Archives for December, 2006

Happy Holidays

The Pump Handle is taking the remainder of the year off. We wish all of our readers and friends a healthy, peaceful 2007.

By David Michaels In July, two unions, backed by a group of scientists, petitioned both federal OSHA and California OSHA to issue rules to protect workers from diacetyl, the chemical implicated in dozens of cases of lung disease in the food industry (See our earlier post “Artificial Butter Flavor is (Still) Killing Workers”). Federal OSHA…

Friday Blog Roundup

The biggest news in science and public health was the tragic, though not unexpected, guilty verdict in the Libyan trial of six medics accused of deliberately infecting patients with HIV. Several members of the scientific community, mobilized by Nature reporter Declan Butler and several bloggers, drew attention to the scientific evidence demonstrating the medics´ innocence…

Data Dredging at VaxGen

By David Michaels It came as no surprise to some observers that VaxGen (a biotech company in Brisbane, California) failed to meet the specifications of its contract to provide the US government with 75 million doses of a new anthrax vaccine. VaxGen has been playing fast and loose for quite some time – most notably…

Historical lessons from 1918 reviewed by IOM

by Revere, cross-posted at Effect Measure We continue our summary of the Institute of Medicine “Letter Report” on non-drug non-vaccine measures to slow or contain the spread of an influenza pandemic of a severity similar or worse than that of 1918 (see previous post on models here). The IOM report examined several analyses of historical…

Hotel Workers Rising! Part 2

Thousands of hotel workers in Boston are awaiting the results of contract negotiations between Unite Here! Local 26 and the city’s major hotel operators.  Although their current contract expired on November 30, both sides agreed to extend it until February 1, 2007 while they continue to meet at the bargaining table.  Unite Here! Local 26 represents…

Influenza models examined by IOM

by Revere, cross-posted on Effect Measure On December 11, The Institute of Medicine, one of the four constituent parts of the National Academies of Science, released a “letter report” reviewing the scant information on effects from non-drug measures to slow or contain spread of an influenza pandemic (available as a free download here). The report…

Bombs, bullets, billions

by Revere and cross-posted at Effect Measure on October 24, 2006 An urgent communication from the World Health Organization (WHO) expresses concisely how far behind we are in being prepared for a global pandemic of influenza. Currently there are a number of vaccines under development, some of which might protect against an H5N1 virus that…

Gag the scientists, shutter the libraries

by Revere, cross-posted at Effect Measure The Bush Administration hates science. Science is reality-based and some truths are politically inconvenient. But there are things that can be done. Like this:

Frances Perkins is Rolling in Her Grave

Earlier this week, the Bush Administration released its semi-annual regulatory plan (71 Federal Register 72725, Dec 11, 2006).  The 473-page document describes the President’s regulatory priorities, with the “aim of implementing an effective and results-oriented regulatory system.”  The document, prepared by the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA),…