Ross's editorial "SARS: Fear over Reason" was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle on June 2, 2003. The piece focused on the University of California at Berkeley's erroneous decision to deny summer class registration to students from selected parts of eastern Asia due to fears of SARS.
  • ACSH director of publications and editor of Todd Seavey's commentary about health insurance covering alternative medical practices was posted by on March 13, 2003.
  • On February 27, 2003 The Washington Times published Dr. Elizabeth Whelan's op-ed, "The Case of the Mute Scientists," in which she discussed the assault today's scientists are facing from media, lawyers and "consumer-advocate" groups.
  • On February 28, 2003 featured both of Dr. Whelan's op-eds "The Case of the Mute Scientists" and "The President vs. Science" in that day's "wrap-up."
  • On January 13, 2003 at the Women's National Republican Club, Dr. Whelan spoke about ACSH's work combating junk science.
  • In November 2002, ACSH director of nutrition Dr. Ruth Kava was interviewed for a Showtime documentary about genetic engineering, which was broadcast in late January 2003.
  • "The President vs. Science?," an op-ed by Dr. Elizabeth Whelan discussing the Bush administration's scientific advisory committee picks, appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on September 22, 2002.
  • The August 2002 Lexington Institute Report, The Wages of Fear, featured Dr. Elizabeth Whelan's commentary "Phony Science and Real Risks: The Human Costs of Hyperbole about Environmental Threats."
  • On August 1, 2002, Dr. Elizabeth Whelan appeared on a women's health policy panel at the Independent Women's Forum. She discussed "Prioritizing and Placing Health Risks into Context."
  • ACSH director of publications and editor of Todd Seavey's pro-therapeutic cloning letter to the editor appeared in the July 29, 2002 Weekly Standard. In it he asserts: "We are far from understanding what trait is caused by each component of the human genome, but experiments in the replacement of diseased cells with newly cloned ones are well underway in animals and may soon help humans."
  • Dr. Christine Bruhn, ACSH advisor, took part in a point/counterpoint session about irradiation on a WNYC call-in radio show on July 24, 2002.
  • In his July 15, 2002 letter to the editor in Time magazine, Dr. Gilbert Ross argues in favor of therapeutic nuclear transfer: "Research cloning, more appropriately termed therapeutic nuclear transfer, carries enormous potential for alleviating dreaded human diseases...Do not stand in the way of medical progress."
  • ACSH associate director Jeff Stier appeared on The Gary Nolan Show on June 18, 2002, discussing celebrities and health funding.

ACSH News Briefs ACSH on AcrylamideThe January 2003 press release "New Study Finds No Acrylamide-Cancer Link in Humans" alerted consumers to breaking research from the Harvard School of Public Health and Sweden's Karolinska Institute that was consistent with ACSH's own report, which found no link between consumption of acrylamide from foods and the occurrence of colon, bladder or kidney cancers. For more information about acrylamide, see the ACSH publication, Acrylamide in Food: Is It a Real Threat to Public Health? that is available online at National coverage of ACSH's press release and report included a January 20, 2003 Time magazine article, "Your A to Z Guide to the Year in Medicine."

In July 2002 ACSH decided to use the acrylamide scare to make a statement about the absurdity of California's Proposition 65 by filing a letter of intent in California against Whole Foods Market, which bakes and sells "natural" breads that contain acrylamide but aren't labeled as containing such natural carcinogens. The Prop 65 law requires companies to affix warning labels to any of their products whether manufactured cancer-causing chemicals or natural ones that contain carcinogens. In a July 24, 2002 article, "Toxic Green," for Lowell Ponte declared: "Among our teachers this week is Jeff Stier, an attorney for the American Council on Science and Health and a black belt master at political jujitsu. Stier has announced that he aims to file a lawsuit against a California organic foods company for violating state law."

