July 1998

HHS Report: Health in America Tied to Income, Education (7/30/98) I haven't seen the report yet, but it doesn't sound like the EPA matters to our health.

Logic: Up in Anti-Smoke (7/30/98) George Will on the secondhand smoke court decision.

State considers diesel cancer threat (7/30/98) Diesel may be smelly, but the science has yet to show it causes cancer in humans.

The Week That Was July 20-26, 1998 (7/30/98) The weekly update from the Science and Environmental Policy Project.

Earth to be made child safe (7/30/98) Another parody from The Onion.

World death rate holding steady at 100 percent (7/30/98) A parody from The Onion.

My apologies (7/29/98) I've been away on vacation this week. I apologize for the dearth of new postings. I'll be back in full fury on August 1. I'll do my best (between the sun & fun) in the meantime. Thanks for your patience.

Acetaminophen May Have Potential as Antioxidant (7/29/98) Tylenol makes a move against aspirin in the heart disease prevention wars. But it will probably take more than study of 12 subjects. So asserting that acetaminophen has a role in preventing heart disease is way premature.

Disease expert hits global-warming link; Sees no rise in mosquito-borne illnesses (7/29/98) A CDC scientist dares to speak against the supposed link between infectious disease and global warming.

Let your pocketbook/vote do the talking? (7/29/98) Three more large companies have joined the Pew Center's global warming club. Check out the companies that belong already. Perhaps it is time for consumers and shareholders to let these companies know what we think of their selling out science for short-term political/business gain.

Man sues Pfizer claiming Viagra caused car accident (7/28/98) "A New Jersey man is suing the makers of Viagra for one of the more bizarre claims of side effects from the potency pill -- blue-tinged, blurred vision that caused him to crash his car."

Italian miracle cure for cancer deemed failure after initial tests (7/28/98) "An Italian doctor's self-proclaimed "miracle" cancer treatment shows no evidence whatsoever of curing cancer and can be toxic, the first results from a state-run testing program released on Tuesday showed."

EPA's statement on the secondhand smoke decision (7/28/98) Long on rhetoric, short on the facts -- and no apology.

Moratorium called for on human testing of pesticides (7/28/98) The Environmental Working Group called for a moratorium on human testing of pesticides on July 27. Human testing is done by manufacturers to demonstrate pesticide safety. It usually occurs abroad. EWG says human testing should only be allowed if conducted under U.S. human testing protocols. What EWG really wants is to stop human testing because it tends to show that pestcides are safe when used as intended. [Source: Daily Environment Report, July 28, 1998].

Past sins forgiven? (7/28/98) To gain White House support for the Thompson-Levin regulatory reform bill (S. 981), a provision calling for limited review of existing regulations was dropped. [Source: Daily Environment Report, July 28, 1998].

For Germany's Greens Party, the Outlook Is Murky (7/28/98) An article for those who need evidence that extreme environmentalism is cover for latter day socialists.

Health warning: Smoking can seriously shrink your manhood (7/27/98) "And all you non-smokers. This is no time for premature elation. There is bound to be a further study on the effects of passive smoking."

Body's ability to emit light arouses new hopes & fears on radiation from mobile phones (7/27/98) A new theory from the never-say-die, ever- resourceful EMF-scare industry. Too bad they can't associate any health effects with cell phones.

Scientists Slam Unscientific PCB Allegations (7/27/98) "The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) today denounced the opinion expressed earlier this month by EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner at her testimony before a New York State Assembly Committee concerned with the removal of PCBs from the Hudson River."

Clinton, Gore warm up to temperature of globe; But some call assertions half-baked (7/27/98) Half-baked? How about raw?

Gore Announces $38 Million for New Tobacco Research (7/27/98) Al Gore tries to score points for the Year 2000 election with anti-tobacco industry pork. I doubt public health will improve with this $38 million.

Baby boomer parents cause the ice cream truck 'problem' (7/27/98) "Here in the summer of 1998, the big concerns are apparently global warming, nuclear proliferation and ice cream trucks." P> State Officials Face Dilemma in Tobacco Talks (7/27/98) Apparently they're more interested in cash than public health.

Ban Luddites, Not Chlorine (7/27/98) "There is not much that stirs the lobbying loins of an eco-activist more than industrial uses of organic chlorine."

British researchers link smoking with decreased penis size (7/26/98) Science gets the shaft again!

More Helter Swelter (7/26/98) "Although the citizenry is accustomed to the association of political speeches and hot air, Mr. Gore makes the connection too literally."

Radon transforms dream home into a long nightmare (7/26/98) EPA's radon scare in action.

Clinton Calls Hot Weather a Warning (7/26/98) The Monica Lewinsky investigation must be getting to President Clinton. He sounds as dumb as Al Gore.

Too many people on the planet? (7/26/98) A debate on world population.

Ruth Kava v. Michael Jacobsen: Olestra (7/25/98) Here's a point and counterpoint on the subject of olestra.

Idaho farmers fear effects of pesticide act (7/25/98) Idaho farmers warn that if a new federal law bans the use of too many important pesticides too quickly, it could bankrupt them.

Judge Voids Indiana Suit Against Tobacco Firms (7/25/98) Cases must be proven on an individual basis, not by junk statistics.

'Silicone Survivors' Take Fight Over Implants to Capital (7/25/98) Is the Institute of Medicine reviewing the science of silicone breast implants or the hysteria?

FDA Caution Can Be Deadly, Too (7/24/98) An article by the father of the term "junk science."

Grilling tips keep cookouts healthy: Partially cooking meat in microwave first can reduce cancer dangers on the barbecue (7/24/98) Last week it was the grilling marinade that reduced cancer risk. Now it's microwaving. What's next? A pre-meal, Superfund-type cleanup of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons? Find me someone whose cancer has been caused by grilling meat.

House backs Global Warming Education (7/24/98) Next, they'll approve UFO education?

VA excludes Viagra (7/24/98) Citing costs and safety concerns, the Department of Veterans Affairs will not include Viagra among the drugs that must be available at its facilities. The cost part I can understand. The safety part? If drugs were excluded simply because they may not be appropriate for some patients, I'm sure few drugs would be available at all -- including penicllin, which some are allergic to.

EPA claims harmful PCB contamination in Hudson River is spreading (7/24/98) EPA wants GE to dredge the Hudson. If you want to see PCBs spread, that's the ticket. And I doubt that PCBs "probably cause cancer in humans," as the EPA regional administrator claims.

Scientists warn of possible collapse of massive ice sheet (7/24/98) Surf's up!

Animal-rights group PETA attacks milk as 'liquid meat' (7/23/98) Brian Carnell writes "Most of this story is standard animal rights nonsense. The claim that choosing milk as a state beverage is racist because some minorities are (generally mildly) lactose intolerant is an entirely new level of nuttiness even for these folks."

