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Dr. Lawrence Deyton, director of the FDA s Center for Tobacco Products, spoke at a tobacco policy conference on Monday. Jeff Stier got a chance to participate in the conference on Tuesday. The topics included smokeless tobacco (snus) as a means of harm reduction, and the FDA's deliberation of a ban on menthol.

I was honored to be a discussant on a panel yesterday with Drs. Carl Phillips, Brad Rodu, Joel Nitzkin, Michael Siegel, says ACSH's Jeff Stier. A key point that Dr. Phillips made strongly is that most of what the speakers said would be illegal if someone from the tobacco industry was saying it, due to how strictly smokeless tobacco companies are prohibited...

Research conducted by the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and Environment and Dutch medical and scientific centers found that adults who consume alcohol in moderation had a significantly reduced risk of developing Type 2 diabetes compared to those who did not drink at all.

This is a observational study based on self-reported data, not a controlled trial, so we cannot make a cause-and-effect statement about these results, says ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross. Still, the study was based on 35,000 people over 10 years, and they found the risk of Type 2 diabetes decreased by 42 percent among those that drank moderately. It s a very interesting and counterintuitive study, and it warrants confirmation with...

ACSH's Drs. Elizabeth M. Whelan and Gilbert Ross have written to the Food and Drug Administration to say that regulating or banning the ingredients in cigarettes probably won't decrease their toxicity. The text of their letter:

To: Dr. Lawrence Deyton, Director
FDA Center for Tobacco Products
Cristi L. Stark, M.S.
Senior Regulatory Health Project Manager

May 26th, 2010

Subject: ACSH additional submission re: cigarette ingredients

Dear Dr. Deyton and Ms. Stark:

This brief submission in advance of your July 15th meeting is addressed to your Center's stated concern about cigarette ingredients.

It is the position of The American Council on Science and Health that...

A study to be presented tomorrow at the International Meeting for Autism Research in Philadelphia shows that gluten- and casein-free diets do not ameliorate the symptoms of autism.

This probably will not convince celebrity autism-conspiracy theorists like Elisabeth Hasselbeck or Jenny McCarthy, but it does prove them wrong once again, says Dr. Ross. Autism spectrum disorders are terribly tragic, and it is always devastating for the parents of ASD children to learn that they cannot take certain measures to help. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that dietary restrictions of any kind help to treat or...

A simple blood test followed by ultrasound exams as needed may help detect ovarian cancer tumors before they cause symptoms, according to a small study reported yesterday.

The current method for detecting ovarian cancer is the CA-125 protein test, says Dr. Ross. Unfortunately, it is not very useful for finding cancer at an early enough stage to effectively treat it. This new approach essentially adding a pelvic sonogram if the blood test is elevated is still based on CA-125, so it s not a breakthrough by any means, but any method that allows doctors to detect ovarian cancer earlier is an improvement.

ACSH s request for Dispatch-reader input on the issue of a mystifying Camel Snus ad yielded similar theories on the meaning of the Break Free and Stare Back slogans. Here are some responses:

I am wondering if Stare Back is a long-overdue call for nicotine users to stand up for themselves and face up to those who would ruin their lives by opposing [tobacco harm reduction].

I agree that [the Break Free slogan] is encouraging smokers to try using Camal Snus as an alternative to cigarettes. The Stare Back slogan is likely referencing the disapproving stares (from nonsmokers) that smokers get when they smoke a cigarette in public, and Stare Back appears to be informing smokers that they won't be stared at...

ACSH President Dr. Elizabeth Whelan recently wrote to Dr. Joseph Fraumeni at the National Cancer Institute, asking if NCI was planning on reviewing or critiquing a recent report of the President's Cancer Panel on environmental causes of cancer. Dr. Whelan, who critiqued the panel's report in a National Review Online article, noted that NCI features the panel's report on its website without comment.

Among other things, the panel's report recommends that to avoid cancer, Americans should take off their shoes before entering their home. These recommendations were recently picked up and featured in...

Whether you are traveling around the world or relaxing at home, a safe, healthy vacation will add to your enjoyment. Here are some health and safety tips to keep in mind when planning your summer vacation.

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ACSH staffers offer a seat at the table to Kyle Gillis for yesterday s item in the Media Research Center s Business & Media Institute blog. Gillis highlights the bias in an NBC Nightly News segment on unhealthy chain restaurant meals, which directly parallels ACSH s stance on the matter. Gillis further quotes ACSH s Jeff Stier:

Obesity rates are not rising and for the media to continue to report that they are is misleading. It s another example of the media s agenda that supports government regulation in the food industry.

Gillis notes NBC s segment was based on a study conducted by the left-leaning Center for...