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Archives - May 2000

May 31, 2000

"US top court expands review of environmental case" - " The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday expanded its review of a major environmental case about strict air pollution standards, agreeing to hear an industry appeal arguing that a cost-benefit analysis should be used." (Reuters) | More coverage: AP | New York Times

"Global Climate vs. Political Climate " - "A White House summary of a new and still unreleased federal report on global warming makes dire predictions of possible weather catastrophe . But as The Detroit News’ David Mastio reported on Sunday, a number of the study’s authors and outside experts are challenging the White House version as 'alarmist.'" (Detroit News)

"The Radon Scare: When Scientists Oppose Science" - Michael Fumento comments, "And there you have it; by combining no less than three tricks the Iowa scientists were able to convert what should have yet another study finding no link between household radon exposure and cancer into one finding radon to be a 'significant cause.'"

"Is Your Office Killing You? Sick buildings are seething with molds, monoxide--and worse " - The Business Week cover story for the June 5 issue.

"Ultratoxic chemical lurks in millions of air bags " - "If you own a car with air bags, you are likely to be driving around with a small amount of one of the most toxic chemicals known to man." (Arizona Daily Star)

"Industry's anti-smoking ads actually recruit customers, expert testifies" - "Youth anti-smoking ads produced by tobacco companies actually are recruitment pitches for new customers, a public health expert testified Tuesday in a landmark smoking case." (AP)

Click for what you need to know about "public health expert" Michael Siegel.

"German scientist finds GM genes can jump species" - "A top German zoologist has found that genes used to modify crops can jump the species barrier and cause bacteria to mutate but he stressed on Monday that the potential risk to human health was minimal." (Reuters) | More coverage: The Independent

"American Investigator Amazon TV Special Debunks Myths of Environmentalists" - "Hosted by former CBS and CNN newsman Reid Collins, the new television documentary: 'Amazon Rainforest: Clear Cutting the Myths,' is set to rattle the international environmental movement. American Investigator traveled to Brazil to debunk the myths surrounding the Amazon Rain Forest." (American Investigator media release)

"Audit Uncovers Unauthorised GE Experiments " - "The Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) says a nationwide audit of genetic engineering research has uncovered about 110 unauthorised experiments." (NewsRoom)

"Prepare for a serve of genetically modified lies " - "Rejecting the knowledge and efficiency that science can bring to food production is unrealistic, says Doug Powell." (Canberra Times)

"Walkerton: Government's three deadly mistakes" - "Three fatal errors by Ontario's government led to the Walkerton water tragedy that has left at least five dead and more than 1,000 infected over the past week. The government failed to prevent the pollution of the water supply. It failed to prevent the distribution of polluted water. And it failed to recognize that the private sector can handle municipal water supply more competently and safely than the public sector." (National Post)

"Smoking can seriously damage your litigation " - "In the US, claimants with cigarette-related diseases have won billions of dollars from tobacco companies. Why are UK courts lagging behind?" (The Independent)

"Killer Weed May Be Life-Saver" - "A vaccine against the HIV virus may lie in a plant blamed for millions of deaths each year: tobacco." (Belfast News Letter)

"The high cost of Common Sense" - "Make no mistake: The Mike Harris government's environmental policies contributed to the deaths in Walkerton." (Globe and Mail)

"Certain genetic mutations affect human response to environmental contaminant" - " University of Iowa researchers have found the first genetic evidence that mutations to a certain gene are associated with differences in the human response to inhaled endotoxin, a contaminant commonly found in agricultural dust, air pollution and household dust." (U. Iowa media release)

"GMA: Dietary Guidelines 'Follow the Science,' Wisely Avoid 'The Blame Game' " - "Consumers will benefit from newly released federal Dietary Guidelines that are comprehensive and science-based and avoid false and misleading "good food/bad food" arguments, the Grocery Manufacturers of America said today. GMA commented on the release of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which were released today at the National Nutrition Summit." (GMA media release)

"Acid clouds destroy Arctic ozone, NASA says" - "Icy clouds filled with nitric acid helped eat away the protective ozone layer over the Arctic last winter, NASA scientists said on Tuesday." (Reuters) | More coverage: Media release

"E-mail Rips Gore on Environment" - "A Sierra Club board member wrote colleagues six months ago to urge they not endorse Al Gore (news - web sites), arguing the vice president had a ``tawdry environmental record'' and left natural resources 'hostage to the highest bidder,' an internal e-mail shows." (AP)

"Gore seeks positive image, gets environmental plug" - "Al Gore vowed to bolster protection of national forests on Tuesday as he accepted the endorsement of a major environmental group and sought to inject a bolder and more positive tone to his White House campaign." (Reuters)

"U.S. EPA recalls faulty home pesticide products" - "The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday asked for a voluntary recall of two garden tools used to kill weeds and insects, saying a problem with a sprayer could cause over exposure to pesticides." (Reuters)

"Calif. Senate approves smog fee refund bill" - "The California Senate approved legislation on Tuesday that would set aside $665 million from state coffers to refund motorists who paid a smog impact fee declared unconstitutional last November." (Reuters)

"Smoking may impair US Air Force readiness" - "Cigarette smoking costs the United States Air Force (USAF) more than $107 million a year in medical expenditures and lost productivity, federal researchers report." (Reuters)

"Some meat plants trying to undermine food safety - Clinton" - "President Bill Clinton said on Friday a small number of US meat processing plants were trying to overturn the government's fledgling food safety program that has succeeded in reducing salmonella contamination." (Reuters)

"Journal editor made misleading statements about asthma drug" - "The recently named new editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Jeffrey M. Drazen, made misleading statements about Sepracor's asthma drug, Xopenex (levalbuterol) in a press release issued last year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) charged in a March 1999 notice of violation letter to the pharmaceutical company." (Reuters)

"Holidaymakers 'risking health'" - "More than half of British holidaymakers visiting exotic locations do so without protection against infectious diseases, a survey shows." (BBC)

"Gore Vows to Fight for Clean Air and Water, Calls for Protection of America's Last Wild Areas" - "Speaking to Wisconsin residents and environmentalists on the shores of Lake Michigan, Al Gore today vowed to protect the environment while maintaining economic growth." (Gore 2000 media release)

"Pollution on the rise in North America, study finds" - "Industrial pollution in North America has increased for the first time since it's been monitored under the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to a report released Tuesday. " (AP)

"U.S. to compare popular weight-loss methods" - "The government has decided to test two of the nation's most popular diets - low-carbohydrate and low-fat - to determine which is the safer and more effective way to to lose weight." (AP)

"Listen to public, says Dolly scientist" - "The leading genetic scientist involved in the cloning of Dolly the Sheep has called on his colleagues to take note of public concerns about the progress of genetic science." (BBC)

"Atlantic salmon in short supply" - "The World Wide Fund for Nature says stocks of Atlantic salmon have reached their lowest-ever levels." (BBC)

"Long-haul driving linked to male infertility" - "Men who spend hours driving each day could be suffering from infertility because of the hot temperatures in their cars, French researchers said on Wednesday." (Reuters) | More coverage: BBC | The Independent

May 30, 2000

"Eco-scientists deny Amazon is in danger" - "For a dozen years, pop superstar Sting has warned that man has brought the Amazon rainforest to the verge of extinction. He and a host of celebrities have insisted that Amazonia - 2.7 million square miles of nearly impenetrable Brazilian forest, an area nearly as big as the lower 48 states - is being destroyed at a horrifying rate. But now, two of the world's top eco-scientists, Patrick Moore and Philip Stott, say the save-the-rainforest movement is wrong: at best, vastly misleading; at worst, a gigantic con." (New York Post)

EPA head attacks cost-benefit analysis - EPA administrator Carol Browner attacks cost-benefit analysis in a May 13 speech at Duke University.

"Crayons: The latest 'hazard'?" - "'This is a classic scare campaign,' says Alan Caruba, a former journalist who founded the National Anxiety Center to urge Americans not to worry so much. 'I'm fed up with these headlines that everything we eat and drink and breathe in any fashion is going to kill us. I think the good news is that the public is beginning to ignore this nonsense.'" (Dallas Morning News)

"The Prince of Darkness " - "Continuing an almost five-century old British tradition of mixing Church and State, the Prince of Wales has again tried to reverse the tide of scientific inquiry and exploration -- a move many will equate with King Canute's futile attempt to hold back the ocean tides 1,000 or so years ago." (ACSH editorial)

"Free-market foes with green skin" - "The 'Capitalism Kills' crowd has lost its Berlin Wall. But whether running amok in the streets of London or Washington, or issuing misleading press releases and phony "studies," the greens are keeping the movement alive. Each time they win, the Free World loses." (Michael Fumento in The Washington Times)

"Popular pesticide in question" - "The federal government may ban home use of Dursban, the most widely used insecticide in homes, gardens, termite control and flea collars." (Chicago Sun-Times)

"A Legal Cloud Over EPA" - "The Environmental Protection Agency has been having a tough time in court recently. More than three dozen times in the past seven years the EPA has seen its regulatory judgment struck down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. " (Jonathan Adler in The Legal Times)

"Scientists Warn of Losses in Ozone Layer Over Arctic" - "The thinning ozone layer over the Arctic may be headed for even more dramatic losses because of global warming, according to research that will be presented Wednesday at the American Geophysical Union meeting in Washington, D.C." (Los Angeles Times)

"Filtering policy" - "The EPA does no one any favors by undermining public confidence in a system that is doing a good job in delivering a quality product on a reliable basis. Judge Stearns's ruling, following an exhaustive 24-day trial replete with expert testimony, bears out the MWRA's position." (Boston Globe editorial)

"USDA, HHS Release Updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans" - "The federal government today released the fifth edition of "Dietary Guidelines for Americans," providing easily understood, science-based information on how Americans can choose diets that promote good health. " (USDA/DHHS media release) | Related: National Food Processors Association media release | Physicians for Social Responsibility media release

"Ecological trends of food availability yield clues to Americans' weight problem " - "Research into what some have called an epidemic of overweight in America has, thus far, not shown a clear pattern of causation. In a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Harnack et al. of the University of Minnesota used a different perspective from previous national dietary surveys; instead they analyzed the quantities and types of foods and nutrients marketed in America over the past three decades. They found that the per capita availability of energy increased 15% between 1970 and 1994. Trends in purchasing and preparation of food also have changed in ways that may be contributing to overweight. Americans are eating more meals outside the home, relying more on convenience foods, and may be consuming larger food portions. " (AJCN media release)

"French farmers await compensation in GM seed case" - "French farmers were waiting to hear on Monday how much compensation they stand to receive after the government ordered the destruction of rapeseed crops containing traces of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)." (Reuters)

"Greenpeace ploughs up German GM rapeseed fields" - "Environmental activists and local farmers on Monday destroyed rapeseed crops in southwest Germany which had unwittingly been sown using genetically modified seed." (Reuters) | Other Coverage: The Times

"Ontario official sets new water regulations amid E. coli epidemic" - "Ontario's environment minister announced Monday new regulations to improve water testing and guarantee immediate reporting on contamination, in the wake of an E. coli epidemic that killed five and sickened hundreds." (AP)

"Sheep dip 'damages brain at low levels'" - "UK researchers have found evidence that chemicals used by many farmers can damage the nervous system after years of apparently innocent use." (BBC)

"Forest report 'sanitised by WWF'" - "The World Wide Fund for Nature and the European Commission have demanded drastic changes to a report on the destruction oftropical forests, for fear of upsetting its perpetrators." (BBC)

"Call for ban on GM humans" - "The genetic modification of human beings should be banned until more is known about the science, according to a leading genetic scientist." (BBC)

"Smoking 'causes 50% of gum disease'" - "Smoking may be responsible for more than half of the cases of gum disease among adults in the US, say researchers." (BBC) | Other coverage: AP | AAP media release

"GM tomatoes 'fight cancer'" - "Tomatoes genetically modified to contain three times the usual amount of vitamin A producing compounds can help stave off cancer and heart disease, claim scientists." (BBC)

"Drastic environmental changes predicted" - "Environmentalists are raising the alarm about the potentially disastrous effects of global warming." (Copenhagen Post)

May 27, 2000

"UAW vs. Cars" - "Ralph Nader, guru of auto-bashers, appears to be the top presidential pick of the United Auto Workers (UAW) -- seriously." (Detroit News editorial)

"When nature kills" - "Privatization, rather than the cause of environmental risk, is the route to greater safety." (Terry Corcoran in the Financial Post)

"One law for celebs?" - "Why should entertainers get a free pass from the criminal-justice system whenever they break the law in the name of political activism?" (New York Post editorial)

"Emotions Aside, Guns Save Lives" - " In 1998, 700 people were killed in gun accidents, according to the National Safety Council. Of this number, fewer than 300 were children. More children drown in swimming pools than are killed by guns." (Howard E. Carmean in The Los Angeles Times)

"Today's vice, tomorrow's cure; Pass me a drink and a smoke for my health" - "I have always been skeptical of medical orthodoxies, because sooner, rather than later, so many of them are turned on their heads. Or, put another way, providing you are prepared to wait it out, what was adjudged bad for you yesterday is likely to prove beneficial today." (Mordecai Richler in the National Post)

"Risky Insecticides; Gardeners should consider organic options" - "Organic gardeners have been saying it for years. Now the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached the same conclusion: Dursban, one of the most widely used insecticides in the United States, is so dangerous that it should be withdrawn from the home and garden market." (Dallas Morning News editorial)

"Greenpeace sets deadline on GM seeds" - "Greenpeace told the Government last night that it had seven days to order the destruction of 11,000 acres of rogue genetically modified crops or face legal action." (The Times)

"Teenagers see monitored GM foods as part of future " - "Irish teenagers are not receptive to notions that GM foods are the creation of a modern-day Frankenstein. In fact, the majority believes biotechnology may soon have the same relevance to their lives as the Internet, according to entries in a competition for transition year students. " (The Irish Times)

"Diesel Rules Make Sense" - "This breath of fresh air comes courtesy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which earlier this month proposed requiring a 90 percent reduction in diesel truck and bus emissions within a decade, and a 97 percent reduction in sulfur content for diesel fuel over the next 10 years." (Chicago Tribune editorial)

May 26, 2000

"Dioxin exposure skews sex ratio - study" - "Men exposed to cancer-causing dioxin are more likely to father daughters, Italian doctors said on Friday." (Reuters) | Study | Commentary | Letter

I ate Ben & Jerry's before my daughter was born.