39 deaths reported among Viagra users (7/23/98) A new FDA report.

Radiated mice passed on leukemia risk, research says (7/23/98) Absolute rubbish.

Judge Smokes Out Tobacco Lie (7/23/98) "`Secondary smoke is one of the leading causes of death,' Giuliani announced, as he lit up his cigar."

Al Gore: Feel the heat (7/23/98) The Christian Science Monitor (7/22/98) reports Al Gore lambasted Congress for ignoring global warming. He advised the lawmakers to "Go outside and feel the temperature." Earth to Al, it's summertime!

Hit the snooze button? (7/23/98) The United Press International (7/22/98) reports that Klaus Toepfer, executive director of the U.N. Environment Program, says the recent heat waves in the U.S., India and China are a "wake-up call" and that making significant greenhouse gas emissions cuts is needed immediately.

Show of ignorance (7/23/98) "Pray tell how were these temperatures recorded a thousand years ago? Galileo discovered the first thermometer in 1593. It was not very accurate."

Having second thoughts on secondhand smoke (7/23/98) "Very simply, the agency's procedure was verdict first, trial later."

Shutdown of toxic burner demanded (7/23/98) Even the EPA says the incinerator is safe.

Love Canal: Remembering the toxic mess (7/23/98) Lois Gibbs thinks the Superfund law should be reauthorized because of Love Canal. For me, the exaggerated Love Canal situation is a good reason to keep the Superfund law how it is -- dead.

Al Gore visits Chernobyl (7/23/98) In its article on Al Gore's trip to Chernobyl, the Washington Post says that cancer has been on the increase in the Chernobyl area following the accident. I wonder how the Post knows that. Historical cancer data is iffy enough in the U.S. One can only imagine the poor data quality in the former Soviet Union -- and now the Ukraine which is seeking aid from the U.S.

Betrayal by government should have us smokin' (7/23/98) Kathleen Parker of the Chicago Tribune gets it right.

State health director raps smoking ruling (7/23/98) The director of the Rhode Island Department of Health is another EPA apologist.

Closing the barn door after the horse has escaped (7/23/98) The New York Times (7/23/9) reports the National Institute of Medicine will convene a panel to review the silicone breast implant issue. I understand the breast implant panel was delayed because the Institute of Medicine was still busy reviewing the ancient medical practice of bloodletting.

A Junk Science Test (7/23/98) Select the answer that best finishes this sentence: "Helter Swelter" is: (1) a song on the Beatles "White Album;" (2) a book/movie about the 1969 Tate-La Bianca murders committed by Charles Manson and crew; or (3) the Bill Clinton/Al Gore traveling circus that is blaming the current heat wave on global warming.

Pseudoscience Going Up in Smoke (7/23/98) "It was the farce that launched a thousand bans."

Viagra sales taper off following initial hysteria (7/23/98) Insurers' refusal to pay is blamed. In addition to the high cost of the drug, insurers had cited the risk of health effects as an excuse.

CWRU physicist predicts that probability strongly favors McGwire or Griffey breaking Maris' record (7/23/98) This guy says there's a 99 percent chance Maris' record will fall this year. I say it ain't over 'til it's over.

New Study Shows Olive Oil Component Does Not Protect Against Breast Cancer (7/23/98) But they do report it makes for a great sald dressing.

Nuclear Fallout Study Exploded? (7/22/98) On July 9, 1998, USA Today reported the National Cancer Institute's study on cancers "caused" by nuclear fallout would be delayed for six months. The reason may now be apparent. A study on cancer mortality following treatment for adult hyperthyroidism, by National Cancer Institute researchers and published in today's Journal of the American Medical Association (7/22/98), reports that "Neither hyperthyroidism nor Iodine-131 treatment resulted in significantly increased risk of total cancer mortality." Iodine-131 is the primary target in the fallout study. And although this study was only about cancer mortality, not cancer incidence, watch for the anti-nuclear crowd to radiate disappointment.

Study Finds Decline in Hurricanes (7/22/98) "While some scientists fear global warming will lead to more hurricanes, so far it isn't happening." The Science and Environmental Policy Project also reports the most recent report (1995) from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change also showed a drop in the frequency and intensity of hurricanes over the past 50 years.

Sound science up in smoke (7/22/98) "In short, [the secondhand smoke] risk assessment is worth every penny the recycling industry is willing to pay for it, but not much else. Even grading it on a government curve doesn't help."

Former EPA staffer admits prejudging secondhand smoke (7/22/98) Today's USA Today contains an article indicating the EPA had already made up it's mind about secondhand smoke even before doing its risk assessment. Former EPA-er James Repace says "We had enough information to make policy from the [1986] National Research Council report plus the [1986] Surgeon General report." He then says that EPA only sought to quantify the link in its 1993 report. But hazard identification is the first step of a risk assessment and Repace's comments indicate that issue wasn't open for discussion during the risk assessment process. Curiously, the final EPA risk assessment relied mainly on the Fontham study, not issued even in preliminary form until 1991. The final Fontham study wasn't published until June 1994, more than 18 months after the EPA risk assessment was released.

"He is not an epidemiologist" (7/22/98) That's what a West Virgina Tobacco Control Program official said about U.S. District Court Judge William Osteen in regard to Osteen vacating EPA's secondhand smoke risk assessment, according to an Associated Press report. But that statement is more a commentary on EPA than Osteen. The risk assessment was SO bad that EPA couldn't even hide behind the very broad discretion usually accorded by courts to federal agencies.

Boston Herald: EPA used "sloppy science" (7/22/98) The Boston Herald (7/21/98) editorialized that Judge Osteen "was right on the money in finding that the [EPA] used sloppy science five years ago in concluding that secondhand tobacco smoke causes cancer." But then the paper loses me by saying that this shouldn't change a single non-smoking rule anywhere. Shouldn't rules implemented on the basis of misinformation be repealed and then debated anew on their actual merits?

E-mail your outrage! (7/22/98) After you've reviewed the court opinion against the EPA, e-mail your outrage to: Morton Lippmann, the chairman of the EPA Science Advisory Board Subcommittee that rubber-stamped the secondhand smoke risk assessment; and William Farland, the EPA bureaucrat overseeing the secondhand smoke railroad. Tell them the Junkman sends his regards.

Judge Osteen's Secondhand Smoke Opinion (7/22/98) A Junk Science Home Page Exclusive! Read for yourself the court opinion against EPA in the secondhand smoke case. The file is large (130K) so it may take a minute to load. But it's the worth the brief wait.

Junk Science on the Cape (7/21/98) This is what they're reading on Cape Cod this summer -- a perfect example of statistical abuse of small populations at the expense of easy political targets, including a small town airport, local power plant and military training range.

