Findings of Honeybee Health Study Encouraging

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"Encouraging News about Honeybee Health," By Angela Logomasini. A recently released study in Europe reports some good news about honeybee health, which should prompt public officials to reexamine a recent ban on some agricultural products. “It’s the first major study of pests and diseases that affect honeybees. A lot of it seems very encouraging,” honeybee researcher Tom Breeze, says in a Reuters news story. The study examines honeybee populations in Europe after recent disappearances of entire … [Read more...]

Junk Science on Glyphosate and (Roundup) Health Risks

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"Debunking Pseudo Science “Lab Testing” Health Risk Claims about Glyphosate (Roundup)," by Academics Review. On April 7, 2014 a television “documentary” in Australia reported that a study of 10 nursing mother’s milk revealed the presence of glyphosate. This report referenced claims announced made by a “study” commissioned by anti-GMO activist group Moms Across America with “Sustainable Pulse,” an online “news service” published by anti-GMO campaigner and organic food entrepreneur Henry … [Read more...]

More Chemical Scares

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"It’s Whacko Wednesday: Two More Asinine Chemical Scares," by American Council on Science and Health. Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 1.05.06 PMAt ACSH we shout a lot. Sometimes even at each other. But most of the time it takes the form of shoutouts to like-minded writers and websites (and there aren’t that many) that believe that real science, not agenda-driven nonsense, should actually be used to guide public health policy. Today’s shoutout #1 goes to the prolific (and brilliant) Trevor … [Read more...]

BPA Alarmism and Mother Jones’ “Expose”

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"BPA: The Scientists, The Scare, The 100-Million Dollar Surge," by Trevor Butterworth. Conspiracy, incompetence, a federal agency out of control. A recent Mother Jones story by Mariah Blake indicts the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a threat to science and public health over the way it’s conducting research into bisphenol A (BPA), the never-ending chemical scare story of the 21st century. Raise the alarm (again), stir the pot (again), marshal outrage (again). And, if you have no other … [Read more...]

Consumers Misinformed About Organic Food

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"Why Consumers Pay More for Organic Foods? Fear Sells and Marketers Know it," by Academics Review. An extensive review of more than 200 published academic, industry and government research reports into why consumers adopt organic product purchasing behaviors was conducted by Academics Review – a non-profit led by independent academic experts in agriculture and food sciences.  This review was then supplemented with an assessment of more than 1,000 news reports, 500 website and social media … [Read more...]

Consumers’ Guide to Chemical Risk

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"Science Facts and Chemical Scares," By Angela Logomasini. Will these chemicals make me fat? That sounds like a weird question, but some consumers may actually have such worries, thanks to a constant barrage of news headlines suggesting that synthetic chemicals—an even some naturally occurring ones—are responsible for nearly every public health problem imaginable. This website and CEI‘s A Consumers Guide to Chemical Risk: Deciphering the “Science” Behind Chemical Scares booklet are designed … [Read more...]

Pesticides Vital to Food Production in India

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"Debunking the Myths on Pesticides is Vital to Raise Food Production in India," By Rajju D Shroff. It is an unsupported claim commonly accepted that all pesticides are unsafe, both for crops and human health. In recent years, studies have highlighted the toxic effects of pesticides, especially in the long run. Most attacks have come from selfacclaimed environmentalists and some environmental NGOs, without enough research to even corroborate their findings. A major concern put forth by such … [Read more...]

Ignore Greens’ Dirty Politics

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"Don't Let Annual List Release Put a Damper On Spring," by SafeFruitsandVeggies.com. It’s April now, spring is here which means an even bigger variety of healthy and safe fruit and veggies will be available to consumers at restaurants, grocery stores and farmers’ markets. But before consumers can get too excited, they’ll be greeted this month with the annual release of the “dirty dozen” list which inaccurately calls into question the safety of fruits and vegetables most popular among American … [Read more...]

Organic Food & Cancer Risk

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"Organic Food Does Not Reduce Cancer Risk," By Hank Campbell. Organic food has built a lot of mythology around its process - more ethical, more nutritional, fewer pesticides, a larger penis for the sons of organic shoppers - but one claim was a puzzler only subscribed to by the kind of people who buy homeopathy and healing crystals; that eating organic might reduce the risk of cancer. The premise is logical, at least for organic shoppers, if only adjacently valid scientifically. Poor diet has … [Read more...]

Fishy “Link”: Glyphosate and Celiac

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"A Fishy Attempt To Link Glyphosate And Celiac Disease," By Steve Savage. Stephanie Seneff (a computer scientist at MIT), and Anthony Samsel (a retired consultant), have recently been attempting to link the use of the herbicide glyphosate to a long list of modern maladies. Their latest such attempt to is Celiac disease. The overall argument for the glyphosate/Celiac link has already been quite thoroughly debunked by a Celiac expert, but there is one other good reason to dismiss the "link" which … [Read more...]

Triclosan’s Dental Benefits

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"Triclosan: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," By Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS. There has been much chatter lately on social media regarding triclosan, and products containing triclosan. Allegations are being made that products contacting triclosan are being banned in certain countries and that it is an unsafe addition to oral care and other products. The “ugly” is that many of these accusations are unfounded and not based in science, and can blur the lines between personal preference and … [Read more...]

More NYT Alarmism About Plastics

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"It Never Stops. Monday: Phthalates, Tuesday: BPA, Wednesday: Phthalates, Thursday: BPA, Friday: Phthalates …." by American Council on Science and Health. It’s a good thing there aren’t more days in the week, cause this could get awfully tiresome. But on March 21st (a Friday) those of us who were unfortunate enough to stumble upon Deborah Blum’s piece “A Plastic Threat to Male Fertility” were treated to a world-classless tutorial on (of course) phthalates—which come across as one of the most … [Read more...]

Eating Organic Has No Effect on Cancer Risk

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"A New Study Has Found that Eating an Organic Diet Does Not Reduce the Risk of Cancer," by CBS Atlanta. Researchers monitored the health of 600,000 women aged 50 or older for nine years asking whether they ate pesticide-free organic food. Roughly 50,000 of the women developed one of the 16 most common cancers during the study period in total. No difference in overall cancer risk was found between a comparison of 45,000 women who “always” or “usually” chose organic food and 180 women who never … [Read more...]

