Could Salad Be Hazardous to Your Health?

"Salad: The Silent Killer?" By Julie Gunlock. That’s it, folks. There’s nothing left to eat. With news this week that salad may be hazardous to your health, it’s clear we all need to stop eating altogether. Let’s face it, food is a killer. Americans have been hearing just that for decades, and yet life expectancy continues to rise while cancer rates go down, as do deaths due to heart disease. And yet, the food alarmism continues. In the 1990s, Americans were warned to avoid butter, cheese, and … [Read more...]

Carson’s Dangerous Anti-Chemical Legacy

"Activists Celebrate Carson’s Dangerous Anti-Chemical Legacy," By Angela Logomasini. Environmental activists are gathering today to celebrate the legacy of the late author and biologist Rachel Carson at an event hosted by the Environmental Energy and Study Institute. Yet this legacy is nothing to celebrate. Carson’s writings included many inflammatory and misleading claims about chemicals, claims that have long been rebuked by scientists. Yet her rhetoric spawned a radical environmental … [Read more...]

Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals

"‘Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals’ Are Not A Global Health Scourge" By Julie Gunlock. Yesterday, the Drudge Report featured an alarming story about endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are in nearly every product we use. Yahoo News’ story “Massive US health tab for hormone-disrupting chemicals“ was just the sort of article that sends people into a panic and will cause many to toss out perfectly harmless and affordable everyday products.  In summary: a new study alleges “endocrine-disrupting … [Read more...]

Reality Check Regarding Microbeads

"Team Jen! Leave Jennifer Aniston (and her face wash!) Alone," By Julie Gunlock. Yesterday, the Daily Mail reported that the scientific journal Nature is criticizing actress Jennifer Aniston for promoting Aveeno face wash, which contains microbeads (microbeads are tiny plastic beads that act as exfoliators). This story is sure to resurrect the war on microbeads (the Nature editorial was actually written last year, but the Daily Mail is only reporting on it now). For years, activists have been … [Read more...]

Message to Harris Teeter: Ignore Alarmists

"Dear Harris Teeter Manager: Normal Moms Don’t Believe Chemicals Are Evil," By Julie Gunlock. Dear Harris Teeter Manager, I heard you got harassed the other day. I know this because last week I received an email from a group called Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families (SCHF). The group’s name might not be very creative, but they are effective at reaching moms with their overwrought claims that affordable food and everyday products are destroying the earth and threatening human health. The SCHF … [Read more...]

Questions about Microbead Policies

"Are Microbeads Really Bad?" Julie Gunlock. Environmentalists have long been on a tear about microbeads and their campaign to ban them has been successful. Not only has President Obama banned the beads (starting in 2017), Congress is doubling up, introducing their own microbead ban which would also ban use of the plastic abrasives by 2017. Activists that promoted the restrictions on microbeads often say that banning microbeads will clean up the waterways and help marine life. Will it? It’s … [Read more...]

Bee-Pocalypse Myth

"Popping the Bee-Pocalypse Myth," By Julie Gunlock. The Christmas season has always been an important time for Hollywood’s box-office numbers — 2015 being no exception, with Star Wars: The Force Awakens expected to shatter the record $208 million opening set by last summer’s Jurassic World.  But with most of the money from ticket sales going back to the studios, movie theaters now make most of their profits from concessions sales — reviving the old joke that a movie theater owner is essentially … [Read more...]

Meat and Cancer Baloney

"More Baloney About Processed Meat and Cancer," By Julie Gunlock. Watch out Paleo and low carb diet devotees—you might look good, but according to the World Health Organization, you’re going to die of cancer, like yesterday. ... According to story in The Washington Post: "A research division of the World Health Organization announced on Monday that bacon, sausage and other processed meats cause cancer, and that red meat probably does, too. The report by the influential group stakes out one of … [Read more...]

Anti-Chemical Researchers Pushing a Political Agenda

"Women's Scientific Body Betrays Women," By Julie Gunlock. Okay ladies, get your tissues ready. It turns out, we’re all being poisoned by…well, everything. According to a bunch of news stories last week, chemicals are lurking in just about everything, leaching into our bodies, and that of our children, which is leading to an increase of diseases, infertility and many other disorders. Now, to the average consumer, this might seem alarming and if it were true (spoiler: it’s not), I’d be freaking … [Read more...]

Toxic Lies

"The ‘Toxic’ Lies Behind Jessica Alba’s Booming Baby Business," by Julie Gunlock. Actress Jessica Alba, co-founder of the ironically named “The Honest Company,” recently declared, “One billion feels like a small number.” Alba was referring to her companies’ profits, made not by being honest with consumers but by spreading lies about her competitors. The Honest Company sells a variety of organic and eco-friendly baby and personal-care products, such as diapers, baby wipes, sunscreen, soap, face … [Read more...]

