EWG’s Sunscreen Smoke Screen

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"Are there ‘Worrisome’ Ingredients in Sunscreens?" By Center for Accountability in Science Staff. Memorial Day is just around the corner, which for many Americans signals the opening of swimming pools and the beginning of beach vacations. For the Environmental Working Group (EWG), it’s the opportunity to release its scary annual report about the “danger” posed by most sunscreens on the market. This year, EWG’s splashy new finding is that “80 percent of 1,700 products we examined this year offer … [Read more...]

Wine Alarmists

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"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...]

Honeybees and Pork-Barrel Politics

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"Saving the Bees vs. Pork Barrel Spending," By Angela Logomasini. The Obama administration has finally released its "National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators." It's the federal government's answer to all the hype found in the news related to the health of the nation's honeybee hives. While it's not clear what it will achieve for the bees, we can be sure it comes with lots of pork-barrel spending, government handouts, and shortsighted pesticide polices that … [Read more...]

Honeybee Policy Should Use Facts not Alarmism

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"U.S. Pollinator Policy Should Focus on Facts Rather than Alarmism," By Angela Logomasini, Ph.D. The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research held a a hearing on “pollinator health” on May 13 to discuss a national strategy designed to improve honeybee health. Hopefully, U.S. regulators and legislators will not move too quickly on a strategy that is governed by alarmism; rather, they should take a deliberative approach that is based on science and good … [Read more...]

Honeybee Nonsense

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"On Bee Enslavement and Other Nonsense," By Angela Logomasini, Ph.D. I’ve seen many crazy headlines about the challenges facing honeybees, but this one takes the cake: “Bee collapse is the result of their enslavement in industrial monocultures.” So now, not only are humans “killing off” bees, we are “enslaving” them! According to this article, “industrial agriculture” is the problem and technological approaches won’t help things. However, the authors don’t offer much of any solution other … [Read more...]

Green Agenda on Bees

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"Bee Facts Change – Green Agendas Don’t," by Paul Driessen. U.S. Department of Agriculture annual beekeeper surveys reveal that the number of honey-producing hives in the United States has held steady at about 2.5 million since 1995. Indeed, the numbers increased four of the last five years and are actually higher now than when neonics first came on the market in the mid 1990s. Most beehive problems now involve less experienced hobby beekeepers. A similarly hyped issue, “colony collapse … [Read more...]

The Right Chemistry on Teflon

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"Dr. Joe Schwarcz’ “'The Right Chemistry' on Teflon and Related Chemicals," By American Council on Science and Health. We have lavished well-deserved praise on McGill University’s Dr. Joe Schwarcz on several occasions over the years. Unlike many of his “science-y” colleagues whose news media megaphones take the sensationalist, “sky is falling” approach to trace levels of anything in the environment, he usually presents a voice of reason amidst the clamor. So it was in his column in a recent … [Read more...]

Effects of the Idiotic Governmental Policy on Asthma Inhalers

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"An Idiotic Governmental Policy That Will Take Your Breath Away—Literally," by American Council on Science and Health. When it comes to government policies regarding health policy, we’ve seen pretty much every type: Meaningless, but mostly harmless, anti-science, money driven, and ill-conceived and harmful. Some of these (the full list would shut down the Internet) include the Hatch DSHEA act of 1994, which allowed untested drugs to be sold under the guise of “food supplements,” state laws that … [Read more...]

Science in Retreat

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"Chemophobia Rampant, Science In Retreat. It Cannot End Well," By Gil Ross. The baseless, superstitious fear of chemicals has certainly gripped our supposedly advanced population in a haze of inchoate panic akin to the residents of 17th century Salem, or Europeans of the Dark Ages. Sadly, science ignorance pervades our populace, largely because the perception is "Who cares?" or “How do I know what to believe?” And perhaps even more important: "Do I really need to know that?” Yes, you do. Read … [Read more...]

Handmade Soap Under Attack

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"Big Cosmetic And Sen. Dianne Feinstein Go After Your Handmade Soap," By Hank Campbell. What do you have when someone declares that organic food should be separate from USDA oversight but organic soap should have special oversight if it is not made by a large corporation? A California politician. In this case, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who is obeying the wishes of every large cosmetics corporation and siccing the Food and Drug Administration on 300,000 primarily woman-owned handmade … [Read more...]

New Bee “Crisis”

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"The New Bee Crisis Is Just Like The Old One: Phony," by Henry I. Miller. Never let a good crisis go to waste, Rahm Emanuel famously said. But what do you do if the “crisis” turns out to be a dud? Easy–invent a new one. That’s what we’re seeing currently in Washington and Brussels, where government regulators, deprived of one environmental calamity–by, of all things, data–are scrambling for a new narrative. For years environmentalists have been raising alarms about the “bee-pocalypse”–a … [Read more...]

Lowes and Home Depot Sell Out to Activist Junk Science

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"Stupid-Strategy Sweepstakes: Home Depot vs. Lowe’s," By Jeff Stier & Henry I. Miller. Both of the nation’s retail hardware behemoths, Home Depot and Lowe’s, recently sold out to activists in ways that are the corporate equivalent of a dog’s putting his tail between his legs and slinking away from a bully. Home Depot announced that by the end of this year it will stop selling vinyl flooring that contains a class of chemicals called phthalates. It described the move as an effort to … [Read more...]