The lawsuit resulted in several news articles in 2002 including the July 10 Reuters article "Organic Bread Targeted to Show Absurd Health Scares," the July 25 San Francisco Examiner editorial "Whole Wheat Hooey," Steve Milloy's July 26 article "Organic Industry's Thin Skin", the July 26 article "Organic Bread Targeted," the July 29 HealthScoutNews article "Boiling Best Bet to Avoid Harmful Food By-Product," the July 31 New York Times article "How Big Is the Acrylamide Risk?," the August 4 commentary "The Boy Who Cried Rodent Carcinogen" by ACSH advisor Dr. Henry I. Miller that appeared in the Los Angeles Times, and the September 30 article "Special Sauce Indeed: A Proposition 65 Suit Says McDonald's and Burger King Are Serving Up Carcinogens Along With Those French Fries" that appeared in the San Francisco Daily Journal.

ACSH on Anthrax

In October 2002, ACSH medical and executive director Dr. Gilbert Ross served on a panel convened by BioPort Corporation the sole licensed maker of an anthrax vaccine which found that the United States is ill-prepared to deal with another anthrax attack. Other panel members included two retired military officers with experience in the department of defense's chemical and biological protection and three other doctors. "Why, after a bioterrorist assault with anthrax spores, have preparations shifted from anthrax to smallpox?" asked Dr. Ross in a December 1, 2002 Clinical Infectious Disease story. Dr. Ross was also quoted in an October 17, 2002 United Press International article as saying "Over a year has gone by since the anthrax attacks...and we're still not prepared or even on the way to preparing for an anthrax attack." The panel's findings appeared in an October 18, 2002 Atlanta Journal-Constitution story, a December 4 article in Biotech Week, the October 17 Scripps Howard News Service story "Response Not Set for Anthrax Response," the October 18 Reuters article "Company, Group Call for Public Anthrax Vaccination" that appeared on and a March 25, 2003 The Hill piece.

In October 2003 ACSH published its own peer-reviewed report on the subject, ANTHRAX: What You Need to Know.

ACSH Internships

During a summer high-school internship at ACSH, Brette Tannenbaum and Rebecca Welsh decided it was time that high school students had access to accurate, scientifically sound health information and advice as well. Thus, they spent the summer working on a publication titled The Student Body, which focused on nutrition and discussed the food pyramid, a vegetarian diet and nutrition myths. ACSH supported these ambitious students' endeavors by providing copies of ACSH nutrition reports and pamphlets, as well as reviewing their final draft before it went to press in November 2002. ACSH nutrition director Dr. Ruth Kava commented: "Brette and Rebecca produced an excellent, teen-oriented publication that hits the high points of rational nutritional advice. Having insiders' understanding of the issues important to their peers, they managed to convey sound, science-based nutritional and lifestyle advice without preaching or 'talking down' to their readers." Both girls are graduating seniors at Dalton School in New York City. Congratulations on a job well done!

ACSH is pleased to welcome two new one-year interns. Kimberly Bowman is a graduate of Brown University with a BA in biomedical ethics. She plans to attend medical school in the fall of 2004. Tiffany Dovey received a BA degree with distinction in philosophy, public health and community medicine from the University of Washington in June 2002.

ACSH Educational Outreach

  • In December 2003 ACSH granted permission to reproduce ACSH's 12 New Year's Resolutions to a health cooperative that publishes a free quarterly health newsletter aimed at improving the health of their cooperative members in Janesville, WI (town of 55,000; cooperative membership of approximately 8,000).
  • ACSH granted permission to the New South Wales (NSW) Food Legislation publication in Australia to reprint the October 10, article "Pasteurization and Irradiation." The publication deals with legislative developments in the food industry in NSW Australia and around the world.
  • In June 2003 ACSH granted permission to the Gale Group to reprint two point/counterpoint ACSH editorials, "Should Physicians Recommend Alcohol to Their Patients?" and "Should We 'Just Say No' to Childhood Drinking?" in their textbook Opposing Viewpoints: Alcohol, scheduled for publication September 2003.
  • Excerpts from the ACSH article "Is Vergetarianism Healthier than Nonvegetarianism?" will appear in the college textbook Writing Arguments, published by Pearson Education Inc. July 2003.
  • In February 2003 ACSH granted permission to Health and Science Korea, a nonprofit Korean organization, to translate some of ACSH's content and publish it on their website in Korea in order to promote health education.
  • In October 2002 ACSH granted permission to Oregon State University to produce a streaming video of the 1989 video "Big Fears, Little Risks" for distance education students enrolled in one of their Chemistry courses.
  • The Encyclopedia Britannica reprinted an excerpt of Dr. Whelan's Vital Speech of the Day, "Health Hoax and a Health Scare: Why American Don't Know the Difference," in the revised edition of Annals of America (published both in print and online November 2002).