Save the Bees from Biofuel Mandates

"Save the Bees: Eliminate Biofuel Mandates," By Angela Logomasini. The Obama administration made a lofty promise with the launch of its National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and other Pollinators. Over the next five years, the feds will implement an interagency campaign to restore and improve 7 million acres of “pollinator habitat.” That may be a laudable goal. But the strategy fails to address one of the biggest threats to pollinator habitat: federal biofuel mandates. Read … [Read more...]

Wine Alarmists

"Wine Alarmists Should Stick a Cork In It," By Julie Gunlock. I’m a mom of three young kids. That means I like to have a glass of wine with breakfast, lunch, and dinner now and then. And since my kids seem to grow out of their clothes and shoes seconds after I’ve purchased them, I like to get a good deal on a box bottle or two. Luckily for me, there is stiff competition in the wine industry, which means I can get wines from around the world at prices I can afford. Yet with competition comes … [Read more...]

Newsweek’s BPA Alarmism

"Newsweek's Chemical Alarmism," by Julie Gunlock. Newsweek really needs to do some fact checking. In a piece that ran last week on the safety of the chemical Bisphenol-A (commonly called BPA), writer Douglas Main couldn’t even do a simple Google search on his sources before publishing the piece. He writes (emphasis mine): "To date, there have been around 1,000 animal studies on BPA, and the vast majority show that it causes or is linked to many health problems, from alterations in fertility to … [Read more...]

No Surprise: BPA is Safe

"Fed Wasted Millions on Activist-Spawned Media Frenzy About BPA Risks," By Angela Logomasini. After a decade or more of alarming headlines about the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA), you may be surprised to learn that it poses no significant health risks to humans, according to a recent European Union safety assessment. While such strong conclusions from a governmental agency may be politically surprising, the underlying science shouldn’t be. BPA is a chemical used to make hard-clear plastics and … [Read more...]

The Science of the ‘Endocrine Disrupter’ Debate

"Policy Focus: The Science of the 'Endocrine Disrupter' Debate," By Angela Logomasini. Americans are increasingly being told by the media and environmental activists that common consumer goods—from plastics to cosmetics to flame retardant-furniture—contain chemicals that endanger their health. These chemicals are referred to as “endocrine disrupters.” The activists charge that they affect our hormones, cause cancer, harm our children’s health, affect fetal development, and even make us fat. … [Read more...]

Bring Back BPA!

"Bring Back BPA!" By Julie Gunlock. A few years ago, the BPA-free movement launched as misinformation about the chemical BPA (a chemical that has been the focus of thousands of safety studies and has been used for over 50 years) began hitting news stands. So, what replaced BPA? Another chemcial called BPS. But now, the chemphobes are complaining about this replacement chemical saying it too is dangerous. Goodness, what are moms to do now? They're going to have to throw out all those BPA-free … [Read more...]

EWG’s Anti-Food Preservative Hype

"EWG Claims about Food Additives Don’t Add Up," By Angela Logomasini. Now that your holiday Turkey leftovers are done or nearly so, let’s again look at some of the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) “dirty-dozen” food additives. We already debunked claims about “dangers” lurking in your bacon with a slice of bread, but what about chemicals found in muffins, potato chips, cereal, and sausage? Each of these food items contains chemicals on EWG’s list that the group notes regulators have … [Read more...]

EWG Also Wrong about Chemical in Bread Dough

"EWG’s Alarmist Claims about Bread Dough Additive: Weak and Mushy," By Angela Logomasini. Today, let’s look at the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) warning about potassium bromate, which is number two on the group’s dirty dozen food additive list. Again, EWG’s alarmist claims are weak and mushy. Potassium bromate is added to dough in the making of bread to help improve texture and elasticity of the bread and make it airy and light. It can be toxic to humans exposed to relatively high, … [Read more...]

EWG Wrongheaded Attack on Bacon “Additives”

"EWG Attack on Bacon Additive is Half-Baked," By Angela Logomasini. A critical look at EWG’s “Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives” offers an opportunity for those who want to learn how to recognize activist-generated junk science and fear mongering. My blog post on Friday provided an overview for a series of posts on the topic. Today let’s start with EWG’s first allegedly bad food additive: nitrates/nitrites, which they complain are used in bacon. Yet there's no need to stop enjoying this … [Read more...]

EWG’ Attack on Chardonnay “Additive”

"EWG's Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives Nonsense," By Angela Logomasini. If you like Chardonnay that’s full-bodied and creamy, you might set that enjoyment aside after reading the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) latest “dirty dozen list." But by all means, don’t do it! EWG’s list of allegedly bad-for-you food “additives” are perfectly safe to enjoy! And they have benefits, such as the buttery flavor in my favorite Chardonnay from a chemical called diacetyl! If you want to be healthy, … [Read more...]

