Search

The role of diet in the development of cancer has been the focus of much scientific research during the past decade. Researchers now know that high intakes of certain naturally occurring dietary chemicals increase our risk of cancer. Such chemicals include benzo(a)pyrene (found in charcoal-broiled meat), aflatoxin (found in peanuts), and certain hydrazines (found in edible mushrooms). But scientists studying the chemical makeup of the human diet have also identified some naturally occurring anticancer chemicals. One looks especially promising.

Conjugate Bliss?

Among the more potent naturally occurring anticarcinogens is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid found mainly in milk fat. The compound was first isolated in 1983 (from ground beef), by a...

Americans are embracing dietary supplements like never before. Last year we spent over $5 billion on compounds ranging from ordinary multivitamins to exotic herbal products. We hope they'll prevent or cure our ills, put us to sleep or make us alert, turn us into powerful athletes or help us shed pounds without decreasing our caloric intake or exercising more.

Since many supplements are touted as "natural," we assume that they must be safe. But swallowing all these pills and powders has resulted in some tragedies:

  • In 1989-90, more than 1500 people became seriously ill, and about 30 died after taking a defective preparation of L-tryptophan, an amino acid sold to improve sleep.
  • Many people have experienced permanent nerve damage from large doses of vitamin B6,...

Both commercial and homemade baby foods can be safe and nutritious if used appropriately. To provide their infants with a healthful diet, parents need to choose foods wisely, introduce them correctly, and follow appropriate safety precautions:
To prevent burns, always check the temperature of heated foods before serving.
Use safe food-handling procedures to prevent the introduction and growth of disease-causing bacteria.
Never feed unpasteurized apple juice, juice blends containing...

No matter what the outcome, 1997 will be remembered as a year of unprecedented crisis for the cigarette industry in the United States. The Chinese word for "crisis" consists of two characters: one meaning "danger"; the other, "opportunity." Toward which of these opposites will the current crisis propel the cigarette industry? The answer will have a major impact on the public health of this nation in the 21st century.

The present danger for the industry, at least as perceived by the public, is the dual threat of...

A leading public-health scientist today advised state attorneys general against signing a pending deal with the tobacco industry a deal that would give the industry immunity from individual or class-action lawsuits. Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, president of the American Council on Science and Health, stated in a letter to the attorneys general, "Such a settlement would be contrary to the interests of public health and will mean that you will forever be known as having sold out to the tobacco industry."

The attorneys general of the 29 states that have sued the tobacco companies for Medicare expenses are considering a "global settlement": one that would grant cigarette companies total immunity from individual and class-action law suits in return for payments into a fund. According to a...

A public health expert and other prominent speakers deplored Philip Morris' latest move to entice young girls to smoke: the "Woman Thing" music campaign where girls get "free" CD's by buying two packs of Virginia Slims cigarettes. At a news conference held today, Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, President of the American Council on Science and Health, urged "Young women of America, let Philip Morris know you are too smart to fall for their tactics! And Americans in general demand that the Congress protect the interests of public health, not those of the Industry."

Grace Mirabella, founder of Mirabella magazine and former editor of Vogue, and Dr. William G. Cahan, senior attending surgeon at Memorial Sloan®¢Kettering Cancer Center, joined Dr. Whelan in speaking out against Philip Morris...

A leading public health consumer group said that any deal with the cigarette industry that includes shielding it from current and future private-sector litigation would be an unparalleled setback for the cause of public health in America.

An independent consortium of scientists from the American Council on Science and Health has refuted unfounded claims by environmental extremists that genetically engineered foods are a threat to public health.

According to Dr. Ruth Kava, ACSH's director of nutrition, "The agricultural products of genetic engineering present no inherent hazards to health and will continue to bring substantial benefits to farmers, food processors, and consumers."

Genetic engineering has improved flavor, nutritional value, resistance to disease and insects, and resistance to bruising in fruit and vegetables. Researchers are developing produce designed to be picked and delivered at peak ripeness and flavor. On the horizon are leaner meats and cooking oils with less saturated fat. New plant...

Scientists and physicians at the American Council on Science and Health today applauded the decision of the New York City Board of Education not to ban milk from c that increases milk production.

As ACSH President Dr. Elizabeth Whelan has pointed out, rBGH occurs naturally in cows milk in very small quantities, and adding rBGH does not affect the quantity of rBGH found in the milk. Furthermore, public misunderstanding about the safety and benefits of rBGH is common: Many consumers do not receive factual information about biotechnology; and, even worse, many hear misinformation.

Thousands of scientific studies of rBGH have been reviewed by (among others) the US. Food and Drug Administration, the National Institute of Health, the American Medical Association, and the...

Scientists from the American Council on Science and Health today urged the nation's physicians and scientists to unite in rejecting any Congressionally sponsored "global deal" that would offer the cigarette industry immunity from current and future litigation. Such a deal which may be the product of negotiations now under way with the Philip Morris Cos. and RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp. was described in detail in a front-page article in the April 16, 1997, Wall Street Journal.

According to ACSH President Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, "We hear of the 'storm of the century' and the 'trial of the century'; well, this is the health-related deal of the century and it is a loser for public health." Dr. Whelan goes on to warn that "if this goes through, public health efforts against cigarettes...