Anti-BPA Bill to Harm Taxpayers

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"BPA Threats Unsubstantiated; Bill Could Hurt Taxpayers," by Mattie Duppler. Over a century ago, Gov. Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette Sr. advocated what would become to be known as the Wisconsin Idea, a principle that an effective government is a responsive government. Today, lawmakers in Madison are beginning to neglect this compact, pursuing a political agenda that ignores informed debate and the well-being of their constituents. Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, has introduced Assembly Bill … [Read more...]

Beekeeper: Alliance with Greens is Counter-Productive

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"Beekeeper Speaks Out Against Anti-Pesticide Campaigns," By Angela Logomasini. Anyone worried about honey bee survival should read the piece by Canadian beekeeper Lee Townsend in the Guelph Mercury newspaper. In recent years, beekeepers have seen some of their hives disappear without much explanation, a phenomenon referred to as”colony collapse disorder.” Green activists have used this situation to randomly initiate bans on various pesticide products in the name of saving the bees, and their … [Read more...]

Misinformation about Triclosan

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"Editorial Counterpoint: Misinformation Fuels Fears about Triclosan," By Paul Deleo. The Star Tribune’s March 11 editorial supporting state legislation to ban the ingredient triclosan — found in a number of antibacterial soaps and body washes — contributes to a parade of misinformation and distortion that we have sadly seen in Minnesota as of late. Triclosan is the most reviewed and researched active ingredient used in antibacterial soaps and body washes. Antibacterial wash products with … [Read more...]

Pesticide Regulation Means Less Wheat to Feed World Population

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"Curbing Pesticides Will Slash Wheat Yields," By AFP. France’s winter wheat harvest could shrink by over a tenth if farmers meet targets to halve pesticide use, said a study Thursday highlighting the challenge of feeding Earth’s growing population. The estimates come from field trials where scientists compared yields to cuts in pesticide use. Extrapolated for the country as a whole, halving pesticide use could mean a decline in winter wheat production of two to three million tonnes per year, … [Read more...]

New Yorker’s Attack on Science

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"Turning Science into a Circus: The New Yorker, Rachel Aviv and Tyrone Hayes," By Bruce Chassy, Ph.D. Titled “A Valuable Reputation,” it purports to tell the story of Berkeley researcher Dr. Tyrone Hayes and how, after he supposedly revealed the harmful effects of a popular herbicide on frog development, the chemical’s maker attempted to discredit him. In subsequent statements by the author and other articles, this has morphed into allegations of a full-fledged corporate conspiracy one … [Read more...]

Beekeeper Says: Alliance with Greens is a Mistake

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"Canada’s Bees are Thriving: Public Needs Facts, not Fear," By Lee Townsend. News outlets throughout Canada are filled with stories about the imminent decline of honeybees and the calls by some beekeepers to ban the pesticides — called neonicotinoids — which they blame for their problems. As a commercial beekeeper, I have a couple of points to make that may surprise some readers. First, the Canadian honeybee industry is far from collapsing — in fact, it's thriving. The numbers don't lie. Both … [Read more...]

Questionable Claims About Pesticides and Health

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"No, Pesticides Did Not Give Your Child A Tiny Penis - Or Autism," By Hank Campbell. In mainstream media, everywhere from Fox News to Time (and here on Science 2.0, though with a little more skepticism) a bizarre study is all the rage - pesticides and other environmental toxins will give your kid a malformed penis and cause autism. And state regulations...prevent it.  This overturns all of epidemiology, right? Now something has to be done. Autism causes might be okay to debate in a reasoned … [Read more...]

Chemicals & Obesity

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"Does BPA Make You Fat?" By Steve Hentges. As with most questions related to the common chemical bisphenol A (BPA), the answer to that question may depend on who you ask. The question is a particularly relevant one in recent years with the advent of the “environmental obesogen” hypothesis, which refers to “…chemicals that inappropriately alter lipidhomeostasis and fat storage, metabolic setpoints, energy balance, or the regulation of appetite and satiety to promote fat accumulation and … [Read more...]

Autism and Environmental Toxins

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"Just When You Think Science Can’t Get Any Junkier, This Comes Along," by American Council on Science and Health. We at ACSH are sure that you have heard us comment repeatedly that nothing surprises us anymore, because we’ve already heard it all. Yet, we must once again eat crow, because we STILL can’t get this right. Just when we think (or are maybe even sure) we’ve seen it all, it turns out we haven’t. Not even close this time. Today’s “How in god’s name can you publish this and keep a … [Read more...]

Anti-Public Health: Green Agendas

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"Essay Attacks “Environmentalists” for Anti-Public-Health Agendas," By American Council on Science and Health. Richard Tren has long been well-known as a fervent proponent of the more widespread use of public-health insecticides, especially DDT, to prevent the scourge of malaria in Africa. He co-founded “Africa Fighting Malaria,” and co-authored several tomes and articles on this subject. His current op-ed in Forbes.com, “Anti-Science Environmentalists Ban ‘Neonic’ Insecticides, Imperiling … [Read more...]

Anti-Science Attacks on Public Health and Pesticides

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"Anti-Science Environmentalists Ban 'Neonic' Insecticides, Imperiling Global Health," By Richard Tren. Some of history’s greatest advances in public health – especially in regions plagued by insect borne diseases – have come from the judicious use of pesticides to kill or repel the insect vector before it can infect human populations. Because the market for public health pesticides is relatively small, however, most of these vital chemistries were developed for larger agricultural uses. … [Read more...]

“Food Babe” Wrong About Chemicals

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"The Food Babe Hath Spoken, And Subway Bread Will Still Suck," By Josh Bloom. I would like to nominate Arvind Mahankali to be the next head of the USDA. Why? He is obviously very smart, has an outstanding work ethic, and a superb vocabulary. He may have even reached puberty. And if he hasn’t, give it a year or so. Arvind is 13. But if you are concerned that he may not yet have what it takes to run an agency with a $24 billion budget and the responsibility of protecting us from unsafe foods, … [Read more...]