"Rosie O'Donnell, Hypocrite" - "Guns for me, but not for thee - that's the Rosie O'Donnell way. " (New York editorial)

"UI study finds residential radon exposure poses a significant lung cancer risk " - "Long-term exposure to radon in the home is associated with lung cancer risk and presents a significant environmental health hazard, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Iowa College of Public Health." (University of Iowa media release) | Reuters

"Massachusetts plans to require cigarette makers to test smokers' urine" - "Cigarette makers would have to test smokers' urine to determine how much nicotine circulates in their bodies under a Massachusetts proposal that could set a nationwide precedent if approved." (CNN)

"Damaged Arctic ozone layer slow to heal, study says" - "The ozone layer over the Arctic may be taking longer than expected to recover from damage caused by environmental factors, according to a study in Friday's issue of Science magazine." (AP)

"E.P.A. Orders Grace to Rid Mine of Asbestos" - "The Environmental Protection Agency has ordered W. R. Grace & Company to clean up the site of mining operations the company once owned in Libby, Mont., where tests found dangerous levels of asbestos." (New York Times)

"Smoking costs Air Force $107 million a year, study finds" - "Smoking costs the Air Force $107 million a year in lost productivity and medical costs, the government said Thursday." (AP)

" Hog-farm study misleading, critics say" - "Farm and environment groups are criticizing a university study that concluded large-scale hog farms are not as harmful to local economies as many believe." (AP)

"Chemical cocktail 'made Gulf troops ill'" - "A US scientist says he is close to proving the existence of Gulf War Syndrome." (BBC)

"Job strain 'as damaging as smoking'" - "Women with stressful jobs are risking their health as much as they would if they smoked or took no exercise, researchers have found." (BBC) | BMJ media release

"MEPs vote to enlarge cigarette warnings" - "Euro-MPs have voted for massive increases in the size of health warnings on cigarette pack" (BBC)

"Brain scans of Gulf War veterans show brain damage" - "Brain scans of veterans who returned from the Gulf War sick show evidence of significant brain-cell loss, according to UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas researchers. " (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas media release) | Reuters

"Millions at risk from arsenic in water" - " It’s long been known that arsenic is found in drinking water, but what’s a safe level? Agreeing with a scientific panel, the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that the existing standard exposes 22 million people to the risk of cancer and should be a tenth of what’s now accepted." (MSNBC)

"USDA food safety tests dealt setback by judge" - "A federal judge on Thursday struck down the U.S. Agriculture Department's food safety tests to detect salmonella contamination in a ground beef processing plant, saying they did not fairly measure the sanitary conditions of a plant." (Reuters) | New York Times

"Spain says GM maize allowed, but no other crop" - "Spain's Agriculture Ministry said on Thursday that maize was the only genetically modified (GM) crop it allowed to be grown in the country, and it had no indications that any other GM crop had been sown." (Reuters)

"Greenpeace says up to 15 pct EU maize includes GM" - "Environmentalist group Greenpeace has documentary evidence that up to 15 percent of this year's maize crop in the European Union includes genetically modified material, a spokesman said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"French court to rule on Chernobyl case in June" - "A special French court will decide on June 15 if it will take up a case against ex-cabinet ministers accused of failing to warn the public about the dangers of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, judicial sources said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"British minister says no GM maize planted" - " The British government on Thursday denied it had been given any information that farmers had unwittingly planted maize seed containing genetically modified material." (Reuters)

"GM crops 'planted for years by mistake'" - "Farmers in Britain may have been unwittingly planting a range of genetically modified crops for several years, according to a seed-testing laboratory in the United States." (The Times)

"The odds ratio " - "In recent years odds ratios have become widely used in medical reportsalmost certainly some will appear in today's BMJ. There are three reasons for this. Firstly, they provide an estimate (with confidence interval) for the relationship between two binary ("yes or no") variables. Secondly, they enable us to examine the effects of other variables on that relationship, using logistic regression. Thirdly, they have a special and very convenient interpretation in case-control studies (dealt with in a future note). " (BMJ)

"VAT and fat" - "Will sales tax influence consumption?" (BMJ)

"Vilified for tackling tobacco " - "An organisation dedicated to "imposing its will" on people across the world and "undermining property rights" met in Switzerland last week. It was criticised in the Wall Street Journal Europe as undermining individual choice and in the Scotsman as "leading to a version of 1984." So what was the name of this sinister body? Was it the Mafia? Or the Freemasons? Or a new socialist terrorist organisation dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist system? No. As it turns out, it was the World Health Assembly, which was meeting in Geneva." (BMJ)

May 25, 2000

"National Survey: USDA Organic Food Labels Are Misleading" - "A new poll finds the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) proposed rules for labeling organic food products will seriously mislead consumers into thinking the products are safer, better in quality or more nutritious." (National Center for Public Policy Research media release)

Click for a chance to win $1,000 in the "Organic" Is Just Marketing Sweepstakes.

"Aids sceptics 'are wrong'" - "The argument that HIV does not lead to Aids - put forward by South African President Thabo Mbeki among others - has no basis in fact, say scientists." (BBC) | New Scientist

"http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/ed-column-2000525182847.htm" - " At least one question that comes to mind is why anyone would want to give the government any more fire-starter -- any more land to mismanage -- than it already has." (Ken Smith in The Washington Times)

"Natural gas 'a cancer menace'" - "A major study of the effect of long-term exposure to radon gas in the home has produced compelling evidence that it increases the risk of developing lung cancer." (BBC)

"EU may crack down on breast implants" - "Legislation governing the health and safety of breast implants is to be considered by the European Commission." (BBC)

"Shift in Great Lakes 'seasons' may reflect warming trend" - "Scrutinizing a 139-year record of Great Lakes water levels, a University of Wisconsin-Madison scientist has discovered a dramatic shift in the seasonal changes in water levels on the Great Lakes." (UW-M media release)

"Crayon makers, government: No evidence of asbestos threat in crayons" - "Crayon manufacturers have moved to assure the safety of their products, and government agencies have vowed to investigate, after the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported finding levels of asbestos in crayons." (CNN)

"Companies That Would Rather Switch Than Fight: 3M's Retreat from Scotchgard " - "Last week one of the most successful and innovative American corporations was pressured to take a safe and useful product off the market by a federal regulatory bureaucracy that demands precautionary action even in the absence of evidence that a health or environmental hazard exists." (ACSH editorial)

"Nader's Bid Complicates Gore's Task" - "Ralph Nader's renegade Green Party presidential campaign is turning out to be an unexpected problem for Al Gore's presidential bid in key Democratic states in the Northeast and West Coast, and could influence the outcome in Midwest battleground states, especially Michigan." (Washington Post)

"Bugged phones" - "Deadly bacteria may lurk on some of our commonest household items, including telephone receivers, kitchen taps and sponges, researchers from the University of Arizona in Tucson warned this week." (New Scientist)

"Sowing dissent" - "Strict segregation would keep crops free of genetically modified seed. But is it possible? " (New Scientist)

"Fighting words over wine labels aired in San Francisco" - "A war over the words featured on wine bottle labels reaches its final public hearing Wednesday." (CNN)

"Philip Morris says Marlboro Man second to health ads" - "Seeking to persuade jurors weighing massive court damages for sick smokers, a Philip Morris lawyer said on Tuesday the No. 1 cigarette maker now spends more urging US teenagers to avoid smoking than pumping up the Marlboro Man." (Reuters)

"Calif. judge rejects overturning tobacco award" - "A San Francisco judge refused on Wednesday to overturn a $21.7 million verdict against two major tobacco companies in what was the first such award to someone who started smoking after health warnings appeared on cigarette packs in 1969. " (Reuters)

"N.Y. Gov. Pataki signs ban of gasoline additive MTBE" - "New York State Gov. George Pataki on Wednesday signed a bill banning MTBE at the state's gasoline pumps by 2004, hammering yet another nail into the controversial fuel additive's coffin." (Reuters)

"U.N. agreement on GM foods signed by 62 nations" - "A United Nations agreement that will introduce new regulations for trade in genetically modified organisms (GMOs) was signed on Wednesday by 62 countries." (Reuters)

"Record numbers of chinook pass dam" - "Spring chinook are swimming up Bonneville Dam's fish ladders in record numbers, five times last year's total and the highest count since annual tallies began in 1938, the year after the dam was completed." (The Oregonian)

"The green man" - "But perhaps the most worrying development came in the form of a radio lecture given by Britain's highest-born organic farmer, Prince Charles. His talk laid into plant biotechnology on the grounds that it has wandered too far into God's territory. Sadly, it also attacked science as a whole." (New Scientist editorial)

"British plant breeders to allow GM contamination of seeds " - "Britain's plant breeders and seed merchants are prepared to allow contamination of some crop seeds by up to 1 per cent of genetically modified material, it emerged yesterday." (The Independent)

"Friends of the Earth: Congress Passes Anti-Environmental China Trade Deal " - "After a long battle and a multi-million dollar campaign by big business, Congress dealt the environment a blow today when it approved Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with China. Environmentalists, however, cited the heated debate and last minute victory as evidence that the end may be near for undemocratic trade deals with no environmental safeguards." (FOE media release)

"Get permit or destroy GM crop, Sweden orders" - "Sweden on Wednesday ordered genetically modified (GM) rapeseed crops sown this year to be destroyed by July 7 unless farmers obtained special approval before that date." (Reuters)

"Greenpeace uncovers GM cotton seeds in Greece" - "Environmentalist group Greenpeace has uncovered a shipment of U.S. cotton seeds containing genetically modified material, a spokesman said on Wednesday. " (Reuters)

"GM seed leak 'tip of iceberg'" - "A US agricultural expert says he thinks the mixing of genetically-modified (GM) and conventional seeds is probably widespread and impossible to prevent." (BBC)

"Wales defies British government with GM crop ban" - "The Welsh assembly put itself on a collision course with Britain's government over genetically modified (GM) crops on Wednesday by voting unanimously for a ban throughout Wales." (Reuters)

"Super-broccoli 'to fight cancer'" - "Food scientists have created a type of super-broccoli that has an enhanced ability to reduce the risk of cancer." (BBC)

May 24, 2000

"Unwelcome Neighbots: Civil Rights and the Environment" - A special report from the Times-Picayune (New Orleans).

There is no "cancer alley."

"Bisphenol A: A Known Endocrine Disrupter" - This World Wildlife Fund report calls bisphenol A a known endocrine disrupter. WWF is distributing the report to EU officials in the hopes of more stringent regulation.

"Coffee may prevent Parkinson's disease, study says" - "A new study suggests that caffeinated coffee may prevent Parkinson's disease." (AP) | CNN | Reuters | JAMA study

"Labs detected asbestos in crayons, newspaper reports" - "A newspaper reported Tuesday that two government-certified labs found asbestos in crayons, sending public-health and art-industry officials scrambling to allay health concerns." (AP)

"Regulation: No Double Jeopardy" - "Automakers cannot be sued for failing to install air bags before they were required to do so by federal regulations, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled . The ruling preserves the important principle that companies shouldn’t be held liable for doing what regulators ask them to do." (Detroit News editorial)

"Can Too Much Safety be Hazardous? A Critical Look at the 'Precautionary Principle'" - "There are, however, at least two reasons why the precautionary principle itself, when applied in its extreme, is a hazard, both to our health and our high standard of living." (ACSH editorial)

"Animated feature films surprisingly violent, study says" - "From 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' and 'Pinocchio' through 'Toy Story' and 'The Rugrats Movie,' most G-rated animated features contain a surprising amount of violence, researchers say." (AP) | Reuters | JAMA study

"Cigarette makers have paid enough, tobacco lawyers tell Florida jury" - "Tobacco lawyers have a simple message for the jurors deciding a landmark smokers' case that threatens to cripple the industry: Cigarette makers are already paying enough." (AP)

"Foods of the future?" - "The government is launching a national debate on the possible benefits and costs of technological advances in food production in the wake of the controversy over GM food." (BBC)

"Oil harms otters ten years on" - "US scientists say sea otters in the area where the Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred showed appreciable harm a decade after the accident." (BBC)

"Stickers warn of UV radiation" - "Avoiding sunburn will be easier with the Sticker, a dime-sized patch worn on the skin or clothing, that changes color when the wearer has had too much sun. The Sticker was developed by Israel-based Skyrad, a start-up venture in the business incubator company at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology." (Technion-Israel Institute of Technology media release)

"Attacking social concerns before consumers notice" - "If social responsibility really takes hold, it won't be because business executives choose it over profits. Look further into the sentiments of those recent newsmakers, and you find a solid core of pragmatism." (Chicago Tribune commentary)

"Half of urban areas flunk smog test; Lung Association argues the health of millions is still at risk " - "Arguing that you are what you breathe, the American Lung Association on Tuesday issued smog "report cards" for cities across the country -- and flunked nearly half of them. California cities topped the list but urban areas just about everywhere received "F’s," grades based not on the level of efforts but on the number of days an area’s air quality exceeded unhealthy levels." (MSNBC) | Reuters

"Lower rates of asthma in farm children" - "Early exposure to bacteria, fungi, dust and animal dander may help to explain lower rates of asthma and allergy among children raised on farms, researchers report." (Reuters)

"FDA orders halt to 'misleading' asthma drug ads" - "US health officials have ordered Glaxo Wellcome Inc. to stop distributing 'misleading' advertisements that claim its asthma drug Flovent worked better than another treatment." (Reuters)

