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ACSH/Staff, Oprah/Cranks, Meat/Breasts, HRT/Lungs, Sun/Skin, Spice/Island

by Elizabeth Wade

ACSH welcomes two new staffers

We'd like to extend a warm welcome to the two newest members of the ACSH team: art director Anthony Manzo and research intern Curtis Porter. Curtis will be taking over as writer of Morning Dispatch this week, as I prepare to leave to start my Fulbright scholarship in Mexico.

Could watching Oprah be dangerous for your health?

ACSH staffers were impressed by an article in Newsweek criticizing Oprah for allowing junk science to be espoused on her popular television show. "When she invites guests like Jenny McCarthy on to talk about the supposed vaccine-autism link, Oprah doesn't provide any balance," says ACSH's Dr. Elizabeth...

The EPA insists that poor air quality in America is a terrible killer and must be regulated regardless of the economic burden imposed. But with no evidence to justify such a claim, this is nothing more than a Noble Lie.

Steve Milloy, a biostatistician and lawyer, conducted a study to examine if small particulate matter in air pollution was linked to acute deaths. Using publicly available death certificates, he found no such correlation. Furthermore, using hospital discharge data, he found no link between ozone levels and asthma attacks in the Sacramento area.

In March 2017, James Enstrom published a paper that reanalyzed the data from the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study (CPS II), which examined PM2.5 levels and their impact on all-cause...

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.

The Dark Side of Summer Sun

Sunbathing is a favorite summer activity -- but perhaps it shouldn't be. In fact, sunbathing has only been popular during this century. Why be wary of acquiring a tan? First, sunburn may ruin your vacation. In addition, the large body of evidence indicates that the long-term effect of severe sunburn may be an increased likelihood of various types of skin cancer.

It is far better to prevent sunburn than to deal with it after the fact. There is relatively little that you can do for sunburn; cold compresses or cool baths...

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.

The Dark Side of Summer Sun

Sunbathing is a favorite summer activity but perhaps it shouldn't be. In fact, sunbathing has only been popular during this century. Why be wary of acquiring a tan? First, sunburn may ruin your vacation. In addition, it is now thought that the long-term effect of severe sunburn may be an increased likelihood of various types of skin cancer.

It is far better to prevent sunburn than to deal with it after the fact. There is relatively little that you can do for a sunburn; cold compresses or cool baths may relieve...

A few weeks ago, the world of organic food proponents was rocked by new research that organic food was not any more nutritious than conventionally-grown food. Consumers have long been interested in knowing if the extra money they have been shelling out for organic food is justified and the subject, therefore, is of much interest.

A Little Bit of Background

Food nutrients include minerals (trace elements), vitamins and antioxidants. Up until about ten years ago, people interested in nutritional differences between organic and conventional food concentrated on nutrients such as minerals and vitamins. Nitrates were not thought of as a nutrient but were included in many studies. In recent years, emphasis has shifted to differences in antioxidant content....

Tragedies are great teachers, but unfortunately too many people draw the wrong lessons from them. Not too long ago, major tragedies were interpreted as some form of divine retribution for our sins. Now, geology (plate tectonics and volcanology), meteorology, other sciences offer hope for preventative and ameliorative actions.

A tragedy of the magnitude of the Indian Ocean tsunami brings out the best and the worst in the twenty-four-hour TV news cycle, the Internet, and massive print coverage. There is now room for interviews with experts on every aspect of the issue -- its causes, likely short- and long-term consequences, and the most effective means of delivering assistance. With the seemingly wall-to-wall coverage, we will inevitably hear from those who, like the doomsday...

Laws are being passed in the USA that make it possible to compel people to receive treatment for health problems they don’t believe they have.

On 3 July 2014, Misty Mayo boarded a Greyhound bus bound for Los Angeles. Desperate to escape her hometown of Modesto in Stanislaus County, 300 miles north in California’s Central Valley, the 41-year-old thought the 4th of July fireworks in LA would be the perfect antidote.

Even a mugging at the Modesto bus station didn’t deter her. When she arrived in LA the next morning with just a few dollars in her pocket, Misty immediately asked a police officer for directions to the fireworks display. She also knew she would need to find a Target pharmacy to refill her medication, but decided it could wait until later.

Later came and...

Revised by Ruth Kava, Ph.D., R.D., Director of Nutrition, ACSH

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Joseph F. Borzelleca, Ph.D.
Medical College of Virginia

Dale J. Chodos, M.D.
Kalamazoo, MI

Dean O. Cliver, Ph.D.
University of California, Davis

Michael A. Dubick, Ph.D.
Fort Sam Houston, TX

Ronald E. Kleinman, M.D.
Massachusetts General Hospital

...

How much do we really know about the origin and spread of the 1918 flu pandemic? Comparisons with other pandemics reveal patterns and lingering mysteries.

Watching the Animals

"The horses growing better, a cough and sore throat seized mankind." This was the news from Dublin toward the end of 1727, reported in Charles Creighton's monumental History of Epidemics in Britain -- Volume II -- From the Extinction of the Plague to the Present Time, Creighton's "present time" being 1894.

Matters had been much the same in 1688 as in 1727. A "short time before the general fever, a slight disease, but very universal, seized the horses too: in them it showed itself by a great defluxion of rheum from their noses." Creighton's source "was assured by a...

The line between deliberately manipulating a story or poorly reporting the facts is perilously thin, and often based on the subjectivity of the reader.

During Sunday’s Academy Awards presentation, the United States’ ‘paper of record’, the New York Times, launched an advertising blitz positioning itself as the highbrow ethical responder to the spate of so-called ‘fake news.’ “The truth is hard…to find…to know,” the add proclaimed, somberly.

It’s a powerful message, one that the public and the media should reflect upon—including the leadership at the Times itself. That a journalist...