Archives for September, 2008

We’ve written previously about Devra Davis’s The Secret History of the War on Cancer, which generated a lot of controversy. Dick Clapp, an environmental health professor at Boston University’ School of the Public Health (BUSPH), wrote for us about two opposing reviews of that book, and now he’s exploring the controversy surrounding another book that…

Comments Galore on DOL’s Risk Rule

Despite a short 30-day comment period, dozens of interested individuals and organizations provided comments to Asst. Secretary Leon Sequeira about his proposed so-called risk assessment policy.  I’ve pulled some of my favorite excerpts for your consideration: “The proposed rule is a parting gift from an outgoing administration to its supporters in industry and should be…

The Labor Department has rejected calls from numerous public interest groups and even the chairman of its legislative oversight committee to conduct public hearings and extend the time period to provide feedback on its worker health risk assessment proposal.  That means that today, Monday, September 29 is the final day to submit comments on the Assistant Secretary for Policy…

MSHA Spokesman Ga-Ga over McCain

Updated below: 9/29/08 5:00 pm Over the last year, Matthew Faraci has served as the MSHA spokesman, providing official statements, for example, about the Crandall Canyon investigation, touting the Agency’s progress implementing the MINER Act, and defending the Administration’s request for an additional $19 million for MSHA.  In fact, Faraci even organized a media briefing so that agency officials could explain why the requested…

Friday Blog Roundup

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced the winners of its 2008 MacArthur fellowships (or “genius grants”). Maggie Mahar at Health Beat links back to past stories on geriatrician Dr. Diane Meier and critical care specialist Dr. Peter Provnost. Andrew Plemmons Pratt at Science Progress looks at the work of neuroscientist Sally Temple with stem cells. Jacob Goldstein…

Spilt milk in China

by revere, cross-posted at Effect Measure The Chinese food contamination scandal continues to widen. The European Union (EU) is now banning imports of all Chinese baby foods that contain milk. The problem is the presence of melamine, a cheap chemical used to make plastics that looks like protein in the screening assays used to see…

Senators Press OSHA on Diacetyl

Four U.S. Senators have written to Labor Secretary Chao and OSHA Asst. Secretary Foulke expressing serious concern that “OSHA has failed to make significant progress in addressing the continuing hazards” of diacetyl.  They asked for a response by October 8 to four simple questions, including a list of inspections conducted as part of OSHA’s national emphasis…

Director of NIH resigns

by revere, cross-posted at Effect Measure Like a lot of other research scientists supported by NIH I got an email yesterday from NIH Director Elias Zerhouni announcing his intention to leave his position “to devote much of my attention to writing.” At least it wasn’t the hackneyed “to spend more time with my family.” While…

Occupational Health News Roundup

It’s become increasingly evident over the past few years that many veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have sustained mild traumatic brain injuries, often from being in the vicinity of a powerful blast. (See last month’s New York Times article for details.) Symptoms can range from dizziness and persistent headaches to hearing problems and memory…

Former Solicitor Opposes DOL Risk Assessment Rule

J. Davitt McAteer, who served as acting Solicitor of Labor for nearly two years,* submitted formal objections today on DOL’s proposed risk assessment rule, and indicated that if the Administration “refuses to withdraw the proposal,” he asks for public hearings [plural] and an extension of the comment period.  McAteer, who also served as the MSHA chief from…