"Firm in GM seed debacle against destroying crops" - "The firm which sold genetically modified (GM) seeds accidentally sown in Europe said on Tuesday it might compensate farmers if they were forced to destroy their crops, but destruction should be considered a last resort." (Reuters)

"Environmentalist Brower quits Sierra Club board" - "David Brower, one of the most respected leaders of the U.S. environmental movement, has quit the board of the Sierra Club, saying the organization is fiddling while the world goes up in flames." (Reuters)

"UK farmer digs up GM rapeseed" - " A UK farmer is destroying his rapeseed crop after learning the seed may contain genetically modified (GM) material, farming and environmental sources said on Tuesday." (Reuters) | The Independent | The Guardian

"Anti-GM protest shuts Britain's Agri Min" - "About 20 environmentalists closed down Britain's Ministry of Agriculture on Tuesday with a protest against the planting of genetically modified (GM) oil seed that sparked fury in Europe last week." (Reuters)

"Environmentalists say Putin allows nature theft" - "Environmentalists condemned President Vladimir Putin's bid to disband Russia's only federal environmental agency on Tuesday, saying he had given the green light to those who want to pillage the country." (Reuters)

"Genoa bans GM crops before biotech event" - "The north Italian city of Genoa has banned genetically modified (GM) crops on the eve of an international biotech conference there, a spokesman said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Magnox nuclear plants to close by 2008" - "The beginning of the end for Britain's nuclear power programme was signalled last night after British Nuclear Fuels said its ageing Magnox reactors could be phased out as early as 2008." (The Independent)

May 23, 2000

"Justices to decide fate of regulations to curb smog, soot" - "The U.S. Supreme Court stepped into an enormous environmental battle on Monday when it agreed to decide the fate of tougher federal regulations for curtailing smog and soot nationwide." (AP) | Reuters | American Lung Association media release

"E.P.A. Seeking Products Tainted With Toxic Metal" - "The Environmental Protection Agency is scouring the country for fertilizer and animal feed made from imported raw materials contaminated with cadmium, a toxic metal." (New York Times)

"Major brands of kids' crayons contain asbestos, tests show" - "Three major brands of crayons -- scribbled with and nibbled on by millions of children worldwide -- contain asbestos, tests conducted for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer show." (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

"Loud Restaurants Pose a Hazard" - "In the study, published in this month's Audiology Today, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, said dinnertime noise levels at restaurants can frequently top 85 decibels -- about as loud as heavy city traffic -- and go up as high as 105 decibels, the equivalent of a packed dance club." (New York Times)

"Let science, not politics, lead global warming debate" - "It's not summer yet, but already things are heating up. New reports have been released touting the severe consequences of ignoring global warming. Clearly, weather should not be a political issue. The public has a right to accurate scientific information that should not be clouded by political rhetoric." (Matthew Henson in The San Jose Mercury News)

"No hot air" - "It appears Mark Twain was wrong -- people are doing something about the weather. Now if we can only get them to stop." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial)

"Gulf War ailments: At last, Uncle Sam is helping find answers" - "No research center has done more to find the causes of this baffling illness than the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. That's why it should be encouraging to all victims of Gulf War syndrome that the Senate Appropriations Committee has earmarked $5 million annually for UT Southwestern to step up its work." (Dallas Morning News editorial)

"Clues to Mad Cow Disease Emerge in Study of Mutant Proteins" - "Six years after young people in Britain started dying from a human strain of mad cow disease, scientists are still struggling to understand how the disease spreads to humans, how many more will die from it and if a similar epidemic could start in the U.S." (New York Times)

"Smoker grans a risk" - "Grandparents who smoke pose a serious risk to children, health groups say. The risk of exposure was higher in families where working couples relied on grandparents to look after children." (Herald Sun)

"Smokers' attorney says Big Tobacco hasn't changed its ways" - "Big Tobacco has not truly changed its ways and should be punished financially for decades of misconduct, said an attorney seeking punitive damages for sick smokers to a jury Monday." (AP) | New York Times

"Court rejects tobacco industry's objection to Florida judge" - "The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected the tobacco industry's attempt to replace the Florida judge who is presiding over the nation's only statewide lawsuit seeking damages for hundreds of thousands of people with smoking-related injuries." (AP)

"New animal feed contamination scare in Belgium" - "More than 200 Belgian farms have been placed under surveillance after the discovery of high levels of toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in animal feed manufactured by a company in the town of Feluy." (Reuters)

"Cry the beloved planet" - "The Earth as we know it has less than 30 years to survive if we continue our destructive course, says Maurice Strong." (Globe and Mai)

"Whisky firms deny chemical risk" - "Whisky firms have jumped to the defence of their product amid concerns over a chemical found in a wide range of the drinks. They have dismissed fears that ethyl carbamate, a naturally occurring substance found in many Scotch and American whiskies, could cause cancer." (BBC)

"Greenhouse Effect Under Study In Skies Over Wales" - "A major study aimed at understanding details of the greenhouse effect and the influence of man-made pollution on the thinning of the ozone layer is currently taking place in the skies above mid-Wales." (Daily University Science News)

"GM secrecy 'made seed error worse'" - "An effective early warning system must be put in place to avoid a repeat of the rogue genetically modified seed fiasco, the chairman of English Nature said yesterday." (The Times)

"US farmer fears discontent will spread" - "When Mr Jensen surveys his 4,000 acres, he feels a new sense of unease. He wonders if European hysteria about 'Frankenfoods' could cross the Atlantic and destroy his business." (The Times)

"Vocal GM Protests Loom in Italy " - "The debate surrounding genetically modified (GM) organisms is warming up in Italy as Tebio, the exhibition and conference on biotechnology that will be held in Genoa starting Wednesday, approaches. Mobilitebio, the national movement against genetic manipulation, intends to emulate the Seattle WTO protests." (Wired News)

"Greenpeace condemns Russia's Putin on environment" - "Environmental pressure group Greenpeace on Monday condemned a decision by Russia's new president, Vladimir Putin, to disband the country's only federal environmental agency in order to save money." (Reuters)

"Immune responses genetically linked to air pollution" - "For decades, it has been an established fact that air pollution is associated with negative health effects. Now, from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and affiliates comes word of a genetic linkage between susceptibility to sulfate-associated carbon particles and the immune response." (Reuters)

"Calls to lift sheep dip ban" - "A controversial sheep dip should be put back on sale despite health fears, a committee of MPs has concluded." (BBC)

May 22, 2000

"No health risk from GM seed incident-French agmin" - "French Farm Minister Jean Glavany said on Monday that an accidentally sown crop of genetically modified (GM) rapeseed posed no health risk." (Reuters)

"EU says no export threat from Belgian feed scare" - "The European Commission said on Monday a new animal feed scare in Belgium would, according to initial information, pose no threat to food exports." (Reuters)

"Hypertension has hefty $1 billion price tag" - "More than 43 million Americans have high blood pressure (hypertension), but less than one third of them have achieved targeted levels of blood pressure. This failure to adequately treat high blood pressure could cost $1 billion in excess health costs due to stroke, heart attack and other illnesses, according to a study presented at the American Society of Hypertension meeting here." (Reuters)

"Holding back prion diseases" - "Help could be on the way for sufferers of CJD, the human form of BSE or 'mad cow disease'." (BBC)

"Soil loss threatens food prospects" - "Scientists say impoverishment of the soil is a major threat to the Earth's ability to feed itself." (BBC)

"Tobacco giants fight ad ban" - "Cigarette manufacturers are renewing their fight against government plans to ban all tobacco advertising." (BBC)

"Prozac 'may encourage suicide'" - "Prozac and drugs like it could be making healthy people with no history of mental illness feel suicidal, say researchers." (BBC)

"Thalidomide's Anti-Cancer Use Supported" - "The early promise of thalidomide as an anti-cancer drug apparently is holding up, according to findings disclosed today at the meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology here." (New York Times)

"Lawyers’ tobacco-suit fees invite revolt" - "The national tobacco deal doesn't deserve such a sorry legacy. Nor do lawyers deserve lottery-size awards. Fees should be capped." (USA Today editorial)

"Clearing the Air on Texas" - "The Sierra Club is selectively citing statistics in its claim that Texas's air quality has worsened under Gov. George Bush." (Letter by Ben Lieberman in The Washington Post)

"As Corps Widens Reach, A Cleanup Turns Messy" - "The nation's largest lead and zinc mines were abandoned years ago beneath this forgotten pocket of the Plains, but their toxic legacy persists on the surface." (Washington Post)

May 21, 2000

"EPA Rules: Fueling Inflation" - "The Environmental Protection Agency has minimized the costs and exaggerated the health benefits of its newly proposed emission controls for heavy-duty trucks. This regulatory fraud should not go unchallenged." (Detroit News editorial)

"A LOOK AT . . . Antibiotics in the Food Chain" - "Last month, the New England Journal of Medicine reported the case of a 12-year-old boy who came down with a nasty case of salmonella that was resistant to no fewer than 13 antimicrobial agents. The child almost certainly got sick from working around the cattle on his family's Nebraska ranch." (Washington Post commentary)

Shame on the New England Journal of Medicine. It opted to inflame rather than inform the public about the controversy surrounding the use of antibiotics in farm animals. Journal editor Marcia Angell, seems to have forgotten her own clarion call for more "scientific thinking."

"Canada's nuclear nabobs try to turn green" - "Unfortunately for the industry, the promise that nuclear power is either sustainable or clean -- or poses a practical or affordable way to lower greenhouse gas emissions -- looks as empty as the industry's earlier broken promises of cheap and reliable power..." (Financial Post commentary)

"Man wins cancer claim against Shell Oil" - "Shell plans to appeal, company spokeswoman Kitty Borah said Saturday. "Shell staunchly believes the verdict is not supported by the facts or law,' Borah said in a statement." (AP)

"Ohio schools built on toxic site may be relocated" - "An investigation began after questions were raised about leukemia cases among the high school's graduates." (AP)

May 20, 2000

EPA Dioxin Report: Chapter 9 (Risk Characterization) - Check out how the EPA plans to characterize human health risk from dioxin! On page 149, the EPA acknowledges "there is currently no clear indication of increased disease in the general population attributable to dioxin-like compounds."

May 19, 2000

EPA Dioxin Report: Chapter 8 (Dose-Response Modeling) - Only available here, check out the 124-page draft (PDF format) of the dose-response chapter of the EPA dioxin report!

"FDA study shows silicone breast implants rupture" - "Silicone breast implants leaked in two-thirds of women who participated in a study carried out by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agency announced Thursday." (CNN) | Reuters

"Hawking rejects prince's science concerns" - "One of the UK's most eminent scientists has contradicted a warning by Prince Charles that tampering with nature could cause great harm to the world." (BBC)

"OSHA Rules: Job Killers" - "The federal government wants to "fix" some 30 million jobs by imposing workplace regulations to prevent repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome or frozen shoulder . But the costly proposal is more about politics than worker safety and should be scrapped." (Detroit News editorial)

"EPA's tug at TVA's power" - "The message that federal environmental enforcement has gotten badly off-track is slowly gaining believers. And in the case of EPA's latest attack on utilities, even the federal government itself has become one of them." (By Ben Lieberman in The Washington Times)

"New research blames vaccines, stress for Gulf War Syndrom" - "The mysterious array of illnesses known as Gulf War Syndrome may have been triggered by multiple vaccinations given to servicemen during their deployment in the Gulf, according to British research released Thursday." (AFP) | BBC | Reuters | BMJ media release | BMJ editorial | BMJ study

"Europeans Learn They're Inadvertently Growing Genetically Altered Plants" - "If Europe is virtually allergic to the genetically modified seeds that are so popular with North American farmers, it got a reason this week to sneeze with fury." (New York Times)

"Litre of beer 'is good for you'" - "Researchers have shown that all types of alcohol can help to reduce the risk of heart disease - if you drink it little and often." (BBC) | BMJ media release | BMJ study

"Polluted pollen's 'limited impact'" - "The news that United Kingdom farmers have unwittingly been growing genetically-modified (GM) crops for two years has caused alarm." (BBC)

"Legal action over GM seeds rejected" - "The government has said it considered legal moves against the firm that accidentally sold genetically-modified seeds to farmers but was told no action was possible." (BBC)

"Respected journal says conflicts of interest endanger research" - "The editor of one of the world's premier medical journals has written a withering critique of the research system, saying science is being compromised by the growing influence of industry money." (CNN)

"Protein may slow down 'mad cow' disease" - "A treatment for 'mad cow' disease and similar diseases in humans may be one step closer to reality, according to new study findings. In experiments in mice, researchers have been able to slow down the accumulation of abnormal proteins called prions, which are hallmarks of mad cow and similar diseases." (Reuters)

"EPA proposes sharp cuts in diesel pollutants" - "The US Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday proposed a 97 percent cut in the amount of sulfur in diesel fuel burned by large 18-wheeler trucks and buses in a bid to cleanse the air of pollutants." (Reuters)

"Fury as GM seeds of discontent spread over Europe" - "France called on Thursday for the destruction of rapeseed crops contaminated by genetically modified material as environmentalist fury swept across Europe over how farmers had been sold 'Frankenstein seed'." (Reuters)

"Margarine industry confident amid GM furore" - "Britain's margarine industry is confident that no genetically modified material will find its way into its product despite news that farmers in Europe are unknowingly growing GM crops, industry sources said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"EU says member states must enforce GM crop rules" - "The European Commission said on Thursday it was up to EU member states to ensure seeds of genetically modifed (GM) crops were not mixed with traditional varieties and that new Europe-wide seed legislation was not expected before the autumn." (Reuters)

May 18, 2000

EPA Dioxin Report: Chapter 8 (Dose-Response Modeling) - Only available here, check out the 124-page draft (PDF format) of the dose-response chapter of the EPA dioxin report!

