The Great Debate

The cost of a doughnut’s ‘lost pleasure’ is something you can afford to pay

January 22, 2015


Recently, the FDA took the process of turning everything in life into profit and loss to an absurd level. A series of FDA regulations that go into effect this year require that chain restaurants, grocery store chains selling prepared food, large vending machine operators, movie theaters and amusement parks all display calorie counts on their menus. Within that document is an estimate that this caloric information will cause consumers to “suffer” up to $5.27 billion in “lost pleasure” over 20 years by virtue of fewer french fries and other fattening favorites. Assuming a U.S. population of about 320 million, this means that we are each going to lose about $18,000 worth of pleasure over the next 20 years. For those of us who don’t usually think of the price of happiness in dollars, that seems like many quanta of sorrow.

Plan B: where politics trump science. Again.

December 8, 2011

By Amanda Marcotte
The views expressed are her own.

Wednesday morning Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled the FDA’s long-awaited decision taking age restrictions off Plan B emergency contraception. The change would have allowed those 16 and under to buy Plan B, moving it from behind the pharmacist counter and into the shelves alongside aspirin and condoms. But now that won’t happen.

The government’s waning support of breast cancer?

November 11, 2010

By Sally Pipes
The opinions expressed are her own.

Breast Cancer Awareness month, which wound down last month, appeared to get plenty of government support.

Let cancer patients have this pill

September 17, 2010


One more day — or week, or month, or perhaps even a year. It may not seem like much time, but patients with incurable cancer know better. For Christi Turnage of Mississippi, who lives with stage IV breast cancer, it means seeing her daughter start kindergarten, celebrating her 27th wedding anniversary, and watching her sons graduate from college.

Don’t demonize drug samples. They are crucial to our healthcare

September 8, 2010

AIDS DEATH RISE DESPITE CALLS FOR TREATMENTThe following is a guest post by Grace-Marie Turner, founder and president of the Galen Institute, a non-profit research organization focusing on patient-centered solutions to health reform.

Overweight? No pill will fix that

July 19, 2010


The following is a guest post by David Warner, a Philadelphia-based journalist and health writer. The opinions expressed are his own.

Sickness and death are no way to regulate food

February 19, 2009

 Diana Furchtgott-Roth— Diana Furchtgott-Roth is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor. The views expressed are her own. —