BPA on Prop65

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"BPA to Join California’s Proposition 65 List. Who Cares?" By American Council on Science and Health. We have been discussing BPA—a component of polycarbonate and polyether plastics—forever. This should be #1000 on your list of things to worry about (#999 is being hit by a giraffe that fell off a skyscraper.) It doesn’t matter what we say. The Environmental Working Group, and other geniuses have devoted their lives to finding something dangerous about it. Even though they failed in that quest, … [Read more...]

The Politics of Regrettable Substitutions

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"How Does the Government Decide What Is — and What Is Not — ‘Toxic’?" By Henry I Miller, M.D., MS and Angela Logomasini, Ph.D. An increasingly frequent and worrisome phenomenon that unnecessarily threatens human health and the natural environment is “regrettable substitutions,” which refers to bans or limitations on certain products, even though the alternatives might pose risks that are uncertain or greater. It calls to mind the old saying “out of the frying pan and into the fire.” Today, … [Read more...]

Demonizing Formaldehyde

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"Demonizing Formaldehyde For Fun And Profit," By Michael D. Shaw. Formaldehyde is a simple and ubiquitous molecule, used in countless products and industrial processes. The compound is synthesized by virtually every life form, and does not accumulate in the environment. However, since formaldehyde (along with everything else) is a “chemical,” greedy fear entrepreneurs are more than willing to scare the public. In so doing, they not only extract millions of dollars in dubious donations, they … [Read more...]

NY Times: Scaring the Public about Nothing

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"Chemophobia Week, Led by the NY Times, Scaring the Public about Nothing," by American Council on Science and Health. While real health threats abound, including smoking, obesity, diabetes, vaccine denialism and its attendant epidemics, Alzheimer’s Disease — just to name a few most in need of consciousness-raising through effective public health education — many seemingly responsible, respected groups and spokesmen have decided instead to take the easy path to fear-mongering and alarmism. We … [Read more...]

Consequences for Dr. Oz’s Advice

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"Some Consequences for Dr. Oz’s Flim-Flam'Medical' Advice," by American Council on Science and Health. While hardly commensurate with his unscientific and potentially harmful medical advice, Dr. Oz has received two negative reactions to his unprofessional behavior on his TV show over the past 24 hours. Yesterday, word spread quickly that his former mentor and the entertainment force most responsible for glamorizing his brand of medical nonsense, none other than Oprah Winfrey herself, had at … [Read more...]

A MUST-READ LETTER TO DR. OZ

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"A Letter to Dr. Oz from a PhD Microbiologist," by Alex B. Berezow. Dear Dr. Oz, As a TV host, book author, and "America's Doctor," you hold a powerful and privileged position to which few people inside or outside your profession could ever aspire. I must admit to being envious of your influence. I wish that more Americans were fascinated by the complicated nuance of biomedical research than are fascinated by miracle cures. Alas, they are not (yet). I'm working on it, though. I am writing to … [Read more...]

Pay No Attention to that Man (Dr. Oz) Behind the Curtain

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"Who Dares Question the Mighty Oz?," By Angela Logomasini. Yesterday, Dr. Mehmet Oz launched his “counter attack” on several doctors who sent a letter last week to the dean of Columbia University’s medical department complaining about controversial positions and advice that Oz has offered on his show. Oz, who holds faculty and administrative positions at Columbia, exclaimed that he “will not be silenced” by his critics, casting the issue as an attack on his freedom of speech. In an article for … [Read more...]

Dr. Oz: A Mea Culpa?

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"Dr. Oz: A Mea Culpa Or Finally Aware?," Hank Campbell. On today's "Dr. Oz" television show, Dr. Mehmet Oz finally addressed what has worried some and infuriated others about his media career; the show addressed the possibility that a gifted medical professional with too many awards to count had gone off the alternative medicine deep end. It seems he really hasn't been faking it for a paycheck, because he is not that good an actor. He believes what he says, even if it is wrong. And some of it … [Read more...]

BPA No Risk to Babies

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"New Study Challenges Assumptions about BPA and Babies," By Center for Accountability in Science. Bisphenol-A (BPA) is everywhere–it’s a key ingredient in plastics, used in the lining of cans, and countless other applications. Even after it was phased out of baby bottles and sippy cups, researchers have still found levels of BPA in infants. And even though recent comprehensive reviews of BPA research by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Food Safety Authority concluded BPA poses … [Read more...]

The Dirt On Earth Day: Chemophobia

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"The Dirt On Earth Day: Chemophobia Masquerading As Environmentalism," By Henry I. Miller and Kavin Senapathy. Wednesday will be the 45th anniversary of the first Earth Day. Founded by then-U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisconsin), it was held in 1970 as a “symbol of environmental responsibility and stewardship.” In the spirit of the time, it was a touchy-feely, consciousness-raising, New Age experience, and most activities were organized at the grassroots level. A driving force of … [Read more...]

What’s Really Threatening Honeybees

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"Rash Regulation Is What's Really Threatening Honeybees," Angela Logomasini. The honeybee is a powerful symbol of nature’s generosity given that these industrious critters pollinate crops around the world. Green activist groups and others are capitalizing on that symbol to spread fear and misinformation—to advance an unrelated crusade against agrochemicals. Unfortunately, if regulators continue to accept activist-generated spin, not only will food production suffer, honeybees will as well. This … [Read more...]