ACSH Cancer Clusters Intern Receives Recognition

In December 2003 David Robinson a 2001 summer ACSH intern whose principal responsibility during his internship was to research and revise ACSH's Cancer Clusters report was selected as a 2004 Rhodes Scholars from among 963 applicants. ACSH was pleased to submit a letter of recommendation on his behalf. Congratulations, David!

ACSH and the EPAIn April 2003 the Environmental Protection Agency released its Drafts of "Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment" and "Supplemental Guidance for Assessing Cancer Susceptibility from Early Life Exposure to Carcinogens." However, there was no evidence that the EPA consulted with the National Cancer Institute or other experts on the established risk factors for human cancer. Thus, on April 8, ACSH respectfully submitted to the EPA some "supplemental guidance" of its own, writing: "It is critical to note that human exposure to trace levels of environmental chemicals is NOT on the list of known risk factors for cancer. Thus, in attempting to identify and assess the degree of risk for adult or childhood exposure to trace levels of environmental chemicals, the EPA is focused not on an established but rather on a hypothetical risk of human cancer."

ACSH Urges Irradiation of Ground MeatsThe summer of 2002 was marked by various news stories about meat contamination and ACSH found this an opportune time to further advocate the use of irradiation to help prevent consumer illness. ACSH's July 22, 2002 press release stated: "Irradiation of ground meat products (the meat most likely to cause problems when contaminated) kills bacteria without harming either the flavor or nutritive value of the meat. It does not make the food radioactive. Food irradiation has been studied for over forty years and has been shown to be an effective means of ensuring food safety." ACSH president Dr. Elizabeth Whelan further added: "Consumers should be demanding that irradiation be added to the arsenal of techniques routinely used to safeguard our food supply."

In May 2003, ACSH released its fifth edition of Irradiated Foods, revised and updated with the most current information on the subject (see "New ACSH Publications").

ACSH and McDonald'sIn a February 2003 press release, ACSH called a second filing of a lawsuit against the McDonald's Corporation by lawyers representing two overweight teenagers "without scientific merit." The suit alleged that the plaintiffs ate McDonald's foods to the detriment of their weight and health. It decries McDonald's food as being "non-nutritious," in part because many of the products contain preservatives and other "chemicals." The lawsuit implies that natural, unprocessed foods are chemical-free and thus "healthier." In fact, ACSH scientists note, not only are chemicals such as preservatives not harmful, they help protect health by preventing spoilage, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved them all.

The lawsuit also claims that McDonald's literature misrepresented their foods as being "healthy." "Obesity is a serious health threat in the United States: the number of overweight and obese Americans has soared over the last few decades," emphasized Dr. Ruth Kava, ACSH nutrition director. "But suits such as this one are counterproductive. The suit is misleading in that it falsely implies that consuming processed foods with 'chemicals' can cause obesity...This is absurd. As already noted, all foods are composed of chemicals and it is an excess of calories consumed relative to calories expended that causes weight gain."

ACSH's View on HRTA study in 2001 found that women taking a combination of estrogen and progestin (at a dosage equivalent to the Wyeth drug Prempro) for four or more years face a slightly increased risk of heart disease, breast cancer or stroke. These results ran contrary to popular and widely-held medical wisdom and left many women wondering what they should do.

In a July 30, 2002, press release ACSH attempted to answer that question by suggesting: "In conjunction with her physician, a woman evaluating postmenopausal hormone therapy must define: a) what individual goals she is seeking to achieve and b) what her unique risks might be." HRT should not be completely discounted: "Estrogen and combination therapies are particularly efficacious in addressing uncomfortable even disabling symptoms of menopause, especially hot flashes, and including vaginal atrophy and dryness...For hot flashes, at this time there appears to be no other alternative to estrogen therapy, either alone or in combination... [there] is no reason to throw the baby out with the bath water: hormone therapy which includes estrogen still has an important, although now somewhat more limited, role to play in women's health." Bulletin

The ACSH webzine has been going strong with its stories being re-printed in other media outlets, as well as science-defending websites, such as, and

Join the nearly 1,300 other subscribers who stay abreast of what's current on ACSH's online magazine,, by signing up to receive regular email bulletins of all the new articles, editorials and commentaries posted on HFAF each week. To join, visit the homepage and submit your email address directly, or send an email message to seavey[at] The body of the email should include the phrase "subscribe bulletin."

