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If the photo attached to this article does not make you smile, then I question whether you have a soul.  The act alone contributes to such known positive health benefits.  So, take a little look inside and find your joy - whether it is with animals or an activity.  Your world and the one around you will be enhanced.

We always hear that pediatric and veterinary medicine are similar, but is this true?  I often thought there were commonalities, but after becoming a pet parent and experiencing the other side I am certain.  Let’s journey through the lessons I have learned.

I always wanted an English Bulldog.  They made me laugh.  I crossed the street and was perpetually diverted whenever I encountered one.  But, the refrain was always ‘you are in medical school you won’t have...

It seems like a hundred years ago that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) was considered a neutral force for public good - but it was only 51.

In 1965, when the Agency was created by the United Nations, there was a lot of optimism about science and the future and IARC was created to instill confidence in the public about the difference between real harm and scaremongering.

The optimism was warranted. By the early 1960s, we had the DNA helix, we had the polio vaccine, we had found Coenzyme Q in humans, we had survived our first big environmental scare, the Cranberry fiasco of 1959, with both Presidential candidates (Kennedy and Nixon) wolfing...

California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, commonly called Proposition 65, was enacted by popular vote in 1986. It was initially sold as a way to prevent cancer and birth defects due to chemicals in drinking water and therefore got an overwhelmingly favorable response. Who isn’t in favor of clean water? (1)

Yet unmentioned by most at that time was that the voter referendum turned California science over to political appointees, who have final authority to make decisions on warning labels. In the last 30 years, despite a lot of strange listings and too many nuisance lawsuits to count, few decisions have been as bizarre as their desire to label BPA as a health hazard even though every national science organization has shown otherwise.

If...

“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,...

This piece appeared on NationalPost.com.

The recent proposed Canadian restrictions on products such as baby bottles containing the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) is but the latest unscientific legislation made possible in part by a dangerous prevailing assumption: namely, that anti-corporate claims are by definition "good science" while claims made in defense of industry or new technology -- by anyone with the slightest ties to industry -- are by definition "suspect science." Ironically, consumers end up paying higher prices as a result of such ostensibly consumer-protecting measures (as products need to be replaced or reformulated) or even end up using less...

This piece first appeared in the Washington Times.

A new health scare -- over the safe and useful plastic component, bisphenol-A (BPA) -- has taken wing, fomented by the usual suspects: "experts" in rat toxicology working with alarmist, chemical-hating "environmental" activists and self-serving media scaremongers. Soon, we know all too well, will come the plaintiffs' lawyers to "protect" the public from the non-existent (but lucrative) threats lurking in our plastic bottles.

Once again, our environmental stewards have ventured...

Tattooing and body piercing are somewhat trendy now, having gained popularity in the 1990s. However, these forms of "body modification/body art" are anything but new. Both have been around since ancient times and are practiced in many cultures. Although their popularity attests that millions of customers feel both procedures are worth doing, there are some potential risks and complications.

Tattooing

Tattooing involves multiple punctures of the skin to instill pigment into the dermal or second layer. It is permanent, although over time some of the colors may fade. Dermatologist Dr. Audrey Kunin notes some risks to keep in mind when considering getting a tattoo. First, self-tattooing or giving someone else a tattoo as an amateur should never be done....

Woodstock 99 is remembered as one of the most disastrous events in music history. The three-day music festival was billed as a reboot of the original hippie-inspired Woodstock held in 1969, though it rapidly devolved into chaos. Ignited by price gouging, water and food shortages, insufficient security and sanitation services, rioting brought the concern to a tragic end.

Trash littered the festival grounds; vendor stalls and trailers were set ablaze; 1,200 attendees sustained injuries requiring medical treatment, including...

We frequently receive requests to comment on specific news stories. These are usually examples of journalists or pundits commenting on subjects they know nothing about and badly misleading their audiences as a result. Earlier this week, a dispatch subscriber asked us to review an opinion piece published in the Epoch Times: “Saying No to Glyphosate in Our Foods, Environment.”

Penned by “holistic nutrition counselor” Melissa Diane Smith, the article is a collection of misleading assertions, out-of-context study citations, and outright lies. It leaves...

Reporters like to lecture the public about the importance of science while promoting obviously unscientific ideas when it suits them. The pandemic brought this contradiction into the spotlight as news outlets like CNN, The Guardian and The Washington Post defended COVID-19 vaccines while routinely publishing sloppy stories about the dangers of pesticides and the blessings of eating organic food. 

Such inconsistency isn't exclusive to the popular press; it's very common in science media as well. Scientific American has fallen into this trap...