Cosmo Magazine “Science”: Plastics Duckies Ruin Your Love Life!

"Are Plastic Products Costing You Your Sex Drive?" By Julie Gunlock. Are plastics causing women to lose their sex drive? The Guardian warns, “How household plastics could ruin your sex life.” The Telegraph’s headline suggests, “Rubber ducks can kill your sex drive, research finds.” Cosmopolitan Magazine wonders “Are Chemicals in Plastic Reducing Your Sex Drive?” while the Daily Mail declares that it’s all down to those pesky modern products: Read more. … [Read more...]

School Kids, Caulk, and PCBs

"Are Kids Eating Window Caulk?" By Julie Gunlock. Well known cover girl Cindy Crawford is pulling her kids out of their Malibu school because routine soil tests on the school grounds found elevated levels of a chemicals called PCBs in window caulking in the class rooms. PCBs were banned by Congress in 1976 after it was revealed they could cause cancer and harm the immune and reproductive systems. Over the years, schools have been instructed to remove the caulking around windows if the schools … [Read more...]

Ban on BPA Resins May Increase Food-Borne Illnesses

"Greens' Attempt To Ban Bisphenol A Will Endanger Public Health," By Angela Logomasini. Thanks to green alarmism, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) recently introduced the “Ban Poisonous Additives Act of 2014,” which would eliminate the chemical Bisphenol A from food containers. Applauding Markey’s bill, the Environmental Working Group exclaimed in a press statement: “Science shows that BPA is present in the vast majority of Americans and is harmful to human health.” Yet the overwhelming body of … [Read more...]

Closing the Shower Curtain on Obsesity Claims

"Shower Curtains Don't Make You Fat," by Julie Gunlock. Ladies, if you’re currently flooding your bathroom each morning because you decided to toss your shower curtain due to some hysterical article you read (and sadly, believed) about shower curtains making people fat, stop what you’re doing. Save your floor grout and reattach that shower curtain. Your shower curtain is guilty of no such sin! Read more. … [Read more...]

Interview with Julie Gunlock

"New: Author Interview with Julie Gunlock," by Alyssa Condrey Julie Gunlock is director of the Culture of Alarmism project at the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) and author of a recent book, From Cupcakes to Chemicals. Ms. Gunlock was gracious enough to answer a few questions for NeW about her new book, discuss the conservative movement, and offer up advice for conservative women. Read her interview below! What initially prompted you to research and write about the culture of alarmism? Read … [Read more...]

Organic Mom Mafia Revisited

"More on the Organic Mom Mafia," by Julie Gunlock. As Charlotte mentioned in her post yesterday, Naomi Schaefer Riley’s excellent piece in the New York Post exposes a new type of helicopter parent—the type that has to hover not only over their own child’s plate of food but over your child’s plate as well. Some of these women are indeed insufferable and judgmental and nervous wrecks and they about as much fun as a trip to the dentist, but there’s another group of women who, while also woefully … [Read more...]

Organic Mom Mafia

"Meet the Organic Mom Mafia," Charlotte Hays. Naomi Schaeffer Riley had an excellent column yesterday on “the tyranny of the organic mom mafia.” “Am I going to be an outcast?” a friend who feeds her kids—gasp—non-organic food asks Schaeffer Riley. Riley quoted IWF’s own Julie Gunlock as a proponent of food sanity: Read more. … [Read more...]

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

"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...]

School Kids Suffer from Anti-Pesticide Policies

"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

"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

"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...]

Food Babe is Wrong Again

"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...]

Nail Polish Alarmism at the NYT

"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...]

Cupcakes and Chemicals: NRO Interviews Julie Gunlock

"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...]

From Cupcakes to Chemicals

"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...]

Pesticide Residue Worries

"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...]

Halloween Fears and Environmentalist Tricks

"Ignore the Halloween Alarmist," By Julie Gunlock We've entered scary season. On Halloween, people actually enjoy getting spooked. Yet increasingly, feeling frightened isn't a choice or a once-a-year occurrence. Each day, Americans, particularly moms, are told they should be terrified – not of monsters, goblins and ghosts – but of their spray cleaner, makeup, moisturizer, their children's clothing and the food they eat. Why is every day Halloween for so many American moms? The reason is simple: … [Read more...]

BPA’s Unproven Pregnancy Risk

"A Miscarriage Of Science: BPA's Unproven Pregnancy Risk," by Angela Logomasini. The headlines are out: Pregnant woman should fear the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) because a “new study” says it increase the risk of miscarriage. Fortunately, we have lots of good reasons to doubt these headlines. What does the study really say? We don’t completely know since it’s not available in any peer-reviewed publication. All that’s available is an abstract produced for a recent presentation at a conference … [Read more...]