ACSH Appreciates Your DonationIn response to difficult economic times, ACSH sent out a special appeal for advisor/director donations on December 2002. ACSH gratefully acknowledges the generosity of the following individuals whose donations have helped to maintain ACSH's work in 2003: Dr. Arthur J. Siedler, Dr. Herbert P. Sarett, Dr. Jack Fisher, Jack Fisher/Plastic Surgery Research Foundation, Dr. Glenn Swogger, Jr., Dr. George M. Burditt, Dr. Terry Anderson, Dr. John B. Fenger, Dr. Richard Greenberg, ACSH president Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, and ACSH medical/ executive director Dr. Gilbert Ross. We thank you!

ACSH UpdateOver 14,000 individuals are presently enrolled to receive ACSH Update a periodic email bulletin from ACSH that keeps subscribers informed as to its general programs, activities and publications. To join Update, visit the ACSH homepage,, and sign up directly, or send an email message to stier[at] The body of the email message should include the phrase "subscribe update."

ACSH Welcomes New Chair

In the spring of 2003, ACSH elected John H. Moore, Ph.D., M.B.A., as the new chair of ACSH's Board of Directors. Dr. Moore who is president emeritus of Grove City College and a current ACSH board member succeeds Dr. Fredric M. Steinberg in the position. ACSH wishes to gratefully acknowledge Dr. Steinberg for his many years of service.

ACSH Scientific Advisory Board Grows in Size, Stature and InfluenceForty distinguished scientists, policy advisors and health professionals have accepted invitations from ACSH's Board of Directors to join ACSH's Board of Scientific Advisors. ACSH advisors help ensure the scientific integrity of the organization's position statements, press releases and publications by writing and researching ACSH articles, reviewing ACSH reports, and participating in ACSH seminars, press conferences, media communications and other educational activities.

The already impressive ACSH Board will benefit greatly from the addition of its new members, with experience and expertise in bioterrorism, epidemiology, infectious diseases and biotechnology, areas most pertinent to today's public health. Here is a brief introduction to each of the new members ACSH recently welcomed (Note: Advisors marked with an asterisk will also serve on the board of ACSH's New York City Advisory Council on Health Priorities):

Gary R. Acuff, Ph.D.

Professor of Food Microbiology

Department of Animal Sciences

Texas A&M UniversityRonald P. Bachman, M.D.

Chief, Department of Genetics

Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center

Oakland, CA

W. Lawrence Beeson, Dr.P.H.

Epidemiology Program Director

School of Public Health

Loma Linda University

Steven Black, M.D.


Kaiser-Permanente Vaccine Study Center

Oakland, CA

Kenneth G. Brown, Ph.D.

Principal, KBinc

Data Analysis for Health Effects

Rino Cerio, M.D.

Consultant Dermatologist and Reader in Dermatology

Barts and The London Hospital

Institute of Pathology

James W. Curran, M.D., M.P.H.

Dean and Professor of Epidemiology

Rollins School of Public Health

Emory University

Michael P. Doyle, Ph.D.

Regents Professor of Food Microbiology

Director, Center for Food Safety

University of Georgia, Griffin

Leonard J. Duhl, M.D.*

Professor of Public Health & Urban Planning

School of Public Health

University of California, Berkeley

R. Gregory Evans, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Director, Center for the Study of Bioterrorism and Emerging Infections

Professor of Environmental Health

School of Public Health

St. Louis University

Terryl J. Hartman, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.

Assistant Professor of Nutrition

The Pennsylvania State University

Robert B. Helms, Ph.D.

Resident Scholar, Health Policy Studies

American Enterprise Institute

Theodore R. Holford, Ph.D.

Susan Dwight Bliss Professor

Department of Epidemiology and Public Health

Yale University School of Medicine

P. Andrew Karam, Ph.D., CHP*

Radiation Safety Officer

University of Rochester

Leslie M. Klevay, M.D., S.D. in Hyg.

