Science Overruled on Causes of Cancer

"S. Korean Court Overrules Scientific Evidence On Cancer Causation. What’s Next?" By Gil Ross. A recent decision by a South Korean Administrative Court found that the ovarian cancer which killed a Samsung plant worker at the age of 36 bore a “significant causal relationship” to her long-term exposure to certain chemicals involved in the process of making silicon chips. The deceased worker, Lee Eun-joo, began her career at the Samsung factory in 1993 at the age of 17 and died in 2012. She had … [Read more...]

Prop65: Trial Lawyers’ Get Rich Scheme

"California Issues Another Gift to Trial Lawyers and Blow to Small Businesses," by Center for Accountability in Science. We’ve talked extensively on our blog about the problems with California’s chemical warning law known as Proposition 65. It requires warning labels on everything from coffee to sunglasses without offering consumers any context about the actual risk of chemical exposure. Instead of helping Californians make healthier choices, the law has been used as a tool for bounty hunters … [Read more...]

Zika Virus and Pesticides

"Zika Virus Will Sure Get Us to Embrace Toxic Chemicals," by Hank Campbell.The recurring joke in science when the Ebola craze consumed American media was that all the wealthy elites in California, Oregon and Washington who denied vaccines due to concerns about autism, would make sure their families were first in line for a new vaccine. While rich coastal parents knew they could avoid risk for their special snowflakes, while still protecting them from whooping cough (pertussis) by counting on … [Read more...]

Antifreeze in Food?

"Are You Anti-Antifreeze? Read This," by Josh Bloom.  All antifreezes are not created equal. Actually, that should read “both antifreezes are not equal,” since there are only two that are commonly used (but that’s a terrible lead). Yet those two act alike, they sound alike, they even taste alike, but they could not be more different and in that difference is another way where environmental activists get so much wrong about chemicals. The difference is due to a single carbon atom, which makes one … [Read more...]

USDA Affirms Yet Again: Pesticide Residues “Pose No Safety Concern”

"Predictability Accompanies USDA Report Release," by SafeFruitsandVeggies.com. This month, USDA released the 2014 Pesticide Data Program results accompanied by the conclusion that residues “pose no safety concern.” This result was no surprise since year after year this program verifies the safety of organic and conventional fruits and veggies. But, this is also predictable: Media coverage of this “good news” story for consumers was almost non-existent with only produce trade publications and … [Read more...]

Toxic TSCA Reform?

"TSCA 'Reform': It’s Old (39 years), But It Works! Why revise? By Gil Ross. Wending its way toward seemingly-inevitable final passage, a darling of the chemophobic left, “TSCA Revision,” will do no good for Americans, further empower the hyper-regulatory EPA, and be hugely expensive. The good old Toxic Substances Control Act was working fine.  After years and years of debate spurred by the enviro-left, the Toxic Substances Control Act (affectionately, TSCA) of 1976 is on the verge of “reform.” … [Read more...]

Dismiss Christmas Toy Alarmism

"Holiday Toy Safety: Common Sense Trumps Activist Advice," By Angela Logomasini. If you believe the U.S. Public Interest Group (USPIRG), the “Slinky Jr.” or “Fun Bubbles Jump Rope” that Santa might bring to your children should send shivers down your spine. These items are among the “toxic” toys listed in the group’s annual “Trouble in Toyland” report. But don’t fret, because the only thing that’s really troubling is USPIRG’s alarmism. Read more. … [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...]

Toxic Gifts from Santa?

"Protect Yourself from a Lawsuit with our Proposition 65 Christmas Gift Warning," By Center for Accountability in Science. Santa Claus is coming to town with a sleigh full of gifts. Unfortunately for Santa (and gift givers everywhere), a California law known as Proposition 65 requires any item containing one of the over 800 substances “known to the state of California to cause cancer” or reproductive issues to bear a warning label. Santa better watch out: If he happens to slip a new golf club … [Read more...]

Causes of Cancer Examined

"Cancer Causation Battle: Bad Environment, Not Bad Luck," December 17, 2015. A new study published in the journal, Nature, entitled “Substantial contribution of extrinsic risk factors to cancer development,” used quantitative measures from several different perspectives to come to the conclusion that the large majority of human cancers are caused by “environmental” factors (i.e. non-genetic), rather than intrinsic gene abnormalities or pure chance (i.e. inherited or spontaneous mutations). The … [Read more...]

A Plea: Stop Food Fearmongering

"Fear Has No Place in the Produce Department," By Safer Fruits and Veggies. Earlier this month, the Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF) had the opportunity to speak at the Consumer Media Luncheon which took place as part of the New York Produce Show organized each year by the publishers of Produce Business.  Our topic dealt with the impact of fear-based marketing commonly used by activist groups to promote organically-grown foods over conventional. To be sure, we are in midst of a public health … [Read more...]

Is Green Tea an ‘Endocrine Disruptor’

"Green Tea an ‘Endocrine Disruptor’? If so, Everything Is," By Gil Ross. Fruit FlyNo matter now often we ask the “endocrine disruptor” contingent this question — Please tell us, what are the endocrines that are being disrupted, allegedly, by all those “toxic” chemicals you impugn? — we end up getting no satisfaction. Since the definition of an endocrine disruptor seems to expand or contract to suit the agenda of the “environmental” group seeking to target a chemical, and since I never … [Read more...]

