November 3rd, 2009 10:08 EST
Rx-Bashing, Gender-Bending, Book-Eating, Soda-Drinking, Industry-Purging
By Curtis Porter
Health Care Reform: Stifling Innovation
ACSH`s Jeff Stier has once again combined forces with ACSH Trustee Dr. Henry Miller of Stanford`s Hoover Institution stand up for those of us who benefit from medicine. Stier and Miller explain that the most recent iteration of healthcare reform seeks to make the pharmaceutical industry bear the costs of reform. Their op-ed appeared in Sunday`s Washington Times:
It has become fashionable at the White House and on Capitol Hill to try to cut costs at the expense of the research-intensive (as opposed to generic) pharmaceutical industry, although this sector has been one of the nation`s most innovative and successful...The tactics employed by the administration and Congress are more befitting a rough playground. The bully politicians are battering the drug industry, but in the end, it is patients who will bleed.
BPA Fails to Give Rats a Gender-Identity Crisis
Though you probably won`t hear much about this any time soon, an article published in Toxicological Sciences -- and supported by none other than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency -- determined that bisphenol-A (BPA) shows no estrogenic activity in rats, contradicting the claims of anti-chemical activist groups who think that it acts as an endocrine disruptor " at current environmental levels of exposure.
This result is in contrast to those achieved with an actual estrogenic substance, which did have estrogenic activity, you`ll be shocked to hear, " explains ACSH`s Dr. Gilbert Ross. BPA, on the other hand, had no effect, and this was a breed of rats that was especially susceptible to estrogenic activity. It`s absolutely an abomination that when studies are done that reveal the absence of toxic or so-called `endocrine-disruptive` effects of a targeted chemical, no one in the press bothers to take note of it. Just like when cancer rates go down and life expectancy increases, the doom and gloom activists in the press remain mute since it doesn`t jibe with their agenda. "
Diet Soda Is Bad. Why? Who Cares!
A study conducted by a team from Brigham and Women`s Hospital determined that artificially sweetened soda can promote kidney decline, though no such relation was discovered with sugar-sweetened beverages.
No one is taking a critical look at these types of studies, they`re just reporting them, " says Stier. For example, did they differentiate between types of sweeteners used in diet drinks? They studied a lot of people going back many years, and there are so many different sweeteners, if you think there is a biological effect, you should be able to say which sweeteners cause it. "
This report is analogous to saying that this or that substance causes cancer without regard for the fact that `cancer` can mean hundreds of different diseases, " adds Dr. Ross. When someone says that something increases the risk of cancer, you have to note that this is a nonsense statement unless they are giving a specific risk of a specific cancer or group of cancers. "
Congress` Crusade Against Book-Eating
ACSH staffers were pleased to see that the New York Times has finally taken note of the fact that the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) is a bane for small business owners: Adele R. Meyer, executive director of the National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops, based in St. Clair Shores, MI, said much of the new law made little sense. `People are taking away all items for children twelve and under,` she said. `But how many eight-, nine-, and ten-year-olds are going to be eating books?` "
It`s about time the Times picked up on this issue, " says Stier. The story has been out there for over a year. The bottom line is, CPSIA doesn`t make anyone safer. "
Dr. Ross agrees: No one`s public health has been preserved or improved by this idiotic bill. Still, consumer advocates say it`s a wonderful bill to help protect the children, and the people in Congress who dreamed up and got this bill passed overwhelmingly are beholden to these activist groups. They will resist changing it no matter what happens to these small-business owners. "
Seeking Qualified Applicants, Preferably with No Experience
The activist group Food Democracy Now has created a petition in protest of President Obama`s recent nomination of two food-industry executives for government positions concerning agricultural policy. It reads:
Last month, he nominated two Big Ag " power brokers -- Roger Beachy and Islam Siddiqui -- to key government positions, putting agribusiness executives in charge of our country`s agricultural research and trade policy. Please join us in telling the President that this isn`t the change we were hoping for: we don`t want Big Ag running the show any more.
Food Democracy Now is very upset that President Obama could pick people who had some association with industry, " says Dr. Ross. I guess they would prefer someone who had absolutely no contact or experience with agricultural business. "
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