Research Medical Officer, USDA

ARS Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center

Professor of Internal Medicine

University of North Dakota School of Medicine

James S. Koopman, M.D, M.P.H.*

Professor, Department of Epidemiology

School of Public Health

University of Michigan

Stephen B. Kritchevsky, Ph.D.


Wake Forest University Health Sciences

Pagona Lagiou, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology

University of Athens Medical School

William E. M. Lands, Ph.D.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism NIH (Ret.)

Michael H. Merson, M.D.

Dean and Anna M.R. Lauder Professor of Public Health

Dean of Public Health

Chairman, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health

Yale University School of Medicine

Brooke T. Mossman, Ph.D.

Professor of Pathology

University of Vermont College of MedicineAllison A. Muller, Pharm.D.

Clinical Managing Director

The Poison Control Center

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Thomas J. Nicholson, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Professor of Public Health

Western Kentucky University

Deborah L. O'Connor, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Nutritional Sciences

University of Toronto

Director of Clinical Dietetics

The Hospital for Sick Children

James M. Perrin, M.D.

Professor of Pediatrics

Harvard Medical School

C.S. Prakash, Ph.D.

Professor and Director

Center for Plant Biotechnology Research

College of Agriculture

Tuskegee University

Joseph D. Rosen, Ph.D.

Professor of Food Science

Cook College, Rutgers University

Charles R. Santerre, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Foods and Nutrition

Purdue University

Sally L. Satel, M.D.


W.H. Brady Fellow

American Enterprise Institute

Jeffrey W. Savell, Ph.D.

Professor and E.M. Rosenthal Chairholder

Department of Animal Science

Texas A&M University

David E. Seidemann, Ph.D.

Professor of Geology

Brooklyn College

Research Affiliate

Yale University

Mark K. Siegel, M.D.*

Assistant Professor of Medicine

New York University School of Medicine

Anne M. Smith, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Human Nutrition and Food Management

The Ohio State University

John N. Sofos, Ph.D.


Department of Animal Science

Colorado State University

Ronald D. Stewart, O.C., M.D., FRCPC

Professor of Emergency Medicine

Dalhousie University (Canada)

Jon A. Story, Ph.D.


Department of Food and Nutrition

Purdue University

James E. Tillotson, Ph.D., M.B.A.


School of Nutrition Science and Policy

Tufts University

Lynn M. Waishwell, Ph.D., CHES

Assistant Professor

School of Public Health

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

Simon Wessely, M.D., FRCP


Department of Psychological Medicine

King's College London and Institute of Psychiatry

Michael B. Zemel, Ph.D.

Professor of Nutrition and Medicine

Director, Nutrition Institute

University of Tennessee

Update on ACSH Publications ACSH Papers in Professional JournalsACSH Advisor Dr. Clare Hasler published her position paper "Functional Foods: Benefits, Concerns and Challenges A Position Paper from the American Council on Science and Health" in the December 2002 issue of Journal of Nutrition.

In November 2002, the online journal Medscape General Medicine published the ACSH report Cancer Clusters: Findings vs. Feelings, by David Robinson, which concludes, contrary to popular belief, there in no evidence supporting the link between industrial pollution in the environment and local "cancer clusters."

And in November 2002, ACSH advisor Dr. Kenneth Brown and ACSH medical/executive director Dr. Gilbert Ross' paper "Arsenic, Drinking Water, and Health: A position paper of the American Council on Science and Health" was published in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology.

ACSH Books2003 saw the publication of four full-length ACSH books:

A Citizen's Guide to Terrorism Preparedness and Response: Chemical Biological, Radiological and Nuclear(September 2003/ISBN 0-9727094-1-X)

New Yorker's Guide to Terrorism Preparedness and Response: Chemical Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (September 2003/ISBN 0-9727094-2-8)

Cigarettes: What The Warning Label Doesn't Tell You Revised and Updated for the 21st Century (June 2003/ISBN 0-9727094-3-6)

This widely acclaimed book first published by ACSH in 1996 documents the devastating effects of cigarette smoking by areas of medical specialty. It includes separate chapters on the impact of smoking in the areas of lung disease, oncology, heart disease, vascular disease, skin, surgical risks, orthopedic problems, rheumatologic condition, pediatric illness, neurology, psychiatry, otolaryngology, oral health, endocrine system, gastrointestinal disease, urology, emergency medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology. ACSH updates the book with new information that has emerged in the past seven years. You'll be surprised by how much more science has learned about cigarettes and health, as if it wasn't bad enough before. This update was funded by a generous grant from the F.M. Kirby Foundation.

