Science

Medical Journal Bats On After Three Strikes

For the third time in two months, Catherine DeAngelis, the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), has been embarrassed by revelations that articles published in the journal have not included full disclosure by authors of their drug industry funding. The latest edition of JAMA includes a study which links severe migraines to heart attacks in women.

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The Tangled Web of Doctors, Drug Companies and Charities

"Around the country, doctors in private practice have set up tax-exempt charities into which drug companies and medical device makers are, with little fanfare, pouring donations — money that adds up to millions of dollars a year," Reed Abelson reports in the New York Times.

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US "Atypical" Mad Cow Threat Was Predicted

The small scientific world of prion researchers -- the scientists who investigate "transmissible spongiform encephalopathies" (TSE) such as mad cow disease in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) in humans -- is abuzz. That's because the two confirmed cases of US mad cow disease in Texas and Alabama are an "atypical" strain different from the British strain but identical to an atypical strain found so far in a small number of cattle in France, Germany, Poland and Sweden. The discovery of "atypical" mad cow disease in the US should not be surprising. Sheldon Rampton and I reported way back in 1997 that very strong evidence of an "atypical" TSE disease infecting US cattle was established by the work of Dr. Richard Marsh, the researcher to whom we dedicated our book Mad Cow USA.

Antibiotic Trial Continues Despite Reported Threat to Children

A new antibiotic that has been found to cause four times the average rate of acute liver failure in adults continues in a trial for more than 900 children worldwide, despite criticism from a U.S. Food and Drug Administration official and a study consultant. The drug, Ketek (internationally known as Telithromycin) is manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis, a French pharmaceutical firm with U.S.

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Shredding Policy Haunts British American Tobacco

British American Tobacco (BAT) has suffered a major legal setback after a Sydney judge found that the company's "document retention policy," under which sensitive documents were shredded, had been developed "in furtherance of the commission of a fraud." In a case before the New South Wales Dust Diseases Tribunal, Justice Jim Curtis heard uncontested evidence from former BAT solicitor Fred Gulson that the policy was designed so that the company could shred potentially damaging documents.

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Chemical Association's PR To Make You Safer

The American Chemistry Council wants you to know that you're safer than you may think when toxic chemicals end up in your local groundwater and air. ACC has announced the hire of ex-Environmental Protection Agency spokesperson Lisa Harrison as its new vice president of communications. Says Ms.

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Bad Data, and Compromised Limits, on Chromium

"This was a 10-year campaign to shape the science to fit the industry's agenda rather than shape the regulation to fit the science," Professor David Michaels said of industry attempts to avoid lower exposure limits for hexavalent chromium. In 2004, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposed reducing the exposure limit set in 1943 more than fifty-fold.

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