The New Yorker’s Puff Piece on Tyrone Hayes

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"Did The New Yorker Botch Puff Piece On Frog Scientist Tyrone Hayes, Turning Rogue into Beleaguered Hero?" by Jon Entine. Who Is Tyrone Hayes and what’s the real story behind the University of California researcher’s sensational claim that he and his family are targeted victims of Big Ag? According to the amphibian scientist and as echoed in a recent 8,000 word mega-feature in the New Yorker by Rachel Aviv, Hayes is an addled but unfairly attacked whistler-blower, victim of a multi-year long … [Read more...]

FDA Research: BPA is Okay

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"BPA Is A-OK, Says FDA," by Henry I. Miller. Many non-scientists are increasingly confused and dismayed by the constantly changing advice that comes from medical, nutritional and other researchers. Some of that confusion is due to the quality of the evidence, which is dependent on a number of factors, while some is due to the very nature of science: We form hypotheses and then perform experiments to test them. As the data accumulate and various hypotheses are rejected, we become more confident … [Read more...]

Book Review: From Cupcakes to Chemicals

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"Julie Gunlock' s From Cupcakes to Chemicals," book reviewed Angela Logomasini. “I was going to be an earth mommy — with my baby secured in my organic cotton baby sling, wandering around the farmers market, making friends with the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker,” says Julie Gunlock in her new book, “From Cupcakes to Chemicals: How the Culture of Alarmism Makes us Afraid of Everything and How to Fight Back.” However, that’s not what happened. Mrs. Gunlock did her homework and … [Read more...]

What’s More “Dangerous”: Soybeans or Plastics?

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"Green Hype About Plastics Suggests We Ban Soybeans," Angela Logomasini. Environmental activists are relentless. No matter how bad their science or how weak their claims, they make much ado about nothing using creative spin. The latest attack on bisphenol (BPA) and other chemicals found in plastics offers the perfect example. This attack appeared in Mother Jones magazine as an “exposé” about dangerous chemicals in plastics, titled: “The Scary New Evidence on BPA-Free Plastics.” Supposedly, this … [Read more...]

JAMA Junk Science

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"JAMA’s Dangerous Hype: BPA and Cash Register Receipt Research Letter," By Angela Logomasini. This month’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) contains a “research letter” on a “study” conducted by researchers at Harvard University that says: "[W]e observed an increase in urinary BPA concentrations after continuously handling receipts for 2 hours without gloves, but no significant increase when using gloves." And given these “findings” the headlines declare that … [Read more...]

Is BPA Safe: FDA Says “Yes”

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"The FDA On BPA Safety," By Steve Hentges. In June 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) answered the question “Is BPA safe?” with a simple and unambiguous answer – “Yes.” In contrast, countless words have been written over many years suggesting exactly the opposite.  To get to that straightforward answer, FDA initiated an in-depth research and testing program on bisphenol A (BPA) about five years ago.  Although there is more to come, the 15 studies published so far, most recently … [Read more...]

BPA Isn’t Really Risky

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"Maybe BPA Isn't So Bad After All," by Jon Hamilton. The plastic additive has been by environmental advocacy groups. But the chemical had no effect on rats fed thousands of times the amount a typical person ingests, government scientists are in the journal Toxicological Sciences. The results "both support and extend the conclusion from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that BPA is safe as currently used," says , a research chemist with the FDA's. Scientists agree that in large doses, BPA … [Read more...]

USDA Data Shows Pesticide Residue Insignificant

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"Our Farmers Get An A+ For Low Pesticide Residues," By Steve Savage. Last week, the USDA released its annual Pesticide Data Program (PDP) report about pesticide residues on food. This release comes from extensive sampling of crops entering the market during 2012. Here is the official summary statement from the USDA: "The Pesticide Data Program provides reliable data through rigorous sampling that helps assure consumers that the produce they feed their families is safe." And the official … [Read more...]

Meaningless Findings on BPA & Cash Register Receipts

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"If You Are Scared Of BPA, JAMA Will Make You Happy," By Hank Campbell. Human exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) has recently been linked to negative health claims, like a decline in reproductive function in adults and stunted neurodevelopment in children, and so people consumed with the 'natural' fallacy have been up in arms about it. It hasn't quite become 'BPA causes autism' hysteria, like they did with vaccines, but it is getting close. Naturally, companies have listened to the nocebo worries of … [Read more...]

School Kids Suffer from Anti-Pesticide Policies

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"Consequences of Misguided No-Pesticides-in-Schools Law," By Angela Logomasini. Connecticut lawmakers are considering granting schools an exemption to a dumb state law that bans the use of synthetic pesticides on school properties. WNPRNEWS reports: "For years, towns like Cheshire and Branford have been pesticide-free, treating their municipal fields with only organic products. But some school officials argue if groundskeepers can't use certain EPA-approved synthetic fungicides, herbicides, … [Read more...]

Chemophobia in the Lancet

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"Grandjean and Landrigan Strike Again!" by Julie Gunlock. A recent study released by Dr. Philip Landrigan of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Dr. Philippe Grandjean of the Harvard School of Public Health and published in the March issue of The Lancet claim the presence of certain chemicals in everyday products is doing great harm to the nervous systems of fetuses, infants, toddlers and children. Landrigan and Grandjean explain that chemical exposure is the reason there has been an increase in … [Read more...]

Food Psudoscience

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"Whole Foods Sells Psudoscience," By Julie Gunlock. Like a lot of people on a budget, I have a love-hate relationship with Whole Foods. There’s a good reason people call it "whole paycheck" and, while I love the fancy food store, I’m not really interested in spending $3.29 on a can of beans (uh huh...I saw it!). I think I shop at the high-end store the way many others shop there: I do the bulk of my shopping at less expensive grocery stores, leaving a few specialty items for Whole Foods. Read … [Read more...]

