Category Archives: Public health miscellany

John Stossel is a reliable science reporter

He takes off on the Chris Mooney, (WAPO blogger) who wrote a book a while ago that claimed Republicans were anti science. Mooney–with no science qualifications at all (Ivy League lit degree) generally puts out lefty science propaganda and specializes in making fun of conservatives.

He surely is not a voice for rational evidence based science. Stossel, however, is.

Rand Paul steps in it

In his big announcement of candidacy for the president Rand Paul proved his a superficial little twit.

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Tadchem, a regular contributor and commenter provides a shocking surprise on the issue of really old Caucasians

I know this could explains some stuff.

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A bone to pick with our allies at CATO. Medical mistakes on air pollution. Stop it.

One of the great climate guys on the planet for our side is Pat Michaels, who is now director of a new scientific integrity project for CATO Institute of DC Called the Center for the Study of Science. Good idea. Junk Science detectors is what they are.

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Couple of hot buttons, drugs and dementia–and they garnish with bad epidemiology?

So an association is found–between drugs and later dementia.

Wow–like those Ascherio and Willett Nurse Study Group announcements.

Small associations, multiple inquiry, no plausible mechanism, and I am tired of this crap–but it will make the news.

These researchers might even get some more funding.

Observational epidemiological studies with small associations are nada, nothing, zilch. Real effect is seen in strong–as in 100% effect–a doubling of the rate is not that much really, so most journals demand Relative Risk of 3 or 4 in loosey goosey observational studies.

In political hot button and agency priority areas, though, with high public concerns, like air pollution scares or research on cancer of the breast or Alzheimer’s and dementia, the political arena these stupid studies get treated well, and in some cases silly observational (ecological) studies are treated like they were randomized and controlled trials with double blinding, cross over and good plausibility.

The authors sort of lamely admit to the limitations of the study and suggest it is hypothesis generating–apparently fishing for grant money? Imagine that.

Scaring People About e-Cigarettes: A Public Health Disgrace

According to Dr. Gilbert Ross, Medical and Executive Director, American Council on Science and Health

Smoking is America’s most important, and preventable, public health problem: It is estimated that almost a half-million of us will succumb prematurely to smoking’s deadly effects each year, with twenty-times that number sickened. Among our 43 million smokers, over half try to quit each year, yet less than one in twenty succeed. The FDA approved products—patches, gums, and drugs—help “boost” that to about one in ten, an abysmal “success” rate of 10 percent. Yet, the official line, from the FDA and the CDC on down, is “stick with the FDA-approved methods; don’t even try anything else!”

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Ed Calabrese, my hero, goes after the linear non threshold charlatans

This is a letter that Ed wrote to Archives of Tox about that latest linear non threshold stuff.

As an emergency physician I have real world experience with tox–and linear non threshold theories of toxicology are junk.

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