Squeaky Wheel Gets Disease-Research Gold (7/21/98) Mike Fumento on the recent report about how NIH prioritizes health research. Click here for the NIH report.

The Week That Was July 13 - 19, 1998 (7/21/98) The weekly update from the Science and Environmental Policy Project.

Don't Back Off on Diesel Issue? (7/21/98) The Los Angeles Times cites a March 1998 draft report by the EPA labeling diesel exhaust a "probable human carcinogen" as support for more stringent regulation. Given Judge Osteen's unveiling of how the EPA decides what is a carcinogen and that the science of diesel exhaust is about as sketchy as that for secondhand smoke, I suggest the Los Angeles Times rethink its argument.

President Clinton: Baby boomers more important than global disaster (7/21/98) In his address at the 75th annual meeting of the American Federation of Teachers, President Clinton said "The second thing we have to do is to recognize -- as you can see from this sweltering heat -- that the Vice president is right: the climate of our country, and our globe is changing. The globe is warming..." The president's first priority was saving Social Security and Medicare for the baby boom generation.

Pouting at the American Cancer Society (7/21/98) In response to the court ruling overturning the EPA's secondhand smoke risk assessment, the American Cancer Society's press release (7/20/98) says "The American Cancer Society is not at all happy with this ruling." But it shouldn't pout, or, as the song "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" goes, the ACS won't get any junk science for Christmas.

Heat Wave (7/21/98) The Washington Post breaks its long-time, knee-jerk, lock-step support for President Clinton on global warming by refusing to attribute the ongoing heat wave to greenhouse gas emissions.

EPA's Job Killers (7/21/98) "Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner came to Detroit last Friday to defend new limits on industry based on the dubious notion of "environmental justice." She wasn't convincing."

Administration sees hope in appeal on secondhand smoke finding (7/20/98) The Administration will need prayer, not merely hope to overturn the ironclad opinion of Judge William Osteen. Watch for the EPA to propose eliminating the constitutional separation of church and state.

Building self-esteem can foster destructive mechanism, researchers say (7/20/98) "Surveys have shown the U.S. population in general has an inflated view of itself." Is this applicable to junk scientists?

Viagra Lawsuit (7/16/98) The Viagra countdown is over! A 63-year-old man sues Pfizer claiming Viagra caused his heart attack.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (7/20/98) Many occupations -- including those involving computer keyboard use -- have been cited as a cause of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine (July 27, 1998) concludes that "Unrecognized medical diseases capable of causing CTS are common. Studies asserting an association between occupational hand usage and CTS are of questionable validity unless they prospectively account for confounding disease and obesity."

Hey Fran Du Melle, eating any crow yet? (7/20/98) In June 1993 when the tobacco companies sued the EPA over the secondhand smoke risk assessment, Fran Du Melle, the deputy managing director of the American Lung Association, said "It's really a waste of time. What the industry is doing is doing is pitting their paid scientists' opinions of the research against the opinions of the people who really did the research..." Now that the industry prevailed, even Fran would have to admit the lawsuit wasn't a waste of time. And, contrary to her comment, what the industry did was pit science against the EPA's manipulations, distortions, contradictions and exaggerations. That's why they won. I wonder what Fran's thoughts are today?

EPA bungling leaves 'environmental justice' elusive (7/20/98) "...internal studies indicating the problem is not widespread were buried."

Quiet Controversy: Candy Smokes Sell On (7/20/98) About a recent Wall Street Journal article on the candy cigarette controversy, Brian Carnell comments that "In the candy aisle in stores I see all these candies made to look like worms. Do we really want kids thinking it's okay to eat worms? Better ban them just to be on the safe side."

Can Government Crime Data Be Trusted? (7/20/98) "President Clinton gives the '94 Brady Law much credit for lowering the crime rate. In fact, the White House has never offered clear evidence that the law has done anything of the sort."

False Alarms in the Greenhouse (7/20/98) "There's a law against shouting "fire" in a crowded movie theatre, based upon the notion that people will believe it and run over each other in the subsequent pandemonium.

Despite Ruling, Smoking Bans Are Here to Stay, Officials Say (7/20/98) A classic case of "the ends justify the means."

Joby Warrick: EPA Apologist? (7/20/98) Washington Post reporter Joby Warrick shows just how little he knows about secondhand smoke. He'd do better if he followed this page.

Statement in Response to Judge Osteen's Ruling in the EPA Lawsuit (7/20/98) "The EPA was able to claim ETS causes cancer in nonsmokers only after it cherrypicked information, changed the rules of standard scientific inquiry and tortured the data to fit its agenda, says R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co."

Detroit blows hot, cold on warming thesis (7/20/98) "Before we accept Gore's [global warming] premise, let's examine some actual weather extremes."

EPA Defends Secondhand Smoke Report (7/20/98) Or tries to... The judge wrote "EPA publicly committed to a conclusion before research had begun; excluded industry by violating the (radon law's) procedural requirements; (and) adjusted established procedure and scientific norms to validate the agency's public conclusions."

EPA Secondhand Smoke Finding Struck Down!!!! (7/20/98) I go away for a short weekend and what happens? Nothing less than the biggest junk science story of the year! EPA's secondhand smoke risk assessment is trashed by a federal judge. Look for a lot more on this HUGE story.

Clinton on Global Warming in Little Rock (7/20/98) "`After this summer, don't you believe that the climate is warming up?' Clinton asked guests at a fundraiser Saturday in his sizzling hometown of Little Rock."

EPA keeps key documents secret: They contradict new agency policy on environmental justice (7/20/98) "The Environmental Protection Agency continues to conceal important internal documents dealing with its new policy melding environmental regulation with civil rights issues, a Detroit News investigation has found."

Pollution experts target Jet Skis: Attacks on popular watercraft unfairly exclude other boats, owners say (7/20/98) Brian Carnell writes "It is interesting how all of the claims made here about the pollution caused by jet skis and similar watercraft are all `might be' or `potentially could' arguments. You'd think if they're dumping 200,000 gallons of fuel annually as claimed there'd be some measurable effect."

Skeptics put Glenn, NASA under the microscope (7/20/98) "When Alex Roland, a former NASA historian and now chairman of the Duke University history department, heard about Glenn's mission, his reaction was that it was `a joke.'"

Science of risk assessment appears to be getting more risky, panel is told (7/17/98) A recap of a recent House hearing on risk assessment.

Viagra Lawsuit (7/16/98) The Viagra countdown is over! A 63-year-old man sues Pfizer claiming Viagra caused his heart attack.

Vaccination and its adverse effects: real or perceived? (7/16/98) A British Medical Journal editorial about vaccine scares.

Reducing road traffic (7/16/98) How a British doctor would reduce road traffic as the U.K nears its 100th anniversary of automobile accidents.

