Archives for March, 2007

Friday Blog Roundup

William Broad’s NYT piece on Al Gore’s global warming science has been causing a stir in the blogosphere this week (original article here). Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt at RealClimate write, “It is rather ironic then that William Broad’s latest piece on Al Gore plays just as loose with [the facts] as he accuses Gore of doing;”…

Hearing Scheduled on BP-Texas City Disaster

Congressman George Miller, chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, will hold on hearing on March 22 on the explosion at the BP refinery in Texas City, TX which killed 15 workers and injured 180 others. 

Diacetyl is a commonly used food additive made to give a buttery flavor to breads, cookies, candy and other goods. For decades, the chemical has been classified as “GRAS” (generally recognized as safe) by the US Food and Drug Administration. But for workers exposed to the chemical in food production factories, there is compelling scientific…

By David Michaels In the wake of the debacles involving Vioxx, Ketek, and other dangerous drugs that should never have been approved in the first place, Congress is about to take up reauthorization of the user fee system that funds the Food and Drug Administration’s drug review process. The system is governed by the Prescription…

UMWA’s Report on Sago Disaster

The United Mineworkers of America (UMWA) will be issuing tomorrow (March 15) a report on the January 2006 Sago Mine disaster.  West Virginia Senators Byrd and Rockefeller are expected to join UMWA President Cecil Roberts in the Senate Dirksen Building at 11:00 am (EST) for a news conference releasing the report.  The UMWA will likely offer their own theory for the cause…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Kristin Collins of The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC) reports that some produce growers in North Carolina aren no longer content with the Mexican farmworkers who come to the the U.S. on temporary visas. Some of these workers have unionized and begun demanding better wages and work schedules. So, when a labor contracting company began offering “workers so…

By David Michaels Dr. David Healy is the probably the single person most responsible for identifying the link between anti-depression drugs like Zoloft and suicide risk. His work led to the FDA to require the addition of a “black box” to the label of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), warning of the increased risk for…

OSHA’s Progress on Workplace Standards

Several months ago, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao published the Department’s regulatory agenda.  This document lists all of the regulations the Department “expects to have under active consideration for promulgation, proposal, or review during the coming 1-year period.”  The notice published in the December 12, 2006 Federal Register (71 FR 73539) stated that the “agencies…

Process and Content Concerns in BPA Review

By Jennifer Sass and Sarah Janssen As described in earlier posts (here and here), the NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) has contracted the work of the Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) out to the consulting company Sciences International. This issue received public attention just as CERHR’s scheduled review…

By David Michaels Since my post on privatizing federal science, I have learned more about Sciences International and owe them an apology. I said in my post, “Sciences International is not a hack company; it employs some very respected scientists who do excellent work.” But that was buried in the post. Since writing the post,…