Dezenhall Tells Publishers: Openness is Censorship

"A group of big scientific publishers has hired" aggressive public relations executive Eric Dezenhall "to take on the free-information movement," reports Jim Giles. "Some traditional journals, which depend on subscription charges, say that open-access journals and public databases ...


As Nicotine Dose Increases, So Must Awareness of the Pitfalls of FDA Regulation

The Harvard School of Public Health released a study Thursday revealing that the amount of nicotine in cigarettes has increased significantly since the major American tobacco companies signed the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) in 1998. Predictably, Philip Morris (PM), in a media release available at their web site, denies the study results. The U.S. Surgeon General in 1988 warned that nicotine is as addictive as heroin and cocaine, but these drugs don't have decades of sophisticated R&D behind them aimed at heightening their addictiveness. Cigarettes, among the most highly engineered consumer products in the world, deliver nicotine into more people's bodies more times every day than aspirin. Still, they remain unregulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Phone Connections

A new study analyzing research on the biologic effects of cell phone use found that industry-funded studies were far less likely to identify negative consequences than studies funded by governments and non-profits. Researchers analyzed 57 studies that appeared in the academic literature between 1995 and 2005.


Oregon Health Officials' Rocket Science

In 2004, Oregon health officials began investigating whether perchlorate, a rocket fuel chemical present in some of the state's water wells, "might be creeping into the breadbasket region's produce and dairy milk." Their conclusion, based on "limited food sampling," is that "perchlorate doesn't pose a health danger to area residents." But records obtained by The Oregonian reveal that the Northwest Food Processors Association "urged top state health administrators to kill the food study," claim


Industry-Funded Studies Say Drink Up (Their Stuff)

Studies of the health benefits of beverages are four to eight times more likely to support the studied drink if industry fully paid for the research than if it didn't, according to a newly-published article in the science journal PLoS Medicine. The study reviewed 206 journal articles that drew conclusions about the health effects of a beverage. About half of those revealed their funding sources.


The Diagnostic 'Epidemic'

Three doctors warn of an epidemic of medical diagnoses fostered by the "medicalization of everyday life", improvements in medical technology and an increasing emphasis on identifying those at 'risk' of a disease. "Perhaps most worrisome is the medicalization of childhood. If children cough after exercising, they have asthma; if they have trouble reading, they are dyslexic; if they are unhappy, they are depressed; and if they alternate between unhappiness and liveliness, they have bipolar disorder.


The Path to a Pink Slip

As a reporter for Environmental Science and Technology (ES&T), a small industry trade publication, Paul Thacker discovered an entire industry built around spinning science for the purpose of confusing the public while benefiting big business. He wrote exposés documenting the tobacco and oil industry ties of Steven Milloy's, which purports to debunk bad science about issues such as global warming.



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