ACSH Science Dispatch Podcast

Panicked headlines recently warned that the popular artificial sweetener erythritol could increase heart disease risk. The study that generated these claims in no way supports that association. Dietary supplements are a multi-billion-dollar industry; they've also killed people. Do they need more regulatory oversight?

Will Tylenol alleviate severe pain? It will not, yet patients are routinely given the drug after major surgery. Thank your congressman for such insanity. Meanwhile, the drug store conglomerate CVS displays real pain relievers right next to useless homeopathic "remedies." A lawsuit could put an end to that dubious marketing practice.

Peer-review is supposed to keep sloppy and fraudulent research out of academic journals. Sadly, the process fails all too frequently. What can we do to prevent further corruption of our science publications? Consumers often avoid supposedly harmful chemicals to reduce their cancer risk—then they drink alcohol, a well-known carcinogen, without a second thought. Why?

America is facing a critical shortage of many medically important drugs. The good news? There's a simple solution if we're willing to implement it. The Biden Administration is poised to invest billions of dollars in America's "bioeconomy." Will this really boost the US biotech sector, or just waste valuable resources that should be spent elsewhere?

Now that the political drama around gas stoves has waned, it's time to discuss the science. Here's what all the talking heads got wrong. Does secondhand weed smoke cause asthma? Maybe, though the most recent study cited as evidence isn't all that rigorous.

Sweden garnered both intense criticism and high praise for its conservative pandemic response. How did the country's COVID-19 outcomes compare to those of the US and other countries? From deforestation to climate change and pollution, headline after headline warns that we're rapidly destroying our planet. These scandalous assertions are out of step with the latest evidence.

Former surgeon general C. Everett Koop was a towering figure in the world of public health. A pediatric surgeon with deeply held religious convictions, Koop was an iconoclast willing to challenge the accepted wisdom of both major political parties when their platforms contradicted the evidence. What could public health officials today learn from Koop's example?

Heavy metals in baby food do not cause autism. Listen in as we discuss the evidence. Dropping an F-bomb now and again might confer an important health benefit, according to recent research. Do we finally have a scientific justification for the use of colorful language?

A recent study found that marijuana smoke may cause emphysema. The problem? The study was complete garbage. Celebrities and social-media "influencers" are hyping the weight-loss benefits of repurposed diabetes drugs. Should these medicines really be used to slim down? It's complicated.

A ferocious debate ensued over Emily Oster's recent call in The Atlantic for COVID "amnesty." Everybody in the dispute is wrong. Should you drink Smart Water? Only if you're dumb, says our resident chemist.