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Dr. Whelan presented this speech on November 10, 1992 upon her acceptance of the Calver Award presenter by the Environmental Division of the American Public Health Association.

This lecture pays tribute to Homer Calver and his crusade against premature death and disease during the first decades of this century. Calver's greatness came because of the time in which he lived.

The modern cinema often portrays the early twentieth century as the gilded age of romance and comfortable leisure. But, it also was a world with the persistent stench of raw sewage and suffocating air pollution; a world haunted by misery and early death from tuberculosis, diphtheria, influenza and diarrheal diseases; a time when medical procedure and practices were medieval Calver was more than...

An ex-smoker, I nevertheless am curious as to the data and source thereof for the statistical cautions about smoking.

Priorities (spring, 1992) contained a reprint of one of Dr. Whelan's editorials against cigarette advertising which stated that cigarette smoking kills 1,300 Americans each day, or about 475,000 people per year.

It is my impression that total annual deaths in the U.S. number about one percent of the population, or 2.5 million from all causes. With only about 25 percent of the population now smoking, down from an all-time high of about 40 percent, it is hard to visualize how a habit which might have, on the average, involved 30 percent of the living population at one time or another could be responsible for 20 percent of all deaths today.

As...

The overriding goal of federal policies governing the use of chemicals in agriculture and food processing is-and should be-consumer safety. One would hope that food safety regulation would be driven by the best scientific and medical knowledge. But instead, much of the American food supply is held hostage to the misguided absolutism of what is known as the Delaney clause, a nearly 40-year-old, 55-word quirk in the law. It reads, in its entirety:

No additive shall be deemed to be safe if it is found to induce cancer when ingested by man or laboratory animals or if it is found, after tests which are appropriate for the evaluation of the safety of food additives, to induce cancer in man or animals.

The Delaney clause was an inappropriate regulatory standard from...

When they do a good job at reporting the facts, magazines can help consumers to adopt healthier eating practices. But misleading magazine reports can be counterproductive ("...what you eat can have a direct chemical effect on whether you're happy, sad, irritable, moody, alert, calm or sleepy") or misleading ("In many cases, diet alone could be the cause of and thus the solution to waning energy levels or plummeting moods"). Both of the foregoing...

Magazine articles evaluated by F. J. Francis, Ph.D.; Ruth Kava, Ph.D., R.D.; Manfred Kroger, Ph.D.; and Irene Berman-Levine, Ph.D., R.D.

Statistical analysis by Jerome Lee, Ph.D.

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When they do a good job at reporting the facts, magazines can help consumers to adopt healthier eating practices. But misleading magazine reports can be...

The latest news from Washington is both tasty and satisfying: Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler has agreed with his scientific advisory panel and approved Olestra, the first noncaloric fat replacer, for limited use. Within months we will be able to buy a variety of delectable zero-fat snacks a real-life case of getting something for (almost) nothing.

Dr. Kessler's decision represents a triumph of sound science and common sense over scaremongering with the American consumer the clear winner. Despite the shrill objections of public health nannies the FDA has rejected the sort of government paternalism that argues, "we know what's best for you; and since you might misuse this new product, we are going to withhold it to protect you from yourself."

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The American Council on Science and Health today presented the "Poison Apple Award," given for the most shocking example of promoting, endorsing and glamorizing a deadly product to ELLE Magazine for encouraging cigarette use by its young female readers. ELLE earned this award for its May issue, which on page 219 contains a promotion for "the ELLE cigarette case," billing this "handsome and sophisticated antique-like silverplated case" as "the stylish way to transport your favorite brand."

Noted Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, president of the American Council on Science and Health, "This goes far beyond the behavior of other women's magazines, which although almost all regrettably feature cigarette advertisements, justify this as simply accepting advertising for a legal product. By making...

Today's revelations that Philip Morris executives had suppressed internal company information on the addictive properties of nicotine, combined with the recent settlement of some lawsuits against tobacco companies, may mean that "at long last, tobacco companies are going to be held to the same standards of accountability as are all other businesses," declared Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan, president of the American Council on Science and Health.

ACSH has long held the position that the key to limiting the pandemic of tobacco-related diseases lies not in additional government restrictions, but in simply ending the blanket protection from regulatory and legal action that tobacco companies have enjoyed ever since Congress imposed a warning label on cigarettes in the 1960s. "For decades,...

Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, president and founder of the American Council on Science and Health, was recently selected to receive the 1996 Ethics Award from the American Institute of Chemists (AIC).

The award is presented annually to an individual who "performs duties dictated by ethical considerations in the face of difficulties, for the benefit of the public and/or workers in chemistry and chemical engineering; displays leadership in an organization's ethical relationships with the public and/or employees in the field; and/or performs effective advocacy of organizational and/or governmental policies relating to chemistry that encourage ethical treatment of individuals."

Dr. Whelan will accept the award at the AIC's Ethics Symposium in Charlotte, North Carolina on February...

This first-ever special issue of Priorities examines the most basic premises and goals of our national public health strategy as we approach the 21st century.

We hope you will find this issue provocative. The centerpiece article by Jacob Sullum may startle you; it may cause you to ask, "Why would a mainstream public health group such as ACSH publish an article that challenges the basic premises of modern public health practice?" The answer is that we want to re-energize the profession of preventive medicine by examining our ultimate goals. As the rabbit told Alice when she asked which way to go, "that depends a great deal on where you want to get to."

Do we want to establish a health utopia? Deny mortality? Pursue any or all real or potential threats to our health? Do we...