Mr. Shad Goes To Washington

Just published this article in Science Progress. Hope you enjoy it. The purpose of the piece is to let you know that all 720 formal (easy-to-read) reports put out by the defunct Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) are now available online, courtesy of the Federation of American Scientists. They are there for you, free, whether you are a researcher, policy maker, educator or anyone with an interest in any one of the topics covered. But this article is framed by the story of the rise and fall of the shad. One of the OTA reports focuses on this mighty fish. Back in 1995 the Office was looking at ways to help Congress set policies to help the troubled fish make a comeback.

Can you believe Congress shut this office down 15 years ago? It was their only source of nonpartisan, science policy advice and they axed it. Between global warming, stem cell research, water shortages, health care issues and other big science challenges facing Congress today, I’d say they need the OTA now more than ever. More here and here

Found a gem among the reports dealing with my favorite fish, the Shad. The OTA had some good recommendations on how science policies could help the shad. The report is 13 years old but New Zealand cites it on their Auckland Country regional development site, even today.

(Here’s a fun audio shad_radio_piece I coproduced about Philadelphia’s Fish a couple of years ago.) Yes! The Shad and the OTA in one tidy article…and they said it couldn’t be done. Or, did they say it shouldn’t be done? You be the judge. Let me know what you think!

  • JT Lewis

    Great Post, S.C.! Here’s another job for the OTA, or at least the Science Cheerleader: Head of a cancer research group yesterday sent advisories to his employees to curb cell phone use, especially in children (brains still developing) because of what he perceives as a demonstrable cancer link–other studies have debunked causal link. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory?id=5436718

  • JT Lewis

    Great Post, S.C.! Here’s another job for the OTA, or at least the Science Cheerleader: Head of a cancer research group yesterday sent advisories to his employees to curb cell phone use, especially in children (brains still developing) because of what he perceives as a demonstrable cancer link–other studies have debunked causal link. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory?id=5436718

  • JT Lewis

    Who’s Minding the (grocery) store? The nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest formally petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban articfical food dyes, several of which are already being phased out in the United Kingdom. See below.

    http://www.cspinet.org/new/200806022.html

    CSPI Urges FDA to Ban Artificial Food Dyes Linked to Behavior Problems

    Dyes Called “Secret Shame” of Food Industry and Regulators

    Yellow 5, Red 40, and six other widely used artificial colorings are linked to hyperactivity and behavior problems in children and should be prohibited from use in foods, according to the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest. The group today formally petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban the dyes, several of which are already being phased out in the United Kingdom. The other six dyes are Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Orange B, Red 3, and Yellow 6.

    Synthetic food dyes have been suspected of disrupting children’s behavior since the 1970s, when Dr. Ben Feingold, a San Francisco allergist, reported that his patients improved when their diets were changed. Numerous controlled studies conducted over the next three decades in the United States, Europe, and Australia proved that some children’s behavior is worsened by artificial dyes, but the government did nothing to discourage their use and food manufacturers greatly increased their reliance on them

  • JT Lewis

    Who’s Minding the (grocery) store? The nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest formally petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban articfical food dyes, several of which are already being phased out in the United Kingdom. See below.

    http://www.cspinet.org/new/200806022.html

    CSPI Urges FDA to Ban Artificial Food Dyes Linked to Behavior Problems

    Dyes Called “Secret Shame” of Food Industry and Regulators

    Yellow 5, Red 40, and six other widely used artificial colorings are linked to hyperactivity and behavior problems in children and should be prohibited from use in foods, according to the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest. The group today formally petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban the dyes, several of which are already being phased out in the United Kingdom. The other six dyes are Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Orange B, Red 3, and Yellow 6.

    Synthetic food dyes have been suspected of disrupting children’s behavior since the 1970s, when Dr. Ben Feingold, a San Francisco allergist, reported that his patients improved when their diets were changed. Numerous controlled studies conducted over the next three decades in the United States, Europe, and Australia proved that some children’s behavior is worsened by artificial dyes, but the government did nothing to discourage their use and food manufacturers greatly increased their reliance on them

  • Pingback: OTA Archive coverage around the web at OTA Archive

  • http://www.districtofcolumbiadispatches.blogspot.com Philip H.

    Now I know why my topic today was a hit with you – and i have yet another blog to read up on this weekend. I may not get off the front porch (thanks to the modern miracle of laptops and cell phone cards that is).

    Cheers

  • http://www.districtofcolumbiadispatches.blogspot.com Philip H.

    Now I know why my topic today was a hit with you – and i have yet another blog to read up on this weekend. I may not get off the front porch (thanks to the modern miracle of laptops and cell phone cards that is).

    Cheers

  • Pingback: Shining a light on the Philadelphia 76ers Dark Ages. | Science Cheerleader

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  • Pingback: June 09 Discover Magazine: My short piece on the Shad | Science Cheerleader

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