Stupid “Science” for Stupid Idiots




A study in the UK says that mouthwash can cause oral cancer. Someone should have told that to my grandmother Froehlich who was one of the (old) Listerine’s best customers.

“…The review reported evidence from an international study of 3,210 people which found daily mouthwash use was a ‘significant risk factor’ for head and neck cancer.

The effects were worst in smokers who had a nine-fold increased risk of cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx and larynx. Those who drank alcohol had more than five times the risk.

Last night a British Dental Association spokesman said the evidence was ‘not conclusive’ and more research was needed.

Yinka Ebo, from Cancer Research UK, said: ‘ Mouthwash users may be more likely to have poor oral hygiene so more research is needed to find out if it’s the mouthwash or the poor oral hygiene that increases the risk of mouth cancer.’

A spokesman for Johnson & Johnson, which makes Listerine, dismissed the claim.

He said: ‘This small review includes only a selective group of clinical data. Evidence from at least ten epidemiological studies published over the last three decades strongly suggests that use of alcohol-containing rinses does not increase the risk of oral cancer.’ …”

Cows cannot detect earthquakes


It doesn’t pay to kill ferel cats.

“…Removing the cats from Macquarie “caused environmental devastation” that will cost authorities 24 million Australian dollars (US$16.2 million) to remedy, Dana Bergstrom of the Australian Antarctic Division and her colleagues wrote in the British Ecological Society’s Journal of Applied Ecology.

“Our study shows that between 2000 and 2007, there has been widespread ecosystem devastation and decades of conservation effort compromised,” Bergstrom said in a statement.

The unintended consequences of the cat-removal project show the dangers of meddling with an ecosystem – even with the best of intentions, the study said.

“The lessons for conservation agencies globally is that interventions should be comprehensive, and include risk assessments to explicitly consider and plan for indirect effects, or face substantial …”


I guess they will now want to take my Vick’s away from me.  To quote Charleton Heston – “My cold dead hands...”

“…The product’s label cautions against using Vicks VapoRub on children under 2, but many parents do so anyway, putting their infants at risk, experts said.

“People don’t read warnings on prescription medications, so to [read a warning for] a salve on the outside of the body that has been around for 100 years . . . I think it would be a rare parent who would do that,” said lead author Dr. Bruce K. Rubin of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Vicks VapoRub, whose active ingredients are camphor, menthol and eucalyptus oil, was first formulated in 1891 in Greensboro, N.C. National marketing began in 1905, and it gained great popularity during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918.

Several small studies have failed to show any medicinal benefit from the ointment, Rubin said. He suspects that the menthol in it binds to cold receptors in the throat, giving the impression that the patient is breathing more easily even when that is not the case.

The ointment’s risks came to the attention of Rubin and his colleagues when they treated an otherwise healthy 18-month-old girl who was brought to the emergency room by her grandparents after her respiratory infection suddenly grew worse. Questioning revealed that the severe symptoms appeared shortly after they had put Vicks VapoRub under her nose.

The researchers were already using ferrets — whose airway anatomy and cell lining are similar to humans — to study infant respiratory problems. To look at the effect of Vicks, they applied the ointment directly to cultured ferret tracheal cells as well as under the noses of healthy ferrets and ferrets with tracheal inflammation similar to that of humans with a cold….The team has since identified three more infants brought to emergency rooms with breathing problems after receiving Vicks VapoRub. All four recovered quickly once application of the ointment was stopped.

David Bernens, a spokesman for Vicks VapoRub manufacturer Procter & Gamble Co., said, “The safety and efficacy of the product has been determined by multiple clinical trials with over 1,000 children tested. . . . Our results are inconsistent with the claims of this study.”

Bernens added that the company’s post-marketing surveillance shows only three adverse incidents per 100 million units sold, with no mention of respiratory distress among them.

Conscientious pediatricians would not recommend that parents use Vicks VapoRub “because it hasn’t been shown to be effective,” said Dr. Daniel Craven, a pediatric pulmonologist at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland who was not involved in the study. However, he added, “we were never concerned that it would cause a problem.”

Craven argues that the new study is too small to confirm the risk from the ointment. He said he hoped “some more studies will be undertaken to further support or refute the possibility.”

The report comes when pediatricians and health authorities have already been warning parents about the risks of using cough syrups and decongestants in infants and young children.

“The bottom line is, none of them have been proven by research to work” and there are risks involved, Craven said. “There are no miracle cures for a respiratory virus infection.”