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ACSH in the Media
• ACSH's Dr. Elizabeth Whelan was pleased to see that the news magazine The Week selected her column in the New York Post about The Lancet's retraction of the Wakefield study for their “best columns of the week” section. “Post editorial page editor Mark Cunningham deserves credit for agreeing to publish it, and for his fine editing job,” says Dr. Whelan....

1. Dr. Gary Null, one of the Four Horsemen of the Alternative (along with Oz, Chopra and Weil), is now most famous for hosting a conspiracy theory radio program and producing straight-to-video movies funded by organic food groups.

Environmental Working Group has never produced a science study but they have overturned 500,000 biologists, according to Null, while the US EPA, which just cleared glyphosate of weird claims made by an IARC Working Group that was hijacked by an Environmental Defense Fund consultant, is secretly suppressing damaging data about Monsanto. 

He makes even wackier claims, like that former FDA official and current ACSH friend Dr. Henry I Miller, has "a history of denying smoking’s association to cancer and heart disease" - his source...

1. Conspiracy Fantasy Camp

A rather bizarre article mentioned us in the Duluth News-Tribune - a small-town doctor tells our Dr. Josh Bloom, who testified at the FDA on the opioid crisis and brought fentanyl to national attention, that he didn't know what he was talking about when it comes to opiods, and then goes off into a conspiracy after spending five seconds on Google and finding a wiki entry on the political activism site Sourcewatch which manufactured all kinds of stuff that anti-science people believe about science. He writes (bold mine):

...

When Bruce Ames talks about toxicity, it's time to listen (1). Ames is the inventor of the hugely important Ames test for mutagenicity, which measures the damage done to DNA by a given chemical. The Ames test is an essential hurdle in the world of drug discovery research. While a positive Ames test is not de facto proof that a chemical will be carcinogenic in humans, it's a giant red flag in drug development. Many promising drugs have met their maker simply because of a positive Ames test. 

GOOD LUCK AVOIDING PESTICIDES

Since pesticides and herbicides are routinely in the news, lately because of the "Glyphosate Wars," (2) I thought it might be interesting to examine a...

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-...