Yellow Journalism, PCBs, & Environmental Health Perspectives

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"Another Chemical Scare: Yellow Dye this Time. Yawn," by American Council on Science and Health. Public health concern about polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) had, we believed, been laid to rest in 1979 when 1976’s Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) was used to  ban commercial use in manufacturing. Since PCBs do not occur naturally, and remain in the environment for many years, most environmentally detectable sources of PCB have been attributed to “legacy” sources. However, an Environmental … [Read more...]

Myth: Chemicals Affect Sperm Counts

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"Stupid story of the day— The War On Men: 10 Ways Masculinity is Under Attack," by American Council on Science and Health. Here we go again. Mixing science with politics. We all know how well that works. Yet, Paul Joseph Watson, writing on Infowars.com manages to do just this—with a side order of chemical scares tossed in, and the result is predicable—a big mess. Watson “identifies” ten ways that men are being emasculated. The first two have to do with the “seismic shift” in the balance between … [Read more...]

Food Packaging Risks are Low

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"For the record: 'Chemicals in Food Packaging May Be Health Risk'" By Sense about Science. Articles appeared in the Daily Mirror, the Guardian, the Daily Express and Daily Telegraph today with headlines such as ‘Cancer danger in food packs’ and ‘Chemicals in food packaging may be health risk' based on a comment article published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. The articles say that hundreds of dangerous chemicals such as formaldehyde and endocrine disruptors are leaching … [Read more...]

Formaldehyde Hype and WVA Chemical Spill

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"West Virginia Chemical Spill and Formaldehyde Hype," by Angela Logomasini. In this final post on my series related to the January 9 chemical spill in West Virgina, I address wrongheaded claims that the spill also exposed Charleston residents to dangerous levels of formaldehyde. A few weeks after the spill, West Virginia Environmental Quality Board Vice Chairman Scott Simonton alleged that final traces of crude MCHM are breaking down and exposing residents to dangerous levels of formaldehyde. … [Read more...]

Scientists Say Food Packaging is Safe

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"Concerns Over Chemicals in Food Packaging Misplaced, Say Scientists: Journal Article's Warning That Packaging is Significant Source of Chemical Food Contamination is Roundly Rejected," By Sarah Boseley. Concerns about synthetic chemicals in packaging and plastic bottles contaminating food and drink are largely misplaced, scientists have said in response to calls for greater monitoring of the long-term effect on human health. Food packaging is increasingly the subject of suspicion from some … [Read more...]

Autism and Toxic Exposures

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"On Autism, Environmental Toxicants, And Bias," by Emily Willingham. Two clinicians who “utilize detoxification methods in their clinical practices” together with a third author have published an epic review in Translational Psychiatry claiming to evaluate the evidence for the involvement of environmental contaminants in autism. While we obviously want to limit contaminant exposure, autism doesn’t emerge here as the reason for doing so. Something that does emerge, however, looks a lot like … [Read more...]

Organic Food Not Pesticide Free

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'Organic' Doesn't Mean Pesticides Weren't Used," By Barbara Quinn. Brian Leahy has an interesting history. In 1980, he operated a 900-acre organic rice farm in California. In the 1990's, he managed an 800-acre organic corn, soybean, alfalfa and cattle farm in Nebraska. In 2002, he became executive director of the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). Then in 2012, Leahy became the director of the California Department of Pesticide Regulations. Does that seem a bit strange? Read more. … [Read more...]

Dopey Messages and Chemical Risk

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"The Dopes Make The Poison," By Josh Bloom. Wherever he is, Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim a/k/a Paracelsus must be doing the Foxtrot in his grave. Because somehow a bunch of dopes have managed to “correct” something he got absolutely right 600 years ago. You know what it is. Unfortunately, the dopes are not so dopey when it comes to spreading their message: Because a chemical is toxic or carcinogenic in high doses (usually in rodent experiments) that it poses a danger … [Read more...]

BPA in Blood Not Detectible

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"Study Confirms Human BPA Levels Very Low, Non-Detectable: Contaminated Procedures May Have Accounted for Higher BPA Levels Found in Earlier Studies," by Biomonitoring Info. Researchers in Sweden report that BPA (bisphenol A) levels in blood are so low as to be undetectable and higher detected levels of the substance found in previous studies may be attributed to contamination. The findings raise the possibility that concern about the widely publicized chemical found in packaging for many food … [Read more...]

Parabens in Cosmetics

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"Do Consumers Think About Parabens in Cosmetics?" by Perry Romanowski. If you spend a lot of time on the Internet surfing RSS feeds and social media, you could develop the notion that parabens are dangerous chemicals in cosmetics and that you should avoid products that contain them. Of course, actual science tells a different story and a review of all the scientific evidence by the independent scientists of the EU’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) indicates that parabens in … [Read more...]

Communication Failures and the West Virginia Chemical Spill

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"Uncertainty and the West Virginia Chemical Spill," By Angela Logomasini on February 14, 2014. In the aftermath of the January 9 chemical spill in West Virginia, environmental activists claim: “More than two weeks after the spill, the answer to most questions about the spill and the chemicals in it is either that ‘we don’t know’ or that the information is incomplete.” Green groups make such claims to capitalize on the fact that everything in life has some uncertainty. But that does not mean … [Read more...]

Food Babe is Wrong Again

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"Useful Idiot Alert: The Food Babe," By Julie Gunlock. Have you heard about the Food Babe? She’s got quite a following. On Twitter, she has 46K followers. On Facebook, she has a whopping 319K followers. Her website is well designed (The Food Babe has a degree in computer science so that makes sense) and she’s clearly had her media training. She’s been on Good Morning America, the Today Show and on her fellow alarmist’s program, The Dr. “apple juice will kill you” Oz show, plus a whole bunch of … [Read more...]

TSCA Reform Not the Answer to the Chemical Spill

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"TSCA Reform Won’t Reduce Chemical Spill Risks," By by Angela Logomasini. The January 9 chemical spill in West Virginia, which temporarily contaminated the Charleston drinking water supply, has rekindled a debate related to federal chemical regulation. Clearly, this case — and another spill that occurred this week in West Virginia — demonstrates the failure to properly implement the many emergency planning and prevention laws and programs already on the books. And this is a problem that state … [Read more...]

