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Who's to blame for carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere, persistent dioxins, PCBs, vinyl chloride, perchlorates, elevated concentrations of nitrates in stream water throughout the world, and unusual fish kills? The initial knee-jerk reaction is to lay the blame on present-day humans (read: ourselves), endlessly accused of fouling our own nest, and there's some truth to this. No doubt we humans are responsible for many egregious environmental actions, but here's something new. Recent research has shown that some of the pollutants heretofore blamed on industrial activities can now also be laid at the doorstep of Mother Nature.

Dioxins from Burning Wood and Biomass

Dioxins, for example, are ubiquitous, toxic, and environmentally persistent...

Editor's Note: This article was provided by Mosaic. The original is here.

By Carrie Arnold

A writhing mass of maggots in a wound might seem like a good reason to seek medical help. But, reports Carrie Arnold, sometimes it’s the doctors who have put them there, adopting an ancient treatment to help heal painful infected injuries.

By the time Michelle Marineau saw her patient, James*, there was little she could do to help him. His big toe had been removed, a complication from years of uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, but the amputation site had stubbornly refused to heal. An infection had eaten away flesh and left tendon and bone exposed, streaks of off-...

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) just published distressing accounts of three patients who endured irreparable damage to their vision after seeking treatment at the same unnamed “stem cell” clinic in Broward, Florida.

Shortly, we will address where things went very, very wrong and how such situations can be avoided. But, first, let’s discuss what happened.

The women aged 72-88 years old suffered blindness to near blindness as a direct result of untested “stem cell” therapies being injected into their eyes while being fleeced $5000 for the procedures. Promised “revolutionary” therapy, they were left with catastrophic reminders of the unfortunate and unnecessary ordeal.

Each patient had age-...

I was on vacation in Europe earlier this week but five days before I left I had gotten an email asking if I might be willing to appear on a panel at a film festival called Festival du Film et Forum International sur les Droits Humains (International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights), which was scheduled to be in conjunction with the March session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

I like films, I am all for human rights, and trains are easy in Europe, so it sounded like a fine way to spend a March 13th evening, but then I learned I was taking the place of a corporation called Syngenta (an agricultural science company, so they make seeds and chemicals) that is in Switzerland, and the movie the panel...

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently released a 2017 draft recommendation statement on screening for prostate cancer which is based on systematic evidence review and assessment— updated from their prior 2012 version. As indicated by the authors’ viewpoint published in JAMA, the goal of this release is to raise awareness of newly acquired data on the topic while inviting review and commentary before the report is officially finalized. (1)

Because there was concern that universal PSA (aka prostate-specific antigen, a blood test) population screening often...

This "e-monograph" was reprinted in Liberty magazine. Todd Seavey is Director of Publications at the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH.org) and Editor of HealthFactsAndFears.com. His views do not necessarily represent those of ACSH.Table of contents

Introduction

Part One: SMOKING

Part Two: SZASZ AND SCHALER ON INSANITY

Part Three: MODERATION AND UTILITARIANISM

Part Four: PRAGMATISTS VS. IDEOLOGUES

Epi(b)logue: WHY WRITE AN E-MONOGRAPH?

Introduction...

Last week, an upstate New York judge ordered Johnita DeMatteo to stop smoking in her home and in her car if she wanted to maintain her visitation rights with her thirteen year-old son, who lives with his father.

The judge said he made the decision to protect the health of the child.

This case has generated enormous discussion about individual rights. And it has raised some very provocative issues, particularly when the basic facts behind the judge's decision are sorted out.

Most of the coverage of this decision overlooked the obvious question: If judges are so concerned about protecting children from the health effects of second-hand smoke, why is a ruling like this issued only in the case of divorce?

If Johnita DeMatteo were...

It was such a privilege and honor for me to be invited by the incomparable Suzi Abrams and Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern New Jersey to present on how to be an advocate for yourself or a loved one in the medical realm. To inform from a physician's perspective, I put together a guide on the subject that can be found by scrolling down in this article. The topic of patient advocacy is very close to my heart, so when I was invited to speak by someone I deeply admire who runs an effective, successful program the community vitally needs,...

A shorter article derived from this "e-monograph" appears in the September/October 2003 issue of Skeptical Inquirer, with the title "Energy, Homeopathy, and Hypnosis in Santa Fe."

Todd Seavey is Director of Publications at the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH.org) and Editor of HealthFactsAndFears.com. His research for this project took place under the auspices of a Phillips Foundation journalism fellowship. The opinions expressed are entirely his own.

Table of contents

Introduction: A SYMPATHETIC LOOK AT VOODOO (SERIOUSLY)

Part...