Scary Results of Scaring Would-Be Parents

"Want More Babies? Stop Needlessly Terrifying Pregnant Women," by Carrie L. Lukas. Western democracies face a growing problem. No, it's not the ballooning budget deficits, swelling entitlement programs, or expanding ranks of the permanently unemployed. This time the problem is what's not growing: Too few women are having babies to sustain the population. ... Take the recent release from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and American Society for Reproductive Medicine, … [Read more...]

USA Today Shoddy Reporting on BPA

"Women Should Worry about Shoddy Reporting, Not Chemicals," Julie Gunlock. Earlier this week, USA Today ran a story by reporter Liz Szabo who warned women “A growing number of health advocates are raising concerns about possible links between the estrogen-like chemical BPA and breast cancer.” Notice Liz says “health advocates” are concerned, not health professionals, scientists, toxicologists, breast cancer researchers, or oncologists. That’s right; Liz doesn’t actually talk to the experts in … [Read more...]

Protect Kids with Flame Retardant Halloween Costumes

"Keep the Kids Safe with Flame-Retardant Halloween Costumes," by Angela Logomasini. It bears repeating:  flame retardant chemicals make life safer. Yet more often than not, news stories say we should fear these chemicals—ignoring the fact that these products have safely reduced fire risks for decades. This is why firefighters suggest judicious use of flame-retardant materials from treated furniture to clothing.  So rather than fall for anti-chemical hype, moms should focus on reducing fire … [Read more...]

Deadly Advice on Flame Retardants

"Green Advice on Flame Retardants Promises to Prove Deadly," by Angela Logomasini. For the past few years, newspapers have featured stories on the allegedly dire risks of flame retardants, and environmental activists are pushing for government bans and regulations. Keep the kids off those “toxic couches” they say, if you care at all about them. Never mind the fact that these trace chemicals in the foam have never been shown to hurt anyone. But when they are not there, life threatening fires … [Read more...]

Pesticide Residue Calculator

"Calculate Your Risk from Pesticide Residues," by Angela Logomasini. Ever worry how much pesticide residue you consume daily? Environmental activists, particularly at the Environmental Working Group, suggest that you can reduce your risks—and fears--by eating fewer of the fruits and vegetables with the highest residues, such as apples, and more of others, such as onions. IWF’s Julie Gunlock and I along with many others have pointed out why EWG’s claims are simply wrong. Read the full story on … [Read more...]

Anti-Alarmist Role Model

"Emily Oster: Anti-Alarmist Role Model," by Julie Gunlock. Saturday's Wall Street Journal ran an article covering the many warnings pregnant women face today. It wasn’t just the content of the piece that caught and kept my attention; it was what the writer represented—a woman in charge of her own health and the health of her baby. This woman wasn’t going to be pushed around or unnecessarily frightened by the alarmists. Read the full story on IWF's Inkwell Blog. … [Read more...]

Dangerous Reversal on Flame Retardants

"The Chemphobes Deadly Agenda: Flame Retardants," by Julie Gunlock. In January 2000, a fire broke out in a dormitory at Seton Hall University in New Jersey ... In 2001, the New York Times covered the aftermath of the blaze and focused on demands that the school install sprinklers and adopt “mandatory fire retardancy standards” for dorm furniture. .... Now, over a decade past the Seton Hall fire, memories have faded and people are literally inventing things to fear. Enter the chemphobes who have … [Read more...]

Health Toll of Anti-Pesticide Policies

"Humans Pay the Price for Anti-Pesticide Policies," by Angela Logomasini. I recently went home to Long Island to find that one of my siblings was undergoing treatment for a dangerous tick-transmitted disease. This isn’t the first time my family has suffered from a tick-related illness, and I blame New York State officials in part for outlawing useful tools to fight the region’s growing tick and mosquito populations. Read the full article at the Daily Caller. … [Read more...]

BPA and Infertility

"An Alarming Call for BPA Research Funding," by Angela Logomasini. The headlines are out. The chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) is now “linked to infertility.” How do we know that? Researchers exposed immature eggs left over from fertility treatments to high levels of BPA in the lab. The result, notes The Boston Globe, was: “Only 35 percent of eggs exposed to the lowest levels of BPA had a normal number and configuration of chromosomes after they fully matured compared with 71 percent of those in a … [Read more...]