We Have Enough Information to Manage Chemical Spill Risk

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"West Virginia Chemical Spill: We Have Enough Information to Manage the Risk," By Angela Logomasini. In a prior post, I addressed the background related to the recent chemical spill that contaminated drinking water in West Virginia, and I highlighted why more regulation would not do much good. But we continue to hear that we need more regulation because we don’t have enough information about this chemical and thousands of others. Such claims divert our attention from the real issue: failure to … [Read more...]

Subway Restaurant Bows to Alarmist Nanny State

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"The Latest Example of a Company Bowing to Consumer Pressure: Subway," By American Council on Science and Health. Here is yet another example of one of the nation’s largest brands responding to pressure from American consumers and activist groups. Subway has chosen to remove the chemical azodiacarbonamide from its bread. According to a statement made by the company, “We are already in the process of removing Azodiacarbonamide as part of our bread improvement efforts despite the fact that it is … [Read more...]

Chemical Spill Does Not Signal Need for More Regulation

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"More Regulation Is Not the Answer to West Virginia Chemical Spill," by Angela Logomasini. The recent chemical spill in West Virginia has green groups clamoring for more regulation, including expansion of Environmental Protection Agency power under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Early on, however, Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer of California rightly told the press, “We can fix this now” using existing laws rather than passing new ones. Boxer’s strong opposition to the current TSCA reform … [Read more...]

Honeybees and Pesticide Ban Reversal?

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"Bee Deaths Reversal: As Evidence Points Away From Neonics As Driver, Pressure Builds To Rethink Ban," by Jon Entine. If the Environmental Protection Agency moves to restrict neonicotinoid pesticides because of fears that they are causing bee deaths, it will happen in spite of the mounting evidence rather than because of it.  Last December, the European Commission banned the use of neonicotinoids, often called neonics, for two years. The moratorium, support for which was channeled by the … [Read more...]

Beepocalypse or Not?

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"To Bee or Not to Bee? What is Behind the Bee Colony Collapse? Or is There One?" By American Council on Science and Health. The discussion about the reasons behind the so-called “beepocalypse” has been entirely focused on its cause. Some suspects have been cell towers, pesticides, and infectious diseases—Tobacco Ringspot Virus being the latest theory. But if you follow some of the references in Jon Entine’s recent Forbes op-ed, entitled “Bee Deaths Reversal: As Evidence Points Away From Neonics … [Read more...]

Phthalate Plasticizers Now Safe

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"Several Types of Phthalate Plasticizers, Used for Decades but Once Shunned, Now Safe Again!" by American Council on Science and Health. Posted on February 5, 2014 by adminPhthalates — pronounced THAL-ates — are a family of chemicals, many of which are have been added to PVC plastic to make the firm product softer and flexible. Over the course of the past decade-plus, no chemical group in common use has taken such vitriolic attacks on its safety as have phthalates.In recent years, a distinction … [Read more...]

BPA Science

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"EU BPA Evaluation must avoid 'Hysteria' and Focus on Scientific Evidence," By Rüdiger Baunemann. Regulatory authorities worldwide have found no health concern of BPA-based applications, therefore there is no scientifically justified reason for further restricting its use, argues Rüdiger Baunemann. Plastics have become indispensable to modern life, and a number of important materials are based on Bisphenol A (BPA). Without plastics we would not be able to enjoy high-tech devices like … [Read more...]

Expert Says: Pesticide Residue “Not Really a Concern”

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"Pesticides Get Gad Rap, Expert Says," By Carol Ryan Dumas. Pesticides are an essential tool in production agriculture yet often get a bad rap, particularly when it comes to pesticide residues in food, an expert says. In reality, pesticide use is heavily regulated and allowable residue levels are so low that the issue of safety is insignificant. ...The dangers of pesticides are exaggerated by the media and special-interest groups, an expert says, but the truth is they are an essential tool in … [Read more...]

Chemical Spill & Formaldehyde Nonsense

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"The West Virginia Formaldehyde Claim Is Nonsense," by Derek Lowe. This morning I heard reports of formaldehyde being found in Charleston, West Virginia water samples as a result of the recent chemical spill there. My first thought, as a chemist, was "You know, that doesn't make any sense". A closer look confirmed that view, and led me to even more dubious things about this news story. Read on - there's some chemistry for a few paragraphs, and then near the end we get to the eyebrow-raising … [Read more...]

Huffington Post’s Chemical Fearmongering

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"At 'HuffPo' Fearmongering Is an Olympic Sport," By Jeff Stier. What is to blame for spiraling medical spending? Exposure to chemicals in food containers, of course. In a dazzling display of confusion between association and causation, Huffington Post environmental and public health columnist Lynne Peeples writes that: "Health care spending in the U.S. has surged more than eightfold since the 1960s. Skyrocketing in that same time: Rates of chronic disease, use of synthetic chemicals, and … [Read more...]

Rats! “Relevant” Chemical Exposures Are Not Relevant

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"Close Enough For NIEHS Work," By Steve Hentges. The subject of endocrine disruption is not particularly new, with extensive scientific and regulatory attention to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) over the last 20 years or so. ... Quite a few natural and synthetic chemicals exhibit endocrine activity but, in spite of 20 years of research, the field of endocrine disruption continues to be ill-defined and highly controversial.  Two of the current controversies revolve around the related … [Read more...]

Cosmetics and Cancer Claims

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“Safe” Chemicals Used In Makeup and Skincare Doubles Cancer Risk by Katherine Corkill. Well I had hoped to not be broaching this subject yet again.  However there was an article that I took exception to this month that was written by a gal in the UK for the Epoch Times.  My particular concern is through her attempted proclamations of fact there was not a single link to support her objective.  I have read countless arguments, misconstrued facts, skewed data only to see yet again another article … [Read more...]