Former Commissioner Condemns CPSC “Science” on Phthalates

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"Former CPSC Watchdog Condemns her Former Agency for Biased, Unacceptable Junk Science," By American Council on Science and Health. In an article in The Hill, former Consumer Product Safety Commission member (2005-13, Acting Chair 2006-9) Nancy Nord calls it like it is regarding the shoddy, biased job the CPSC did in evaluating potential human risks from a commonly used phthalate, DINP. Hear her dismay in the title, Using poor science and stale data to support flawed policy. Not much more needs … [Read more...]

Dr. Oz Rebuked For Quackery

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"Dr. Oz Rebuked by Medical Professionals," By Angela Logomasini. For a long time, TV personally and Cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz has gotten little criticism for his sensationalist and often junk science-laden advice. Finally, members of Congress from both parties called him to the table—asking him to appear at congressional hearings related to fraudulent claims about dietary supplements and other products. A largely unapologetic Oz said ,“I actually do personally believe in the items I … [Read more...]

Give Oz The Boot

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"Dr. Henry Miller To Columbia: Give Oz The Boot," By Josh Bloom. Although I have done my share of writing on Dr. Oz (much of it humorous, and some just in poor taste), the following has nothing to do with me. Dr. Henry Miller, a Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, who writes regularly about matters concerning junk science and medicine, and their effect on public health policy, has decided to take matters into his own hands. In a letter to … [Read more...]

The Dose Makes the Poison

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"Dr. Perrone: The Dose Makes the Poison," by Dr. Joseph Perrone. Too much of anything is rarely good for our health. As we recently learned from an Arkansas man's scary experience, drinking a gallon of iced tea every day could cause kidney failure. Even water can be deadly—drinking too much, too fast can lead to a dangerous condition known as water intoxication. The small risk of health issues from drinking way too much tea or water shouldn't stop us from hydrating. But we're constantly being … [Read more...]

Medical Professionals Speak Out About Dr. OZ

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"Dr. Henry Miller Looks Behind the Curtain and Others Finally," By American Council on Science and Health. Yesterday we reported that ACSH friend, Dr. Henry Miller of the Hoover Institute, wrote a very blunt letter to Dr. Lee Goldman, the Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine at Columbia University, calling for the removal of Dr. Mehmet Oz from the faculty at the university. The beginning of Miller’s letter read, “We are surprised and dismayed that Columbia University’s College … [Read more...]

What is the Biggest Challenge to Honeybee Hive Health?

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CLAIM: Colony Collapse Disorder is the biggest threat to honeybees. REALITY: CCD is a relatively small threat to honeybees compared to other well-known challenges.   "With a third of honeybee colonies disappearing due to ‘colony collapse disorder,’ it’s time to move into high gear to find a solution,” claims one Mother Jones article on the topic. But to find a solution, we need to understand the problem, and CCD is really not the main challenge facing honeybees. Not all … [Read more...]

Flawed Data = Flawed Phthalates Rule

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"Using Poor Science and Stale Data to Support Flawed Policy," By Nancy Nord. In 2008, after lead-contaminated toys and other products from China wound up on American store shelves and forced product recalls, Congress rushed to pass legislation intended to protect Americans, giving the Consumer Product Safety Commission -- a small and relatively unknown federal agency-- sweeping new regulatory authority. Now, nearly seven years after that scare, it is increasingly clear that the new powers … [Read more...]

Dr. Oz Rejects Science on BPA

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"Dr. Oz Exaggerates Scientific Findings…Again," By Center for Accountability in Science. In their recent column, Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, of the Cleveland Clinic once again spread misinformation about the safety of Bisphenol A (BPA). Dr. Joseph Perrone of the Center for Accountability in Science wrote a letter to the editor in response: "The recent column by Drs. Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen (“Get the science behind BPA’s risk to your health,” March 31) … [Read more...]

Round-Up on IARC Cancer Classification

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"Another Party Weighs in on the IARC-Glyphosate Charade," By American Council on Science and Health. Thanks to Angela Logomasini’s Safe Chemical Policy News, we learned of another academic organization’s disdain for the methods used by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the WHO, in their process of evaluating the widely-used herbicide, glyphosate, among other pesticides. Better known as Roundup by Monsanto, glyphosate has been increasingly used subsequent to the … [Read more...]

More Bee-fuddling Claims from the NYT

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“'Pesticide Linked to Bee Collapse May Pose More Risks': Pure junk From the EU and The NYTimes," By American Council on Science and Health. For some reason, or perhaps not, safe and effective modern pesticides of the “neonicotinoid” class (“neonics”) have had a target painted on them by anti-chemical activists based in Europe, for about a decade now. Ironically, these chemicals were developed in response to (baseless, but politically potent) claims of adverse health effects of older classes of … [Read more...]

EWG’s Dirty Claims About Apples

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"Pay No Attention to the Man Behind that Apple," By American Council on Science and Health. Yawn. It’s that time of year again. Perhaps for the lack of anything better to do, Ken Cook and his Environmental Working Group (EWG) merry men (and women) are celebrating “World ‘Let’s Promote Ignorance’ Day,” thanks to their annual “Dirty Dozen” list. And, guess what? The “mutant apples from hell” have had the privilege of being the dirtiest for the fifth straight year. And if you happen to be eating … [Read more...]

Good News Regarding Cancer Rates

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"New CDC/ACS Report on Cancer Shows Continued Good News," By American Council on Science and Health. ...[T]the CDC and the ACS jointly issued yesterday the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2011. ...And these facts include: an ongoing trend in major declines in cancer deaths on all fronts, thanks to improvements in diagnosis and treatments, including immune-based therapies (often personalized), regular chemotherapy but with less toxicity and more targeted focus, and more … [Read more...]

