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OpenMarket: Health Care

  • Of Mice and Men

    September 27, 2006 3:47 PM

    A new study shows that mice that drink moderate amounts of wine everyday suffer from less memory loss and brain cell death. A huge body of evidence has shown that moderate alcohol consumption helps keep people heart-healthy, and CEI had sued for that positive information to appear on alcoholic beverage labels. Now moderate drinking seems to “slow Alzheimer's-like diseases.”

    The happy mice were given Cabernet Sauvignon wine (really!), ethanol, or plain water— their equivalent of two glasses a day. The ones who did best on mazes were the red wine drinkers. Maybe they thought some Zinfandel was at the end of it.

  • Rachel Carson Lied, Millions Died

    September 22, 2006 9:51 AM

    We were all happy to see the World Health Organization
    finally take steps to embrace wider anti-malarial
    deployment of DDT
    , but our friend Steve Milloy reminds us it's hardly a moment to
    break out the champagne
    :

    Overlooked in all the hoopla over the announcement,
    however, is the terrible toll in human lives (tens of millions dead — mostly
    pregnant women and children under the age of 5), illness (billions sickened)
    and poverty (more than $1 trillion dollars in lost GDP in sub-Saharan Africa alone) caused by the tragic, decades-long ban.

    Much of this human catastrophe was preventable, so why
    did it happen? Who is responsible? Should the individuals and activist groups
    who caused the DDT ban be held accountable in some way?

    Yes, Steve, they
    should
    .

  • Lockyer: SUVs Don't Kill People, Car Companies Kill People

    September 21, 2006 10:37 AM

    California's attorney
    general has sued carmakers DaimlerChrysler, General Motors, Ford and
    subsidiaries of Honda, Nissan and Toyota for global
    warming impacts
    on the state. Interesting that the state isn't trying to
    hold individual car owners — the ones who actually drive and produce the
    emissions at issue — liable for the alleged damage.

    This suit seems rather reminiscent of the lawsuits first filed
    by U.S. cities against gun
    manufacturers
    in the late 1990s. Critics at the time pointed out, of
    course, that it's the people who actually shoot the guns who should be held
    liable for any damage caused by them. Congress was sufficiently alarmed by the
    prospects, however, to pass the Protection
    of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act
    , shielding firearms manufacturers from such
    extended liability claims. Perhaps the House and Senate should put their heads together
    on a Freedom to Traffic in Automobiles Act.

  • DDT to the Rescue

    September 18, 2006 10:27 AM

    In an extraordinarily good development, the World Health Organization has officially called for greater use of DDT around the world in order to combat malaria, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of lives. CEI people and our friends have written widely on the issue of DDT and malaria over the past several years, and it's a relief to finally see some movement in the right direction. It's never too late to exorcise the ghost of Rachel Carson from international health policy.

  • A typology for risk assessment?

    September 14, 2006 10:03 AM

    New research
    may help to explain why the term “risk” shouldn't automatically be applied to
    new technologies, such as biotechnology. According to a University of Sussex research study, new technologies
    should be evaluated on a continuum of categories — including risk, uncertainty,
    ambiguity, and ignorance.

    The article in Food Navigator about the new study also
    quotes extensively from a
    speech
    I gave this summer to the Institute of Food Technologists attacking
    the use of the precautionary principle applied to biotechnology.

    Greg Conko has written extensively on this topic here and here and elsewhere,
    as has Fred Smith here and here
    and lots of other
    places
    .

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