Facial structure in the sudden infant death syndrome (7/16/98) Another potential (non-environmental, non-tobacco-related) cause of SIDS?

National guidance is needed for Viagra (7/16/98) "...few guidelines exist about who should recieve the drug"

Latest studies fail to show that tamoxifen prevents breast cancer (7/16/98) The Brits continue to beat up the National Cancer Institute -- and rightly so -- for the tamoxifen debacle.

FDA Approves Thalidomide (7/16/98) The lesson from the 1960s thalidomide tragedy is that only pregnant women needed to avoid it.

Al Gore warms up (7/16/98) "Is there any misfortune, disaster or otherwise unwelcome phenomenon out there that Vice President Al Gore can't blame on alleged global warming?"

Prostate Cancer Scare Week (7/16/98) The prostate cancer industry has started beating the drum for 1998's Prostate Cancer Awareness Week, terrifying men into routine prostate cancer screening. Unfortunately, no study shows that routine prostate cancer screening saves lives. The only ones that definitely benefit from routine screening are the urologists and manufacturers of the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test.

Electronic Bra (7/16/98) The Financial Times (London) reports a new, supposedly more reliable device for detecting breast cancer -- the "electronic bra." In a test that lasts less than a minute, the bra reportedly can identify dangerous growths and differentiate between benign and malignant tumors by recognizing different patterns of electrical flow within them. The device could be available in 3 to 5 years. Let's hope it works and that it stays off the radar screens of the EMF scare crowd.

Los Angeles Sues Over Secondhand Smoke (7/16/98) The Associated Press reports the city of Los Angeles sued the tobacco companies for $2.5 billion for failing to warn about the dangers of secondhand smoke. The city claims the companies violated California's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act which requires businesses to warn people about the health risks associated with their product if it is known to cause cancer or "reproductive toxicity." The lawsuit is based on the 1997 Cal-EPA risk assessment for secondhand smoke. Los Angeles also wants the companies barred from selling in California until they conduct a public education program and provide warnings about secondhand smoke.

Knollenberg challenges EPA plan: He wants to prevent spending on global warming crusade (7/16/98) By David Mastio of the Detroit News.

Court of Appeals Upholds Jury Verdict; '60 Minutes' Farm Family Owes Consumers Energy $290,000 (7/15/98) A case of "stray voltage."

Today's Weather Forecast: Wrong Today, Right Tomorrow? (7/15/98) Today's Washington Post article about Al Gore's press conference (link below) stated "Climatologists have put some of the blame for this year's warming on a powerful El Nino that wreaked havoc with the weather in many parts of the globe. But NOAA scientists yesterday said average ocean temperatures did not drop as anticipated after El Nino began to subside in the spring." Brian Carnell says this should have been written to say "Climatologists said since they were wrong about ocean temperatures this summer, they must be right about weather patterns 50 years from now!"

Conoco condemn's Greenpeace's protest practices (7/15/98) What kind of idiot would swim in front of a oncoming ship -- and for climate change?

Ulcers can create false positive on colon test (7/15/98) Beware of doctors who push screening tests. While they benefit for sure, you may not.

Japanese government says man died after using Viagra (7/15/98) The countdown to disaster continues.

Angiostatin and radiation therapy: synergy (7/15/98) An update on the cancer "wonder drugs" that attracted so much attention last spring.

Media Coverage of Gore's Press Conference (7/15/98) Thanks to the Science and Environmental Policy Project.

Weather or not (7/15/98) Find out what the President received in the mail this week.

The Week That Was July 6 - 12, 1998 (7/15/98) The weekly update from the Science and Environmental Policy Project.

`People Are Sweltering,' Says Gore, Tying Record Heat to Global Warming (7/15/98) Would you hire this man to run your country?

More Science, Less Spin (7/14/98) An excellent article questioning the value of giving more money to the National Institutes of Health.

Death by Suffocation in the Gulf of Mexico (7/14/98) That's the title of an article in Science magazine (7/10/98) about the so-called "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico. The subtitle reads "Scientists have traced the origins of a vast hypoxic region in the gulf to inland fertilizer use..." But the article quotes an American Farm Bureau Federation official as saying "The agriculture community is being forced to take a defensive posture, even before the actual source if the problem is determined." An Iowa State ecologist admits nitrogen has not been traced from farm fields to the gulf. The article further acknowledges "biologists so far have been unable to link serious declines in a gulf fishery to the transient hypoxic zone." Apparently, only the facts are being choked off.

Coke suppresses the immune system? (7/14/98) So says Matthew C. Welch of White Plains, NY in a letter to the editor of Nation magazine (7/27/98). Welch says studies show "Coca-Cola contains 2-acetyl-4-terahydroxybutylimidazol (THI), which suppresses the immune system, to give Coke its brownish color." Welch quotes Australian researchers who say "THI was so effective at suppressing the immnue system that it would be an ideal candidate to test in the treatment of autoimmune diseases and in tissue and organ transplants to help avoid rejection." Does anybody know anything about this?

Cow Cloning Update (7/14/98) According to Science magazine, the Japanese scientists who reported cloning calves are doing DNA analysis to confirm the calves origin. Why wasn't this done before the announcement? They say the news was released prematurely in accord with new government guidelines requiring prompt disclosure of cloning research.

Researchers call for authors of scientific studies to reveal financial backing (7/14/98) Wake me when researchers have to make their data available for independent review and verification.

Amount of time kids watch TV is proportional to injuries, study shows (7/14/98) A perfect case of correlation without proven causation.

British medical authorities say silicone breast implants are safe (7/14/98) This simply reiterates the tragedy of the silicone breast implant saga. U.S. personal injury lawyers stand to make a billion dollars by suing a deep pocket over a safe product.

Proof that honey really is good for you (7/14/98) At least they didn't claim "Honey prevents cancer."

A Good Point (7/14/98) Brian Carnell reports that NBC ran a story tonight featuring the usual cast of characters (Gore, etc.) claiming the 1990s is the hottest decade on record since the middle of the 15th century. Of course, the reporter never bothered to ask the obvious question--why was the world was so hot at the beginning of the 15th century?

EPA Moving to Define CO2 As a Criteria Pollutant (7/14/98) EPA heads for backdoor implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. Gee, I always thought the Senate had to approve a treaty before it got implemented. Did I miss the EPA rulemaking amending the Constitution?

Cloning Debate (7/14/98) From the New England Journal of Medicine (7/9/98), here's a debate on cloning. Click here for the "pro" article; click here for the "con" article.

Record High Temperatures? (7/14/98) Climate scientist John Christy finds problems with recent pronouncements about record high temperatures.