Private Action Will Help the Bees

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Today, the Competitive Enterprise Institute published my paper on the honeybee health issue and pesticide use. We have had several media outlets ask, why is CEI focused on the honeybee issue now? If you read this blog, you know that I have been writing about pesticides and their impact on public health and well-being for at least a decade and a half. CEI selects issues based on our goals to promote freedom and prosperity, using the market to advance public health and well-being. I focus on … [Read more...]

No Safety Reason for TSCA Reform

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"TSCA Reform Debate Is Not about Public Safety," by Angela Logomasini. At recent hearings on the the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (S. 697), senators, environmental activists, and local government officials claimed that the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) law is not sufficient protect public health. As I have argued before, that’s certainly not the case.There may be an economic reason to reform this law—to preempt a growing patchwork of nonsensical state-level … [Read more...]

From “Carcinogen” to Cancer Treatment

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"Artificial Sweeteners: Cancer Causing or Cancer Curing?" by Center for Accountability in Science. In case you needed further evidence that scientific opinion is constantly changing, new research presented this week finds evidence that saccharin, an artificial sweetener found in brands like Sweet ‘N Low ®, may be a tool in treating cancer. The researchers found that saccharin binds to a protein found in many cancerous cells, carbonic anhydrase, disrupting its activity and potentially stopping … [Read more...]

IARC Classification of Glyphosate

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"IARC Glyphosate Cancer Review Fails on Multiple Fronts," By Academics Review. The International Agency for Research on Cancer Monograph evaluation of certain insecticides and herbicides earns an F grade for failure to consider all the available studies, placing weight on weak and discredited studies (several in the advocacy community are already using this report claiming it is a vindication of the discredited Seralini GMO cancer claims), and most importantly failure to consider if glyphosate … [Read more...]

Organic Farming: “Natural” not Always Best

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"Why Organic Can't Fulfill Our Food Supply Ideals," By Steve Savage. Almost any farmer or consumer could agree on the following ideals for our agricultural system: "Farming in ways that are best for us, best for the environment, and best for providing an adequate food supply." I believe that these are the goals and ideals of organic customers and organic farmers, and I share them. If organic could deliver on these “triple best” goals, I would be among its strongest supporters, but I don't … [Read more...]

Newsweek’s BPA Alarmism

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"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...]

Arsenic in Wine

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"Arsenic in Wine: Dangerous or Beneficial?" by Angela Logomasini. Dan Nosowitz in Modern Farmer offers some insights on the recent class action lawsuit filed against California winemakers. The plaintiffs found that some inexpensive wines contained arsenic at levels exceeding the federal drinking water standard for this substance. Nosowitz rightly points out that the standard is for water, not wine and “people don’t, or shouldn’t, drink as much wine as water.” Read more. … [Read more...]

CPSC’s Selective Use of Data for Phthalates Study

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"Data Torturing at the CPSC," By Angela Logomasini. James Mills of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development lamented in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine back in 1993: “‘If you torture your data long enough, they will tell you whatever you want to hear’ has become a popular observation in our office. In plain English, this means that study data, if manipulated in enough different ways can prove whatever the investigator wants to prove.” Government regulators … [Read more...]

IARC’s Ruling on Glyphosate

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"IARC’s Ruling on Glyphosate Ignores the Science," by American Council on Science and Health. This month’s meeting in Lyon, France, of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) – the branch of the UN’s World Health Organization that studies the relationship between environmental and lifestyle risk factors and cancer – focused on pesticides. The committee concluded that of the five pesticides evaluated, three were “probably carcinogenic,” a 2A classification, despite the fact that … [Read more...]

“Frog-pocalyspe”

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"Apparently The Frog-pocalypse Is Still A Thing," By Hank Campbell. Lost in all of the hype and hysteria and White House panels on how industry is killing bees is the last indicator species that was being doomed by non-organic pesticides: frogs. It seems like a hundred years ago but it was only last decade that a biologist in a department at Berkeley got a friend of his, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, to hand-walk a paper on frogs past peer review and into PNAS - the Proceedings … [Read more...]

ACSH Comments to CPSC on Phthalates

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"ACSH submission to CPSC re: Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP) report on DINP" By American Council on Science and Health. Dear Chairman Kay: The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) wishes to express our deep disappointment in the conclusions of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regarding the plasticizer chemical, diisononylphthalate (DINP). ACSH and our Scientific Advisory Panel, numbering 360+ experts and academicians, are concerned about the validity of the data … [Read more...]

CPSC’s Scientific Shenanigans

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" CPSC's Scientific Shenanigans on Phthalates," Angela Logomasini. Many “stakeholders” have complained about the process through which the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) developed its proposed rule related to a class of chemicals called phthalates—and rightly so. In particular, the agency’s failure to allow public comment and open peer review of its Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel report (CHAP report) underscore the fact that bureaucrats want to avoid scrutiny that might hold them … [Read more...]

No Worries about Arsenic in Wine

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"Dangerous Levels of Arsenic in Wine? Not So Fast," by Center for Accountability in Science. The internet has been buzzing about a new lawsuit claiming that popular wine brands contain “extremely high levels of arsenic.” But a closer examination of the “research” behind this lawsuit and the scary headlines shows that wine lovers don’t really have much to worry about. The plaintiffs are comparing the level of arsenic found in wine with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s limit for … [Read more...]