BPA Exposure: Low and Harmless

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"BPA Exposure Is 'Too Low to Cause Harm,' According To Regulators; But You'd Never Know That From The Media Coverage," by Henry Miller. Suppose a new authoritative analysis revised the estimate of your lifetime chances of being struck by a meteorite — from, say, one in a hundred billion to one in ten billion. Should that tenfold increase in the probability make you any more worried? No– because both values are somewhere between negligible and infinitesimal. A similar and more pertinent question … [Read more...]

Conventional Produce Healthy for Kids

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"Organic Shmorganic: Conventional Fruits and Vegetables are Perfectly Healthy for Kids," By Melinda Wenner Moyer. When my son was a baby, organic was a synonym for edible. If the apples I found at the grocery store weren’t certified, I wasn’t buying them. I knew that conventional produce could harbor traces of pesticides, and I’d read that pesticides could affect brain development. Sure, the details of this association were hazy—I didn’t know how many pesticides my son might ingest from … [Read more...]

EU’s Nonsensical Precautionary Regulations

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"The Junk Science Threat to Free Trade," By Julie Girling. French red lines on agriculture and America's desire to have financial regulation be treated outside the current trade negotiations dominate the headlines about the proposed trans-Atlantic free-trade zone. But the biggest threat to the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership may well be the EU's expanding embrace of "precautionary" regulation—often in contradiction to established norms of science and risk management. ... … [Read more...]

Europe’s Precautionary Junk Science

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"Junk Science Rules in the EU, says Parliamentarian," by American Council on Science and Health. A Wall Street Journal Op-ed by a member of the EU Parliament decries the direction being taken by science there: it’s back to the dark ages as fear trumps evidence. In a recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, MEP Julie Girling, a Brit on the Parliament’s Environment (and Agriculture) committees, issues a warning about the direction EU chemical food regulation is headed: smack-dab into a … [Read more...]

Foolish Attack on Antibacterial Products

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"The Green Campaign against Triclosan is Dangerous and Regressive," By Angela Logomasini. Environmental activists have sounded the alarm suggesting that consumers face serious health risks from the antibacterial chemical triclosan, which manufacturers have safely used in soap and other personal care products for decades. Unfortunately, green hype has led federal regulators to force companies to try to do the impossible—prove that their products pose no risk or remove them from the market. But … [Read more...]

Dangers Associated with Potential Ban on Anti-Bacterial Soap and Gels

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"Immune Compromised Patients Will Suffer from Anti-Bacterial Soap Ban," By Angela Logomasini. Many people with compromised immune systems use antibacterial soaps and gels, particularly when they’re on the go, to reduce health risks. But environmentalists have launched a campaign to ban triclosan, the active ingredient in these soaps. That action would do nothing for public health while thwarting consumer access to helpful products. These anti-chemical groups have so demonized triclosan by … [Read more...]

Weak Science Garners Headlines

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"Scare Journalism And Miracle Cures: American Media Prefer Weak Observational Studies," By Hank Campbell. A new analysis has affirmed what many in the science audience already knew; mainstream media prefer weak observational studies. It's why you're reading this article here instead of the New York Times. And that is not just in regards to social psychology correlations made using surveys of college students or sociology mysticism, it happens in medical coverage too. The examination found that … [Read more...]

Science Under Attack

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"The Latest Epidemic To Infect The Scientific Community? Bad Science," by Patrick Michaels. Last month, 2013 Nobel-prize recipient Randy Schekman made quite a few waves in the science world, when he announced, the day before receiving his award, that he would no longer send papers to Science, Nature, and Cell. These are probably the three most prestigious journals in the world. His accusation is that they are “damaging science” by selectively publishing trendy “headline science” (my words) at … [Read more...]

Nail Polish Alarmism at the NYT

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"Don't Worry, ladies. You're not Harming Yourself by Applying your Favorite Nail Varnish," by Julie Gunlock. But that's precicely what an environmental group is telling millions of women in order to push their regulatory agenda. And last week, the New York Times kindly spread the alarmism. In last week's "Just Ask" column, (which perhaps should be renamed "Just Ask...but We Can't Promise a Well Thought Out or Researched Answer), Deborah Blum asks "Is Nail Polish Harmful?" ... Read More. … [Read more...]

NYT Promotes Foolish Fears About Nail Polish

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"Be Afraid of Your Nail Polish, says the NYTimes’ 'Ask Well' Column. Really?" by American Council on Science and Health. This is what happens when you let your “health” advice column be taken over by an “environmental writer.” This week’s Science section of the New York Times included an advisory about cosmetics entitled, “Is nail polish harmful?” So what sort of answer would you expect? What if you substituted “artichokes” for “nail polish”? Certainly too much H2O can be harmful: more people … [Read more...]

Why Pesticides Should be a Favorite Thing

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"Why Anti-Pesticide Campaigns do Unintended Harm," by Angela Logomasini. Black spots on roses and flea bites on kittens; blight fallen petals and overwrought Britons. These are just a few unfavorable things associated with “green” attacks on pesticides. While pesticides have risks that must be managed, they also provide important benefits to farmers, gardeners and consumers. These benefits are being lost in a politically correct sea of regulations and blind support for everything “organic.” … [Read more...]

Organic Food Not Better for the Environment

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"If You Care About The Environment, Here Are Two Reasons To Support Big Ag," by Hank Campbell. There's no greater feel-good fallacy than the belief that organic food is somehow superior to conventionally farmed food. In reality, organic food isn't more environmentally responsible, it is worse, it isn't better for your health, it is worse and, for the most part, it isn't even grown by small farmers, it is giant conglomerates who, like with gluten-free, fat-free or any other food fad, encourage … [Read more...]

Federal Regulators Inquire about Antibacterial Soap

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"What’s in That Soap? Inquiring Federal Regulators Want to Know," by American Council on Science and Health. The FDA, after years of evading activist and scientific inquiries into the actual benefits and risks of certain chemicals in “antibacterial” soaps, has finally taken action, demanding data showing efficacy and safety of these ingredients (this has nothing to do with hand sanitizers, by the way). The issues involved here are, however, more complex than it seems at first glance. As for … [Read more...]