Is public health political? (7/13/98) You be the judge. At the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association (November 15-19, 1998, Washington, D.C.): the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. delivers the keynote address; Ralph Nader speaks at a session titled "the Ethical Challenge;" and Tipper Gore delivers the keynote at another session. The meeting will also feature a "Socialist Caucus," featuring a session titled "Growth of Social Inequalities and Its Impact on Health and Well-Being."

Smoking constricts even `healthy' smokers blood vessels, research shows (7/13/98) A laugher! Here we learn that you can smoke a pack of cigarettes every day for 40 years and still be considered "healthy." What's the lesson? If you smoke, don't stick your hands in cold water! This isn't even good enough to be considered "junk science."

Human `mad cow' toll higher than admitted says scientist (7/13/98) Sounds fishy to me!

Simple shade offers little protection from sun's UVB rays (7/13/98) I think these guys have been out in the sun too long.

Silicone canine testicles debut in California (7/13/98) When can we expect the lawsuit?

Furthering the Fat Fracas (7/13/98) Letters to the editor of Science News about the fallibility of the body mass index (BMI).

A Grilling Analysis (7/13/98) Science News features Worldwatch Institute propaganda intended to scare Americans away from meat consumption.

No Smoking Day Effect? (7/13/98) U.K. researchers report in Nature (July 9, 1998) that nicotine withdrawal may increase accident rates. This claim is based on a comparison of the number of reported nonfatal accidents occurring on "No Smoking Day" (the second Wednesday in March) with the prior and subsequent Wednesdays for the period 1987-1996. An average of 4 percent more non-fatal accidents were reported on NSD than on the prior Wednesday; about 11 percent more were reported on NSD than on the subsequent Wednesday. Still there is no analysis of whether the increase in reported accidents was due to smokers who stopped smoking for the day. Nevertheless, the researchers suggest wider use of nicotine replacement.

A World Cup Excuse? (7/13/98) Four Dutch environmental and consumer groups called for a ban on eight pesticides alleged to be endocrine disruptors. [Source: Daily Environment Report, July 13, 1998.] Since the call was made on June 22, there is there is no truth to the rumor the Dutch are blaming the pesticides for their loss to Croatia in Saturday's World Cup match for third place.

Electric power industry asks EPA to forego mercury study (7/13/98) Citing a lack of evidence that mercury emissions from electric power plants are a significant health risk, the Edison Electric Institute has asked the EPA to withdraw from an agreement reached with the Natural Resources Defense Council to study and possibly further regulate plant emissions. The agreement has been viewed as a way to implement the Kyoto Protocol on global warming without Senate approval. [Source: Daily Environment Report, July 13, 1998.]

U.S. Environmental Chief Attacks G.E. Pollution Ads (7/13/98) If the PCBs in New York's Hudson River are as dangerous as Carol Browner would like us to think, where's the evidence?

Prosecution threat over cancer book (7/13/98) "Author Hulda Regehr Clark says cancer is caused by a parasite which can be killed by drinking a mixture of black walnut hulls, wormwood and cloves."

Residents fear health risks from antennas (7/13/98) The cellular antenna scare comes to Asbury Park, New Jersey.

New Hole in Ozone Depletion Theory (7/12/98) A new study published in Geophysical Research Letters (7/15/98) reports that high-levels of naturally-produced bromine oxide (BrO) are responsible for a majority of the tropospheric ozone depletion.

Bacteria Cause Kidney Stones? (7/12/98) A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (7/7/98) reports that very small bacteria -- nanobacteria -- may be responsible for kidney stones. The study found nanobacteria-specific monoclonal antibodies in all 30 human kidney stones examined. This could let the air out of such theories as grapefruit juice causing kidney stones. The researchers speculated that nanobacteria also may play a role in other pathological calcification conditions, including atherosclerosis.

Fair Use (7/11/98) I probably wouldn't agree with too much else Lois Gibbs has to say, but I agree with her on the issue of "fair use."

Greenpeace USA seeks to regain its radical spark (7/11/98) Since Greenpeace's latest efforts have focused on PVC in toys, should I expect them to commandeer the local Toys-R-Us?

Global warming formulas miscalculated, study says (7/11/98) I'm waiting for the headline that says global warming is one giant miscalculation.

MCS Awareness Week (7/11/98) July 13-17 has been declared Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Week by the Governor of the state of Washington. It's too bad it doesn't coincide with Mental Health Week.

High Radon Levels in Seoul Subway Alarm Citizens (7/11/98) Korea exports Hyundais to the U.S. The U.S. exports the radon health scare to Korea. It's no wonder the U.S. has a foreign trade deficit.

Going to Blazes (7/11/98) Here's a Mother Jones article about how forest fires might spur runaway global warming. Now the global warming pushers want us to believe that the Earth is like a backyard greenhouse with a fireplace.

When Scientific Controversies Land in the Courts (7/11/98) A Gina Kolata article on the silicone breast implant saga.

More `Eat Smart' But Be Stupid (7/10/98) USA Weekend columnist Jean Carper presents "a lab-tested recipe for a marinade that reduces cancer risks from grilling." Even more shocking is that the recipe is from "scientist" at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. It makes me long for the Cold War when LLNL scientists had something to do.

California jury exonerates pesticide manufacturers (7/10/98) The Daily Environment Report (7/10/98) reports that on June 17 a jury found Dow Chemical, Occidental Petroleum and Shell Chemical not guilty of negligence, misrepesentation or product defect in a lawsuit by 100 students allegedly exposed to pesticides through a school's drinking water.

'Phantom' hazards placed on produce could hurt state ag (7/10/98) "I am concerned that regulatory actions based on exaggerated estimates of risk may have immense consequences."

More Pesticide Nitwittery, L.A. Style (7/10/98) "Christina Graves of Pesticide Watch asked the committee to consider a policy similar to one in the San Francisco Unified School District, which bans toxic pesticide use." Ban "toxic" pesticide use? What is a "nontoxic" pesticide and when would you use one?

British Study Says U.S. Results On Tamoxifen Are Inconclusive (7/10/98) I think the National Cancer Institute tried to boost its image at the expense of women's fears of breast cancer.

Salmon and Global Warming (7/10/98) The BBC reported this morning that the drop in the number of salmon entering Britain's rivers was due to global warming, according to a representative from the UK environmental agency. But couldn't the drop be due to the very large scale netting in the North Atlantic? Thanks to David Owen-Roberts for the report.

Battle over worst-case EPA data online (7/10/98) Is the EPA inspiring terrorism?

Climate Change Causing Warmer Water (7/10/98) Can the ocean suddenly warm two degrees in a single, non-El Nino year?

An Unsettling Case (7/10/98) Here's the Detroit News view on the silicone breast implant developments.

Clinton Links Fires, Global Warming In Florida, President Offers Comfort, Praise and Climatic Warning (7/10/98) President Clinton has been hanging around Al Gore too long. Gore's dopiness has rubbed off.