Are Children More Vulnerable to Environmental Chemicals? Scientific and Regulatory Issues in Perspective (January 2003/ISBN 0-9727094-0-1)

New PublicationsAnthrax: What You Need to Know (October 2003)

In the post-September 11 era of terrorism, the federal government has placed great emphasis on the potential threat posed by smallpox as a biological weapon. Anthrax, however, is in many respects an ideal bioweapon. This report looks at the threat of anthrax when used as a biological weapon and provides consumers with the answers that they need.

Kicking Butts in the Twenty-First Century: What Modern Science Has Learned about Smoking Cessation (August 2003)

Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of premature disease and death in America. And million of Americans who indulge in this deadly habit seek ways of quitting. This ACSH guide provides information about all of the current options and products available to help smokers quit.

Irradiated Foods (May 2003)

Over 50 years of scientific research has established that the irradiation of foods to minimize food-borne illness and decrease waste is both safe and effective. Physicians and scientists associated with ACSH endorse the use of irradiation to enhance safety and supplement other food protection methods. These, along with other facts about food irradiation, are spelled out in the latest (fifth) edition of Irradiated Foods.

Traces of Environmental Chemicals in the Human Body: Are They a Risk to Health? (April 2003)

In this newly updated report of its 1999 release, ACSH revisits the topic and maintains its previous position that the mere ability to measure small amounts of environmental chemicals in human blood and other tissue is not an indication of the presence of a health hazard. Nothing has been published in the past four years to counter ACSH's original conclusion.

The Role of Beef in the American Diet (January 2003)

Despite the positive news about beef, nutrition, and health, many Americans are misinformed and think that including beef in their diets will have negative health consequences. But, as the ACSH report explains, many of the supposed health risks associated with consuming beef lack strong scientific support or have been exaggerated.

Acrylamide in Food: Is It a Real Threat to Public Health? (Online only; December 2002)

Scientists associated with ACSH find no compelling evidence that acrylamide, when consumed in foods such as French fries and bread, poses a risk of human cancer. This review and analysis, written by Dr. Joseph D. Rosen of Rutgers University, is consistent with recent findings of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which reported that while acrylamide is present in various common foods, there is no credible evidence that acrylamide in food poses a human cancer risk.

Resolutions for Good Health: Resolve to Be Healthy in 2003 (Online only; December 2002)

For New Year's, ACSH offers consumers 12 New Year's resolutions to help them increase their chances of having a healthy and happy 2003. Visit for a list of ACSH's 2004 resolutions.

HOLIDAY DINNER MENU 2002 (October 2002)

Once again ACSH has analyzed the natural foods that make up a traditional holiday dinner and found that they are loaded with "carcinogens" chemicals that in large doses cause cancer in laboratory animals. None of these chemicals are made by man or added to the foods. Indeed, all of these "carcinogens" occur naturally in foods. But ACSH scientists have good news: these natural carcinogens pose no hazard to human health.

Alzheimer's Disease: A Status Report For 2002 (October 2002)

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia (general mental deterioration) in the United States today, and it occurs primarily, yet not exclusively, in the elderly population. Unfortunately, there is currently no established way to prevent or cure AD. However, this ACSH report points out that the current spate of research into new diagnostic methods and pharmaceutical treatment holds hope for the future.

The Role of Eggs in the Diet: Update (August 2002)

Eggs play a valuable role in helping consumers achieve a balanced, varied and nutritious diet. While some may shun eggs, fearing a cholesterol-raising effect or the possibility of salmonella contamination, a substantial body of scientific research shows that dietary cholesterol has only a small effect on blood cholesterol and that the consumption of eggs up to an intake of one egg per day has no detectable effect on heart disease risk in healthy people.