Risks of “Green” Goods and Food

"Making Products and Food Less Safe," by Julie Gunlock. The environmental group behind the Mind the Store Campaign is dead set on making products less safe. That makes me mad. As a mother, I simply don’t understand why this group is so determined to take perfectly safe and reasonably priced products and make them less so—especially when many of the products the campaign targets are for kids. Thankfully, the campaign’s first phase (to pressure retailers to take products off store shelves) failed … [Read more...]

Activists Capitalize on “Mommy Guilt”

"Mommy Guilt: It’s an Industry," by Julie Gunlock. [A]ccording to a national online survey just released by the Independent Women’s Forum, “mommy guilt” is pervasive among women. Yet, women should be aware that their guilt is proving to be a goldmine for many environmental and public-health organizations that capitalize on mommy guilt in order to further certain regulatory goals.This mommy-guilt industry is made up of organizations that present themselves as moderate voices working to ensure … [Read more...]

Attack on Pesticides Could Increase West Nile Virus Risk

"Alarmism May Contribute to West Nile Virus Illnesses," by Angela Logomasini.. Alarmism and junk science surrounding pesticides may translate into more sicknesses and deaths related to the mosquito-carried West Nile Virus. Activists and others are attacking products that local public officials need to reduce mosquito populations and public health risks. In the past, activists have attacked insect repellants containing the chemical DEET. But one of the best things you can do to reduce risks for … [Read more...]

Anti-Fracking Nonsense

"Fracking: Evidence-Smevidence," by Vicki E. Alger. Recall back in 2011 when the EPA released a non-peer reviewed report that linked hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to contaminated wells in Pavillion, Wyo.? At the time then-EPA administrator Lisa Jackson acknowledged there has never been a proven case of fracking affecting water. Read the full article at IWF's Inkwell Blog. … [Read more...]

Toxic Claims About Chemicals in Food

"Daily Mail's Shocking List of Lies About Chemicals in Food," Julie Gunlock. Alrighty…everyone take a deep breath. And, for heaven’s sake, stop cleaning out your refrigerator and pantry of “toxic” food. If you’re one of the many panicked people who read the recent Daily Mail article revealing a “shocking list” of foods that contain “dangerous chemicals,” calm yourself: this is alarmism at its finest. In fact, the article actually advises readers to “sit down before reading” that “Many of the … [Read more...]

Green Groups Should Mind Their Own Business

"Radical Environmentalists Should Mind Their Own Business," by Julie Gunlock. Typically environmental organizations target consumers with overwrought warnings of how some everyday product or activity is destroying the world and threatening their health. Yet now, activists are turning their targets toward major retailers. These companies should reject these scare tactics, which will harm not only their businesses, but consumers too. The “Mind the Store” campaign, the latest initiative of a … [Read more...]

“Killer” Raincoats

"Be Very Scared...of Your Raincoat," by Julie Gunlock. The folks over at the innocently named "Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families" organization are freaking out again...this time, over your kid's raincoat. It's important to remember that this is the same group behind the nonsensical "mind the store" campaign which seeks to remove thousands of popular products from store shelves (please sign our petition against the campaign here). Read the full article on IWF's Inkwell Blog. … [Read more...]

Pesticide Hype Debunked

"Debunking Agriculture Alarmism: Pesticides," by Julie Gunlock. My Facebook newsfeed lights up the same time each year with suggestions from many of my well-meaning (yet somewhat gullible) Facebook friends that they plan to protect their kids from scary pesticides by avoiding the “dirty dozen”—a list compiled by the junk science peddlers over at the Environmental Working Group (I refuse to link to their site. If you want to find them, just Google “crazy lying liars that make moms cry”). Read … [Read more...]

Triclosan and Pregnancy

"Should Moms be Afraid to Wash their Hands?"  by Angela Logomasini. I came across a comment on where one expectant mom asks:  “How should I wash my hands?”  Her question is prompted by one of the latest green scares, this one about anti-bacterial soap, which uses the chemical triclosan.  My advice: wash your hands and don’t worry about it!  Washing your hands with soaps that contain triclosan or other chemicals will do more good than any alleged harm activists can dream up!  Read … [Read more...]

Tell Alarmists to Mind Their Own Business!

"Petition to Save Consumer Choice," by the Independent Women's Forum. Radical environmental activist groups are determined to take popular items off store shelves and limit consumer choice. The "Mind the Store" campaign is the latest initiative to pressure the nation’s largest retailers to remove products from store shelves that contain, in any amount, any of the 100 chemicals the campaign considers "hazardous". The environmental organization behind "Mind the Store" claims these chemicals … [Read more...]

California Gov. Tackles Prop65

"Cheers to Gov. Brown for Tackling Proposition 65," by Angela Logomasini. California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has proposed reforming the state’s Proposition 65 law, which requires businesses to disclose the use of chemicals that the state lists as “toxic.” In addition to going after this trial-lawyer-get-rich-quick scheme, the governor also wants to modify the standards under Proposition 65 to make them more scientific.Read the full article on IWF's Inkwell Blog. … [Read more...]

