Tag Archives: journal sentinel

Newspaper, news service team up for medical news

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today, a medical news service for doctors, will collaborate to produce articles on medical news, according to a report from EditorAndPublisher.com.

The report says AHCJ member John Fauber, a health and science reporter for the Journal Sentinel, will lead the partnership. “Journal Sentinel Editor Marty Kaiser said giving Fauber the resources of two news organizations will benefit readers.”

E&P says the first story is scheduled to appear in March and will be released simultaneously by MedPage Today and the Journal Sentinel.

FDA relied on industry during BPA approval

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Susanne Rust and Meg Kissinger of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel used the federal Freedom of Information Act to obtain and review dozens of government e-mails and more than 100 attached files to find that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration actively leaned on BPA industry lobbyists “to do much of their work for them” during the approval process for bisphenol A.

The reporters say that “BPA, used to make hard, clear plastic common in many food product containers, is found in the urine of 93% of Americans. It has been linked to neurological defects, diabetes, breast and prostate cancer and heart disease.”

The FDA worked to discredit a Japanese study that linked BPA to miscarriages by going to a lobbyist  – before the government’s scientists even had a chance to review the study. And both studies the FDA relied upon to approve BPA were funded by chemical makers.

At the same time, the reporters found, independent BPA experts had not been given the same level of access to the FDA and in fact had found it difficult to even get their opinions heard during the process.

The e-mails Rust and Kissinger obtained appear to paint a pretty detailed picture of the cozy relationship between BPA lobbyists and FDA officials, citing numerous examples of privileged access granted to industry representatives and instances in which the government officials appeared to defer to their opinions and judgments.