Evidence of BPA Safety

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"Evidence Released Supporting BPA Safety," by Kari Embree. NAMPAThe North American Metal Packaging Alliance, Inc. (NAMPA) reminds consumers of the important scientific evidence released in 2013 that supports the safety of Bisphenol A (BPA) in food contact applications. Data from key studies, including large-scale regulatory studies by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Environmental … [Read more...]

Scientists Say Chemical Policy Guided by Junk Science

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"Politics, Environmentalism Beating Out Science In Regulating Risk Say Experts," by Trevor Butterworth. A survey of three professional societies, each focused on risk assessment, reveals that science is being pushed aside by politics and environmental advocacy when it comes to protecting the public from the risks of chemicals. When asked to weigh the most important factor that should go into managing risk, the scientists overwhelmingly said science (98 percent). But when asked to weigh the … [Read more...]

BPA Headaches and Bottled Water

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"BPA Junk Science Headaches," by Angela Logomasini. Could your affection for bottled water be responsible for your bout with migraines? Apparently so, if you believe the latest headlines about the chemical bisphenol A (BPA). But its wise to be wary of such silly claims. First of all, it’s wrong to suggest that single serving bottled water commonly contains BPA, because that’s simply not true. BPA is not used for single-serving, flexible plastic water bottles, as pointed out on the … [Read more...]

New York Times, DDT, & Malaria

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"Is the NYTimes Rreverting to the Bad Old Days of DDT Denial?" by American Council on Science and Health. Over the 51 years since Rachel Carson’s poetic attack on DDT in her “Silent Spring” novel, the chemical pesticide became the poster child for the nascent environmental movement’s inchoate wrath. The victims: millions of African and Asian children and pregnant women who succumbed to malaria in the absence of DDT. (Note: the discoverer of DDT’s potent insecticidal prowess, Dr. Paul Mueller, … [Read more...]

Ignore Alarmism: Common Sense Advice to Parents

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"Advice for Parents: Common Sense, Moderation and Ignore those Alarmist Warnings," by American Council on Science and Health. Julie Gunlock, the director of the Independent Women’s Forum Culture of Alarmism Project, has written a new book, “From Cupcakes to Chemicals: How the Culture of Alarmism Makes Us Afraid of Everything and How to Fight Back,” based on the premise that “It’s critical that moms be able to discern between false alarmism and real risks.” She discusses her book in a recent … [Read more...]

Farmers Detail Farming Practices and Safe Use of Pesticides

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"Farmer Videos Show Food Safety Commitment," by SafeFruitsand Veggies.com The AFF has recently reposted on our Facebook page the videos of farmers describing how they control pests and diseases on their organic and conventional fruit and vegetable farms. These videos clearly show the scientific and technical knowledge that goes into making each and every pest and disease control decision. The reposting of the videos is in response to increasing consumer questions and comments about how and why … [Read more...]

Phony Phthalates Scare

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"What Started the Phony Phthalates Scare? Utterly Inept Science, by American Council on Science and Health." Phthalates, a group of ubiquitous chemicals that are perennial darlings of the anti-chemical movement, have been accused of being responsible for just about everything from birth defects to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. Well, now they may be going onto California’s chemical wastebasket called “Proposition 65”, ostensibly a list of chemicals that cause cancer or reproductive … [Read more...]

Fight Cancer by Attacking Known Causes

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"Six Solid Ways To Reduce Your Cancer Risk -- And That Of Your Children," by Geoffrey Kabat. We hear so much these days about cancer threats from exposure to trace amounts of pesticides and industrial chemicals in our food, water, cosmetics, sleepwear, and in playgrounds. This constant drumbeat of what invariably turn out to be miniscule or non-existent threats confuses many people, and diverts attention from what are the major known, avoidable causes of cancer and what we can do to reduce our … [Read more...]

Cupcakes and Chemicals: NRO Interviews Julie Gunlock

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"Cupcakes, Chemicals, and a Culture of Alarmism," Katheryn Jean Lopez interview with Julie Gunlock. ‘I’m a mother — a mother of three hungry, energetic boys — who is tired of those who try to make parenting, and plain old living, more complicated, stressful, and less fun than it should be,” Julie Gunlock declares in the introduction of her new book, From Cupcakes to Chemicals: How the Culture of Alarmism Makes Us Afraid of Everything and How to Fight Back. “It’s critical,” she adds, “that moms … [Read more...]

California Wrongly Lists Plasticizer, Phthalate DINP, on Prop. 65

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"California’s Prop 65 Bandwagon Rolls Over Another Safe, Useful Chemical," by American Council on Science and Health. Yesterday, the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), the mega-brains deciding on which chemicals need to be labeled under Proposition 65’s dictum, “known to the State of California” to be a carcinogen or reproductive toxicant, announced that the phthalate DINP (diisononylphthalate) would be included on the list. … [Read more...]

Junk Science Alert: Headaches & BPA Water Jugs

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"A Debate that Causes Headaches: Rushed Conclusions from Recent Study on BPA," by BPA Coalition. A new study from the University of Kansas was published claiming that drinking water from plastic bottles and water coolers containing BPA could cause migraines. It has since been picked up by media such as the British Daily Mail which reported that the study imitated human exposure to BPA in a laboratory where rats were administered BPA once every three days. The results of the study allegedly … [Read more...]

EPA Appoints “Science” Official

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"In the mood for some nice government-speak? EPA appoints new 'Scientific Integrity Official,'” by American Council on Science and Health. Well, we can all rest a little uneasier today: thanks to a new EPA appointee, there will be a sudden and profound uptick in the environmental agency’s integrity when evaluating research and formulating scientific policies. Not. In announcing the creation of a new Orwellian-sounding position called the “scientific integrity official,” EPA administrator Gina … [Read more...]

From Cupcakes to Chemicals

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"Fearmongering: Be Afraid… Of Everything!" by Julie Gunlock. A few years ago, I was watching the news and was shocked to learn that my garden hose was incredibly dangerous. Say, what? The newscaster anchoring the program that night seemed really upset about this story. He leaned forward in his seat, stuttered… and…wait…did I see him tear up? Did his voice just crack? Oh my gosh, he’s going to cry! Read more at IWF's Inwell Blog. … [Read more...]