"Toxic chocolate" - "Federal environmental regulators have some bad news for Ben & Jerry's. Spooning out Earth-friendly policy prescriptions with its ice cream, the company nonetheless turns out to be manufacturing a product with an ingredient that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) now flatly calls a 'known human carcinogen' -- dioxin." (By Ken Smith in The Washington Times)

"E.P.A. Report on Dioxin´s Cancer Risks Draws Praise and Criticism" - "Dr. John Doull, a clinical toxicologist at the University of Kansas in Kansas City, also was a member of the EPA's advisory board that reviewed the previous dioxin report. He said the agency seemed to have disregarded his group's advice. 'Their review of the critical dioxin literature is inadequate and their recommendations appear to me to be unsupported and arrogant,' Doull said. "This action appears to be ill-timed, political rather than scientific and is an embarrassment to science and certainly to toxicology.'" (New York Times)

"Cancer risk from dioxins may be greater than thought, draft EPA report says " - "The cancer risks from exposure to dioxins may be significantly greater than previously thought, at least for a small segment of the population, according to a draft report prepared by the Environmental Protection Agency." (AP) | CNN | Reuters

"Emergency Dioxin Elimination Plan Necessitated by EPA Report " - "In response to an Environmental Protection Agency report showing Americans are at even greater cancer risk from dioxins than originally believed, Greenpeace today called on EPA to immediately release the full dioxin report and implement a Dioxin Emergency Action Plan to prevent and eliminate new dioxin releases." (Greenpeace media release)

"Cell Phone-Brain Cancer Link Still Unproven" - "Even considering findings from a small Swedish study published this month showing a borderline statistical association between cellular telephone use and increased risk for brain tumors ­- and a British report on children and cell phones ­- no solid evidence yet exists regarding cell phones and cancer." (American Cancer Society)

"Unwired Campus: Smart Move?" - "Worldwide Wireless Networks Inc. will install wireless Internet connections in junior high and high schools in Baldwin Park School District in Southern California... But skeptics, including Dr. George Carlo of Health Risk Management Group Inc. in Washington, D.C., say that wireless systems and the radio frequency waves they emit have not been through enough testing to prove they are safe - especially around children." (Wireless Week)

"Don't Step Back on Warming" - "This amendment [to preventimplementation of the Kyoto accords] would take a step backward just as it becomes clearer than ever that climate change is a real problem that policy-makers will ignore at their--at our--peril." (Washington Post editorial)

"McCain on Climate Change" - "Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) expressed concern about the 'mounting evidence' pointing to global climate change and the potential for harm but said any action should be based on science 'and not on rhetoric or political expedience.' The former GOP presidential contender made good on a campaign promise and held a hearing before his Senate Commerce Committee on global warming. A half-dozen scientists told him that the surface of the Earth is warming, that concentrations of 'greenhouse gases' have significantly increased in the atmosphere and that there's plenty of evidence humans have something to do with it. McCain had been dogged during his unsuccessful presidential campaign by a group of environmental activists, especially in New Hampshire, who pressed him on the climate issue." (Washington Post)

"Smog mass killer; '20 times as many people as there are murders in T.O.'" - "About 1,000 people die in the Toronto area every year because of air pollution -- and conditions are getting worse, according to a new report by Toronto Health." (Canoe.ca)

"Pesticidal reveries" - "A House of Commons environment committee has released a report suggesting a ban on pesticides and other chemicals used to make lawns and gardens look beautiful." (Globe and Mail)

"Tesco mushroom health warning was false alarm" - "Organic mushrooms on sale at leading British supermarket chain Tesco Plc were wrongly identified as having the E-coli bacteria, the Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) said on Wednesday. " (Reuters)

"EU accused of lax approach to GM foods" - "The new EU testing regime for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in foods is not sufficiently stringent, according to a lawyer mounting a legal challenge to US policy on GM foods." (Irish Times)

"Irradiated Beef Quietly Hits the Market " - "The first food product in the nation to be irradiated with electron beams turned up Tuesday in more than 80 supermarkets in the Minneapolis area. But the industry hubbub and controversy were not immediately matched in the store aisles." (Omaha World-Herald)

"Tanning beds may increase skin cancer risk" - "Tanning beds, once thought to be safer than the sun, may be associated with a nearly two-fold increase in the likelihood of developing the potentially deadly skin cancer melanoma, according to a Swedish study published in this month’s British Journal of Cancer. People 35 or younger who used the beds regularly had a melanoma risk eight-fold higher than people who never used tanning beds. Even occasional use among that age group almost tripled the chances of developing melanoma." (American Cancer Society)

"Britain's Prince Charles warns modern science" - "Britain's Prince Charles on Wednesday will warn that the world faces environmental disaster unless it starts accepting that tampering with nature is an affront to God." (Reuters) | ITN

"Environmentalist fury as GM crops found in Britain" - "British farmers are unknowingly growing genetically modified crops after buying contaminated oilseed rape from Canada, the government said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"The Sweet - and the Sour - News about Saccharin: ACSH Comments on the Delisting of Saccharin as a Cancer Threat" - "There is no evidence that food additives like saccharin pose a human cancer risk - nor is there any known risk from trace levels of the myriad naturally occurring animal carcinogens in our diet." (ACSH editorial)

"Risk from spent nuclear fuel is 'low'" - "An Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development study published this week has found the risk to human health from spent nuclear fuel to be 'insignificantly low.'" (Reuters)

"Three Italian regions ban GM crops" - "Three Italian regions have banned cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops, an Agriculture Ministry spokeswoman said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Presence of genetically modified crop in UK presents no human health risks says chairman" - "Reports that a small proportion of oilseed rape, grown in the UK and other European Union countries, in the past year contain low levels of a genetically modified variety poses no added risk to public health said Sir John Krebs, Chairman of the Food Standards Agency." (UK Food Standards Agency media release)

"'Mistake' allowed GM seeds to be sown across Britain" - "The Government's policy on genetically modified crops was plunged into chaos last night after a seed company revealed that huge numbers of GM plants had been sown by mistake all across the country." (The Independent)

"Gulp! GM food is for you" - "Unnatural, artificial and synthetic as GM technology is, we cannot afford to ignore its benefits. If every farmer was to till the land in the same, organic fashion as the Duchy of Cornwall there would only be enough food to feed about 4 billion people in the world -- about 2 billion short of the current total. We have no choice but to continue our age-old struggle against the limits of Nature." (The Independent)

"Concern Over Genetically Engineered Food Draws Shareholder Action at McDonalds Meeting " - "In a move aimed at protecting the public from the potential health and environmental effects of GE foods, Friends of the Earth will attend the annual shareholder meeting of McDonalds (NYSE: MCD) tomorrow." (Friends of the Earth media release)

"Statement by the President on Tobacco Studies " - "New studies released by independent researchers today underscore the need for Congressional action in the fight to protect our children from the dangers of tobacco. New studies by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the American Legacy Foundation show that tobacco advertising in magazines read by large numbers of kids has increased over one-third since the 1998 settlement agreement between states and tobacco companies. In addition, not only have tobacco companies increased the number of magazine ads targeted to young people; they may actually be doing it more effectively. The studies show that these ads are actually being seen by more young people. Top brand advertising alone now reaches 70 percent of all teens." (White House media release) | TFK media release

"Journal questions research conflicts" - "The editor of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine is calling for stronger restrictions on stock ownership and other financial incentives for researchers, saying growing conflicts of interest are tainting science." (MSNBC) | NEJM editorial

"Mexican blaze threatens rare Monarch butterfly" - "Hundreds of acres (hectares) of forest that are a home to the imperiled Monarch butterfly have gone up in flames in the last four days, Mexico's environment ministry said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Big protest against GM crops planned in Italy" - "Thousands of people are expected to join a protest against genetically modified crops at an international biotechnology conference in the north Italian city of Genova next week, environmentalists said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Mexican candidates asked to consider environment" - "Greenpeace said on Wednesday it had asked Mexico's presidential hopefuls to detail their plans for coping with Mexico's much-abused environment." (Reuters)

"3M to stop making many Scotchgard products" - "Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co. (3M) said on Tuesday it would stop making many of its well-known Scotchgard products after tests revealed the chemical compounds involved linger in the environment and in the human body for years." (Reuters)

"Malfunction reportedly occurs at Chernobyl" - " A malfunction in a steam pipeline has forced officials at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine to cut power back 50 percent, even as forest fires spread the remnants of radiation from a 1986 disaster at the plant, said a U.S. official Wednesday." (AP)

May 17, 2000

EPA Dioxin Report: Chapter 8 (Dose-Response Modeling) - Only available here, check out the 124-page draft (PDF format) of the dose-response chapter of the EPA dioxin report!

"EPA links dioxin to cancer" - "The Clinton administration is preparing to dramatically raise its estimate of health threats from dioxin, citing new evidence of cancer risk from exposure to the toxic chemical compound. A draft of a long-awaited report by the Environmental Protection Agency concludes for the first time that dioxin is a 'human carcinogen.'" (Washington Post)

What does this mean for Ben & Jerry's?

"Ben & Jerry's Ice-Cream Fails Own Environmental Standard" - "A new health report on the dangers of dioxin, about to be released by the Environmental Protection Agency, places one of the nation's most environmentally active companies in the embarrassing position of failing its own standard of quality." (CNSNews.com)

"3M to Pare Scotchgard Products" - "3M Co. yesterday announced it would stop making many of its well-known Scotchgard stain-repellent products after finding that one of the chemical compounds used to make the products persists in the environment and is found widely in the bloodstreams of people worldwide. The substance, perfluorooctane sulfonate, is released in minute quantities by products as various as water-repellent coatings and fire-suppressing foams. It is made almost entirely by 3M, the huge St. Paul-based company known formally as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co." (Washington Post) | EPA media release

"Mobile phones 'a danger to aircraft'" - "Mobile phone calls made by passengers on aeroplanes can seriously affect the aircraft's on board equipment." (BBC)

"The ProBiotech Voting Booth" - Are biotech foods a potential benefit or a potential danger for human society and the environment? Vote at Philip Stott's ProBiotech web site.

"Honey has been contaminated by GM crops, claims Friends of the Earth " - "Britain's bee farmers are to seek an urgent meeting with the Government after Friends of the Earth (FoE) alleged that honey had been contaminated by genetically modified crops. " (The Independent)

"Prozac indignation" - "Lilly representatives and other critics have slammed the book ["Prozac Backlash"] as misleading and lacking in scientific rigor. A company letter to an Indianapolis reporter called it 'the work of a storyteller, not a scientist' and concluded that it was "a fear-mongering publication.'" (Salon.com)

"EPA planning to require big rigs to cut pollution by more than 90 percent" - "The Environmental Protection Agency will require large trucks and tractor-trailer rigs to cut pollution by more than 90 percent as well as require cleaner diesel fuel under new regulations to be proposed this week, government and private sources said Tuesday." (AP)

"Pentagon rejects lawmakers' request to halt anthrax vaccinations" - "Nearly three dozen House members urged Defense Secretary William Cohen on Tuesday to stop vaccinating military personnel against anthrax until an improved vaccine is found." (AP)

"Sharp rise in meat recalls prompted by listeria tests" - " Increased government testing for a deadly pathogen in hot dogs and other processed meats has led to a sharp increase in recalls of such products, even as the incidence of contamination may be declining, officials say. " (AP)

"Md. tobacco case ordered to lose class action status" - " Philip Morris Cos. said Tuesday that the Maryland Court of Appeals has ordered a lower court judge to decertify a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of smokers against Philip Morris and other major tobacco companies. The appeals court, by a vote of 4-3, concluded that the Circuit Court for Baltimore City 'abused its discretion in certifying for class action prosecution a mass tort tobacco lawsuit,' the company said, citing the opinion." (Reuters)

"Climate change risk from TV" - "Much of the electricity used in the UK's homes is needlessly wasted and the resultant carbon dioxide released could speed climate change, according to an Oxford University study. With almost a quarter of the country's electricity used domestically, the researchers say this area offers scope for big savings. They say digital TV sets alone are expected to increase consumer electronics' power consumption by 7% by 2010." (BBC)

"Smoking gun' of cigarette smoke discovered" - "It's no news that cigarette smoke is bad for the lungs, but researchers may be a step closer to understanding exactly how smoking increases the risk of lung cancer. In a new study, one type of chemical in cigarette smoke caused the same type of genetic damage to lung tissue that often occurs in lung cancer." (Reuters)

"No evidence of a 'safer' cigarette" - "Marketing aside, there is no evidence that the new R.J. Reynolds cigarette, Eclipse, is safer than other brands, critics say." (Reuters)

"Consumer groups oppose removing saccharin from cancer list" - "Public Citizen Health Research Group and the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) both oppose the decision by the US government to remove saccharin from its list of potential cancer-causing agents." (Reuters)

"Japan plans mobile phone emission rules in 2001" - "Japan plans to impose new limits on mobile phone radiowave emissions next year, reflecting growing concern about health risks from radiation in one of the world's biggest mobile phone markets, the government said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"AHP faces US attorney questions on diet drugs" - "American Home Products said on Monday that the US Attorney for Maryland has asked the company to turn over information about the way it reported side effects from its once-popular diet drugs." (Reuters)

"Physicians Group Exposes Dangers of Guns in the Home " - "Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) has launched the television campaign, titled "Risk: Guns in the Home," to demonstrate that the risks of home handgun ownership vastly outweigh the benefits. The ads serve to educate parents that any gun in the home can be found and used to disastrous consequences by a child. " (PSR media release)

"Increasing carbon dioxide threatens coral reefs " - "Researchers at Columbia University's Biosphere 2 Center have determined that increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere may cause more harm to marine coral reef communities than previous research had indicated. Dr. Christopher Langdon of Columbia's Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory and his research team believe that coral growth could be reduced by as much as 40 percent from pre-industrial levels over the next 65 years. " (AGU media release)

