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  • Michael Moore's "Sicko" - Diagnosis: PWNED

    June 15, 2007
    Michael Moore's new attack-umentary on the American health care system, Sicko, seems to be having viral problems of its own. A mysterious source has uploaded the entire movie to the web, and as a result, it is now freely available for (unauthorized) download by anyone with an Internet connection. Ad Age has the story:
    Last week, the Oscar winning director announced that he'd decided to stash a copy of "Sicko" in Canada, in case the Federal government decided to impound it over an apparently unauthorized trip to Cuba made during its filming. As it turns out, the hard part won't be getting the film released, but getting audiences to pay to see it now that its available for free. If the breach is as wide as it appears -- and this reporter downloaded a copy...
  • USA Today: Full Medical Coverage or Nothing at All?

    June 6, 2007
    A write-up in USA Today by reporter Julie Appleby about health insurance gets some attention from our friends at the Business and Media Institute, including a cite of our very own Hans Bader and his scorecard of the nation's Top 10 Worst State Attorneys General:
    Appleby also turned to two New England Democratic attorneys general that have a predisposition against health insurers. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, recently rated the worst attorney general by Hans Bader of the...
  • Chronic Vague Symptom Syndrome: Wi-Fi Edition

    June 4, 2007
    There's more wi-fi scaremongering this week in The Indepedent, which cites an alleged wave of parents and school administrators in the UK who have disconnected wi-fi networks in their homes and schools. The idea that people were actually dropping wi-fi entirely because of phantom health concerns seemed positively eccentric when former CEI analysts Isaac Post and Peter Suderman wrote about it happening at Canada's Lakehead University in March 2006. Now, however, it seems the retreat from technology has become more common. I predict that a maximum of sixth months will pass before a multi-million dollar lawsuit is filed in either the UK or U.S. alleging...
  • Tensions within the FDA -- Type I, Type II debate

    May 31, 2007

    An internecine struggle apparently exists within the FDA, according to an article in the New York Times. Those tensions between drug approval officials and drug safety officials are expected to erupt in a House hearing scheduled for June 6.

    The agency is taking a lot of heat from politicians for approving drugs that have had side effects, the latest being the diabetes drug Avandia, charged with increasing the risk of heart attacks.

  • Today is Rachel Carson's 100th birthday

    May 27, 2007
    And to observe the occasion, CEI's Jeremy Lott and Erin Wildermuth provide a reality check on her legacy in today's Baltimore Sun:
    In 1948, Swiss chemist Paul Hermann Muller was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine. He was the first non-physician to win in that category - a surprise given the nature of the celebrated discovery. He had found that dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT) was an extraordinarily effective pesticide... It was especially effective against malaria. In Sri Lanka, to take one celebrated example, there were 2.8 million reported cases of malaria in 1948. In 1963, after a DDT campaign, the number of cases dropped to 17, with zero reported fatalities - only to rise into the hundreds of thousands again shortly after DDT was...
  • The Gotham Prize for Cancer

    May 23, 2007
    According to Reuters, medical researchers got together with hedge fund managers to institute the Gotham Prize for Cancer Research, a new private prize for innovative cancer research. Announced on its own website, the prize was deemed necessary to stimulate new cancer research and to recognize innovative approaches that may come from outside mainstream scientific research:
    Though billions are spent each year on cancer research, promising research and novel ideas may still not receive the support and recognition that they deserve. Research out of the mainstream may not be funded or accepted for publication, while, for competitive reasons,...
  • Rachel Was Wrong

    May 21, 2007
    Today we launch our campaign urging people to rethink the legacy of environmentalist icon Rachel Carson, with the site www.RachelWasWrong.com. Today she's mostly remembered at the author of the bestseller Silent Spring, the book frequently credited with launching the modern environmental movement. Unfortunately, the negative impact her ideas had on people around the world is mostly ignored. Her goal of getting rid of pesticides like DDT left uncounted millions vulnerable to deadly diseases like malaria.
    Here's Angela, from today's news release, on Carson's legacy and the occasion of what would have been her 100th birthday:...
  • Tim Carney on Drugs

    May 18, 2007
    Our good friend Tim Carney writes in today's Examiner about how Congress is pushing to expand the FDA's authority over prescription drugs, and why the pharmaceutical companies couldn't be happier:
    When the U.S. Senate passed a bill May 9 to expand the Food and Drug Administration's authority to regulate prescription drugs, the big drug makers applauded. This latest expansion of government regulatory power marked another win for the pharmaceutical industry, which has one of the most successful lobbying records in town. The U.S. pharmaceutical industry is built on federal regulations and more often than not finds itself on the side of increased government control over pharmaceuticals. This year's push (spearheaded by “Liberal Lion” Teddy Kennedy) to heighten...
  • The Honor of Being 'Lamberted'

    May 4, 2007
    I have recently been informed that a couple weeks ago I had the distinct honor of being 'Lamberted.' That is, I was the object of a tirade by Australian blogger Tim Lambert, a computer science professor who fancies himself an expert on everything from DDT to climate change. Lambert is one of the "DDT deniers" I reference in my book Eco-Freaks: Environmentalism Is Hazaardous to Your Health. Following the lead of his idol, Silent Spring author Rachel Carson, Lambert continues to promote the untruth that third-world countries ceased using DDT because the insecticide became ineffective due to mosquito resistance. Eco-Freaks...
  • The CAFE Debate: Safety v. Mileage

    May 3, 2007
    With today's Senate hearing on fuel economy, it's a good time to turn again to CEI's work on the Department of Transportation's corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards. As Sam has pointed out on many occasions (including today), the CAFE regs kill - contributing to as many as 2,600 additional passenger deaths each year. For the short answer on why this is the case, tune in to the following episode of The Simpleton's Guide. Because, simple is better.

    ...

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