Nader Envisions a Tort Museum, Lest Corvair and Company Be Forgot (7/10/98) Ralph Nader filmed professional drivers flipping Corvairs in his 1967 book Unsafe at Any Speed. Maybe this new project should be called the Museum of Fraud.

Glimpse of Sanity on Implants (7/10/98) The Washington Post continues its unusual sanity about silicone breast implants.

Vitamin B-6: food or medicine? (7/9/98) More on the vitamin B-6 debate.

Science on Trial (7/9/98) Junk Science Home Page visitor Eugene Cramer reminds the Los Angeles Times to read Marcia Angell's book Science on Trial for the facts on the silicone breast implant saga.

Coral may hold some answers to El Nino's secrets, researchers say (7/9/98) By studying coral, researchers say they might be able to show how global warming has given a boost to El Nino. What's next? Tea leaves?

Itchiest cities named - Nashville tops the list (7/9/98) Sponsored by Lanacane.

EMFs: NIEHS Takes a Page from Science Without Sense (7/9/98) In my book Science Without Sense: The Risky Business of Public Health Research (Cato Institute, 1995) I wrote that part of scaring the public is coming up with the "big risk number." Science magazine reports that the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is doing just that for electromagnetic fields (EMFs). NIEHS will release later this month for public comment a draft report on EMFs. According to the Science article, NIEHS then will calculate how many U.S. cancer cases might be due to EMFs. All this despite that the National Research Council officially trashed the EMF scare in 1996. Time to head to your local store and invest in a pitchfork.

NCI Delays Report on Fallout (7/9/98) USA Today (7/9/98) reports that the National Cancer Institute report on how many Americans were "put at risk" by radioactive fallout from nuclear testing will be delayed at least six months. I'm disappointed. I could use the material. Junk science delayed is junk science denied!

Local experts don't put much stock in smoking study (7/9/98) Even some in the anti-tobacco industry consider the recent Journal of the American Medical Association study on blacks and nicotine to be nonsense.

Breast implant information source (7/9/98) For general info on the breast implant saga, check out this site by Junk Science Home Page friend Brian Carnell.

Breast implant operations increase, despite controversy (7/9/98) "Women are getting breast implants in record numbers, despite the negative publicity the surgery has received in recent years."

Best Global Warming News You Haven't Heard (7/9/98) The World Climate Report (6/29/98) says the atmospheric buildup of methane has slowed greatly. If so, the WCR says, by the year 2050 two-thirds of the Kyoto Protocol goals will have been met by -- all without costing a dime.

The Future of Child Exploitation (7/9/98) At a July 8 meeting of the EPA Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee, chairman Routt Reigart said "I think it's very important that first we teach EPA to better value children." Environmental Defense Attorney Karen Florini added that cost-benefit analysis should not be used on children. [Source: Daily Environment Report (July 9, 1998).] What's the implication? Expect children to be used as a tool to advance the extreme environmental agenda without any regard to whether that agenda does kids more harm than good. This will make Kathy Lee Gifford -- notorious for exploiting children in the manufacture of clothes for Wal-Mart -- look like Barney the Dinosaur.

Science Runs Afoul of Diversity (7/9/98) Montgomery County, Maryland's top doctor is humiliated for her science-based, but politically incorrect observation.

Depression, smoking and heart disease (7/8/98) A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine (7/13/98) reports a prospective study of 1190 male medical students enrolled from 1948 to 1964 in which depression was independently associated with a statistically significant 112 percent increase in heart disease. This article on nicotine says that many smoke to relieve depression. Since studies that have associated smoking with a similar-sized increase in heart disease have not taken depression into account, is it possible that at least some of the heart disease attributed to smoking should actually be attributed to depression?

NIH panel says group reacts to loudest complainers (7/8/98) A National Institute of Medicine report admits that health research dollars are not allocated by need, but by lobbying.

Study says walking during labor has no effect on childbirth (7/8/98) Imagine that! A study that reports something is neither good no bad. This must be a first.

Beyond Junk Science (7/8/98) Guys: What if they had accidentally cut off your penis when you were an infant and raised you as a girl?

"Happy Hour" Is Unhappy For Many Cardiac Arrest Victims (7/8/98) While the connotation of this American Heart Association press release is that heart attack occurrence is linked with happy hour activities, the study is only about time of day.

Potential for violence can be very difficult to spot, professor says (7/8/98) "The question has been asked in some form after every school shooting that has occurred in recent months: Why didn't someone see the signs that the child would do this?"

Nicotine: helping those who help themselves? (7/8/98) "It's no secret that smokers are addicted to their habit, but what might be surprising are the reasons behind the addiction - could it be self-medication?"

Environmental justice's intent (7/7/98) "Environmental justice is the new tactic by which the Clinton administration and the activist environmental groups seek to superimpose Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on top of the various federal and state environmental laws.

Dow Corning, Breast-Implant Patients Reach Tentative Pact Worth $3.2 Billion (7/7/98) Personal injury lawyers could get $800 million from the settlement. The average woman? About $31,000.

Commuting: Traffic safety lags in the Third World (7/8/98) Brian Carnell points out that since Third World traffic safety doesn't involve pesticides, chlorine or the rising level of the world's oceans, this cause probably won't catch on.

Rename this Workshop! (7/8/98) The tenth conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, to be held August 15-18, 1998 in Boston, MA, features a workshop by the notorious Arden Pope and Joel Schwartz titled "Advanced Statistical Analysis Methods in Environmental Epidemiology." Home page readers will remember these clowns from last year's air quality standards battle. I suggest that the workshop be renamed either "How to Lie with Statistics" or "How to Get Away with Junk Science by Hiding Data from Independent Reviewers."

EPA Targets Farmworker Kids? (7/8/98) The Daily Environment Report (7/8/98) reports that EPA will announce in the fall regulations to be reviewed for their adequacy in protecting children's health. One possibility recommended by an EPA Committee last May is the farmworker protection standard. The Committee said children may be exposed to pesticides through employment in farm work or by eating produce directly from the fields while at work. But if this was an actual problem, wouldn't someone have noticed before May 1998? Wouldn't the farmworkers union have complained long ago? Will EPA's action result in farmworkers spending less time with their children? Will EPA provide daycare services for these kids? What's the real agenda?

Kyoto's Impossible Target (7/7/98) Check out this Detroit News editorial. Then read this rebuttal. Then consider Brian Carnell's comment: "It's interesting how the global warming lobby is quick to attack forecasts and models as absurd -- except of course for their own."

Why the FDA wants to limit your freedom (7/7/98) "The FDA recently published a draft guidance document aimed at regulating "medical product promotion" among health care providers and professionals...that could reduce industry competition, increase drug prices and damage public health.

