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Scientists associated with the American Council on Science and Health today characterized the soon-to-be-announced proposals by the Clinton Administration to reduce teen smoking as more smoke than substance, saying that the measures would do little or nothing to improve public health or prevent children from taking up the smoking habit.

"We would support any plan that would limit the access of children to cigarettes, as that is the only way to eventually reduce the pandemic of cigarette-related diseases in the United States," stated ACSH president Dr. Elizabeth Whelan. "Unfortunately this plan, while making the Clinton Administration look serious about reducing tobacco use, does not hold industry accountable for the health consequences of their product, as is the case with every...

In its latest attempt to scare consumers and drum up publicity for itself, the Center for Science in the Public Interest is now warning that the trans fatty acids found in French fries, fried chicken and many other foods may cause heart attacks.

"It's been a whole week since the CSPI held a press conference to demonize a food ingredient*, so they were obviously overdue for another one," says Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, president of the American Council on Science and Health. "As usual, these champion food terrorists have plucked a few facts out of context, heated them to the distortion point and created a soufflé consisting largely of hot air."

Trans fatty acids are chemically similar to saturated fats, so it's a good idea to consume them in moderation, says...

A self-styled consumer group is deliberately distorting the facts to scare the public about a perfectly safe sweetener, the American Council on Science and Health announced today.

ACSH, a consortium of more than 200 scientists, was responding to unfounded charges by the Center for Science in the Public Interest that the no-calorie sweetener Acesulfame-K causes cancer.

Ace-K is currently used in sugar-free gum, instant puddings, gelatin desserts, and thousands of other foods. Its manufacturer, Hoechst, recently asked the FDA for permission to expand the sweetener's use to diet soft drinks. Ace-K is already used to sweeten soft drinks in Canada and Europe.

"CSPI's bogus charges are based on animal studies that the FDA thoroughly reviewed before it approved the use...

Scientists from the American Council on Science and Health today, in an open letter to Mayor Giuliani, questioned the decision of the city to produce, at taxpayer expense, a pamphlet entitled Safeguard Your Home From Harmful Products, which suggests that numerous common household products - such as kitchen cleansers, insecticides, and mothballs - pose a serious health risk and should be discarded in favor of "all-natural" products. The booklet was apparently distributed to all city residents and signed by Giuliani and Health Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg, who also received a copy of the letter from ACSH.

"At a time when New York City faces many genuine health problems - teenage smoking, drug abuse, AIDS, unvaccinated infants--and is facing a major budget crunch, it is...

Scientists from the American Council on Science and Health called on both the Clinton White House and Republican candidate Bob Dole to back up their recent statements about their commitment to keeping America's children tobacco-free. Specifically, ACSH noted that both Dole's comments that tobacco control should be left to the states, and the Administration's promise to implement the 1992 "Synar bill"--which pledges $1.5 billion to state governments that enact laws discouraging teenage smoking--will remain meaningless promises so long as states are prevented from taking actions of their own against tobacco, which is currently the case due to the Congressionally imposed warning label, which explicitly pre-empts state actions.

In a recent interview on Larry King Live, Mr. Dole...

Scientists associated with the American Council on Science and Health today rejected as alarmist and unscientific the claims espoused in the new book Toxic Deception: How the Chemical Industry Manipulates Science, Bends the Law, and Endangers Your Health. The book was written by reporters Dan Fagin and Marianne Lavelle and the Center for Public Integrity.

Toxic Deception claims that our daily use of "a panoply of synthetic substances is helping to drive up rates of cancer, sterility, chronic fatigue, and many other diseases and illnesses." But the book fails to document scientific evidence that any of this is actually occurring. That failure is not surprising, because, as the Center for Public Integrity admits, "we are not scientists . . ." Nor, for that...

Recent research suggests that a fiber-rich diet may prevent and/or relieve various health conditions. Fiber is not a panacea, however. Dietary Fiber, a new Special Report from the American Council on Science and Health, summarizes current scientific knowledge about the health effects of this complex food component.

Dietary fiber is not one substance but a group of substances, all of which are found only in foods derived from plants. There are two major categories of fiber soluble and insoluble which are thought to have different effects on health. Dr. Ruth Kava, Director of Nutrition at the American Council on Science and Health, has stated that "Typically, the soluble fibers such as some pectins, gums and mucilages are the ones thought to be of some benefit in...

It's only natural for consumers to assume that "natural" food products are the most wholesome, but this is often not true. Case in point: Unpasteurized apple juice made by Odwalla, Inc., recently caused an outbreak of about 65 cases of poisoning from the bacterium E. coli O157:H7 in several Western states (29 of which cases the Centers for Disease Control confirmed, according to a Reuter report). E. coli O157:H7 is the virulent strain that in 1993 contaminated hamburgers at "Jack in the Box" restaurants in the Pacific Northwest, killed three children, and made 600 people ill. Odwalla has voluntarily recalled all of its unpasteurized products that contain apple juice.

Among those who drank the contaminated Odwalla juice was a 16-month-old girl, who died as a...

I can imagine why Van Gogh cut off his ear. About ten years ago some infernal, multilegged creature crawled deep into my ear. The itch was extreme torture even though it wasn't a pain. I poured water into the ear to flush the critter out. When that failed, I poked at the ear with various utensils not a smart approach, but the tickling was driving me mad. I was about to crack when an ant scurried out. Why do we itch? Why does a small patch of eczema or the bite of a puny mosquito cause so much discomfort? And what's the best way to soothe an itch?

Rhymes with . . .

Itching "pruritus" in medical parlance is a natural protective mechanism that evolved over millennia to alert animals to the presence of parasites and other irritants on the skin....

Although most nutrition authorities recommend diets high in carbohydrates, some recent, bestselling books push diets very low in carbohydrate and high in protein and/or fat. In Protein Power Drs. Mary and Michael Eades advance a high-protein, very-low-carbohydrate diet. Another author, Dr. Robert Atkins, has developed a new version of his own very-low-carbohydrate diet. Atkins claims that a metabolic state called ketosis an abnormal condition characterized by an excess of metabolic intermediates (by-products) called "ketone bodies" is the key to losing weight. When blood glucose is in short supply, ketone bodies replace it as the main fuel for the brain and certain other tissues.

However, diets that dispose people to ketosis tend to include excessive amounts of...