"'Golden Rice' To Be Donated to Poor" - " In a move aimed at combatting blindness, two biotech companies said Tuesday they have reached agreement with the inventors of a genetically modified rice to donate seeds to poor nations." (AP)

"Tobacco-Free Kids Statement on FDA Legislation Granting Special Protection to Big Tobacco " - "Sens. Bill Frist and John McCain today had the opportunity to provide continued leadership in protecting the public health by giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration meaningful authority to regulate tobacco products. Instead, they have significantly weakened their 1998 legislation, allowing Senate Republicans and the tobacco industry in this election year to support a bill that sounds good but does little or nothing." (TFK media release) | American Lung Association media release | American Cancer Society media release

"Junked computers: toxic nightmare, recyclers' dream " - "Personal computers are loaded with toxic materials as dangerous to dispose of as the messy pile of paint cans and solvents in the corner of the garage." (CNN)

"Millions more children may suffer from lead exposure, study says" - "The findings suggest that the current standard for "acceptable" levels of lead in the blood is much too high, and also underscore the need to focus on prevention, said Dr. Bruce Lanphear of Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati." (CNN)

"Students make childproof gun" - "Two US undergraduates have designed a cheap mechanical device which prevents young children firing handguns." (BBC)

"Men's health 'low priority'" - "A group of experts says the UK is not doing enough to tackle male health problems." (BBC)

"Putting Biotech Fears To Rest" - "Farmers and other groups are working to educate consumers on biotech foods " (all Ag.com)

"Idaho Potato Farmers Back Off On GMO Spuds" - "Idaho potato farmers are stuck - stuck between a customer mandate to not produce biotech-enhanced potato varieties and pressures to reduce the pesticide applications they use to protect their potatoes from bugs and viruses." (allAg.com)

"The Great Debate On GM Crops" - "Even though field trials with GM Crops have been approved by the Government, India's policy on these issues is yet to be finalized. There is no denying that biotechnological breakthroughs in agriculture can contribute to India's food security. It will be prudent, if the current debates are addressed through scientific inputs rather than through meaningless and activist-oriented emotional outbursts and rhetoric. " (The Hindu)

May 16, 2000

"Environmental Dogma Goes Up in Flames" - "It's not too late to start educating the public on how to survive a wildland fire. But the best way to do that is by not letting it start." (Wall Street Journal op-ed) | "Bureaucratic blaze " (Boston Globe editorial)

"Mbeki vs. AIDS Experts" - "Unable to sleep, South African President Thabo Mbeki surfed the Internet into the wee hours of the night until he stumbled, quite by chance, onto an obscure but oddly absorbing Web site that challenged conventional notions about the treatment of AIDS." (Washington Post)

"Prescription for Trouble" - "The popular notion is that the pharmaceutical industry is gouging us. The truth is subtler. If your doctor keeps switching you to the newest patented drugs, then, yes, your costs will go up. But if you stay put with any given regimen, your costs are likely to go down over the years as more and more of the pills you are taking become available as cheap generics. " (By Michael Fumento in Forbes, 5/29/00)

"Super Seeds Sweeping Major Markets, and Brazil May Be Next" - "Brazil is in the process of deciding whether to make the new technology legal. And there is a growing sense that what happens in Brazil -- the world's No. 2 soybean producer, after the United States -- could tip the balance on genetically altered crops around the world." (New York Times) | "AstraZeneca to Sell a Genetically Engineered Strain of Rice" (New York Times)

"Seas and Soils Emerge as Keys to Climate" - "Carbon is constantly exchanged among the air, the terrestrial biosphere, the oceans and the solid rock of the earth at varying rates in one of nature's grand and endlessly complicated global recycling networks." (New York Times)

"Still at risk of air bags" - "Just as some old junkers are beyond fixing and ought to be scrapped, so the federal air bag mandate is beyond repair and should be dumped. Instead, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) - the federal regulatory agency which administers the "passive restraint" air bag rule - is attempting, again, to "fix" a flawed policy that has already cost 158 people their lives." (Washington Times editorial)

"Freud Slips as an Icon of Science" - "Once the dominant figure in efforts to understand the mind, the father of psychoanalysis has been proved wrong in nearly all of his notions." (Los Angeles Times)

"Pollution Victims Start to Fight Back in China" - "China's rivers are some of the dirtiest in the world. An aggressive central government campaign to identify and punish polluters has made a big difference in some cities and in other places where it has focused. But it has failed to penetrate fully the vast rural areas, where antipollution laws are often blithely ignored by local enterprises." (New York Times)

"Study suggests link between lead exposure and delinquency" - "New research suggests millions more children than earlier thought might have lead-linked mental impairment, while another study supports a link between lead exposure and juvenile delinquency." (AP)

"Saccharin no longer considered carcinogenic" - "More than two decades after a rat study prompted scientists to link saccharin to human cancer, the federal government is dropping the artificial sweetening from its list of cancer-causing chemicals." (AP) | CNN | New York Times

"Judge delays punitive damage phase of smokers' suit" - "A judge delayed the punitive damage phase in a landmark smokers' suit against the tobacco industry for a week Monday as he tries to resolve a 10-inch stack of motions." (AP)

"Steam released after California nuclear reactor shuts down" - "An electrical problem triggered an automatic shutdown of a reactor at Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant early Monday, releasing steam that could contain tiny amounts of radioactivity, regulators said." (AP)

"More bad news for smokers" - "It seems that smokers have a much lower level of an important chemical that protects against heart disease in their blood." (BBC) | Reuters

"Huge increase in food related illness" - "Around 70% of people who suffer from food related illnesses would feel better if they simply eliminated certain foods from their diet, according to nutritional scientists." (BBC)

"Cost of global warming - £1.2bn" - "Protecting the environment from the damaging effects of global warming could cost England and Wales more than £1.2bn." (BBC) | The Independent | The Guardian

"Greenpeace protests raid at Japan's Athens embassy" - "Greenpeace activists locked themselves in a cage outside the Japanese embassy in Athens on Monday to protest against the arrest of four members and a police raid on their ship in Japan." (Reuters)

"Emissions testing underestimates pollutants" - "The principle measuring instrument used by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assess the amount of harmful pollutants produced by motor vehicles across the country is technically inaccurate and often underestimates pollutants, according to researchers." (Reuters)

"Unhappy childhood can stunt growth" - "Parents who constantly argue could be stunting their children's growth, say scientists who have uncovered a link between a reduced growth rate and a stressful upbringing." (The Independent)

"Toxic waste found in scrap metal" - "One gram of plutonium in scrap metal fed through a Sheffield smelter has turned 50 tonnes of reclaimed material into nuclear waste." (The Guardian)

May 15, 2000

"New U.S. report removes saccharin as cancer cause" - "The U.S. government has removed saccharin from its list of potential cancer-causing agents, the latest bi-annual report on the issue said Monday." (Reuters)

"E.coli: Tesco withdraws organic mushrooms" - "Supermarket giant Tesco has taken all its organic mushrooms off the shelves after routine tests showed the 'possible presence' of the deadly E.coli virus." (London Evening Standard)

Win $1,000.00 by entering Junkscience.com's 'Organic' Is Just Marketing Sweepstakes! Submit through Junkscience.com your recommendation to the U.S. Department of Agriculture about whether the coming USDA label for organic foods should state the label is just a marketing tool and not a judgment on the quality or safety of any product.

"Scared Straight" - "Last Thursday, we woke up to read that people described as 'activists' were up in arms because the government was about to list a chemical as a dangerous carcinogen. Pinch us if we're dreaming. Since when did the advocacy community get upset about government waving any chemical into its restrictive embrace? The answer is, since the chemical involved is one that benefits them directly. Welcome to the real world." (Wall Street Journal editorial)

"EPA's Hopes of Reviving Tougher Smog Rules Rest With Justices; Supreme Court likely to decide soon whether to hear dispute described as biggest environmental case in years" - "The Supreme Court is expected to decide soon, possibly by Monday, whether to hear the Clinton administration's plea to revive its strict anti-smog standards, rules that were struck down suddenly last year by a pro-business appeals court." (Los Angeles Times)

"U.S. Cancer Rates Still Falling - Annual Report" - "U.S. cancer rates are falling faster than ever and death rates are also down -- due mostly to a decline in cigarette smoking among men, researchers said on Sunday." (Reuters)

"Churches compute climate disaster costs" - "The United Kingdom churches' development agency, Christian Aid, says climate related disasters could kill millions of people." (BBC) | The Guardian

"New-New Math Doesn't Compute" - "One plus one may equal two. Or about two. Maybe even an estimated three. It all depends on what style of math you fancy: Old math, new math, or now, new-new math, the latest entrant into the decades-old math wars, one that de-emphasizes rote memorization in favor of estimations and--Holy Archimedes!--calculators." (Chicago Tribune editorial)

"Ford Motor's Environmental Candor" - "Mr. Ford appears eager to make cars that are more socially acceptable. Consumers are beginning to consider the environmental reputation of S.U.V.'s, and automakers will have to compete on that basis." (NY Time editorial)

"Towards a Green Parliament" - "Later this summer, MPs will move into one of Europe's most environmentally friendly buildings. But is it worth £1m a head?" (The Independent)

"Greenpeace activists occupy Swiss waste dump" - "Around 100 Greenpeace environmental activists blocked access to a toxic waste dump in western Switzerland on Saturday and demanded chemical companies clean up the site." (Reuters)

"US toxic pollution 3 times worse than thought" - "The mining and electric utility industries are the worst toxic-chemical polluters in the US, according to a more sophisticated analysis released by federal regulators on Thursday that showed such pollution is three times worse than previously thought." (Reuters)

"Hindsight bias -- not just a convenient memory enhancer but an important part of an efficient memory system " - "It is said that hindsight is 20-20. According to new research, hindsight bias -- the way our impression of how we acted or would have acted changes when we learn the outcome of an event -- is actually a by-product of a cognitive mechanism that allows us to unclutter our minds by discarding inaccurate information and embracing that which is correct." (American Psychological Association media release)

May 14, 2000

"Million Moms, Second Amendment Sisters" - " The much-touted -- more accurately, much demagogued and distorted -- statistic that "every day in America 12 kids are killed by guns," which has been put forth endlessly by both the activists behind the Million Mom March and the president, is illustrative of the deceit which suffuses the gun-control movement. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the figure is actually 1.7 deaths per day. Whence the disparity? Gun-control advocates lump accidental shootings involving kids 14 and under with gun deaths listed as criminal homicides involving older teens aged 14 to 19. Most of these -- indeed, the overwhelming majority -- are shootings related to gang activity and drug dealing. They have nothing to do with a suburban child finding Dad's loaded .38 in the drawer and shooting himself or a playmate by accident. Once again, don't expect to read anything in the major media outlets -- or see anything on the evening news -- that breaks down the statistics this way." (Washington Times editorial)

"Ford Cops a Plea" - "In its first "Corporate Citizenship Report," the Ford Motor Co. frets about the sport-utility vehicle (SUV) as a menace to public health and safety. This is not one of Ford’s better ideas." (Detroit News editorial)

May 13, 2000

"Roundworm Study May Raise Doubts About Cell Phone Safety" - "But several American scientists questioned whether the worm experiments had anything to do with cell phone safety. " (New York Times)

"E.P.A. Finds Malathion Poses Low Risk" - "A new federal review of the health effects of malathion, the insecticide sprayed around New York City last year to kill disease-carrying mosquitoes, has found "suggestive evidence" that high doses of the chemical may cause cancer in laboratory animals, but no evidence that it poses a threat to people when used properly." (New York Times)

Check out my op-ed in yesterday's New York Post,, "A Win for West Nile -- By Two Rats."

"Pesticide Coalition Tries to Blunt Regulation" - " When Rep. Richard W. Pombo (R-Calif.) introduced the Regulatory Fairness and Openness Act of 1999, he said it was needed to improve the process of regulating potentially dangerous pesticides. Pombo's colleagues have since rallied to his cause, with a majority of the House and 38 senators signing on to the legislation. But, unknown outside the small circle of those involved in the drafting process, much of the text of the bill was written not on Capitol Hill but in Arlington, by a consulting firm working for a coalition of pesticide manufacturers, agricultural organizations and food processors. Many of those at the firm previously worked on pesticide regulation at the Environmental Protection Agency." (Washington Post)

May 12, 2000

"A Win for West Nile -- By Two Rats" - Steve Milloy asks in The New York Post "Will two rats jeopardize use of the insecticide malathion to control mosquitoes carrying the deadly West Nile virus? Or have New York City politics and hysterical chemophobes beaten the rats to the punch? " EPA malathion documents

"EU says no evidence mobile phones bad for health" - "The European Commission said on Thursday it had no evidence yet that mobile telephone use was bad for health and that further studies it was funding on the issue would not produce results before the end of 2001." (Reuters)

"'Final' mobile phones risk inquiry to be launched " - "The government announced yesterday that it will spend millions of pounds over the next few years trying to clear up the confusion once and for all over whether mobile phones cause ill health. The move follows a series of recommendations by a committee of 12 independent experts." (The Independent)

"The health hazards of mobile phones; The only established risk is of using one while driving" - "Mobile phones have changed the way people work and communicate. But this independent group's report is right to recommend precautionary measures to encourage both manufacturers and users to limit microwave exposure until we can be more confident that the use of mobile phones is indubitably safe." (BMJ editorial)

"Million Moms, Second Amendment Sisters" - "The much-touted -- more accurately, much demagogued and distorted -- statistic that "every day in America 12 kids are killed by guns," which has been put forth endlessly by both the activists behind the Million Mom March and the president, is illustrative of the deceit which suffuses the gun-control movement. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the figure is actually 1.7 deaths per day. Whence the disparity? Gun-control advocates lump accidental shootings involving kids 14 and under with gun deaths listed as criminal homicides involving older teens aged 14 to 19. Most of these -- indeed, the overwhelming majority -- are shootings related to gang activity and drug dealing." (Washington Times editorial)

