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The use of food technology to solve public health problems has a long and impressive history. Three important examples are the pasteurization of milk, the fortification of foods to prevent nutritional deficiencies, and the use of irradiation to enhance microbiological safety and to kill pests in foods.

Although innovations from food technology have contributed to the increased availability of abundant and tasty...

Most of us would agree that it's cruel for hucksters to claim they have treatments for cancer if they do not. We ought to be just as wary of organizations claiming to have unconventional knowledge about preventing cancer by avoidance of various environmental threats. That's the central pitch of the Cancer Prevention Coalition (CPC).

Judging by CPC's website, the coalition consists mainly of Dr. Samuel S. Epstein of the University of Illinois School of Public Health, who has argued for over three decades now that chemicals in the environment are a significant cause of cancer and furthermore that the "cancer establishment" including the National Cancer Institute and...

This summer saw the comic book character the Incredible Hulk turned into a so-so movie. It strikes me that the beloved gamma-irradiated behemoth combines two common but false fears about biology: (1) that radiation causes completely unpredictable, bizarre transformations and (2) that extra body mass can somehow materialize without any extra mass being consumed by the body.

The first fear is more familiar, a staple of monster movies since shortly after the first atomic bomb blast in 1945. The second is more an implicit fear that shows in some of the strange, counterintuitive things people say about dieting. More on that later.

Radiation can cause cancer or other mutations by breaking DNA strands in a fashion something like tossing pebbles through an elaborate and...

This month, attorney John Banzhaf, who for years has litigated against tobacco, purportedly in an effort to protect public health, announced his intention to solve another public-health problem obesity by suing fast-food restaurants.

Banzhaf declared that cigarettes were not, after all, the only legally available product that is both addictive and hazardous when used as intended, and that cigarette manufacturers were not the only ones who covered up the hazards of their product.

Of course, Banzhaf's argument that so-called "fast food" fare, like cigarettes, is addictive and causes illness and death is ludicrous. Food supports life and only contributes to obesity when it is overused, that is, when we consume more calories (regardless of the source) than are...

New York, June 15, 1998 The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), a public health, consumer advocacy organization, will be holding a news conference to expose the deceptive practices of the food police group, Center for Science in the Public Interest.

ACSH will release information obtained while monitoring CSPI's propaganda campaign against the fat free oil, Olestra. CSPI's vendetta to have the FDA approved additive removed as a choice consumers now enjoy in their diet has led the food police group to knowingly engage in deceptive practices.

CSPI's gimmicks will be exposed immediately following their testimony at the FDA's Food Advisory Committee meeting at the Sheraton Reston Hotel, 11810 Sunrise Valley Drive in Reston Virginia. CSPI's testimony is scheduled to...

Dietary satd. fatA new report from the CDC s FoodNet surveillance system presents data about the frequency of foodborne illnesses in 2014, and compares it to those frequencies it found in 2006-2008. FoodNet is a system set up in 1995 to monitor the incidence of foodborne illnesses caused by 9 different pathogens. Only outbreaks confirmed by laboratory analyses are included. The system covers 10 geographic areas in the US, which include about 15 percent of the population.

The good news presented in the report is that...

I was at a meeting with an agriculture executive and he handed me a print-off from the Whole Foods website, their Organic landing page. A few things were highlighted. "Can that be right?" he asked.

I chuckled at the question. I was pretty confident that if I had the agriculture knowledge in his brain I could donate mine to research but that was his modest way of introducing something that he knows but I may not have been aware of, yet would agree is completely bananas. And I did.

"There is so much wrong with this," I remember thinking as I looked at the Whole Foods page, but writing is no longer my real job. We are opening an office in D.C., we have grown in leaps and bounds in the last year, and if you...

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 12.46.44 PMIn the American food market, labels have proliferated. We have organic, natural (whatever that means), gluten-free, lo-fat, and a variety of others whatever marketers think will help distinguish their products from others, and sell more of them at the same time.

Now we have a battle between purveyors of organic foods and those whose foods aren't organic, but contain no genetically engineered (GMO) ingredients. According to a recent...

Have you started your Christmas and/or Holiday shopping? If you're like us, you're putting it off to the last minute because you're too busy with other things. Here at ACSH, we've been busy telling the world about science. Here's where we appeared in recent days:

1) Dr. Alex Berezow, Vice President of Scientific Affairs, wrote an op-ed for USA Today about the necessity of food irradiation. Foodborne outbreaks are a fact of life. The CDC estimates that, every single year, 48 million cases of foodborne illness occur, hospitalizing 128,000 and killing 3,000. But better public health practices...

shutterstock_186042563 Teosinte (Corn Ancestor) Courtesy of Shutterstock

It's been said (many times) before, but bears repeating that pretty much all our foods have been genetically modified and not just by the modern technology of genetic engineering. Farmers and agricultural researchers have been selecting and cross-breeding plants for millenia to get rid of unwanted traits and emphasize ones they want. And...