Monthly Archives: February 2011

Soft drinks don’t raise blood pressure

A new study in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension reports that consumption of one sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) per day increased the systolic/diastolic blood pressure among study subjects (N=2,696) on average by +1.1 mm Hg/+0.4 mm Hg. The researchers conclude that SSBs are directly associated with blood pressure. We conclude that this study is meaningless.

Even accepting the study results at face value, they are of no clinical significance. The average BP in the one-SSB-per-day-group was 119.5/74.0 — under the ideal BP of 120/80. In the more-than-one-SSB-per-day group, mean BP was 122.5/75.5 — again, perfectly normal. Moreover, the study did not link SSB consumption with any clinical health effects.

You’ve heard of Coke Zero; this study is Hypertension Zero.

Claim: Vegetables grown with pesticides better

“A controversial new study… suggests produce grown using modern, artificial, methods may well be better for you,” reports the Daily Mail.

This claim is unlikely to be true — an orange is an orange, no matter how it’s grown. This report does underscore, however, that organic produce is not more nutritious than conventional produce.

National Geographic recycles nuclear winter

National Geographic claims a limited nuclear war could reverse global warming for years on the basis of yet another round of PlayStation® Climatology. But rather than wishing to immolate millions of people, why not just resume atmospheric testing if they are so keen to chill the planet? 

Delaware waste site: 36,000% chance of cancer?

We’ve all heard of giving the mythical 110% in terms of effort. Now reporter Jeff Montgomery writes about a hazardous waste site in Delaware that is way more than guaranteed to give a visitor cancer. Continue reading

EPA, not PCBs, the problem in NYC schools

About the PCBs-in-schools scare, the NY Daily News opined:

Overzealous enforcers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s New York regional office have whipped parents into a frenzy and are threatening to force the city into spending untold millions on a crash cleanup. They need to back off… Only recently did the EPA come up with what the agency considers an acceptable level of PCBs in the air of a classroom. It defines an “elevated level” of the chemical as anything more than 300 nanograms per cubic meter of air – an extremely conservative guideline that leaves a huge margin of error. By the agency’s own math, it’s 300 times less than the amount that would give a child a 1-in-10,000 chance of suffering harm even after long-term exposure.

Even the media can debunk a needless $700 million clean-up in cash-strapped times.

Toothpaste eaters the problem, not fluoridation

About the recent controversy concerning municipal water fluoridation, this Fort Smith Times Record editorial hits the nail on the head:

“In our neck of the woods, fluoride overdose is largely limited to children who eat large amounts of toothpaste.”

Fluoridation hasn’t failed us; parents have failed their children.

CSPI: 40 years of food libeling

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Evelyn Theiss says CSPI has “educated Americans for 40 years.” We say CSPI, not food, should be labeled as hazardous to health. Continue reading