1. ACSH testified at the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology meeting to discuss our ongoing concern about activism inside the Working Groups of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Since 2015 we have been concerned that IARC insiders have gotten rules changed so that any academic with industry experience is banned from participating but people working for environmental groups are allowed. The only thing they consider a conflict of interest is corporate consulting. Worse, it turns out that activist Dr. Chris Portier was not only getting paid by Environmental Defense Fund, he signed a contract with a trial lawyer in California to help sue Monsanto (in that state IARC inclusion means automatic inclusion on the California Prop 65 list) over the pesticide ingredient glyphosate before their outlier results, declaring it a probably carcinogen in defiance of every other science body, were published.
The committee, headed by Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, have been dutifully concerned, since American taxpayers fund the bulk of IARC's work.
Dr. Tim Pastoor, of the ACSH Board of Scientific Advisors, was on the pro-science side, along with Dr. Anna Lowit, Senior Science Advisor in the Office of Pesticide Programs at Environmental Protection Agency, and Dr. Robert Tarone, retired Mathematical Statistician from the U.S. National Cancer Institute and Biostatistics Director, International Epidemiology Institute.
On the anti-science side was the Natural Resources Defense Council go-to talking head Dr. Jennifer Sass. You'd think with all of that money they'd hire more than one scientist but for decades she has been the person they produce to say everything should be banned. When asked about her hypocrisy in defending IARC's closed door mentality and lack of transparency about its working groups, when in 2002 she criticized them for that same thing, her only response was "2002 was a long time ago."
Translation: In 2002 they still did science and so NRDC was against them. In 2018 there are environmentalists inside manipulating findings and so NRDC wants it to stay that way.
2. In the San Jose Mercury-News, we were invoked to debunk mainstream media sensationalism, like at the BBC, who took a press release suggesting asparagus is bad for you and ran with it. Corporate media win either way, they can claim they are just covering "news" so if a vegetable is supposedly killing you one week and a miracle product the next, they get to write about it twice and claim that's journalism.
It's why you are much better off reading us.
3. Teresa Priolo, anchor reporter for FOX 5, had our Dr. Jamie Wells on their podcast to talk about everything related to health. In total it will be about 8 segments but the first one, titled Breast is best....Right? is available at the link free of charge and in it Dr. Wells dispels the many myths that have sprung up around breastfeeding and infant formula and overall child nutrition as a result of the "natural" craze.
4. We got fan mail. Some person pretending to be a group operating out of a PO Box for their bunker in Ohio sent me something that looks like a diploma. I guess I have finally graduated to being a GMO Fraud after writing about the science of agriculture for 12 solid years. I don't know what I was before, GMO Apprentice? Assistant Fraud?
While my wife had a modicum of concern, the response from the pro-science community was about what you'd expect from our smart, funny group - more than one was surprised someone still used stencils in 2018. But the science of environmentalists seems to be trapped in 1918 so maybe the artwork is also.
Facebook also chimed in.
To give you some ideas of the personalities in our office, a certain medical doctor said I should be cautious about opening it with bare hands, a certain video producer said we should be filming my potential demise, and a certain chemist said not to worry, if they knew enough science to poison people they wouldn't be environmentalists.
5. In Leaps magazine, Dr. Alex Berezow discussed how regulation handcuffs innovation. Immediately, politically partisan competitors like Undark wrote an article claiming that because Bayer funds Leaps magazine it cannot be "real" journalism.
What Undark fails to realize is that most of them have never done real journalism, they only think they have because other politically partisan journalists applaud them. Their idea of journalism is to repost conspiracy fan fiction by activist bloggers like Carey Gillam and other paid shills for the Organic Consumers Association trade group.
6. In The Duluth News-Tribune, Dr. Josh Bloom lists all the reasons why we don't want government controlling our medicine cabinet. They have created an opioid "crisis" and then immediately deflected blame onto patients, doctors and pharmaceutical companies, when the real problem is recreational crime, and it is a problem almost wholly created by government that engages in political theater while ignoring the real problems.
7. NPR covered our testimony at the FDA committee hearing on the pre-market authorization request by Philip Morris International for its IQOS nicotine replacement system. While other media outlets were seemingly not there - they crowed about a bizarre vote while essentially ignoring that the committee agreed with the scientific evidence that smoking cessation tools like this don't have the carcinogens of cigarettes - NPR had arguably the most balanced coverage, including quotes from my presentation.
The house was packed for my FDA testimony on smoking cessation and harm reduction. Picture thanks to Julie Gunlock, Senior Fellow at Independent Womens Forum.
8. Dr. Stan Young and I were invited to the National Institutes of Health to meet with a team of epidemiologists from there and National Cancer Institute and other groups to discuss government-funded studies and how funding agencies can prevent having what are clearly exploratory studies misused thanks to the multiplicity problem in things like food frequency questionnaires.
Dr. Young is an expert statistician and a member of the ACSH Board of Scientific Advisors so before the meeting, we talked in our Washington, DC office and he pulled out a set of Dungeons & Dragons dice - yes, he is prepared to talk about statistics any time and anywhere - and showed how easy it is to go wrong if you don't understand statistics or really want to show some food or another is either causing disease or is a superfood.