Toxin’s, Turkey-Day, and Chemophobia

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"Thanksgiving Chemophobia - If Toxins Scare You, Stop Eating," By Hank Campbell. When I was younger, only Rachel Carson was ruining dinner and her evidence-by-anecdote heritage in Silent Spring still lingers with us today. To many in America, 'carcinogens' are a bad word, DDT will give you cancer 6 months after you spray it on crops and all chemicals are bad. And that is just among Grist readers. Once you broaden it out to the rest of progressives, you will find them paralyzed by "chemophobia" … [Read more...]

Chemicals “Lurking” in Your Turkey-Day Menu?

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"Disregard Toxic Advice on Turkey Day," by Angela Logomasini. Toxic chemicals lurk in the “typical” Thanksgiving meal, warns a green activist website. Eat organic, avoid canned food, and you might be okay, according to their advice. Fortunately, there’s no need to buy this line. In fact, the trace levels of man-made chemicals found in these foods warrant no concern and are no different from trace chemicals that appear in food naturally. The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) … [Read more...]

Anti-Flame Retardant “Toxic Hot Seat”

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"HBO’s “Toxic Hot Seat” is Toxic All Right: It Seems to Have Addled Kristof’s Brain," By American Council on Science and Health. 1181213_88625943New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof, in his latest opus entitled Danger Lurks in That Mickey Mouse Couch — wait, did he really say that? Anyway, Nick has gone off the rails again, intoxicated by the siren song of an HBO special on tonight (Monday, November 25th), similarly entitled Toxic Hot Seat. The producers of that documentary have the … [Read more...]

Black Widow Spiders Thrive with Reduced Pesticide Use

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"Are There Spiders Lurking In Your Food?" by Lindsey Jahn. Occurrences of shoppers discovering spiders lurking in grocery-store grapes have been reported throughout the Midwest over the past month — and the issue isn’t limited to one retail chain. Budget supermarket chain Aldi pulled all grapes from its Milwaukee locations after a consumer found a black widow spider in a package of grapes from an Aldi store in Wauwatosa, Wis....The prevalence of black widows being found in grapes has increased … [Read more...]

Statistical Shenanigans: JAMA “Study” on Phthalates

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"Results First, “Study” Later: JAMA Dredges up More Junk against Phthalates," by American Council on Science and Health. An article published in today’s JAMA Pediatrics purports to link premature birth to exposure to the group of chemicals known as phthalates. These are plastic softeners-plasticizers, and are also found in numerous household products and cosmetics and shampoos. In fact, this so-called study is a typical product of those researchers whose goals are — rather than the advancement … [Read more...]

Unscientific EU Pesticide Regulations

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"Bad Science Could Kill Global Trade Talks," by John R. Block. Has irresponsibility gone intercontinental?...The European Commission has laid out a set of new rules that could effectively ban a quarter to a third of U.S. agricultural output and keep out U.S.-made products for controlling weeds, funguses and insects. The United States sets standards for pesticides essential to providing the world's food needs based on scientifically determined levels of safety, then applies a 100 to 1000 fold … [Read more...]

Dr. Oz Admits: Conventional Produce is Safe and Healthy

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"Dr. Oz Agrees With Health Experts - Eat More Conventional and Organic Produce," by SafeFruitsandVeggies.com. Despite his segment last week about pesticide residues which was clearly designed to scare viewers and raise produce safety concerns, Dr. Oz’s own viewpoint regarding consumption of conventionally grown produce appears to agree with health experts everywhere who recommend consuming more of either conventionally or organically grown produce for improved health. Following the airing of … [Read more...]

Plastics, Pregnancy & Bad Journalism

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"Can't Get Pregnant? Blame It On Plastics! Well, Not If Science Matters," Jon Entine. If you’re having trouble getting pregnant, plastics may be the culprit—at least that’s what a credulous reader might conclude based on recent news reports and a slew of website stories with headlines like: “New studies link BPA and phthalates to miscarriage and infertility.” But as is often the case when journalists report on complex science issues, the headlines do not align with the facts. A careful reading … [Read more...]

Cal EPA’s Junkscience on Breast Cancer Risk

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"Over-Reaching California EPA Regulators Promoted A False Breast Cancer Link," by Geoffrey Kabat. In 2005 the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal EPA) issued a voluminous report on the health effects of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) which attracted attention for its rash claim that ETS was associated with increased risk of breast cancer. Thirteen years earlier the US EPA had published a report showing a weak link between ETS and developing lung cancer. But, of … [Read more...]

BPA Critics Wrong Again

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"Bumbling BPA Critics Actually Manage to Prove Themselves Wrong. Not Easy," By American Council on Science and Health. We at ACSH are rarely surprised by anything we see published. Since it is our job to debunk bad science, we get a steady diet of it. But we got a special dessert dropped in our laps, and this one takes the cake. Although the study in question is from July, it is so jaw-droppingly awful that we decided to include it today. And when you read it, you may want to discontinue your … [Read more...]

Pesticide Residue Worries

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"Pesticide Residue Calculator," Julie Gunlock. I was once told by another mother (visiting my house for a playdate) that I was putting my children at risk by letting them eat non-organic apples. She warned me about "those awful pesticides" and got even more nervous when I pulled out the non-organic milk (I write about this incident in more detail in my new book, available here). It took all my strength (and good manners) not to kick her out of my house right then and there but I decided that … [Read more...]

Misguided Safety Concerns About Pesticides on Food

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"Study Shows Consumers Continue to Have Misguided Safety Concerns About Produce," by SafeFruitsandVeggies.com. A new study from Colorado State University (CSU) shows that consumers continue to have concerns about the safety of conventionally grown produce and the government regulatory processes in place to protect public health. Among other findings, the study showed that: “A distrust in regulatory oversight is a key trigger in the valuation for local and organic.” And, consumers generally … [Read more...]

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