Chemophobic Mom Blogs

"Mommy Blogs Feed Chemophobia," by Julie Gunlock. When I started writing about chemicals a few years ago, I was driven by my own interest in the subject. As a new mom, I was suddenly hearing a lot more about the seemingly innocuous things that could harm my baby. I’m not talking about obvious things—like unfriendly dogs, child predators, broken playground equipment, and asteroids hurtling toward earth. No, no. I was being told that I needed to worry about plastic sippy-cups, non-organic … [Read more...]

Are Pesticide Residues Dangerous?

"Nutritious Apples, Poisonous Claims," By Angela Logomasini Eat fewer apples, strawberries and grapes, and more corn, onions and pineapples, and you’ll protect yourself and your children from “toxic” pesticides, according to the Environmental Working Group’s 2013 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. This advice, however, is nothing more than dangerous hogwash. Read the full article in the Washington Times. … [Read more...]

BPA Not Toxic

"BPA Delisted: Not 'Toxic,'" Angela Logomasini On April 11, California regulators placed the chemical Bisphenol A on its list of “toxic” substances under its Proposition 65 law. BPA has been used safely for more than 60 years to make hard, clear plastics and resins that line metal food containers to prevent development of dangerous pathogens. Dr. Gilbert Ross explains ... Read the full article on IWF's Inkwell blog. … [Read more...]

Organic Food “Cult

"The Cult of Organics," by Julie Gunlock At a playdate with a group of mothers, I once horrified an impossibly hip, young mom by telling her I refused to eat organic food because it was too expensive and that I felt I wouldn't be buying a better product. The look of shock on her face made me wonder if I had suddenly experienced a Janet Jackson-esque wardrobe malfunction. After glancing down to make sure I wasn't flashing anyone (and to check that Justin Timberlake wasn't lurking behind a bush), … [Read more...]

New York Times and Chemical Alarmism

"NYT: Paper of Alarmism, by Julie Gunlock." The New York Times has a well established reputation for spreading alarmism about chemicals. The “paper of record” takes the lead in promoting (to its seven or so fawning readers) the anti-science propaganda so prevalent in today’s media.  The paper’s editors don’t even require these topics be covered by science writers; instead, one of the paper’s food writers and a foreign policy writer regularly use their columns to rant on issues they know nothing … [Read more...]

BPA Science

"A Tipping Point on BPA?" Julie Gunlock Over on Forbes, Trevor Butterworth examines whether we're starting to see a tipping point in the controversy over the chemical bisphenol-A, better known as BPA (which I've written about previously here, here, and here). Butterworth suggests we might be seeing something resembling comity emerging from the two camps--the regulatory agencies around the world who say the evidence does not show a risk to humans and the anti-chemical and environmental activists … [Read more...]

Response to Fran Drescher on Cancer Causes

"On Chemicals and Cancer: Response to Fran Drescher," by Angela Logomasini. I was pleased to see that Fran Drescher responded to my article on cancer trends. Drescher’s willingness to share what she learned from her struggle with cancer as well as her work at Cancer Schmancer offers some important contributions in the battle against cancer, but her focus on chemicals is misplaced. Read the full article on IWF's Inkwell Blog. … [Read more...]

Danger from Culture of Alarmism

"How the Left Breeds Alarm to Win Policy Battles," by Julie Gunlock. The president told Americans to gird for a disaster. Sequestration would result in unspeakable suffering. The elderly would starve; kids would miss vaccinations; teachers would be laid off; airplanes would crash mid-air due to a dearth of air traffic controllers. And don’t bother calling for help—no one’s coming thanks to massive layoffs of police and firefighters. Real the full article in The Washington Times. … [Read more...]

Pesticide Alarmism Dangerous

"Alarmism About Pesticides Can Be Dangerous," by Carrie L. Lukas IWF has written before about the often overlooked benefits of innovation in agriculture (such as genetically modified foods) and the serious unintended consequences when environmentalists get it wrong. Read the full article on IWF's Inkwell Blog. … [Read more...]

Cancer Prevention

"'Cancer Prevention Tips' to Avoid," by Angela Logomasini. If you want to reduce your cancer risks, be careful what advice you follow. A number of activist groups offer a range of cancer-fighting tips that don't mesh with the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) latest report on cancer trends. Read full article on Huffington Post. … [Read more...]