Women warned to avoid peanuts during pregnancy and lactation (7/7/98) So says the U.K. Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment. But John Warner, a member of the working group remarked "Whether avoiding the allergen makes a difference is an act of faith." A recent Lancet article (7/4/98) says there is no evidence that food proteins can be transferred to fetal circulation or that manipulation of maternal diet has a lasting effect on food allergy.

Stephen P. Leatherman: Dire hurricane forecast should invigorate research (7/7/98) Hurricane researchers try "scaring" up more research dollars.

Experts brainstorm on ozone destruction (7/7/98) Why don't they brainstorm about getting real jobs, instead of fearmongering on the taxpayer's dime?

British experts say 1998 is so far the warmest year on record (7/7/98) How do they "know" the global average temperature during 1877-1878 El Nino season was 0.5 degrees below today's average?

Studies indicate black smokers at greatest risk from nicotine (7/7/98) Of course, nicotine is not really a health problem by itself. Also, while blacks may have higher rates of morbidity and mortality associated with smoking, I suspect this is more likley due to socio-economic differences, not nicotine metabolism.

Passive Smoking or Passive Thinking? (7/7/98) A "new" worker passive smoking study is here. The quality of the data, however, wasn't very good when I reviewed it for the U.S. Government in 1994. And unlike fine wine, it hasn't improved with age.

Viagra Watch: HMOs question safety (7/7/98) The countdown to the Viagra disaster continues as two large HMOs refuse to reimburse patients for Viagra because they're not sure it's safe.

Cloning Calves or Junk Science? (7/7/98) Japanese scientists just announced the cloning of two calves from adult cows. But like the supposed cloning of Dolly the sheep in 1997, no proof was offered that the calves are, in fact, clones. Given that DNA comparison testing is simple enough and the scientists must have been aware they would be asked for proof, one can only speculate why such testing wasn't done prior to the announcement. Perhaps the Japanese scientists think they can garner international fame for their work without having to prove that they've accomplished anything -- just like the Scottish scientists who produced Dolly.

Philip Landrigan Lies to the New York Times (7/7/98) Here is Philip Landrigan's letter to the editor of the New York Times titled "Pesticides Harm Kids." But Landrigan knows better than to spread that falsehood. Following the 1993 release of the National Research Council report titled "Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children," a report which he led, Landrigan publicly stated "No disease has ever been documented that stems from legal applications of pesticides..."

Catastrophic Melting of Ice Sheet Is Possible, Studies Hint! (7/7/98) The New York Times resident climate change hysteric William K. Stevens says global warming could flood most of Florida and Manhattan. If idiocy was a crime, Stevens would get life in the electric chair. On the lighter side, though, maybe a good flood would end the Florida forest fires?

Chemical Ingratitude? (7/7/98) The Daily Environment Report (7/7/98) reports the conclusion of the organizational session of negotiations aimed at developing a global treaty by 2000 to reduce and eventually eliminate the production of so-called "persistent organic pollutant" (POPs) chemicals. POPs include DDT, polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, furans, aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, chlordane, heptachlor, hexachlorobenzene, mirex and toxaphene. The treaty will be a shameful way to treat DDT which the National Academy of Sciences credited in 1970 with saving 500 million lives and is still saving lives today. I wonder how this treaty will "eliminate" dioxins since they're not intentionally produced. Dioxins are by-products of combustion, including the fires now raging in Florida.

Judge Allows Tobacco Company Challenge to Report (7/6/98) A United Kingdom high court judge ruled that the process by which the Scientific Committee on Tobacco and Health (SCOTH) produced its report should be open to judicial review. Four UK tobacco companies had accused the committee of: (1) ignoring data on secondhand smoke; (2) excluding the companies from process; and (3) passing judgment on advertising and economics issues despite consisting mostly scientific and medical experts. In particular, SCOTH was accused of ignoring data reporting no statistically significant increase in lung cancer from secondhand smoke in the workplace and the largest study on secondhand smoke and heart disease, which reported no increase in risk from living or working with a smoker.

A Product of Junk Science (7/6/98) A new product is now available for those concerned about cancer risk from cell phones. I wonder if it works on the boogie man as well?

Evidence Grows, Suspects Elusive in Frogs' Disappearance (7/6/98) Are we being duped by a bunch of researchers just looking for more grant money? That seems to be one possible explanation for the alleged "disappearance" not explored in this article.

Ozone Increases Asthma Rate Among Poor (7/6/98) Here are letters to the editor about Michael Fumento's June 30 op-ed in the New York Times. An enviro uses a stereotype of ozone to accuse Fumento of playing to a racial stereotype. An EPA engineer blames airtight buildings. As an asthmatic, I side with the EPA engineer.

Nation's first class action smokers' trial features a physician plaintiff that still smokes (7/5/98) Only in America! The Florida trial starts on July 6, 1998. Representing the smokers are Stanley and Susan Rosenblatt, the attorneys who settled the flight attendants' secondhand smoke lawsuit last year -- garnering $49 million for themselves and essentially nothing for the flight attendants.

Fourth of July Logic Explodes in Police Chief's Face (7/5/98) The Chicago Tribune (7/3/98) reported about a crackdown on motorists transporting fireworks from Indiana to Illinois. Calumet City Fire Chief Daniel Georgevich said "We're trying to prevent injuries to children. With that thought, we feel we can do no wrong." Except in logic, that is. Georgevich said that for each pound of fireworks confiscated, one child is saved from injury. The article reports that 8,300 people were injured by fireworks in 1997 -- 40 percent were children. Each year, about 120 million pounds of fireworks are sold in the U.S. -- about 14,500 pounds sold per injury. By the chief's logic, confiscating a mere 3,320 pounds would eliminate all child injuries. Thanks to J.D. Caldwell for the submission.

Iraqis Blame U.S. for Cancers (7/5/98) Iraq's chemical weapons shell game failed to get the U.S. to lift the economic sanctions. Maybe junk science-fueled guilt will be more successful. Watch for the Gulf War Syndrome crowd to ride this wave.

A Pitch for the Classics, Slightly Off-Key (7/5/98) "`BUILD YOUR BABY'S BRAIN Through the Power of Music!.' That's Georgia Gov. Zell Miller's message to the moms and dads of his state..."

The Lancet shields Devra Davis from embarrassment? (7/4/98) Sir Richard Doll, a highly regarded scientist who helped establish the link between smoking and lung cancer in the 1950s, once told Science magazine that Devra Davis' work was "uninteresting," "uninformative," "boring" and "old junk." Right before the Kyoto conference last December, Davis lived up (or down?) to this reputation by claiming in a Lancet study that unabated global warming would kill 8 million people between the years 2000-2020. Click here for Kay Jones' letter-to-the-editor of the Lancet. Click here for the Lancet's response. Click here for Devra Davis' response to Jones et al. Click here for Jones' response to Davis.

