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Environmental connections to public health >>

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Friday, September 15, 2006

It looks like Environmental Working Group aren’t the only ones that have a bone to pick with Harvard. At least 17 Harvard alumni, including several leading public health experts, have voiced serious concerns about the ethics inquiry of Dr. Chester Douglass by the university. Douglass has been accused of misrepresenting the research of one of his graduate students that linked fluoride to bone cancer in boys. Why might he do this? Douglass is an employee of Colgate toothpaste, a leading advocate of fluoride.

Friday, September 15, 2006

The scientific journal Nature has added a new element to its system of reviewing articles for publication---posting submissions online and allowing feedback from recognized scientists and institutions. The posting of pending research is meant to support, not replace, the traditional peer-review process, which has come under increased scrutiny as of late for failing to weed out shoddy or even fraudulent research. Nature's editors hope that poorly drawn conclusions and flaws in experimental design, will be more easily flagged with more eyes reviewing them.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Oh no! According to Forbes, McDonald’s marketing chief Bill Lamar may be resigning soon amidst the “dubious call of putting toy Hummer replicas in Happy Meals.”

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

After more than 5 days--and critical posts on TreeHuggerAdWeekFast CompanyEmergence MarketingChurch of the Customer blogAutoBlogGreenTriplePunditCityHippyBlogHer and Viral Garden--McDonald’s is unable to ignore the buzz calling into question the authenticity of its corporate blog. Last night, VP Bob Langert began allowing comments, but has yet to respond to any of them. Langert still needs to respond to live up to his blog’s name, “Open for Discussion.”

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Union of Concerned Scientists is in the final round of its Scientific Integrity Cartoon Contest, recognizing the best cartoons dealing with the intersection of politics and science. Only 12 finalists remain--check out all 12 and vote for your favorite. Here's mine.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Mercury is believed to attract love, luck or riches and can protect against evil. It is also known to cause permanent damage to developing children's brains and have numerous harmful effects on the nervous system of adults.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

go to EWG's website!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Culminating a hike of several hundred miles, West Virginia grandfather Ed Wiley will arrive in Washington tomorrow to ask the federal government to help where his local officials’ resources fall short. Wiley, a former coal industry contractor, wants to see Marsh Fork Elementary moved from its current location, just yards from a coal silo he says makes kids sick--informal surveys indicate that many of Marsh Fork’s 220 students do have asthma or chronic bronchitis.

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Friday, September 8, 2006

Now that McDonald’s Hummer happy meal promo is officially over and the marketing experts who conceived it are out looking for new jobs, their successors should be hard at work searching for a toy that isn’t such a PR nightmare. The answer seems pretty obvious to Nick from TriplePundit and Al from CityHippy--Hybrid Cars.

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Thursday, September 7, 2006

 

On McDonald’s CSR blog, Vice President Bob Langert has defended the company’s Hummer Happy Meal promotion by dismissing the effect that advertising has on children: "… I polled my staff who have or had children. One of them said her children enjoy the little Hummer replicas as toys, just as many kids like toy trucks, regardless of make or model. She drives a MiniCooper, walks with her children to get groceries, bicycles with them on weekends, etc. Another said her grandchildren absolutely love the toy Hummers--that they're fun."

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Thursday, September 7, 2006

Safety of Mercury in Fillings Debated: The FDA wants to know if a government report reasonably concludes that silver dental fillings aren't dangerous even though they expose patients to toxic mercury. Exposure to high levels of environmental pollutants called organohalogen compounds (OHCs), could impact the size of sexual organs in animals and probably humans, say scientists.

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Thursday, September 7, 2006

At least one pesticide was found in each of 168 daycare centers tested in a recent study by EPA’s National Exposure Research Laboratory. While noting that concentrations found were generally low, researcher Nicolle Tulve did stress that there no health advisories or national standards currently exist for such exposure levels.

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Wednesday, September 6, 2006

 

From a press release issued on Labor Day by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER): "WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Bush administration has declared itself immune from whistleblower protections for federal workers under the Clean Water Act, according to legal documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). As a result of an opinion issued by a unit within the Office of the Attorney General, federal workers will have little protection from official retaliation for reporting water pollution enforcement breakdowns, manipulations of science or cleanup failures."

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Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Confronting the criticism of health and environmental groups, three major nail polish manufacturers have begun the process of removing a trio of substances that have been deemed harmful. The chemicals formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate (DBP), have been linked to cancer and birth defects. All were banned earlier this year in cosmetics by EU regulators but have not been targeted for removal in this country by the FDA.

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Tuesday, September 5, 2006

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Food and Drug Administration is bargaining with the pharmaceutical industry for an increase in fees used for reviewing new drug applications-- a move experts say will give the industry a greater role in shaping the priorities of its regulator. "There is no doubt that user fees give the industry leverage on setting the agency's priorities, because of the negotiating process," says Dr. Kessler, former head of the FDA, and now dean of the medical school at the University of California, San Francisco.

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Tuesday, September 5, 2006

new report suggests that childhood PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls) exposure can make children’s diphtheria and tetanus vaccinations less effective.

Friday, September 1, 2006

Pulitzer-prize winning biologist E.O. Wilson is working to unite religious Creationists and secular believers of evolution theory around a shared commitment to environmental conservation. "There are two world views in conflict -- religious and secular -- but yet they can meet in friendship on one of the most important issues of this century," he said.
Amen, prof! [Link]

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Friday, September 1, 2006

Drug Firms Use Financial Clout To Push Industry Agenda at FDA: The Food and Drug Administration is bargaining with the pharmaceutical industry for an increase in fees, giving the industry a greater role in shaping the priorities of its regulator.

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Thursday, August 31, 2006

A study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds that drinking three to four cups of tea per day can reduce one’s chances of having a heart attack, and possibly help protect against some cancers. The study’s author, Carrie Ruxton of Kings College London, challenges the common perception of tea as dehydrating, insisting that tea rehydrates just as well as water does:

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Thursday, August 31, 2006

E-85 Mileage Loophole for Carmakers: Car companies promoting E-85 as an alternative to gasoline are getting credit from the government for nearly double the gas mileage their vehicles actually achieve, allowing manufacturers to sell more full-size SUVs and pickups while still meeting federal standards for average fuel economy.

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