Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

21 days to go!

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on June 9, 2009

To reach my goal of 50 regular subscribers at end of June 2009. So lend a helping hand. Make it a goal to post at least one link of my entries on your Facebook or MySpace or similar website. Or even better, if you have your own blog, give a quick plug to Skepfeeds, your favorite, little known, skeptical gem on the web!

Hmm, that number 21 is interesting.

2+1=3

3*2*1=6

(6,6) & 6 = 666

ARRGGGGHHHHH!

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Tests show many supplements have quality problems

Posted in News by Skepdude on June 9, 2009

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT “YAHOO NEWS”

Lead in ginkgo pills. Arsenic in herbals. Bugs in a baby’s colic and teething syrup. Toxic metals and parasites are part of nature, and all of these have been found in “natural” products and dietary supplements in recent years.

Set aside the issue of whether vitamin and herbal supplements do any good.

Are they safe? Is what’s on the label really what’s in the bottle? Tests by researchers and private labs suggest the answer sometimes is no.

One quarter of supplements tested by an independent company over the last decade have had some sort of problem. Some contained contaminants. Others had contents that did not match label claims. Some had ingredients that exceeded safe limits. Some contained real drugs masquerading as natural supplements.

“We buy it just as the consumer buys it” from stores, said Dr. Tod Cooperman, president of ConsumerLab.com. The company tests pills for makers that want its seal of approval, and publishes ratings for subscribers, much as Consumer Reports does with household goods.

Other tests, reported in scientific journals, found prenatal vitamins lacking claimed amounts of iodine, and supplements short on ginseng and hoodia — an African plant sparking the latest diet craze.

“There’s at least 10 times more hoodia sold in this country than made in the world, so people are not getting hoodia,” said Dr. Mehmet Oz, a heart surgeon and frequent Oprah Winfrey guest who occasionally has touted the stuff.

Industry groups say that quality problems are the exception rather than the rule.

“I believe that the problem is narrow, that the well-established and reputable brands deserve their reputations,” said Michael McGuffin, president of the American Herbal Products Association.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT “YAHOO NEWS”

Americans United Applauds Court Decision Striking Down Oklahoma County’s Commandments Display

Posted in News by Skepdude on June 9, 2009

READ THE FULL ENTRY AT “AMERICANS UNITED FOR SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE”

American United for Separation of Church and State today praised a federal appeals court for striking down a government display of the Ten Commandments in Haskell County, Okla.

Reversing a lower court, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously declared unconstitutional the eight-foot-tall religious display, which was erected at the local courthouse in 2004 after a campaign by a local minister and his supporters.

“This decision should send a clear message to politicians and religious leaders: Thou shalt not mix church and state,” observed the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Our courthouses should focus on the Constitution and civil law, not religious law.”

Americans United, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Green v. Haskell County Board of Commissioners case, noted that the monument displays the Protestant version of the Commandments and that it contains the text of the Mayflower Compact on the other side.

The appeals court traced the history of the monument, noting that commissioners frequently invoked religious language in defending it. One commissioner said, “I’m a Christian, and I believe in this. I think it’s a benefit to the community.”

The appellate panel, composed of three George W. Bush appointees, ruled that most people would perceive the display of the monument and the battle to keep it up as religious efforts.

READ THE FULL ENTRY AT “AMERICANS UNITED FOR SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE”