"beth mole"

A mysterious nonprofit made millions suing companies to put California cancer warnings on coffee

The Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT) is a nonprofit that kicked off its mysterious existence by filing a string of lawsuits against restaurant chains and coffee roasters for not posting California Proposition 65 notices (the notices are mandatory warnings about the presence of "chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer and reproductive toxicity") despite the disputed science behind their demands. Read the rest

Deposition of opioid profiteer Richard Sackler reveals his bizarre defense: definitional games and insistence that words mean their opposite

Richard Sackler is the only known member of the powerful opioid family (previously) to have been deposed; the 2015 deposition was published last week by Propublica and it reveals Sackler's bizarre rationalizations for his family company's deliberate creation of the opioid epidemic. Read the rest

One of pharma's most notorious gougers is going bankrupt, but 2019 is a banner year for shkreli-grade pharmaceutical price-hikes

Back in September 2016, Novum Pharma made headlines when it raised the price of Aloquin, a barely-effective acne cream from $240/tube to $10,000/tube, after acquiring the exclusive right to manufacture it. Read the rest

FDA warns companies: stop selling quack "vaginal rejuvenation," adds, "People, please don't do this to yourselves"

The FDA has sent warning letters to seven companies selling quack "energy based" vaginal rejuvenation "therapies," in which repurposed laser and radio-frequency-based tools that are used to remove warts and precancerous growths are used to scorch peoples' vaginas, a process that is claimed to have benefits for sexual dysfunction, urinary problems, dryness, "laxity," itching and a host of ills. Some of these companies specifically target breast-cancer survivors. Read the rest

Bathroom hand-dryers suck in poo-particles and aerosolize them all over you and everything else

A new study in Applied and Environmental Microbiology (Sci-Hub mirror) conducted microbial surveys of the bathrooms at the University of Connecticut (where the study's lead authors are based) to investigate whether hand-dryers were sucking in potentially infectious microbes and then spraying them all over everything, as had been observed in earlier studies. Read the rest

America's large hospital chains will start manufacturing generic drugs in order to beat shkrelic price-gouging

Hospital chain Intermountain Healthcare is leading a industry consortium representing 450 hospitals in total in an initiative to manufacture their own generic drugs, either directly or through subcontractors. Read the rest

Gwyneth Paltrow wants you to squirt coffee up your asshole using this $135 glass jar

Goop is Gwyneth Paltrow's life-threatening, wallet-flensing empire of woo, home to smoothie dust, vulva steaming, rocks you keep in your vagina, and a raft of rebadged products that are literally identical to the garbage Alex Jones sells to low-information preppers. Read the rest

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound in marijuana that shows promise in epilepsy and pain therapy, so the DEA wants to class it with heroin

The World Health Organization's new report on cannabidiol (CBD) found that the compound (which does not produce any kind of high -- and may actually counteract the psychoactive properties of THC) is not addictive, has no potential for abuse, and shows promise in a number of medical trials. Read the rest

Survey: 23 percent of Zurich doctors prescribe homeopathy, but many of them believe it to be a placebo

A survey of 1,500 Zurich canton doctors reported in the Swiss Medical Weekly found that out of the respondents, 23% had prescribed homeopathic "remedies" but only 42% actually believe in homeopathy (a discredited medieval quack remedy that involves giving water to patients that is supposed to "remember" having been in contact with molecules of allegedly helpful compounds that have been diluted out of the dose); 35% of the rest prescribe on the basis that the placebo effect might help their patients. Read the rest

Rich people in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania are to blame for dangerous anti-vaxx surge

In Geographic and demographic correlates of autism-related anti-vaccine beliefs on Twitter, 2009-15 (Sci-Hub mirror), social scientists from U Alabama, U Colorado and the NIH take a data-driven approach to understanding the surge in vaccine denying tweets that blame vaccinations for autism, a totally discredited idea espoused by the President of the USA. Read the rest

Epipen: Mylan and Pfizer let people die while jacking up prices on defective devices, says FDA

The FDA's Sept 6 warning letter to Epipen manufacturer Meridian (a division of Pfizer) condemns the company for knowingly shipping out defective products that led to the death of the customers who paid hyper-inflated prices for the devices, which Meridian manufactured for notorious pharma profiteers Mylan. Read the rest

Homeopathic infant teething products contain dangerous levels of deadly nightshade

Homeolab USA is a Canadian company that makes "homeopathic" remedies for kids; in a warning letter sent to the company earlier this month, the US FTC warned the company that it had discovered dangerous levels of belladonna (AKA deadly nightshade) in its infant teething products, and advised the company that its manufacturing process was putting its customers' safety at risk. Read the rest

Superbugs are being fuelled by imaginary penicillin allergies

Lots of people think they're allergic to penicillin, but aren't -- so when they have infections, doctors are obliged to skip the front-line drugs, which accelerates the pace of antibiotic resistance in common bacteria. Read the rest

Fecal transplants work in puppies too

Fecal transplants cured 93% of diarrhea cases in a pioneering study, reports Ars Technica's Beth Mole.

By digging into the data on fecal transplants—which are highly effective at treating dogged gut infections, such as Clostridium difficile, in humans—Conrad realized that treatment didn’t have to be that rough. Such transplants generally work by using poop, laden with a helpful community of microbes, to restore disorderly microbial communities in the gut and elbow out harmful germs.

In Conrad’s procedure, veterinarians simply take stool from healthy dogs, screen it, liquefy it, and then inject it into a sick dog’s intestines with a feeding tube inserted in their rear. The screening process Conrad uses is simple, mostly culturing some of the microbes in lab to check for certain types of bacteria.

Within 12 to 24 hours, the puppies’ symptoms start clearing up, Conrad said. He’s now using the method to treat adults and pregnant dogs

Read the rest

Shamrock shake: Pfizer's Irish "unpatriotic loophole" ducks US taxes

Pfizer's used a tax-dodge called a "reverse-inversion" to sell itself to a much smaller, Irish pharma company, moving its corporate nationality to Ireland at the stroke of a pen. Read the rest

Antioxidants protect cancer cells, help tumors to spread

The largely unregulated supplement industry sells a variety of weird and sometimes dangerous stuff that it wink-nudge promises will cure what ails you, but even the most accurately labeled, evidence-based supplements can make sick people much, much sicker. Read the rest

Everybody poops — even the FDA

At Scientific American, Beth Mole has a longer story about the FDA's recent decision to exert more control over the use of fecal transplants — procedures that attempt to cure disorders related to gut bacteria by, essentially, giving you somebody else's gut bacteria. We already talked briefly about this decision, which has some benefits and some detriments. This new piece gets more in-depth. Read the rest

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