ACSH Science Dispatch Podcast

The International Agency for Research on Cancer's (IARC) conclusion that the sweetener aspartame "possibly" causes cancer is ... definitely stupid. Meanwhile, you can eat a diet consisting of 91 percent "ultra-processed" food and be healthy. So says a new study. Let's take a closer look.

The American Medical Association claims the body mass index (BMI) is "white supremacist" medicine, and the CDC says men can breastfeed babies. The public health establishment seems to have lost its grip on reality. How did this happen?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is playing an increasingly important role in health care. This could lower costs and streamline patient interactions—but the technology has a dark side, too. Critics of "ultra-processed" food often claim that certain snacks aren't even food. Let's debunk this myth, with a special focus on Pop-Tarts.

A new health scare is brewing as reporters speculate about the cancer risk of consuming the sweetener sucralose. Is there any evidence behind the panic? No. A team of scientists recently argued that it's time for oil companies to pay reparations for causing climate change. Let's take a critical look at their claims.

A recent study linking marijuana use to schizophrenia attracted widespread attention. Now that the excitement has died down, let's take a closer look at the science. How does Pfizer's weight-loss pill compare to Ozempic, the obesity treatment beloved by celebrities the world over?

Cutting the dose of Tylenol in opioids makes the drugs safer. Why? Pharma company Johnson & Johnson is developing a drug that could reduce liver damage caused by Tylenol — which J&J also sells.

"... [I]nfluenza A, SARS-CoV-2, endemic coronaviruses, RSV, and many other 'common cold' viruses ... have not to date been effectively controlled by licensed or experimental vaccines." So wrote Dr. Tony Fauci, former head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. What can policymakers learn from this controversial analysis? California is poised to ban five commonly used chemicals under the guise of protecting children. There's no science to justify the legislation.

A concerning shortage of Adderall, one of the drugs commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is putting patients at risk. What caused it, and how can we fix it? The EPA has set new guidelines to keep PFAS out of drinking water. There's a problem, however: the agency's standards are absurd.

Does masking reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2? The Cochrane Collaboration tried to analyze the messy evidence and re-ignited an incendiary political debate. What conclusion should we draw from their findings? There's lots of misinformation out there; there's also rampant misinformation about misinformation. Don't be fooled by either of them.

Social justice advocates continue to demand that professions like medicine become more "diverse." Critics contend this development could bring unqualified physicians into the profession and jeopardize public health. Should we be worried? The FDA wants to label certain foods in the grocery store "healthy." It's an awful idea.