"E.P.A. Computer Model on Auto Pollution Is Flawed, Study Says" - "The Environmental Protection Agency's computer model for predicting how much air pollution comes from cars and trucks underestimates emissions and may overestimate the benefits of some pollution-control strategies, the National Academy of Sciences said in a report today." (New York Times) | NAS media release | NAS study

"The Dirty Secret of the Environmentalist Movement" - "Today, after its reckless disregard for facts, how could anyone consider the Audubon Society or its president to be 'responsible'? More importantly, how can anyone greet the pronouncements of environmental groups without the same skepticism they give the words of every other ethically challenged special-interest group in Washington? After two years as an environmental reporter, I certainly can’t." (By David Mastio in IntellectualCapitol.com)

"EPA Calls for Changes in Global Warming Study" - "Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency have threatened to withdraw the agency''s support of a major government study on global warming, alleging that the draft report has an 'extreme/alarmist tone' and does not 'appear to fairly reflect the scientific literature and the historical record.'" (CNSNews.com)

"Cost of drink abuse put at £3.3bn " - "Alcohol abuse is costing the British economy £3.3bn a year, with the majority swallowed up through premature death, unemployment and drink related illnesses, according to a report published today." (The Guardian)

"Soot can dry clouds, worsening warming, study says" - "Sooty smoke, once believed to help counteract the effects of other kinds of pollution by screening the planet from the sun's ray, may actually sometimes worsen global warming by making clouds dissipate, scientists said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"El Niño-like climate patterns occurred in New England during the Ice Age, University of Massachusetts researchers find " - "The report offers scientists a clearer understanding of El Niño's persistence at a time when climate conditions were fundamentally different from the climate conditions of today, according to the team." (UMass media release)

"Biotech battle now a war of words" - "A coalition of biotech companies is spending $50-million this year on a marketing campaign to keep fears over genetically altered foods from spreading to the United States from Europe." (St. Petersburg Times)

"Japan police raid Greenpeace campaign boat" - "Japanese police raided a campaign ship owned by Greenpeace on Thursday in connection with the recent arrest of four foreign members of the environmental group." (Reuters)

"UK government urged to act on environment" - "Urgent action is needed by the British government to tackle the problems of climate change, traffic congestion and poverty, a new report said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Italy wants to be home of EU food safety agency" - " Italy, proud of its high-quality pasta, cheeses and hams, wants to be the home of a new European Union food safety agency, a government minister said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"UN members agree on labels for biotech foods" - "Representatives of UN member countries agreed Wednesday on guidelines for labeling genetically modified foods, by standardizing the definitions of words that can appear on labels." (AFP)

"National Jewish expert says bacteria by-product found in household dust may protect infants from asthma later in life" - "Environmental endotoxin may have an allergy-protective effect in some infants whose homes have high levels of the bacteria by-product." (National Jewish Medical and Research Center media release)

"Ford admits its line of SUVs undercut environmental pledges" - "Ford Motor Co. made a surprising admission on Thursday, saying that its profitable business in sport-utility vehicles hasn't always been consistent with its desire to be more environmentally responsible." (AP)

"Prominent Physicians Group Issues Report Linking Common Household and Industrial Chemicals to Behavioral and Learning Disabilities" - "The Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility (GBPSR) issued today a national report linking common household and industrial chemicals to behavioral and learning disabilities." (PSR media release)

"Clean Air Trust Statement on Oil Company Profits " - "Big oil companies are "poor mouthing" when criticizing a draft Environmental Protection Agency plan for them to clean up their dirty diesel truck fuel. But they're telling Wall Street and stockholders that they are gushing profits." (Clean Air Trust media release)

"New England Journal of Medicine names new editor-in-chief" - "The chief of pulmonary medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital has been named editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, the journal’s publisher said Thursday." (MSNBC)

"EU backs national support for 'green' energy" - "The European Union's executive Commission proposed on Wednesday to allow EU governments to continue to subsidize renewable energy schemes in a long-delayed draft law to boost the use of 'green' power." (Reuters)

"Seals pose influenza threat" - "The influenza B virus has been found in animals for the first time, with the scientists who made the discovery saying it 'may pose a direct threat to humans'." (BBC)

May 11, 2000

"Averaging health data harms both sexes" - Steve Milloy writes in USA Today, "The story [about federal researchers shortchanging women by not consistently doing sex-specific analysis] has so far unfolded as a classic example of women's health advocates viewing events through a lens of aggrievement and manifesting a stunning insensitivity to the trade-offs inherent in research policy."

"Fury at phone health report" - "Phone operators voiced private fury on Wednesday following the revelation that a government-commissioned study into the health risks of mobiles would suggest children may be in danger." (Financial Times)

"More Air Bag Mistakes" - "A new set of complex and costly air bag standards have been issued by federal transportation officials . Advanced technologies will supposedly reduce the deadly risks associated with air bags. But no amount of re-engineering can remedy the government’s flawed regulatory policy." (Detroit News editorial)

"FDA approves saline breast implants" - "Saline-filled breast implants made by Inamed Inc.'s McGhan Medical unit and Mentor Corp., the two leading makers of the products, are safe and effective for continued use, U.S. health officials said Wednesday." (Reuters) | MSNBC | Mentor media release

"Attorneys fight local health poll; Fairfield councilor claims letter serves as 'gag order'" - "Lawyers for 19 people suing for damages because of sickness and death in Fairfield Center are warning clients to stay away from a community public health project." (Kennebec Journal)

"Senate Panel Approves Biotechnology Research To Help Developing Countries" - "A Senate spending committee has approved $30 million in new funding for biotechnology research projects that tackle issues such as malnutrition and hunger in developing countries - a move hailed by promoters of genetically engineered foods." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

"Organic food claims branded 'misleading'" - "Claims by two leading supermarkets about organic food have been branded as "misleading" and "unsubstantiated" by the advertising industry watchdog." (ITN) | The Independent

"How I proved store's hype was wrong " - "The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) today upholds a complaint from me against a campaign by Tesco, which was launched with a booklet containing three misleading claims -- about the absence of chemicals in the production of organic food, the difference in price and the difference in taste. " (By Geoffrey Hollis in The Independent)

"Safeway defending gene-altered ingredients" - "Safeway shareholders appeared Tuesday to be defeating a resolution that would have directed the supermarket chain to remove genetically engineered ingredients from its products until long-term tests can determine whether they are safe." (Contra Costa Times)

"Westminster Overules Wales On GM Crops" - "The idea of keeping Wales a GM Free Zone has been dashed in a row between Westminster and the National Assembly for Wales over GM free crops. Civil servants have given the go-ahead to trials of a genetically modified crop at a farm in Flintshire even though the National Assembly is opposed to it. " (Framing Online)

"Three Giant New Icebergs Born" - "Three giant icebergs have broken off the Ronne Ice Shelf in Antarctica and are adrift, the National Ice Center reported Wednesday." (AP)

"Smoking may affect mental function" - "Smokers may be more likely than nonsmokers to experience a decline in mental function as they get older, according to a new report. In contrast, researchers did not detect any effect of drinking on mental function in the elderly." (Reuters)

"Enactment of Florida Law Removes Ominous Financial Cloud " - "Governor Bush's action will allow our company and others to appeal the Engle verdict without being subjected to the threat of financial devastation resulting from requirements to post a security bond regardless of the outcome of the punitive damages phase of the trial." (Brown & Williamson media release)

"Clean Air Trust Names 'Villain of the Month'" - "The nonprofit Clean Air Trust today awarded its clean air "Villain of the Month" award to Russell Harding, director of Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality." (Clean Air Trust media release)

"Tobacco-Free Kids Campaign Condemns Senate Appropriations Committee Vote to Block Funding for DOJ Lawsuit Against Tobacco Industry " - "The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids condemned the Senate Appropriations Committee's vote today to block funding for the U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit against the tobacco industry." (TKF media release)

"Chernobyl's effects linger on" - "Levels of radioactivity from the Chernobyl explosion in 1986 remain unexpectedly high in some parts of northern Europe, researchers have found. " (BBC)

"Olive oil 'wards off skin cancer'" - "Japanese researchers have found that applying high quality olive oil to the skin after sunbathing reduces the risk of developing tumours. The theory was tested on genetically modified hairless mice." (BBC) | "Claim that olive oil stops skin cancer is 'dangerous'" (The Independent)

May 10, 2000

"Feds to sound skeeter-spray alarm" - "Federal officials are expected to declare malathion, the mosquito-killing chemical sprayed across the city in last summer's battle against the deadly West Nile virus, carcinogenic and much more dangerous than thought, two Queens politicians said yesterday. " (New York Post)

"Trial Lawyers Unleashed" - "If no rational brakes are applied to the attorney general-personal injury lawyer alliance, public health and safety questions may no longer be debated and settled by elected officials beholden to the will of the people. Instead, personal injury lawyers, motivated by profit, joined by selective attorneys general and judges who want to make, not interpret, the law, will fill that role." (Washington Post)

"Montana Town Grapples With Asbestos Ills" - "Though Grace shut it down in 1990, the mine is being blamed for scores of cases of respiratory illness and death from exposure to the tremolite.The problems in Libby, a town of 2,700, represent the 'most significant single source of asbestos exposure' in the nation's history, said Paul Peronard, a coordinator for the Environmental Protection Agency." (New York Times)

"Child mobile phone warning" - "A major report into mobile phones and health advises limits on their use by children, the BBC understands." (BBC)

"Biosafety Clearance Given To Monsanto’s Bt Cotton " - "The Indian government, in a precedent setting move, has given 'biosafety clearance' to the controversial genetically engineered variety of cotton developed by American multinational Monsanto." (Asian Age)

"Stores criticised for GM-free leaflets" - "Two leading supermarkets have been criticised for misleading consumers over food safety - in leaflets promoting their own organic and GM-free food." (BBC) | Reuters

"Beryllium disease rises among Oak Ridge nuclear workers" - "There are now 35 confirmed cases of chronic beryllium disease among present and former workers at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge, and 54 others have tested positive for beryllium sensitivity and likely will develop the lung disease." (AP)

"Herd killed as France reports new BSE case" - "A herd of 142 cattle was destroyed in France after the discovery of a new case of mad cow disease, the farm ministry said on Tuesday. The new case brought to 17 the number of cases of the fatal brain-wasting illness, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), reported in France this year." (Reuters)

"Bedding a prime source of asthma, allergy triggers" - "Americans' bedtime prayers should include a plea for protection from dust mites, cockroaches and other triggers for asthma and allergy found in bedding, according to researchers. The investigators found that bedding in nearly half of US homes contains enough contaminants to induce serious allergy." (Reuters) | NIEHS media release

"New findings on asthma and allergies at American Thoracic Society meeting " - "New findings presented at a press panel of the ATS2000 meeting here today include a new study showing high levels of asthma-triggering allergens in U.S. homes, a study revealing almost six in 10 Canadians with asthma do not have their disease under control, and a possible link between living in high-crime areas and the development of asthma. ATS2000 is the American Thoracic Society's 96th International Conference." (American Thoracic Society media release)

"CDC warns about overuse of antibiotics" - "In an effort to reduce the growing numbers of drug-resistant bacteria, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are urging physicians to stop prescribing antibiotics where the drugs are not necessary." (Reuters)

"More evidence that smoking moms have smoking kids" - "US researchers said on Tuesday they had found more evidence that the children of women who smoke while pregnant may be predisposed to try tobacco at an early age." (Reuters)

"Spa baths 'can cause lung disease'" - "Regular use of indoor spa baths puts people at risk of lung disease, say researchers." (BBC)

May 9, 2000

JUNK of the day "Unthinkable Risk" - Another hysterical report from the anti-pesticide mob at the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides. The report consists of 54 pages of innuendo backed up by anecdotal fantasy. The media has dutifully parroted the NCAP report, including its exploitation of children.

Click for "Unwarranted Warning," my recent Washington Times op-ed on pesticide use in schools.

