Science

Tobacco Companies Hid Information on Radioactive Polonium

Tobacco manufacturers discovered over 40 years ago that radioactive polonium-210 exists in cigarettes and tobacco smoke, and spent decades working to remove it, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Merck Makes Science Sell

An analysis of Merck internal documents concluded that the pharmaceutical company carried out a clinical study of Vioxx in 1999, "primarily to support a marketing campaign before the drug's launch." Merck stated that the study was done "to test side effects of the painkiller Vioxx," which was pulled from the market in 2004, after being linked to an increased risk of heart attacks.

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Toxic Smoke and Mirrors

Overexposure to manganese has caused Parkinson's-like symptoms for thousands of welders, but the makers of manganese-containing welding wire and electrodes are avoiding liability by manipulating science. Jim Morris writes that "the welding companies paid more than $12.5 million to 25 organizations and 33 researchers, virtually all of whom have published papers dismissing connections between welding fumes and workers' ailments. ...

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Global Warming's Deadly Denial

Reviewing the continued campaign by climate change skeptics, David McKnight, an associate professor at the University of New South Wales (Australia), notes that there several reasons why companies such as Exxon have had some success playing the global warming denial card. "First, the implications of the science are frightening.

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Nuclear "Renaissance" Dismissed as a "Carefully Fabricated Illusion"

Asked why people like Patrick Moore and Stewart Brand, who made their name as environmentalists are now nuclear power advocates, the highly regarded energy efficiency analyst Amory Lovins was blunt: "I think they haven't done their homework.

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French Nuclear Plant Slow to Admit Leak

Nuclear power plantNuclear advocates often point to France as a success story, with 80% of the country's electricity coming from nuclear power. But a recent leak at the Tricastin plant in Bollene, near Avignon, has raised concerns about health, safety, and transparency. The site houses both a nuclear reactor and a radioactive treatment plant.

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Europe Backpedals on Biofuels

Ear of corn on stalkThe European Union (EU) has drastically changed its course for the future of biofuels. Until this week, the EU planned to be the world leader in using biofuels as an alternative to petroleum-based fuel, aiming for 10% of transportation fuels to be derived from biofuels by 2020.

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