Europe Bans Leaded Gas to Cut Smog (7/3/98) Since the Europeans are just getting around to this now, does this mean they didn't believe Herb Needleman's junk science from the 1980s about low-level lead reducing IQ?

Happy Independence Day! (7/3/98) Click here to read the Declaration of Independence. Remember that independence depends, in part, on knowledge -- the antithesis of junk science. Have a happy and safe holiday!

Controversy Over Vitamin B-6 (7/3/98) The British Medical Journal reports "Restricti ons on vitamin B-6 proposed by the British government... have been repudiated... on the grounds that the advice is scientifically unjustified and palpably wrong."

Medicaid Must Cover Viagra (7/2/98) Is an erection a "medical necessity?"

Scientific reporting using 'binge and purge' method (7/2/98) Science coins a term for the rash of medical "breakthroughs" reported by the media.

This ain't no movie: New asteroid highlights potential dangers (7/2/98) Apparently feeling left out of scare-monger mania, astronomers buck for attention.

Pfiesteria Hysteria (7/2/98) Dave Juday debunks a scare plaguing Maryland and Virginia for the last year.

Stronger Warning Sought for Viagra (7/2/98) The countdown to lawsuit mania continues as Public Citizen gets involved in the Viagra controversy.

Clinton Urges Chinese Students into Tiananmen II for the Environment? (7/2/98) President Clinton yesterday urged Beijing University students to be advocates for environmental cleanup saying "It must be addressed at the university level, because political leaders will never be willing to adopt environmental measures if they believe it will lead to large-scale unemployment or more poverty." [Source: Daily Environment Report, July 2, 1998.] But maybe Mr. Bill can convince the Chinese not to use tanks at Tiananmen II because they're such big polluters?

Thrill-seeking genes found (7/2/98) "At least 20 percent of Americans may be born risk-takers, much more prone than the rest of the population to parachute from planes, bungee jump or become alcoholics, smokers and drug abusers."

Alabama pi story on Internet proves to be a lemon (7/2/98) "Pi isn't changing in Alabama."

Emergency Contraception: Preventing an Unwanted Conclusion? (7/2/98) A study in the New England Journal of Medicine (7/2/98) reports that self-administered emergency contraception resulted in 30 percent fewer unintended pregnancies. But the result was not statistically significant -- 95 percent confidence interval (0.4 to 1.2). Still the authors conclude that "Making emergency contraception more easily obtainable... may reduce the rate of unwanted pregnancies." The accompanying editorial recommends that health professionals "prescribe a supply of contraception that can be kept at home." Based on an insignificant outcome? By ignoring their own results, these researchers have only proven they can prevent an unwanted conclusion.

Americans support science without knowing much about it (7/2/98) In a survey that will make tobacco plaintiff attorneys cry, 93 percent say they know that "Cigarette smoking causes lung cancer."

Medicare adds new benefits for osteoporosis and diabetes (7/2/98) What deep pocket industry will the federal government hang these diseases on?

Dangerous chemicals found in deep-sea sperm whales (7/2/98) Note: chemicals found, not health effects.

Low-fat diet no good without exercise (7/2/98) I guess the food police can't be stand-alone fearmongers.

Effects of body composition and fat distribution on ventilatory function in adults (7/1/98) These researchers report that more body fat is associated with reduced lung function and fat-free mass is associated with increased lung function. But the data were only adjusted for age, height, smoking, and bronchial symptoms--not exercise level. Isn't it likely that people with more body fat exercise less and can be expected to have reduced lung function? Or did I miss something?

EPA Choosing Lab Science Over Epidemiology To Establish Drinking Water Guidelines (7/1/98) In a battle between junk laboratory science and junk epidemiology over whether chlorinated drinking water causes cancer, a public health researcher compares EPA to the tobacco industry!

Monogamy Has Its Rewards For Flies (7/1/98) "Having sex with only one partner makes males nicer and females less defensive, at least in fruit flies." A lesson for Bill Clinton?

Mixed Response to New PSA Screening Study (7/1/98) To date, no study has shown that the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test has reduced prostate cancer mortality. A study released in May at a medical conference claims to be the first to show a decline due to the PSA test. But the data may have been biased.

Tobacco Smoke and Atherosclerosis Progression (7/1/98) In this exchange of letters to the editor in the Journal of the American Medical Association over a recent study reporting a link between tobacco smoke and atherosclerosis progression, the first line of defense for the authors against scientists from the tobacco industry is name calling.

Criminalizing Adolescence (7/1/98) Check out this new Texas billboard. As Anne Fennel writes "One can only pray that these kids vote the moment they turn 18 and reject the criminalization of adolescence." Photo credit to Tom Lankes, American-Statesman, Austin, TX.

No Gulf War Syndrome, New Study Says (7/1/98) Investor's Business Daily (7/1/98) reports "A new study from Canada contends that there is no Gulf War syndrome. Illnesses are linked to the psychological stresses of that conflict, doctors say. The study was conducted through thousands of questionnaires sent to Gulf veterans. It found no links to chemical weapons, vaccines or drugs intended to protect against nerve gas."

EPA and "High-quality" Environmental Data? (7/1/98) The EPA announced it will soon finalize general requirements for the collection and management of "high-quality" environmental data. [Source: Daily Environment Report (7/1/98).] The agency might be on to something if it would only finalize requirements ensuring high-quality analysis -- or at least reduce the exaggeration, manipulation and distortion that has become the EPA's modus operandi.

Enviros Call for Closure of French Incinerator (7/1/98) Environmentalists are calling for the immediate closure of a French incinerator because it has been emitting 0.000000001 grams of dioxin per cubic meter of air. [Source: Daily Environment Report (7/1/98).] Perhaps the enviros should be referred to this EPA report that acknowledges "there is no proof that [dioxin] has ever caused a human cancer." I wonder if the enviros made their demand while smoking up a storm in some Parisian cafe?

Campaign Contributions Cause Health Effects? (7/1/98) A new report by the Center for Public Integrity (chuckle) titled "Unreasonable Risk: The Politics of Pesticides" attempts to link campaign contributions by the pesticide industry to a supposed failure of the Government to protect public health. The report focuses on four widely used pesticides including 2,4-D, chlorpyrifos, diazinon and methyl bromide. While the pesticide industry certainly does contribute to political campaigns, as is their constitutional right, the anecdote-based report fails to make the case that pesticide use threatens public health. The report is best summarized by the file name given to the statement by CPI's chairman posted on the CPI site -- "unreasonable_statement.html."

World Wildlife Fund Calls for DDT Ban By 2007 (7/1/98) While trotting out the same old unsubstantiated claims about DDT, the new report "Resolving the DDT Dilemma" offers no practical solutions to the malaria problem acknowledged to cause 5,000 children's deaths per day.

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