Hype Surrounds WHO Report on Endocrine Disrupters

"Mark Bittman's Recipe For Alarmism," by Julie Gunlock. Scrolling through my Facebook feed yesterday, an article posted by well-known hand wringer, food nanny, big government proponent and sometimes food writer Mark Bittman caught my eye. The article's headline was classic alarmism: “WHO panel calls hormone-disrupting chemicals a 'global threat.’” The story highlighted a new World Health Organization report that (natch) called for the ban of certain chemicals. Read the full article on IWF's … [Read more...]

BPA Safety Study

"Yet More Evidence that BPA is Safe," by Julie Gunlock. The chem-nannies have been very effective in scaring women (particularly moms) about BPA—a chemical used in a variety of everyday items from eyeglasses to plastic food containers to water bottles. Today, the chemical is banned in all baby bottles and other baby products (only because industry requested an across-the-board ban, not because BPA was found to be toxic) and attempts are being made nationwide to ban the chemical entirely. Read … [Read more...]

Bad Advice from Prevention Magazine

"Prevention Magazine: Preventing Informed Health Choices," by Angela Logomasini. It’s growing increasingly difficult to find reliable health advice. In the past, I thought Prevention magazine was a good source, but they seem to have fallen prey to dangerous junk science and selective reporting. Consider just a few examples of their questionable claims: Read the full article on IWF's Inkwell blog. … [Read more...]

Kids and Laundry Detergent

"Culture of Alarmism Watch: Laundry," by Julie Gunlock One of the most anomalous stories of 2012 involved laundry detergent. Apparently a few kids were eating single-dose laundry detergent packets because they were mistaking them for candy (man/baby Senator Chuck Schumer had the same problem, admitting he almost ate one of these packets, but mercifully was saved by his quick-thinking staffer/babysitter who yanked it from his chubby little baby/man hand before he could gobble it up). Read the … [Read more...]

Dr. Oz’s Political Science

"Quack Alert: Dr. Oz on Bisphenol A," by Angela Logomasini. Television personalities that advise us on personal health—mental or physical—have dominated daytime television for some time now. It’s great when these shows offer helpful, positive advice. So why then do they have to ruin it by getting political and spouting junk or incomplete science? Dr. Oz is the perfect example. Read the full story on IWF's Inkwell Blog. … [Read more...]

PepsiCo, Brominated Vegetable Oil and Gatorade

"Inflamed Debate on Gatorade," by Angela Logomasini When well-intentioned, 16-year old Sarah Kavanagh Googled an ingredient that she found on the label of her Gatorade, she learned that the chemical--brominated vegetable oil (BVO)--is also patented in Europe as a flame retardant. Since she didn't like what she learned, she launched a petition on to get PepsiCo Inc., to remove it from Gatorade. Read the full article on IWF's Inkwell Blog. … [Read more...]

Chemical Alarmism

"Selling Scary Stories on Chemicals," by Julie Gunlock Alarmists have it easy. If they want to spread scary stories and outright lies, they have a more-than-willing press to help them do just that. Take this article in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer's Health section entitled: "The EPA's most worrisome toxins." Read the full article on the IWF Inkwell Blog. … [Read more...]

Mother Debunks BPA Hype on “Stossel”

The Independent Women's Forum's Senior Fellow, Julie Gunlock takes on hype related to Bisphenol A and chemicals in general on FOX Business Network's "Stossel." Gunlock outlines why smart moms like her need not fall for the false claims and alarmism related to trace chemicals in consumer products. Watch it now. … [Read more...]

Top Chemical Scares of 2012

"Top Ten Chemical Scares of 2012," by Angela Logomasini This past year, there must have been thousands of green-group-inspired news stories hyping risks regarding numerous chemicals. Regulators too have engaged in efforts to demonize various products unfairly, placing them on “concern” lists and demanding that companies expend enormous amounts of money to study, test, and re-study chemicals that have been safely used for decades. Below is my top-ten list of 2012 green alarms along with links … [Read more...]

Biggest Chemical Alarm Story of 2012

"BPA Resin Replacements May be More Harmful," By Angela Logomasini As the year winds down, it’s a good time to look back at what was one of the biggest alarm stories of the year: the alleged health impact of the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA). Were the claims true, and what might we expect to happen in 2013? Read the full story in The Hill Congress Blog. … [Read more...]

IWF’s Julie Gunlock Tackles Chemcial issues on FOX’s “Stossel”

The Independent Women's Forum's Senior Fellow, Julie Gunlock takes on hype related to Bisphenol A and chemicals in general on FOX Business Network's "Stossel." Gunlock outlines why smart moms like her need not fall for the false claims and alarmism related to trace chemicals in consumer products. … [Read more...]

BPA Safety

"BPA is Safe...Say Scientists for the Billionth Time; Media Ignores," Julie Gunlock Look, folks get it. The mainstream media simply chooses to ignore certain stories (read: Benghazi). It's a reality and, in general, I don't spend too much time worrying about it. But when it comes to my health, my children's health and my bottom line, I tend to get a little testy that the mainstream media is selecting to ignore certain very important health-related stories. Read the full article on the IWF … [Read more...]