"EPA adapts to new environmental challenges; Business cheers shift of focus; critics worry about a ‘race to bottom’ in terms of standards." - "The Environmental Protection Agency is racing to retool itself o face the environmental challenges of the 21st century." (Detroit News)

"Reform speeds toxic cleanups: Less rigid standards revive Superfund" - "New, more flexible interpretations of the law have allowed the EPA to clean up more than half of the nation’s 1,200 Superfund sites and design cleanup plans for 90 percent of the remaining sites, according to the nonpartisan General Accounting Office." (Detroit News)

"EPA's gas price contribution" - "By subjecting EPA's fuel regulations to more rigorous scrutiny, and rejecting those that do more economic harm than environmental good, we can continue protecting the quality of the air we breathe while making future trips to the pumps considerably less painful." (By Ben Lieberman in The Washington Times)

"Novartis says Greenpeace study on their Bt corn 'flawed'" - "Last week, Greenpeace made the claim that the risk assessment of Novartis Bt maize is flawed and was calling for an immediate ban of the crop. Greenpeace refers to a report by EcoStrat, which claims that the studies to assess the safety of Bt maize on were poorly designed. " (AgWeb)

"FDA Plan Will Jeopardize Food Biotech" - "Food production has low profit margins and cannot easily absorb the costs of gratuitous regulation, domestic or international. The overregulation of gene-spliced foods will prevent its wide application to food production, deprive farmers of important tools for raising productivity, and deny to food manufacturers and consumers greater choice among improved, innovative products." (By Henry I. Miller)

"Healthy advice " - " How do health experts make recommendations that become mainstays of prudent lifestyles, only to be shown so wrong?" (Boston Globe editorial)

"Tobacco may benefit ozone, study says" - "Can a tobacco plant in the field serve the same purpose as a canary in a coal mine?" (CNN)

"Bush's Friendlier Path to Clean Air" - "Some environmental groups don't like Governor Bush's approach, which emphasizes incentives and voluntary agreements. But what matters are results. Are pollutants being reduced? Is habitat being protected? Are old hazardous-waste sites getting cleaned up? On this score, Governor Bush's performance looks surprisingly good." (By Lynn Scarlett in The New York Times)

"New York's Message on Clean Air" - "But the only sure way to get the kind of reduction needed to protect the Adirondacks is to impose a far stricter nationwide cap on sulfur emissions." (New York Times editorial)

"UK steps up research on 'mad cow'-like diseases" - "The UK government is significantly stepping up research into transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE), a group of fatal neurological disorders that include 'mad-cow' disease in cattle, scrapie in sheep and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans." (Reuters)

"Britain dismisses new BSE transmission fears" - "Britain's Ministry of Agriculture said on Monday there was no evidence to indicate that a hitherto unknown "third way" of mad cow disease transmission existed." (Reuters) | The Independent

"Study links cell phones to brain cancer risk" - "Concerns have been raised about whether cell phone use can be linked to the development of brain tumors. Now, a study from Swedish researchers provides evidence backing the claim." (Reuters)

"White House Memorandum on Food Safety " - "These steps will continue to ensure the safety of America's food supply and will help protect some of the Nation?s most vulnerable populations from foodborne illness." (White House media release)

"Poor diet as risky as smoking" - "Poor diet and lack of exercise are related to just as many cancer cases as smoking, according to a new statement by the Food and Nutrition Science Alliance (FANSA), a joint committee whose members include the nation’s premier organizations of nutrition experts." (MSNBC)

"Genetically engineered foods: science and nature don't necessarily mix" - "Many genetically-engineered (GE) foods are released onto the market before adequate studies are done to test their risks to humans, according to the May 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Chiropractic Association (JACA). Alarmingly, scientists warn that the long-term health impacts of the novel genes introduced into these foods are impossible to predict, because they contain blueprints for proteins never previously consumed by humans in the quantities produced in GE crops, according to the article." (American Chiropractic Assoc. media release)

"Tobacco smoke flavoring contains hazardous chemicals; Compounds May Pose Additional Health Risk to Smokers" - "Scientists have new data that toxic flavoring chemicals found in cigarettes are reaching smokers through cigarette smoke and may pose health hazards of their own. The finding is reported in the April issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, published by the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society." (American Chemical Society media release)

"New USGS map shows arsenic in nation's ground water" - "A new U.S. Geological Survey national map shows where and to what extent arsenic occurs in ground water across the nation. Highest concentrations were found in samples analyzed throughout the West and in parts of the Midwest and Northeast." (USGS media release)

"Cigarette smoking: Neuroticism and genes" - "Neuroticism was positively correlated with current smoking and negatively associated with smoking cessation in individuals and siblings with poorly transcribed serotonin transporter genotypes, but not in those with more highly expressed genotypes." (UCLA media release)

May 8, 2000

"Legal, scientific attacks hobble EPA; Frustration sets in over challenges to every step it takes" - "After three decades of regulatory triumphs, the Environmental Protection Agency appears to be plunging into a more frustrating era of challenge and stalemate. The EPA finds every decision now torn by competing values without quick solutions to increasingly complicated scientific questions. And each new rule brings out a host of heavily armed critics ready to pounce." (Detroit News)

"EPA’s efforts helping nation breathe easier; Dangerous particles in Metro area’s air slashed" - " Over the past 30 years, despite controversy and lawsuits, political wrangling and scientific debates, the Environmental Protection Agency has proved one thing - it could reduce pollution nationwide." (Detroit News)

"Automakers thrive under EPA rules; Early predictions of economic damage never materialized" - "When you look at the robust balance sheets turned in lately by Detroit’s automakers, it’s hard to believe that executives at General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and the former Chrysler Corp. claimed environmental rules would be their ruin just three decades ago." (Detroit News)

"Critics question EPA’s direction" - "They laud agency for progress on clean air, but say that’s one of department’s few gains." (Detroit News)

"So far, consumers are ho-hum about 'biotech' foods, grocers say" - "Europeans and Japanese have rejected gene-altered crops. Frito-Lay, McDonald's and Gerber don't want them, either. But grocers say American consumers don't seem to care one way or the other - at least not yet." (AP)

"The F.D.A. Chickens Out" - "It's time for the Clinton administration to listen to the public and order the labeling of all genetically engineered foods." (By Any Kimbrell in the New York Times)

"MWRA beats EPA; we all save money" - "U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns no doubt heard the old tag in a first-year law class: De minimis non curat lex: 'The law does not concern itself with trivia.' Perhaps the rule against kicking a man when he is down kept him from flinging it in the face of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in his sweeping order against the agency's attempt to make Massachusetts waste $180 million." (Boston Herald editorial)

"Claims of a Safer Cigarette" - "The R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company recently began test-marketing the new Eclipse cigarette with the claim that it may present less risk of cancer. The trouble is, there is no way for consumers to judge whether that bold claim is valid." (New York Times editorial)

"Professional drivers clog Hong Kong traffic to protest diesel pollution" - "Under a blanket of gray haze, drivers from more than 10 unions drove slowly Sunday, clogging downtown Hong Kong traffic to demand more government help for them to cut air pollution, local media said." (AP)

"BSE 'spread through cowpats'" - "The BSE epidemic may last longer than expected because cattle were at a 'real risk' of catching the disease from the cowpats of infected cattle, according to leading scientists." (BBC)

"Parkinson's linked to insecticide use" - "Exposure to insecticides in the home may double a person's risk of developing Parkinson's disease, say researchers." (BBC) | AAN media release

"Rising seas cause concern" - "Environmental groups are meeting on beaches throughout Britain on Saturday to highlight the damage caused by the rising level of the sea." (BBC)

"Use of smokeless tobacco may lead to breast cancer, Wake Forest team reports" - "Preliminary results suggest that using smokeless tobacco may dramatically increase the risk of breast cancer, Wake Forest University School of Medicine researchers reported today." (Wake Forest media release)

May 7, 2000

"A New Role for the EPA?" - "The Detroit News today begins a three-part series by reporter David Mastio assessing the record of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its three decades of existence . The picture that emerges is a paradoxical one: The agency has spent a trillion dollars and produced environmental cleanup in some areas. But it has delivered few measurable health benefits." (Detroit News editorial)

"The EPA at 30: Air and water cleaner, but health gains unclear" - " But scientific critics like Harvard professors Gray and John Graham believe that protective regulations imposed by the EPA bear little relation to real world risks and divert attention from far more grave problems where federal intervention could make a difference." (Detroit News)

"The EPA at 30: At EPA, finding facts elusive" - "The Environmental Protection Agency has done little checking to determine whether its initiatives were having any impact on public health. Over the 30 years of its existence, the EPA has never hired outside researchers or assigned its own scientists and statisticians to measure the health improvement the federal agency has pursued." (Detroit News)

"Senseless scent patrol" - "Fragrance phobia is a mania, nothing more. Like so many other manias from which people suffer, it is spread by anti-chemical activists, Internet innuendo, newspaper and magazine reporters who treat alleged victims as experts while ignoring the real experts, and by a handful of doctors who rake in the big bucks by treating the fragrance-phobes." (By Michael Fumento in the Washington Times)

"USDA Rules to Target Deadly Food Bacteria" - "President Clinton announced yesterday that for the first time the government will require meat processing plants to test for contamination by the listeria bacterium, blamed for about 500 deaths each year nationwide." (Washington Post)

"Happy Earth Day: Environmental victories were aided by a free economy" - "Last month, as on every Earth Day since 1970, celebrants rallied, grubbed trash out of stream beds, promoted recycling, displayed electric and hybrid cars, planted trees and continued to reinforce the vision. Too many of them never gave credit to the economic liberty that really makes their dreams come true." (Barron's)

May 5, 2000

"Letter on Agent Orange was 'insensitive' and 'divisive'" - A complaint in The Washington Times about a Gough/Milloy letter on Agent Orange.

"Gender and medical research" - USA Today editorializes that "Reports show researchers shortchange women, despite '93 law." NIH responds, "NIH has made progress on gender analysis."

"Study on environmental hazards is flawed" - "Separating a "true" biological effect from reporting that is increased because of "awareness bias" is problematic in communities that are aware of their exposure." (BMJ letter)

"Cancer Risk Dramatically Reduced in San Francisco Bay Area Due to MTBE; New Study Shows Cancer Causing Air Toxins Down 40% " - "Cancer Risk Dramatically Reduced in San Francisco Bay Area Due to MTBE; New Study Shows Cancer Causing Air Toxins Down 40% " (Oxygenated Fuels Association media release)

"Indoor plastics linked to respiratory problems in kids" - "Inexpensive, easy-to-clean plastic materials used to cover walls and floors may put young children at increased risk of developing respiratory tract problems, results of a recent study suggest." (Reuters)

"Young Danes' sperm count dips" - "While the researchers describe their findings as 'difficult to explain', environmentalists believe exposure to one group of chemicals is a factor." (BBC)

"Benzene responsible for high percentage of leukemia deaths induced by smoking" - "Benzene, a potent chemical found in cigarette smoke and automobile emissions, appears responsible for between 8 percent and 48 percent of all smoking-induced leukemia deaths, a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study indicates. The chemical also causes between 12 percent and 58 percent of smoking-related deaths from acute myeloid leukemia. " (UNC-Chapel Hill media release)

"Diet protects mice from smoking-related lung tumors" - "A 'chemoprevention' diet given to mice exposed to heavy tobacco smoke has shown to be highly effective in preventing the development of lung tumors, researchers at the University of California, Davis, report." (Reuters)

"Attacks on Environmental Protection Laws Expected this Summer " - "The nation's leading conservation groups warned today that damaging congressional attacks on the environment are expected to proliferate this summer as Congress rushes to adjourn before the November elections." (Media release from various enviro groups)

"Freedom of information - The impact of free access on biomedical science" - "Science is changing. Soon, scientific research will be made freely available to all online. PubMed Central and other free access initiatives are making it clear that the way science is communicated, used and done will change forever. But what will the impact of free access publishing be on the working lives of scientists, publishers, librarians and the general public? And what effect will free access to research have on science itself? Some of the key players from the scientific community are due to discuss these issues at a conference to be held on 6-7 July 2000 in New York." (BioMed Central media release)

"Smokers and drinkers 'protected against Parkinson's'" - "People who are hooked on addictive substances such as tobacco and alcohol may be less likely to develop Parkinson's disease, say researchers." (BBC) | National Post

"Rural cancer deaths higher" - "People living in rural areas are much more likely to die of cancer than urban dwellers, research suggests." (BBC) | The Guardian

"EU commissioner warns Czechs on environment" - "European Union Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom warned the Czech Republic on Thursday that quick action was needed to meet strict ecological standards before gaining EU membership." (Reuters)

May 4, 2000

'Organic' Is Just Marketing Sweepstakes - Win $1,000.00 by entering Junkscience.com's 'Organic' Is Just Marketing Sweepstakes! All you have to do is submit through Junkscience.com your recommendation to the U.S. Department of Agriculture about whether the coming USDA label for organic foods should state the label is just a marketing tool and not a judgment on the quality or safety of any product. (Junkscience.com media release)

"Thumbs Down On FDA Rules For Biotech Food" - "The Competitive Enterprise Institute today issued a strong condemnation of proposed new regulations for genetically-engineered foods expected to be released today by the Food and Drug Administration. 'There is no reason to believe that genetically-engineered foods are inherently less safe than other foods,' said Gregory Conko, CEI’s Director of Food Safety Policy, 'so singling out these products for greater oversight solely because they’re developed with newer techniques can not be justified.' " (CEI media release)

"FDA announces new measures to regulate gene-altered food" - "The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday announced a series of steps intended to reassure the public of the safety of biotech foods, including a formal process for reviewing gene-altered crops and standards for food makers to follow in labeling products." (AP) | CNN | FDA media release | White House media release | National Food Processors Association media release | Environmental Defense media release | The Independent

"EPA's helping hand" - "It didn't get much notice in the mainstream press, but in 1998 a high-level Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) bureaucrat reportedly abused his office by fund-raising for a Democratic congressional candidate." (Washington Times editorial)

"Environmental groups find a Rotten way to save Earth" - "The Sex Pistols, the foul-mouthed, anarchic punk band notorious for wrecking guitars and hotel rooms, has found an unlikely new cause -- saving the planet." (Washington Times) | Audio clip of the Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen"

"Correct Land-Use Myths" - "Government data about the amount of open land being lost to development has turned out to be extremely inaccurate. Should Congress investigate to see if political considerations influenced the data?" (Detroit News editorial)

"Tobacco marketing" - USA Today comments that FDA oversight is needed for RJR's new "safer" cigarette. RJR responds, "There are 45 million Americans who choose to smoke. Should they have to wait - perhaps for years - for a cigarette that may present them with less risk of cancer, chronic bronchitis and possibly emphysema than other cigarettes?"

