Health and Medicine

Analysis of a new NZ Treasury Report on soft drink tax - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Feb 28, 2017

By Professors Tony Blakely, Nick Wilson, Boyd Swinburn and Cliona Ni Mhurchu The Government has an action plan to tackle childhood obesity, but it lacks a tax on sugary drinks – a strategy for which there is good evidence.  A new Treasury Report on soft drink tax price elasticities has just emerged. It has the look of a strategically published … Read More

EPA comprehensively debunks anti-fluoride claims of a fluoride-IQ effect - Unsorted

Ken Perrott Feb 26, 2017

The US environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has denied an anti-fluoride petition to ban community water fluoridation. The document outlining its reasons for declining the petition is valuable because it considers all the arguments and evidence presented in the petition and comprehensively shows them to be misleading or even false. This is a humiliating defeat for the petitioners – the US  Fluoride Action … Read More

Anti-fluoridationists go to Supreme Court – who is paying for this? - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Feb 22, 2017

The costly battle to prevent fluoridating the water supply of two small Taranaki towns has gone on for four years – and it looks like continuing. Last October the South Taranaki District Council won a costly four-year court battle for the right to fluoridate the water supplies of Patea and Waverley. New Health NZ, which took High Court action to … Read More

Debunking a “classic” fluoride-IQ paper by leading anti-fluoride propagandists - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Feb 21, 2017

Three of the paper’s authors – Quanyong Xiang (1st Left), Paul Connett (2nd Left) and Bill Hirzy (far right) – preparing to bother the EPA. Anti-fluoride groups and “natural”/alternative health groups and websites are currently promoting a new paper by several leading anti-fluoride propagandists. For two reasons: It’s about fluoride and IQ. The anti-fluoride movement recently decided to give priority to this issue … Read More

Was the Gardasil vaccine ever compared with a placebo? - Diplomatic Immunity

Helen Petousis Harris Feb 20, 2017

Gardasil was assessed in Double Blind Randomised Placebo Controlled Trials that used the fully formulated vaccine and compared it with two different placebos, the aluminium adjuvant and a saline solution. What is a placebo? A placebo is a substance as similar as possible to the active drug except it has no therapeutic effect. It does not … Read More

New Zealand science looks to the future – Sciblogs Horizon Scan - News

John Kerr Feb 20, 2017

Pandemics, predators and predicting sea-level rise are just a few of the issues covered in our Sciblogs Horizon Scan special series. We asked experts across the spectrum of New Zealand science to give us their take on the big issues in their field and what might be around the corner. What does the future hold in store for New Zealand … Read More

Islamophobia or mental illness? - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Feb 16, 2017

Mental illness is far more widespread than we often wish to admit. In fact, it is probably worth considering it a normal part of life – like the occasional cold or other ailments we all get. But occasionally mental illness can be more debilitating – even embarrassing. Does any family not have a member who sometimes embarrasses them by behaving inappropriately? … Read More

Why the government should tax unhealthy foods and subsidise nutritious ones - Guest Work

Guest Work Feb 16, 2017

by Linda Cobiac, University of Melbourne; Lennert Veerman, Cancer Council NSW, and Tony Blakely, University of Melbourne In an Australian study published today, we show that if the government were to combine taxes and subsidies on a range of foods and beverages, it could substantially improve the health of Australians and potentially free up … Read More

Human gene editing recommendations from USA science panel - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Feb 15, 2017

Just out today are the recommendations of a joint science advisory group of the USA National Academy of Science and the USA Academy of Medicine on gene editing. As an alert to any that might be interested I’ve copied their summary of their recommendations below.This post is meant as a simple heads-up, rather than an analysis of this … Read More