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Election in Massachusetts
Scott Brown's victory in the U.S. Senate special election in Massachusetts last night may curtail the healthcare reform effort in Congress.

“This is obviously the big story of the day,” says ACSH's Jeff Stier. “The issues we've been following so closely -- including drug re-importation, pharmaceutical innovation, follow-on biologics, etc. -- will certainly be affected by this.”

The Soda Tax Is Back
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December 3, 2007: Buckley vs. Smoking, Bush Fans vs. Stem Cells

-- Quote to Note: "Stick me in a confessional and ask the question: Sir, if you had the authority, would you forbid smoking in America? You'd get a solemn and contrite, Yes." --William Buckley.

-- As we mentioned in Friday's Morning Dispatch, for the past week and a half since the announcement that two different research teams discovered how to use skin cells to produce stem cells, conservative political pundits have been directly crediting President Bush for creating the impetus for the new discovery. Their argument: that without his restrictions on the public funding of embryonic stem cell research, the newest discovery wouldn't have happened. Here at ACSH, we find these columns...

In January, U.S. Marshals, at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, raided Dordoniz Natural Products of South Beloit, Illinois, to seize almost 90,000 bottles of a drug the company called RelaKzpro, valued at around $400,000. What it really was about was kratom, a drug being sold as a supplement, but which slides under the radar because it is a "natural" product derived from the leaves of the Mitragyna Speciosa tree.

Kratom is instead, in plain terms, an opioid, like codeine or hydrocodone, plus components of a psychoactive drug. For that reason,...

MORNING DISPATCH 7/25/08: Rep. Barton, Dr. Miller, Tomatoes, HIV, Meat, and Candy

Honorary seat at the table goes to Representative Joe Barton
We would like to offer a seat at the ACSH breakfast table to Rep. Joe Barton for his sensible statements opposing a phthalate ban. In an op-ed in the Dallas Morning News, he writes, "Not only does this proposal [to ban phthalates] mischaracterize the science, it also retroactively studies the facts, assumes the safety of alternatives, and categorically exposes the makers to bankrupting lawsuits. In short, it is not good policy or a policy I...

DISPATCH 6/13/08: Scary Curtains, Diarrhea, Expired Medicine, Floods, and Fat

Honorary seat at the table goes to Dr. Marvin J. Schissel
We would like to offer Dr. Schissel a seat at the ACSH breakfast table for his response to an article touting the health benefits of organic food in Harvard Medical School's Healthbeat Extra. Dr. Schissel wrote to tell them, "no evidence has ever supported the allegations that organic food is healthier, more nutritious, or superior in any way to conventionally produced food." ACSH hopes more people like Dr. Schissel speak up on behalf of sound science.

Quote of the day
"The claims that are being made on shower curtains are phantasmagorical." --Julie Vallese, spokesperson...

The head of the World Health Organization claims that trans fats - which are in things like margarine and donuts - are responsible for 500,000 deaths each year and WHO wants them eliminated from the global food supply by 2023. This is a dramatic flip-flop from the time when partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil in margarine was saving us from butter and meat fat, which were also linked to cardiovascular disease.

What changed? Not much, which makes their new REPLACE initiative (an acronym with six action items; leave it to the UN to make a seven letter acronym from six things) directed at elimination of "industrially-...

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 3.40.10 PMU.S. Marshals, acting on a request from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seized yet another ridiculous "dietary supplement," and this one's a doozy. About 90,000 bottles of a bunch of garbage with the brand name RelaKzpro, which is sold by Dordoniz Natural Products of South Beloit, Illinois,...

Glyphosate, a component of the popular herbicide commonly known as Roundup in the United States, has been placed on California's Proposition 65 list, which requires a cancer warning label on it. It now joins products like coffee, where a Prop 65 warning label is ubiquitous in every Starbucks, in baffling tourists with how silly our labels are.

After all, if it causes cancer, just ban it. Right?

That's the problem. No regulatory body can find evidence it harms anyone or anything other than what it is supposed to harm, much less that it causes any cancer in people.

How is a system designed to protect California citizens...

Barbara Demeneix, a team leader at The Paris Natural History Museum, certainly has credentials. She earned a Ph.D. in endocrinology and physiology from the University of Calgary, published two books, more than 170 papers, and received a number of awards for her work primarily focused on thyroid function.

That's why it's hard to understand, with such training and experience, how Demeneix became one of the head counselors in the "Endocrine Disruptor Camp," which all but guarantees a certain amount of nuttiness.  Once again that camp does not disappoint chemophobes and homeopaths who think any trace of any chemical does something important. This time she claims we should stop using...

“If it smells bad, it’s bad; if it smells good, it’s bad,” says Aileen Gagney, asthma and environmental health manager with the American Lung Association in Seattle. (1) Obviously then, the key to a healthy life is to have no smells around you. How unfortunate, since we are excellent smellers!

The tongue can detect sweetness at a dilution of one part in 200, saltiness at one in 400, sourness at one in 130,000, and bitterness at one in 2 million. (2) All of this pales when compared with our ability to detect extremely low levels of smells (i.e., in the range of 50 parts per trillion to 800 parts per billion. (3)

If you are inclined to agree with Ms. Gagney, perhaps you have nosophobia, the irrational fear of contracting a disease -- or perhaps I should say nose-ophobia,...