Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Help Science
When the government stops funding science, scientists get money where they can. This is is what can happen when business lends science a helping hand (and this only concerns milk and soda, think about medicine and things get scarier - to me anyway):
Does milk lower blood pressure? Does juice prevent heart disease? Beverage studies were four to eight times more likely to reach sweet conclusions about health effects when industry was footing the bill, a new report contends.
Its authors claim to have done the first systematic analysis of such studies published from 1999 through 2003 in hundreds of journals around the world.
"I don't blame researchers for this problem. I think most are highly ethical and dedicated to science. The problem is that when government underfunds [sic] nutrition research, industry money becomes hard to resist," he said.
None of the experiments fully funded by industry that tested beverages with a control group found fault with the drinks.

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) is fighting to correct the under-funding. There's a Take Action section at the bottom of this page. Please consider helping by signing the letter. More from FASEB:
Background Information – NIH is in Danger of being Flat Funded in FY2007: As Democrats prepare to take control of Congress, Democratic leaders have indicated that they will not attempt to complete the individual FY2007 spending bills, but instead plan to pass a full-year continuing resolution (CR) to fund agencies at their FY2006 funding levels. This action would result in NIH being flat-funded in FY2007. Flat funding NIH in FY2007 would actually amount to a three percent reduction (in inflation-adjusted terms) for the agency.

The Opportunity – A Small Amount of $$ is Available to Redistribute: When Democratic leaders announced that they would pass a full-year CR, they also said they would eliminate funding for congressional earmarks and use the savings to "make limited adjustments to address the nation's most important policy concerns." While the odds are against NIH receiving a significant increase in FY2007, we have an opportunity to make the case that a portion of the savings should be directed to the lifesaving research that is supported by NIH.

The fact that Congress plans to redistribute dollars to our nation’s most important priorities provides us with one last opportunity to push for an increase in NIH’s budget for FY2007. Please take a moment to contact your Senators and Representative. We must apply pressure to our legislators, and let them know that there is a vital need to increase NIH’s budget in FY2007. Therefore, it’s important that you urge your Senators and Representatives to tell their Congressional leaders that NIH is an important priority for our country, and that supporting NIH results in scientific breakthroughs and discoveries that promise to improve the health and the quality of life for millions of people.