The US Food and Drug Administration
started regulating the labeling of food, beverages, and medicines after the passage of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act
, and added food coloring and cosmetics with the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
. They have just released a new website, the FDA Notices of Judgment Collection, 1906-1963
, containing data from thousands of cases of mislabeled or misadvertised products and drugs, available in multiple forms (text, PDF, metadata XML, .TIF image, etc.), with searchable archives. Poking around in the data will yield information on cases ranging from misbranding methamphetamine tablets
, to quack "Film-O-Sonic" devices
, to bacteria-laden unproven abortifacients sold over the counter
, to purported "4-way" cures for baldness
, to hunks of radium sold for putting in your drinking water
to "stimulate the sex organs" (judged against for stating an unproven use, not for actual danger of product). Organized by the FDA's history office
, the new database is a fascinating resource for historians, public safety advocates, researchers, and librarians.
posted by Asparagirl
on Apr 6, 2009 -
The Essential Parallel Between Science and Democracy.
"[T]he restorative steps Obama has taken vis-à-vis science are praiseworthy not so much because they respect science as because they respect the grand institutions of democracy. This is no accident, because the very virtues that make democracy work are also those that make science work: a commitment to reason and transparency, an openness to critical scrutiny, a skepticism toward claims that too neatly support reigning values, a willingness to listen to countervailing opinions, a readiness to admit uncertainty and ignorance, and a respect for evidence gathered according to the sanctioned best practices of the moment."
posted by sarabeth
on Feb 18, 2009 -
The Right to Walk Away
Has panarchist thinking finally come of age in 2009? With world leaders of big governments failing to find any new solutions to old problems, should we have the right to walk away from those governments?
posted by stuffedspacedog
on Feb 2, 2009 -
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank
gave a bank, whose capital ratio equaled only 1.88% of assets at the bank, versus a desired level of about 6%, TARP money after heavy lobbying. Frank inserted into the bill a provision to give special consideration to banks that had less than $1 billion of assets, had been well-capitalized as of June 30, served low- and moderate-income areas, and had taken a capital hit in the federal seizure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (WSJ link) [more inside]
posted by SeizeTheDay
on Jan 22, 2009 -
Oh those vaunted "first 100 days
," they are finally upon us. Roosevelt's legendary time period has long been applied to new administrations, but never so emphatically or with such hope as to the Obama administration. And now you can follow them! For commentary, there's The First 100 Days
, for mainstream media there's Obama's First 100 Days
, for a comparison between old and new there 100 Days: Starting the Job, From FDR to Obam
a, for new media there's Obama's First 100 Days
, and finally, for a government perspective there's First 100 Days
I smell an idea for an ironic t-shirt...
posted by Cochise
on Jan 22, 2009 -
TARP, SSFIP, EESA, CPP, TALF, MMIFF... Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the new acronyms coming out of the US Treasury Department lately? Here's a handy PDF reference guide
to untangling the US government efforts to rescue banks, financial corporations, and other companies.
posted by Asparagirl
on Dec 29, 2008 -
U.S. Presidents have had an uneven relationship
with technology. The Clinton Presidential Library
has more than 40 million White House emails on record (but only two
are from the man himself). The Bush Administration, on the other hand, junked the Clinton archival process and replaced it with a comically inept alternative
that has lost more than five million messages, many concerning official government business
. (President Bush, for his part, gave up his longtime address -- G94b@aol.com
-- just before his inauguration). Even the Reagan White House had its share of problems
with the digital age. Now, as tech-savvy
Barack Obama prepares to implement his technology plans
, does he have a shot at dragging the Oval Office into the 21st century
? Or will he have to surrender his laptop
, his email account, and his beloved Blackberry?
posted by Rhaomi
on Nov 15, 2008 -
Do you have a yearning to be online? Do you suffer from difficulty concentrating or sleeping, irritation, or mental or physical distress? According to doctors in China, you might have an internet addiction
. [more inside]
posted by DiscourseMarker
on Nov 10, 2008 -
"Death and Taxes: 2009" is a representational poster of the federal discretionary budget; the amount of money that is spent at the discretion of your elected representatives in Congress. Basically, your federal income taxes. (previously)
posted by Knappster
on Oct 26, 2008 -
The Next New Deal With the vaunted post-Cold War "Peace dividend" evaporating, the United States found itself unable to invest adequately in either its infrastructure or its children. Eventually people began to talk of another Great Depression, before the coming of the next New Deal.
posted by Kwantsar
on Oct 1, 2008 -
"What kind of lawbreaking has happened on President Bush's watch, among his top and mid-level advisers? What hasn't? Who is implicated and who is not? Despite the lack of oral sex with an intern, the past seven years have yielded an embarrassment of riches when it comes to potentially prosecutable crimes. We have tried to sketch out a map
of who did what and when, with links to the evidence that is public and notes about what we may learn from investigations that are still pending." Via Slate
posted by infini
on Jul 29, 2008 -
is a directly-controlled, open-source, entirely transparent political "meta-party" in the United States that intends to field candidates guided exclusively by online polling and user-drafted bills. Recruiting
of candidates has already begun.
posted by setanor
on Jul 7, 2008 -
Internet in Africa is more than just Nigerian spam. There are honest African bloggers
who fight corrupt government and police to go where mainstream journalists dare not. Compare their blogging experience with your own. Imagine the government calling you over the phone at night and questioning about a particular post you just wrote.
posted by Surfin' Bird
on Jul 3, 2008 -
HowISpentMyStimulus.com In January, Congress approved $152 billion in economic stimulus checks for millions of American households, intended to boost the economy and avert a recession. Just how this money will be spent remains to be seen. We hope this website helps shed some light on where the stimulus money is going.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero
on May 31, 2008 -
Thirty-six years after
the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse
recommended that "simple possession" of pot be decriminalised, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has introduced a bill
, co-sponsored by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), to remove federal criminal penalties for possession of up to 100 grams (about three-and-a-half ounces) of marijuana and the not-for-profit transfer of up to one ounce (28.3 grams). Drug reform advocates
lit up hailed
the legislation as "an important step toward bringing federal law into line with scientific fact, practical reality and public opinion." Is America, at long last, having a collective moment of sanity?
posted by kliuless
on Apr 20, 2008 -