CPSC Proposal on Phthalates Likely Harm

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"CPSC Proposal on Phthalates Likely to Do More Harm than Good," by Angela Logomasini. On Monday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission will close the comment period for a proposed rule related to chemicals used to make soft and pliable plastics. While they claim to do this in the name of children’s health, it’s not clear that the rule will do more good than harm. The process and the “scientific” review that brings us to this proposed rule has been controversial, to say the least. I detail … [Read more...]

Bee Colonies Increase

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"Bee Colonies In 2014 Increase Another 4 Percent," by Hank Campbell. The National Agricultural Statistics Service of the United States Department of Agriculture has released its honey report for 2014 and found it's boom times for bees. Hives increased again, another 4 percent, up to a whopping 2.74 million colonies, and honey production is up 19 percent. Yield per colony averaged 65.1 pounds, which is up 15 percent.  Read more. … [Read more...]

Pesticides Don’t Cause Bee Colonies to Collapse

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"EPA Study Finds That Neonics Not Causing Colony Collapse Disorder In Bees," By Hank Campbell. A few years ago, bees suddenly had a sharp decline in numbers. This "Colony Collapse Disorder" as it is called, is a disorder in the sense that it is a recurring phenomenon, detailed for the last 1,000 years even when record-keeping just consisted of sporadic anecdotes. It was noted more frequently as record-keeping became more thorough. so it appeared far more often by the 1800s. By the 1900s, … [Read more...]

Safety Rules for Laundry Detergent Packets All Wet

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"Congresswoman Calls for New Safety Rules on Detergent," by Paula Bolyard. Rep. Jackie Speier of California is proposing a bill directing the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue new rules establishing safety standards for liquid detergent packets. The Democrat Speier’s bill, the Detergent Poisoning and Child Safety (PACS) Act, directs the CPSC to impose new regulations on the color, design, and contents of detergent packets. Read more. … [Read more...]

Nord: CPSC US Flawed Data for Proposed Phthalates Rule

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"Phthalates NPR: Flawed Theory Supported by Flawed Data," by Nancy Nord. On March 16, 2015, the comment period will close for the CPSC’s proposed rule banning specified concentrations of phthalates in children’s toys and child care articles. While those who make and use phthalates are well aware of this proceeding, it has much broader implications for the entire regulated community. The proposed rule is flawed not only in terms of substance but also of process. The manner in which it used a … [Read more...]

EWG Discredited by Scientists

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"Discredited by Scientists, Ignored by Media - It's Time for EWG to Retire Decades Old 'List'" by SafeFruitsandVeggies.com. A five-year analysis of media coverage of the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) so-called “dirty dozen” list shows a steady decline in overall coverage, unbalanced coverage and consumer reach. And last week, when EWG released its 2015 list, mainstream media outlets largely ignored the “list” and coverage dropped to negligible levels. Until 2010, EWG’s list had become one … [Read more...]

Scientists Critical of Media Reporting

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"Scientists Blast Media Treatment of Science Stories," by Center for Accountability in Science. Effectively communicating complex research and scientific data to the public is incredibly challenging. While many scientists rely on the media to cover their work, a new survey from the Pew Research Center finds that most scientists think the media’s treatment of science stories poses serious problems. Specifically, the survey found: Read more. … [Read more...]

Questions for EWG

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"A 'Half Dozen' Questions for EWG," by SafeFruitsandVeggies.com. As they have for the last 20 years, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released its “dirty dozen” list today which inaccurately disparages many of the most popular fruits and vegetables. To correct and counter the misinformation promoted by EWG, the Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF) provides science-based information to consumers which clearly show the safety of these popular fruits and veggies and the nutritional benefits … [Read more...]

Atrazine in the News

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"Atrazine Back in the News, Unfortunately, Thanks to EU’s Precaution," by American Council on Science and Health." EU Parliament, StrasbourgAtrazine, one of the most effective and commonly used herbicides (weed-killers) in the world, is back in the news. Today’s New York Times’ international business article discusses disparities in regulations that complicate Trans-Atlantic trade. Specifically referenced is the gulf that exists between American and European regulations of chemicals and … [Read more...]

Many Factors Behind Colony Collapse Disorder

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"What Makes Honeybee Colonies Collapse?" by Joe Ballenger. Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder has always interested me, because I’m interested in insect pathology – and this is probably the most important insect-pathology related event we’ll see in our lifetimes. I’ve written about CCD here at Biofortified, first in my post Colony Collapse Disorder: an Introduction. I followed this up with Are Neonicotinoids the Cause of Colony Collapse Disorder, where I talked about why the pesticide topic … [Read more...]

No Surprise: BPA is Safe

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"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...]

Neonicotinoid Ban in Europe Only Helps Pests

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"Pests Invade Europe After Neonicotinoids Ban, With no Benefit to Bee Health," by Rebecca Randall. This month, more than 100 natural food brands, including Clif Bar and Stonyfield, joined together in a drive to encourage the Obama Administration to ban pesticides linked to bee deaths. The culprit, they say, is neonicotinoids, which is a class of chemicals commonly called neonics, introduced in the 1990s, that are mostly coated onto seeds to help farmers control insects. ...Yet, as activists … [Read more...]

BPA Exposure Deemed Safe, Again, Again and Again

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"Exposure To BPA – It’s Not What Some People Think," By Steve Hentges. Both the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have recently released assessments that strongly support the safety of bisphenol A (BPA). In both cases, a body of studies documenting 1) low exposure, primarily from the diet; 2) efficient metabolism as BPA is absorbed in the gut; and 3) rapid elimination from the body provide key support for the safety conclusions. In contrast, a … [Read more...]