Scare Tactics Undermine Fight Against Breast Cancer

"Scare Tactics Distract from Finding a Cure,"by Carrie Lukas. With Halloween this week, one might assume that orange and black are the hands-down winners for favorite marketing décor. Yet pumpkins and witches hats have a formidable challenger in the pink ribbons signifying breast cancer awareness month, which currently adorn everything from grocery shelves to athletes’ uniforms. Read the full story on Townhall. … [Read more...]

Overselling Benefits of Organic Food

"Organic Oz: Overselling the Benefits of Organic Food," by Vicki E. Alger Not more healthy, but more expensive. That’s the basic conclusion of a recent Stanford University study on organically grown food. “There isn’t much difference between organic and conventional foods, if you’re an adult and making a decision based solely on your health,” according to Dena Bravata, the study’s senior author. Read the full article on the IWF Blog. … [Read more...]

EPA Bureaucracy and the Economy

"Manufactured Fear Drives Needless Regulations," by Julie Gunlock As sure as the sun rises in the morning, Americans can count on their televisions and newspapers to brim with daily reports of all the dangerous products lurking in their homes. Women in particular are told commonplace items like shampoo, deodorant, plastic food containers, household disinfectants, children’s toys, baby bottles, and garden hoses threaten them and their families. Even living room furniture is now cast as a … [Read more...]

BPA & Obesity

"Blame Game Alert: Now It's the Food Wrapper!" by Julie Gunlock. Boy, it sure is hard to keep track of all these supposed causes of obesity: happy meals, school lunches, video games, television commercials, cartoons, lack of community parks, violent neighborhoods, soda, fat, salt, sugar, ice cream, milk, beef, fast food, energy drinks, sugary cereals... Now, it's chemicals. The latest screaming headline blames ... Read the full article on the IWF Blog. … [Read more...]

Organic Food Not Safer

"Organics: No Healthier?," by Julie Gunlock. A new study says organic meat and produce is no healthier than conventionally grown products. hile this is bad news for the organic industry which promotes the idea that organic food is healthier than conventionally produced food, this is great news for the average shopper who wants to provide healthy meals for their families without spending a fortune. Armed with this information, moms might more easily choose the less expensive item and that’s a … [Read more...]

“Safe” Chemicals Act

"Jessica Alba, Please Don't Be a Crony," by Hadley Heath. Jessica Alba - do they come any hotter? She's a beautiful woman, a mother of two, and a businesswoman. Self Magazine just made her their "Women Doing Good Honoree" and praised her lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill. Alba is standing up for safe homes, asking Congress to restrict the amount of certain chemicals that can be in household goods and products. So what's not to love? Well, the legislation that Alba supports, the "Safe … [Read more...]

Toxic Misinformation on School Supplies

"Killer Backpacks and Other Nonsense," by Julie Gunlock. As kids get ready to start a new year of school, parents are being advised to warn their children about the dangers of…school supplies? Yup! Forget about those trendy issues from last year—like bullying, the need to respect trans-gender preschoolers, drug abuse, and teen pregnancy; this year, hand wringing environmental advocates are shedding light on the great danger posed by unregulated three-ring binders, lunch boxes and back … [Read more...]

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), EPA, and Asthma Inhalers

"EPA Interference That Will Take Your Breath Away," by Carrie L. Lukas. IWF has long written about how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been harmful to the economy and the wallets of average Americans. But did you know the EPA is harmful to your health, too? In its rush to protect the ozone layer, the EPA issued sweeping rules phasing out the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which has actually ended up banning a number of asthma inhalers. Take a deep breath and let that settle in … [Read more...]

BPA, Phthalates, and Junk Science

"More Junk Science on Chemicals," by Julie Gunlock. Last month, a new study, published in the journal NeuroToxicology, examined human exposure to two chemicals which are currently the darlings of anti-chemical activists groups: phthalates (which I’ve written about here) and BPA (which I’ve written about here and here). This new study on "lifestyle behaviors" made headlines because it showed a small population of Old Order Mennonite women (who live much like the Amish and reject modern … [Read more...]

Silocones and Environmental Progress

"Private Innovation and Public Pressure Can Be Key to Environmental Progress," By Carrie L. Lukas I saw a new website showing some of the many ways that silcones—which are made with the elements silicon and oxygen—are used in a huge variety of products and materials that Americans encounter every day. It’s not enough that they are malleable, hold their shape, and resistant to heat and cool. They are also good for the environment! ... Read the full article on the IWF Blog. … [Read more...]

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