Books- and Publications-in-ProgressNutrition Accuracy in Popular Magazines (Jan 2000--Dec 2002)

This ninth survey of nutrition coverage by popular magazine will determine how well popular magazines rank in their nutrition reporting.

Cigarettes: What The Warning Label Doesn't Tell You--A Guide for Young Adults

Most people who smoke develop this deadly habit during their teenage years. This new ACSH book will adapt ACSH's widely acclaimed and recently revised adult book on the subject (see page 16) for a teenage audience.

PCBs: Is the Cure Worth the Costs? Update 2003

The public is besieged with advocacy-group and EPA-generated fears of "deadly contamination" of our fish and soil with PCBs, a long-banned but persistent chemical once used in various industrial activities. How dangerous to human health are current levels of PCB exposure? Should we be avoiding farmed salmon and other fish from eastern waters? All these topics and more will be discussed and clarified in the soon-to-be-published update of our 1997 paper on the health effects of PCBs.

Osteoarthritis and Its Treatment: What You Need to Know

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and a leading cause of work-related disability. It is a major drain of health care expenditures, and one of the more serious causes of suffering among senior citizens. Newer surgical remedies have helped restore function and relieve pain, but surgery is not the answer for everyone. The newer anti-arthritis drugs are effective in reducing pain in many arthritics, but are they as safe as claimed? ACSH's soon-to-be-published review of newer arthritis therapies will discuss this in depth.

Bisphenol A (BPA) and Baby Bottles

BPA is a substance found in various plastic products, including baby bottles. Some activist groups have called for the restriction or even banning of BPA, alleging that it is a risk to human health at the exposures we encounter in common consumer products. ACSH has undertaken an academic review to evaluate the validity of the claims about the chemical.

Is Our Nation's War on Carcinogens Misguided?

This ACSH expose will explore the economic impact of our nation's current public health efforts to purge our environment of hypothetical cancer-causing agents. It will document how the current trend of regulating and/or banning useful, safe products of technology threatens our economic well-being and our high standard of living by increasing consumer costs for essential resources and needlessly contributing to the burden of metastasizing government bureaucracy and increased federal taxation.

Aging and Sexuality

A science-based discussion of the issues surrounding sexuality in the aging population is now more important than ever, as the media spotlight has recently focused on drugs such as Viagra and other products aimed at sexual dysfunction. What was once a taboo subject is now considered a part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Tobacco and Women's Magazines, 2000-2003

Women of all ages devote a significant amount of their time to reading women's magazines and many get a substantial amount of their medical advice from these magazines, as opposed to their doctor or other healthcare professionals. Thus, these magazines serve as health education and health awareness materials. ACSH will compare and contrast data to document current trends. Previous ACSH surveys have shown improvement in the coverage of smoking-related information and a decrease in cigarette advertisements in recent years.

Osteoporosis: New Approaches to Treatment, 2004

Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by substantial bone loss. When the extent of bone loss reaches a critical point fractures may occur as a result of very minor stress. This report will review treatment options that have evolved since ACSH last published on this topic in 1986.

Combating Obesity in the United States

Rates of obesity in America are on the rise and have been for some time. And the health implications of this trend are ominous. Obviously, the balance between energy intake and energy output has been changing for Americans over the past couple of decades. ACSH will produce a document on the balancing act that we all must manage in order to maintain a healthy weight and avoid the diseases associated with overweight.

Are "Consumer Advocacy Groups" Really Acting in the Public Interest? A Guide for the Media

Many so-called "consumer advocacy groups" like the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), Environmental Working Group (EWG), and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) purport to bring to the attention of the public important, science-based information about health and environmental issues. But do they? ACSH will unmask groups that receive funding and media attention that are not commensurate with their benefits to public health.

Other topics, funding permitting:

  • Biosolids, Land and Public Health

  • Biotechnology's Application to Food and Agriculture
  • The Spectacular Good News About Health In America
  • Does Industry Funding Make Scientific Findings Less Credible?
  • The Cost of Junk Science to American Consumers
  • Facts versus Fears: A Review of the Greatest Unfounded Health Scares -- Update
  • Mental Health and Depression
  • Chemoprevention of Colorectal Cancer
Related Links
ACSH News Vol. 10 No. 1