The Science of the ‘Endocrine Disrupter’ Debate

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"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...]

Weighing the Evidence: Chemical Risks

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"Weight Of Evidence: How To Make Sense Of Reports On Toxicology And Pesticides," by News Staff at Science 2.0. There are tens of thousands of human-made chemicals circulating today and some have been bad despite studies that didn't initially find harm, yet almost every chemical is under siege by environmental groups, and they all claim science is on their side. Everything from bisphenol A used in plastics to neonicotinoid pesticides to glyphosate weed-killers are criticized by lawyers at … [Read more...]

BPA in Food Packaging is Safe Safe Even for Kids & Babies

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"European Food Safety Authority Confirms BPA Safety—Again," By Angela Logomasini on CEI.org. The debate over the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) has raged for years, with environmental activists continually hyping the risks associated with it. Used to make hard-clear plastics and resins that line food containers such as soda cans or canned fruits and veggies, humans have been exposed to trace levels of the chemical for decades without evidence of any ill effects. And a recent review of the science … [Read more...]

Endocrine Disrupter Debate

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“The Science of the ‘Endocrine Disrupter’ Debate” Explains the Absence of Science," By American Council on Science and Health. In the recent Independent Women’s Forum, CEI’s Angela Logomasini dissects the hype from the facts about so-called “endocrine disrupting” chemicals. She points out (as we here at ACSH have been saying for years) that the term itself has no real scientific or medical meaning, outside of its repeated (emphatic) use by those with an anti-chemical agenda and their pals in … [Read more...]

Data Show Yet Again: Pesticide Residues Are Negligible

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"Agriculture Shows Responsible Pesticide Use," By Dale Hildebrant. You usually don't have to look far to find some group that criticizes the use of pesticides in the agricultural industry. Food safety groups, consumer organizations and even a scattering of ag groups condemn the use of pesticides when it comes to raising crops of any kind. But recently some good news about pesticide use was reported and it came in the form of the annual Pesticide Data Program. This is a collaborative effort … [Read more...]

Bring Back BPA!

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"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...]

Myths about Triclosan Debunked

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"The Debate Rages On – Triclosan/Copolymer: Debunking the Myths," by By Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS. There have been claims in the news lately that triclosan is unsafe for humans. As with any product, toxicity is determined by the dosage, and the amount of potentially toxic ingredients in a product. This article discusses the efficacy of dentifrices containing triclosan, and the fact that there is currently not enough evidence to recommend avoiding use of products that contain triclosan. … [Read more...]

Costs of Green Chemistry

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"Consumers to Pay the Price for State Environmental Regulations," by Angela Logomasini. Consumers could soon face higher prices, reduced choices and lower-quality products, thanks to a slew of chemical regulations that are advancing in various states. These regulations are unlikely to provide any measurable benefits, and instead would reduce consumers’ access to a myriad of products, from children’s toys and canned food to paint and building materials. These regulations, pushed largely by … [Read more...]

Consumers Confused About Organic Food Rhetoric

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"Study Shows Conflicting Statements on Healthy Eating May Be Impacting Low Income Consumers," By SafeFruitsandVeggies.com. A new peer reviewed study shows that conflicting messaging on food safety and nutrition may be having a negative impact on consumers, especially those with lower incomes.  Researchers at the John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future conducted the study which was published in the journal Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment and titled, “’They Just Say Organic Food Is … [Read more...]

BPA Fears Spread to BPA Alternatives

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"Fear, Inc. is Having a Big Day on the New York Stock Exchange. It is Up 45 Percent on Heavy Volume," By American Council on Science and Health. How could it not be? After all, the plastic component BPS — supposedly a safe replacement for BPA — isn’t looking so great after all. BPA (bisphenol A) is a chemical so “deadly” that Times columnist Nick Kristof — by far the most accomplished toxicological expert who never took a chemistry class — refuses to touch cash register receipts because they … [Read more...]

Non-Toxic Christmas Toys

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"Santa's Nontoxic Toys," By Joseph Perrone, Sc.D. Finding the perfect gift for your children this holiday season is certainly stressful—just ask Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character in Jingle All the Way. But while you might worry whether you’ve picked the trendiest doll or the coolest video game, you shouldn’t have to worry about whether your gifts (or Santa’s!) might be toxic to your kids. Read more. … [Read more...]

Activist Science and Honeybees

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"Activist Science Undermines Research on Honeybees and Pesticides," by Angela Logomasini. As reported in a blog post by David Zaruk, some of the “science” on the impact of neonicotinoid pesticides on honeybees appears to have resulted from a pre-orchestrated campaign, rather than an unbiased scientific process. The researchers involved are members of the International Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, which is part of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The task force … [Read more...]

Top Ten Scares of 2014

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"ACSH’s Top 10 Health Scares of 2014," by American Council on Science and Health. 10.The Food Babe attacks ingredient found in Subway bread The chemical azodicarbonamide is used in baking as a dough conditioner, meant to improve the strength and workability of the dough, as well as to increase the speed at which the dough rises. It is a common ingredient in bread. Azodicarbonamide is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. FDA, and is thus considered safe to be added to foods. Read … [Read more...]

Toxic Chrismas Decorations?