"Be skeptical of weird science" - "Help is on the way in a great new book called Voodoo Science by Robert Park. Park is a professor of physics at the University of Maryland and former president of the American Physical Society. In the book, he takes aim at scientific 'discoveries' promoted in the media and explains how to avoid being taken in by bogus claims." (By James Freeman in USA Today)

"Sun 'minor player' in climate change" - "Research into the Sun's role in recent warming of the Earth's atmosphere indicates that it probably plays a relatively small part." (BBC) | New Scientist

"Effects of acute radiation long-lasting: More gene mutations found in grandchildren of exposed mice" - "A pilot study of mice reported in the science journal Nature showed that the grandchildren of animals exposed to short but extreme levels of radiation had a sixfold increase in the frequency of genetic mutations." (MSNBC) | Reuters Health

"Dairy forces farmers to abandon GM crop trial" - "Government-backed trials of genetically modified crops were in more trouble last night after a cooperative of dairy farmers forced colleagues to drop out of the experiment for fear it would damage their milk sales." (The Guardian)

"Greenpeace exposes fatal flaws in science on biotech crops" - " Greenpeace today presented the French authorities and the European Commission an analysis of the flawed risk-assessment of Novatis' genetically engineered maize and called for an immediate ban of the crops. The independent report shows that studies submitted by Novartis to environmental authorities in Europe o prove the safety of its insect resistant Bt crops were inappropriate and scientifically flawed. (Greenpeace media release)

"We're not safe yet: Only further testing will rule out an epidemic of human BSE" - "Many gave a huge sigh of relief when British authorities announced last week that researchers who tested 3000 stored tonsil and appendix samples for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) did not find a single infected sample. The study was designed to gauge the possible spread of vCJD, the fatal brain disease thought to have originated in cattle. Although the government plans to test another 15,000 stored samples, vCJD experts say that the uncertainties involved in testing stored samples are too great. Instead they are urging the government to embark on a programme to test fresh tonsil and appendix samples for the presence of the rogue prion protein thought to cause the disease." (New Scientist)

"Forests turn to dust" - "LOGGERS and gold miners have done their best but the Amazon rainforest may be facing an even more formidable adversary--global warming. A new global model developed in Britain shows that if warming continues apace, whole swathes of the Amazon will die off by the end of the century." (New Scientist)

"U.S. farming provokes "obesity" - France's Glavany" - "French Farm Minister Jean Glavany, who has made no secret of his dislike of U.S. food, said on Wednesday the American farming system encouraged 'obesity'." (Reuters)

"EU seeks ban on high risk cattle parts" - "The European Commission said on Wednesday it had endorsed a new proposal to remove from the food chain cattle parts believed to be most at risk of harbouring mad cow disease." (Reuters)

"Australian patients possibly exposed to prion disease" - "An Australian hospital said on Wednesday it had launched an investigation after nine of its patients were possibly exposed to an infectious fatal brain disease caused by protein particles called prions." (Reuters Health)

"APHA Calls on U.S. Government to Lead With Respect, Not Force in Negotiations with Vieques" - "APHA's policy (passed last November) states that 'the conditions to which the people of Vieques are exposed may constitute serious threats to their health.' Furthermore, it is necessary for the U.S. Department of Defense to 'immediately establish a clean-up program that will facilitate the prompt restitution of the island's environment and that will include the necessary steps...to mitigate the threats to the health of the people of Vieques.'" (APHA media release)

"NIH, D.C. mayor's office, and D.C. Asthma Coalition report on state of asthma in U.S. at official U.S. World Asthma Day press conference " - "To mark the 2nd annual observance of World Asthma Day, federal and local government officials and Washington, D.C., community leaders today reported that the prevalence of asthma continues to rise in the United States, and the burden is greatest in low-income and inner-city communities. However, partnerships between the federal government and local community-based organizations are beginning to make a difference." (NIH media release)

"Lifestyle may play role in potential for impotence" - "Drinking, exercise and body type are factors that can affect whether or not a man will become impotent, according to new research being presented at the American Urological Association's annual meeting in Atlanta." (CNN)

"E. coli risk 'from family pets'" - "A senior veterinary scientist says he thinks domestic pets may soon be passing E.coli 0157 bacteria to their human owners." (BBC)

May 3, 2000

DDT in breast tissue not linked with breast cancer - "On the basis of the observations in our study, there seems to be no clear association between organochlorines exposure and risk of breast cancer." (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, May 3, 2000)

"U.S. to Add Oversight on Biotech Food" - "The Clinton administration today intends to release a plan that would increase federal oversight of genetically modified foods and make details of that oversight more open to the public in an effort to increase consumer confidence in the controversial foods, officials said yesterday." (Washington Post) | New York Times

"Science and Human Needs" - "The world's scientific community needs a much more effective voice. With a "Frankenfood" scare currently sweeping Europe, the president of South Africa implying that AIDS may not be caused by a virus, and the Kansas State Board of Education suggesting that the Earth may be only 10,000 years old, I fear that our powerful electronic communication networks may end up spreading more misinformation than information. In this respect, it is sobering to remember the misplaced optimism that accompanied the introduction of the television, which many thought would create a major breakthrough in education." (National Academy of Sciences President's Address, May 1)

"UK committee to warn kids off mobile phones-paper" - "A British government committee will warn this week that children using mobile telephones are at greater risk from radiation than adults, the Daily Express newspaper reported on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Greenpeace activists face new trial over attack on GM crops " - "The Greenpeace director Lord Melchett and 27 of the group's activists are to be retried in the GM crop-wrecking case over which a jury could not agree, the Crown Prosecution Service said yesterday." (The Independent)

"Australia brown-coal generators warn on greenhouse" - "Australia risked "shooting itself in the foot" by raising the cost of its electricity through greenhouse gas reduction measures, brown-coal fired generators warned on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Hearings begin on proposed $3.75 billion diet drug settlement" - "Opponents of a proposed $3.75 billion national settlement of health claims against the diet drug combination fen-phen on Thursday called the deal inadequate as a judge began hearing testimony on the fairness of the settlement." (AP) | American Home Products media release

"Kentucky to launch its first statewide anti-smoking campaign" - "Kentucky, the No. 1 state in smoking and No. 2 in tobacco growing, is launching its first statewide kick-the-habit campaign, beginning with a modest goal. The state's top public health official would like Kentucky to fall to No. 2 in its smoking rate." (AP)

"Undersea cracks could trigger Atlantic tsunami, researchers say " - "Scientists have discovered cracks in the ocean floor off the East Coast that they say could trigger a tsunami, sending 18-foot waves toward the mid-Atlantic states." (AP)

"Tomato pests devour half of crop in northern India" - "A pesky caterpillar resistant to pesticides has eaten half the tomato crop in and around the capital as frustrated farmers douse their fields with chemicals in vain, a scientist said Tuesday." (AP)

"N.Y. legislature approves bill aimed at curbing acid rain" - "The state Legislature approved a bill on Monday that prevents New York utilities from selling pollution credits in states blamed on causing destructive acid rain in New York." (AP) | CNN

"Obesity linked to dementia" - "Not only do obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure increase the risk of heart disease - they may also be linked to dementia." (BBC)

"Flight cuts urged 'for climate's sake'" - "Several environmental campaign groups are urging people to take fewer flights for the sake of the global climate." (BBC)

"Cutting farm pollution will cost billions, USDA says" - "Cleaning up the nation's lakes and rivers won't come cheap. Getting farmers to cut back on their fertilizer use, a major source of water pollution, could cost taxpayers nearly $3 billion a year, the government says." (CNN)

"Outpatient care of thyroid cancer patients poses minimal risk" - "Giving radiation treatment after surgery to remove a thyroid tumor is thought to provide the best chance of survival - the irradiation aims to destroy remaining cancerous cells. Traditionally, patients have stayed in the hospital for several days after drinking a cocktail containing radioactive iodine. But the risk to household members if patients forgo the hospital stay can be relatively small, a new study finds." (Washington University media release)

"Youth tobacco control linked to lower crime rates" - "Towns that come down the hardest on merchants selling cigarettes to minors and on minors buying cigarettes may also possess characteristics that protect them from crime, suggest the results of an exploratory study in Illinois. 'It is possible that early adopters of regulatory policies regarding youth access to tobacco products are also those communities that react early and prominently to other types of criminal behavior, and that it is these policies that tend to lower crime rates,' suggested lead author Leonard A. Jason, PhD, of DePaul University in Chicago, IL." (Center for the Advancement of Health media release)

"Chlordane found in foods decades after pesticide use" - "Pesticide use from a more toxic past is hitting close to home. A new report says buyers of fresh produce may get something unexpected: chlordane, a now-banned hazardous chemical introduced more than five decades ago. The finding is reported in the May 15 print edition of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, published by the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. The report shows that although food contains small amounts of chlordane, the compound accumulates in the human body and can lead to digestive and nervous system disorders." (American Chemical Society media release)

"Erectile Dysfunction More Likely in Large-Waisted Men, New Data Demonstrate" - "Men with large waistlines are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction than those of slimmer girth, according to new data presented today at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association." (Pfizer media release)

May 2, 2000

"Biotech in hot oil" - "While most people support the use of biotech for medicine, GM foods have been plagued by precisely the fact that grocery shoppers can't see the difference. Biotech crops yield enormous advantages to farmers, protecting the crops from pests and yielding extra bushels for each acre of production. But consumers don't realize that they benefit from those changes through lower prices, less pollution and more efficient land use." (Wall Street Journal editorial)

"Findings Fuel Debate on Prostate Test" - "Yet many medical organizations and experts on prostate cancer remain equivocal about when, or even if, the screening test should be given. Their uncertainty reflects a continuing debate about whether the test is worthwhile given that, especially in older men, prostate cancer can be an indolent disease unlikely to cause lasting harm to the health, while its treatment can often produce serious side effects like impotence and incontinence." (NY Times)

"Voodoo Science And The Power-Line Panic" - "The American public's feeble grasp of science and statistics makes it easy prey for scaremongers. Robert L. Park, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, documents the phenomenon in the upcoming Voodoo Science (Oxford University Press) from which this article is adapted." (Forbes)

"Earth hotter than at any time in history " - "The earth is now hotter than at any time in recorded human history, according to worldwide research published by the Royal Swedish Academy of Science." (The Independent)

"Bt found to reduce toxin in corn" - "Corn genetically modified to resist the European corn borer pest is also less likely to harbor a potential cancer-causing agent, a government scientist announced Wednesday." (ENN)

"Ted Turner to be Honored at PSR National Meeting" - Check out the schedule for the national meeting of Phsyicians for Social Responsibility.

"Beaches Around the Country Receive Certification for Environmental Quality and Public Safety " - "For the second year running, the Clean Beaches Council will announce the beaches that have been officially certified for environmental quality and public safety for this upcoming summer beach season. The list of this season's certified beaches will be released on Monday, May 22." (Clean Beaches Council media release)

"Clinton aides rap Lott for comment about AIDS" - "The White House criticized Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott on Monday for suggesting the Clinton administration was pandering to gay and lesbian voters by saying that AIDS is a threat to U.S. national security." (Reuters) | "Clinton Administration Proposes Bogus Solutions to AIDS Pandemic" (American Life League media release)

"Fairness hearing on "fen-phen" settlement to begin" - "A Philadelphia federal judge on Tuesday will begin a hearing to decide the fairness of American Home Products Corp's proposed $3.75 billion national settlement with former users of two of its medicines used in the once-popular "fen-phen" diet cocktail." (Reuters)

"'Carbon sequestration' under study " - "The Energy Department is spending about $29 million to study it this year - more than twice last year's total - and it has asked for 50 percent more next year. Secretary Bill Richardson added sequestration to his climate-change strategy last summer." (AP)

"'Vitamin O' producers settle health-claims charges" - "The producers of the dietary supplement "Vitamin O" agreed Monday to repay consumers $375,000 to settle government charges that the product didn't do what they claimed it would, federal regulators said." (AP)

"April showers wash out GM trials" - "Heavy spring rain is putting government GM crop trials at risk, researchers claimed today." (The Independent)

May 1, 2000

"Will a memorial to Chunky Monkey consumers be next?" - In response to James Zumwalt's recent commentary in The Washington Times urging a memorial to "victims" of Agent Orange, Steve Milloy and Michael Gough write "Ben & Jerry's claims, 'The only safe level of dioxin exposure is no exposure at all,' but no one is rushing to build a monument to consumers of Chunky Monkey."

FDA rejects "Not Milkman" petition on bovine growth hormone - "The petition requested that FDA rescind the approval of Posilac, and immediately remove it from the market based on "new evidence" that the product poses 'serious health consequences for human consumers.' In response to Mr. Cohen's petition, FDA said that the Agency believed that these arguments do not demonstrate any human food safety issue related to the use of Posilac. Therefore, the petition requesting withdrawal of the approval of Posilac was denied." (FDA summary) | FDA response (PDF file)

"Altered Salmon Lead the Way to the Dinner Plate, but Rules Lag" - "Experts on the biotechnology industry predict that these fish will be the first genetically modified animal to make it onto American dinner plates, alongside genetically engineered vegetables like corn and potatoes, which have been available for several years." (New York Times)

Voters Nix Altered Crops Resolution at Kellogg - "An effort to force Kellogg Co. to stop using genetically altered crops failed when shareholders overwhelmingly defeated a resolution. Friday's vote came amid claims from two groups of nuns that the crops are unsafe and put the company at risk for lawsuits. Regardless, the resolution was voted down by 94 percent of the shareholders." (AP) | Reuters

"To Colombians, Drug War Is a Toxic Foe" - "As for the complaints of illness, the American Embassy official who supervises the spraying program said in an interview in Bogotá that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the pesticide used here, is 'less toxic than table salt or aspirin.' Calling it 'the most studied herbicide in the world,' he said it was proven to be harmless to human and animal life and called the villagers' account 'scientifically impossible.'" (New York Times)

"Biotech oversight checkpoints" - "The review process for biotechnology is constant, thorough and logical. It just needs to be better understood." (Commentary by C.S. Prakash in the Washington Times)

"Administration defends classifying AIDS as national threat" - "Clinton administration officials on Sunday defended their decision to classify AIDS as a national security threat - a designation aimed at garnering more attention and funding toward combating the disease worldwide." (AP) | BBC

"Uranium plant operators destroyed safety, environmental records, newspaper reports" - "The operators of uranium processing plants in Kentucky and Ohio erased hundreds of safety and environmental problems from computer records without proper government approval, a newspaper reported Sunday." (AP)

"Pollution warning on holiday flights" - "A planeload of holidaymakers flying to the USA is causing as much environmental damage as the average UK motorist does in one year, campaigners say." (BBC)

"Report: Mountain Dew Users May Go On To Use Harder Beverages" - "The Office of the Surgeon General issued a warning Monday that sustained use of Mountain Dew--an addictive, caffeinated soft drink popular in youth-counterculture circles--may lead to the use of such harder beverages as Surge, Jolt, and even espresso." (The Onion)