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“Watchdog” Group Warns about “Toxic” Christmas Decorations. Ignore Their Barking," by American Council on Science and Health. Where would one normally expect to find such a sensational story: What could be worse than getting a bag of coal for Christmas? A bag full of toxic chemicals, health groups say. A new report from HealthyStuff.org finds toxic chemicals in many of the popular Christmas decorations like Santa Clause [sic] hats, Christmas lights, stockings, and wreaths that were tested. We … [Read more...]

Bee Experts Dismantle Touted Harvard Study

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"Bee Experts Dismantle Touted 'Harvard' Neonics-Colony Collapse Disorder Study As 'Activist Science,'" by Jon Entine. Chensheng Lu was in his element last month at a speech before a green group at Harvard Law School. The School of Public Health professor was lecturing on his favorite topic--his only subject these days, as it has become his obsession: why he believes bees around the world are in crisis. Lu is convinced, unequivocally, that a popular pesticide hailed by many scientists as a less … [Read more...]

Pseudo-Science, Neonics, and Honeybees

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"Still More Politicized Pseudo-Science? The Neonics and Honeybees Saga Takes Interesting, Potentially Fraudulent Turn," by Paul Driessen. Insisting that scientific evidence shows a clear link between neonics and honeybee population declines, EU anti-insecticide campaigners persuaded the European Union to impose a two-year ban on using the chemicals. Farm organizations and the Union’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Department unsuccessfully opposed the ban, arguing that evidence for a link … [Read more...]

Congress Should Stop Funding Activist Science on BPA

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"A Taxpayer-Funded Family Feud," By Tom Schatz. It is bad enough when an agency spends taxpayer money foolishly, but it is even worse when those expenditures end up undermining the conclusions of another agency. Between 2000 and 2014, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), sent $172.7 million in grant money to scientists to study the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) and its effect on humans, particularly as an endocrine … [Read more...]

Honeybee Hype and Scandal

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"IUCN’s Anti-Neonic Pesticide Task Force: An Exposé into Activist Science," By The Risk Monger. The Risk-Monger recently came across a strategy document carelessly left on-line by activist scientists that lies at the heart of the founding of the IUCN Taskforce on Systemic Pesticides. The Addendum to this document (see page 3) spells out a rather distasteful anti-neonicotinoid campaign strategy lacking in scientific integrity. The process has been tried and tested before by activists, but their … [Read more...]

U.S. Farmers Need to Challenge Anti-Pesticide Policies

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"A Wake-Up Call For U.S. Farmers: The EPA Is Trying To Put You Out of Business, By Henry L. Miller. The Environmental Protection Agency is arguably the worst regulatory agency in the history of the world. But perhaps I understate. EPA has long been highly politicized, disdainful of science, relentlessly incompetent and corrupt. The agency is a miasma populated by the most radical, disaffected and anti-industry discards from other agencies, who collude secretly and sometimes illegally with … [Read more...]

EWG’s Anti-Food Preservative Hype

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"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...]

Organic Food Marketing and Homeopathy

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"Top Organic Marketing Trustees Resign Because A Member Ridicules Homeopathy," By Hank Campbell. Psychics, homeopaths, magic soap buyers, anti-vaccine and anti-energy people, they all share one thing in common - no, no, not the same political party (good guess, though!), they embrace organic food. And if you don't also embrace their giant swath of superstitious crackpottery, they might depart in a huff. Now that Big Organic is a $105 billion industry, I suspect they would like to quietly but … [Read more...]

Video: Jon Entine Interview on Honeybees

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"Jon Entine Debunks Theory Linking Neonic Pesticides to Honeybee Collapse," by American Council on Science and Health. In a masterful example of thorough scientific reporting, Jon Entine makes it clear that the recent accusations that the group of pesticides called neonicotinoids (“neonics”) is responsible for Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) of honeybees are baseless. Such accusations are bound to be concerning, since honeybees are responsible for pollinating many crops — both here and in … [Read more...]

Prop 65 Lawsuits Galore

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"Some Sense from California — At Last," By American Council on Science and Health. Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 1.07.00 PMCalifornia’s Proposition 65 is a law that helps no one — except perhaps trial lawyers and bounty hunters. As we have pointed out in the past, it certainly does nothing to benefit public health, and according to a recent opinion piece in the Sacramento Bee, it hurts small businesses. Mark Snyder, a small business owner, clearly points out the deficits in the law. He notes that … [Read more...]

Before You Eat that Turkey … Watch This!

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"Enjoy Your Holiday Dinner — Chemicals and All!," By American Council on Science and Health. The focus of the ACSH holiday menu is on “carcinogens,” defined here as chemicals, either natural or synthetic, that cause cancer in rodents when consumed in large amounts. A related topic, however, is that of “poisons,” technically known as toxicants. Just as it is scientifically unwarranted to believe that the food supply is free of natural rodent carcinogens and mutagens, it is equally unrealistic to … [Read more...]

Flawed Studies on Neonics and Bees

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"Part II: Bee Deaths And CCD - Flawed Chensheng Lu Harvard Studies Endanger Bees,"By Jon Entine. Last week, in Part I of this two part series, "Bee Deaths Mystery Solved? Neonicotinoids (Neonics) May Actually Help Bee Health”, we explored the claims by Harvard School of Public Health researcher Chensheng Lu, heralded by anti-pesticide and anti-GMO advocacy groups, for his research that purportedly proves that the class of chemicals known as neonicotinoids are killing bees and endangering … [Read more...]

DDT, Bedbugs, and Beyond

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"ACSH friend R. Kozlovich’s Ode to Banned, Lifesaving DDT," by American Council on Science and Health. Don’t get on Rich Kozlovich’s bad side. He calls out those who foment harmful, unscientific and agenda-driven messages, especially when they impinge upon his area of expertise: pesticides, and the pests who fear them: both 8-legged and 2-legged, we should emphasize. In his recent “Paradigms and Demographics” blog, which is entitled Repealing the Ban on DDT is Bigger Than Bed Bugs!, he takes on … [Read more...]

Neonics Good for Honeybees?

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"Part I: Bee Deaths Mystery Solved? Neonicotinoids (Neonics) May Actually Help Bee Health," By Jon Entine. Reports that honey bees are dying in unusually high numbers has concerned many scientists, farmers and beekeepers, and gripped the public. There have been thousands of stories ricocheting across the web, citing one study or another as the definitive explanation for a mystery that most mainstream experts say is complex and not easily reducible to the kind of simplistic narrative that … [Read more...]

No Effect of Neonics in Field Study of Honeybees

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"New Field Study Confirms Neonicotinoids Have Little Impact on Honeybees," By Angela Logomasini. As the Ontario provincial government in Canada considers policies that may force farmers to stop using, or drastically reduce use of, a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids, a new study shows why such policies are unlikely to do any good. Supposedly, limiting use of these pesticides will improve honeybee hive health, but such regulations will simply make it harder for farmers to produce an … [Read more...]

BPA Science Overload?

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"The BPA Paradox – Too Many Studies?" By Steve Hentges. For many years, scientists around the world have been intensely interested in bisphenol A (BPA), a common chemical used to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins. But what have we learned from the supersized investment in research on this one chemical, and what can we expect in the future? Recent articles suggest that we haven’t learned as much as might be expected from such a large investment, but more research on BPA is probably in … [Read more...]

EWG Also Wrong about Chemical in Bread Dough

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"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”

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"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...]

Endocrine Disruptors and Male Fertility

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"Phthalates And Prostates: Endocrine Disruptors Shortening The Distance Between Male Anus And Penis," By Hank Campbell. Men are becoming more effeminate. That is not news. If you watched the ESA's Rosetta mission arrive at Comet P67 you saw a tattoo-covered fellow talk about engineering and he looked manly, but two days later he was crying during a press conference because his bowling shirt had offended women on Twitter. The signs of feminization are not just present in large, bearded men … [Read more...]

How Anti-Pesticide Policies Kill

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"Green Hysteria Costs Lives," By Jasson Urbach. Africa Fighting Malaria Apparently we no longer live in a world that values technological advancement. Canadian Environmental Commissioner, Gord Miller, recently stated, "[Neonicotinoids are] the biggest threat to the structure and integrity of the ecosystem that I have encountered in my life... Bigger than DDT". Neonicotinoids are a remarkable and desperately needed kind of insecticide. Miller bases his mistrust of neonicotinoids on an unfounded … [Read more...]

Harmful Effects of Baseless Pesticide Bans

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"First DDT, now Neonics—the Harmful Effects of “Environmentalist”-Sponsored, Baseless Pesticide Bans," By American Council on Science and Health.quito In a recent article from Africa Fighting Malaria, author Jasson Urbach addresses the harmful effects of banning a class of insecticides: neonicotinoids. Urbach compares the unfounded fears of neonics with those of DDT, giving a brief history of the negative effects that bans on DDT have had on public health. For example, when South Africa stopped … [Read more...]

EWG’ Attack on Chardonnay “Additive”

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"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...]

Green Chemistry: NYT Gets It Wrong

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"The New York Times Needs Chemistry Lesson (Badly)," By American Council on Science and Health. An op-ed in the November 9 New York Times, entitled “Making Chemistry Green,” by Robert S. Lawrence and Rolf U. Halden could have been entitled “Green in Chemistry.” based on some rather obvious errors. ... “We should regulate chemicals as we understand them: in groups. Instead of regulating one compound at a time..” Bloom: “No: that’s exactly what we should not do. Within classes of chemicals, very … [Read more...]

Beekeeper Rejects Anti-Pesticide Campaign

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"Bees, Bans and Bungling: How an Anti-pesticide Campaign May Spell Serious Trouble," by Claire Brownell. At the end of a long day in the field, Ontario beekeeper Hugh Simpson is on his way to a meeting, where he’s looking forward to a packed agenda talking shop. Bee talk. Honey discourse. And absolutely not about banning pesticides. In March, Mr. Simpson was involved in forming the Independent Commercial Beekeepers. So far, the group has attracted about 20 members, based out of Ontario’s … [Read more...]

Recall: Whole Foods Organic Almonds

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"Organic At Your Own Risk: Whole Foods Almonds Contain Hydrogen Cyanide," By Hank Campbell The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning Whole Foods customers not to consume a line of organic raw almonds due to elevated levels of hydrogen cyanide (prussic acid/formonitrile - chemical formula HCN). Hydrogen cyanide is a natural toxic chemical that interferes with oxygen in our organs so it can quickly be fatal, but even in smaller exposure can be damaging to the central nervous system, … [Read more...]

Fracking Does not Pollute Water and Air

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"Fracking Operators Have Solved Most Problems, are Working on the Rest," By H. Sterling Burnett. Oil and gas operators are on the verge of solving the only arguably legitimate objections raised against the practice of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas production: earthquakes and water consumption. Innovation has brought good news to an industry that has a serious image problem despite the tremendous good it has done for our country. Environmental lobbyists contend fracking pollutes the air … [Read more...]

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