Paper Reciepts and BPA

"Should You Say ‘No’ to Paper Receipts?, by Center for Accountability in Science. By now, most consumers are used to seeing plastic water bottles and food containers marketed as “BPA-free” even though major government agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) insist BPA poses no risk to consumers of any age. But BPA is used in more than just food packaging—it’s also used in many receipts printed on thermal paper. The use of BPA in receipts … [Read more...]

Chemicals in Consumer Products

"Are we contaminating our bodies with everyday products?," Center for Accountability in Science. Over the holiday weekend, a New York Times column by Nicholas Kristof argued chemicals used in everyday products are linked to a host of health problems, including cancer, obesity, diabetes, and infertility. And that’s not all—Kristof takes his warning even further, arguing that by not heeding the warnings of organizations such as the Endocrine Society and the International Federation of Gynecology … [Read more...]

Toxicity of Organic Pesticides

"The Risk-Monger’s Dirty Dozen – 12 Highly Toxic Pesticides Approved for Use in Organic Farming," by The Risk-Monger. It is commonly believed that organic farmers do not use pesticides and that organic food is therefore safer to consume than conventionally farmed fruit and vegetables. In a UK poll, 95% of the consumers bought organic food because they wanted to avoid consuming pesticides. This belief could not be further from the truth. The US organic industry has approved over 3000 toxic … [Read more...]

Processed Meat and Cancer Baloney

"Baloney About Processed Meat and Cancer," By Angela Logomasini. Scientists from around the world convened in Lyon, France--a city famed as the world's gastronomical capital--this October to declare that local delicacies, such as andouille sausage and pork salami, are now classified carcinogens, placing them in the same category as smoking. The absurdity of that conclusion highlights the growing futility of efforts to classify certain chemicals, foods, and activities as either "carcinogenic" … [Read more...]

IARC’s Cancer Classifications Ignored

"Meat, Coffee – Why Only Activists Pay Attention To IARC Claims," By Hank Campbell. If you were laughing at the notion that sausage is just as carcinogenic as cigarettes last week, you are not alone – the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) is scrambling to repair the damage to what’s left of the credibility of its International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) after its latest paper about processed meat. But that report is actually no worse than any of their others. While … [Read more...]

Radon Risks in Homes Way Overblown

"Don’t Fear Radon Concerns at Home; They’re Overblown," By Gil Ross. There is fear circulating about the risk of lung cancer due to inhaled radon gas, as a result of the widespread publicity given to studies that link lung cancer incidence to radon concentration using a “linear no-threshold” (LNT) model. This model — which many scientists say is baseless and should be scrapped — predicts an alarming excess of cancers, even at low radon levels. Little publicity, however, has been given to the … [Read more...]

Anti-Neonic “Science”

"Scientist for Hire: UK’s David Goulson produces Pre-determined Pesticide Research for Activist Funders?" By Jon Entine. Freedom of Information requests initiated first by USRTK have uncovered a plethora of documentation showing how anti-GMO groups coordinate their messaging, often working with pro-organic scientists who have shown a willingness to deliver studies supporting the industry that funds them while dissing biotechnology research. ... University of Sussex biology professor David … [Read more...]

Activist “Science” Behind Honeybee-Pesticide Debate

"Dave Goulson: Portrait of an Activist Scientist," By The Risk-Monger. Dave Goulson is an activist scientist campaigning against conventional farming and the use of products that help farmers protect their crops. An excellent communicator, he is interviewed regularly on environmentalist programmes posing as a concerned scientist fighting the lobbying machinery of big business. Presently a biologist at University of Sussex, I have just recently learnt that Goulson will be receiving research … [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...]

Weed Killers in Tampons

"Glyphosate in Tampons, Oh My!" By Michelle Minton. You may have seen the hilarious headlines about putting Monsanto in your vagina (if not, you’re welcome/I’m sorry). This hyperbole comes on the heels of a new study showing that the majority of cotton products tested by Argentinian researchers were found to contain glyphosate—the herbicide made by Monsanto and commercially known as Roundup. Even if you’re comfortable with farmers spraying crops with chemicals that keep away insects or … [Read more...]

Starbucks Coffee & Cancer?

"No, Pumpkin Spice Latte Is Not Giving You Cancer," by American Council on Science and Health. If you didn’t know it, Starbucks has changed their Pumpkin Spice Latte from years past. The surprise was that they have decided to use pumpkin in a drink with pumpkin in the name, the shock is that they are only using pumpkin because of chemophobia about a natural chemical called 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI). They didn’t do it on their own. The activist group which calls itself Center for Science in the … [Read more...]

Detox the Tampon Box Scare Campaign

"Pulling the Plug on Tampon Scares," by by Josh Bloom.De Despite a spectacularly creative, although ultimately unsuccessful, effort, Stephanie Phillips came up just short in this year’s “Look Like an Idiot For Halloween Costume Contest.” However, she did so well that it would be just plain wrong not to give her honorable mention. In what is unlikely to be a successful profile photo on Match.com, Ms. Phillips was photographed wearing a shipping carton that was decorated to look like a Tampax … [Read more...]

Cancer Warning Labels on Red Meat?

"Will Meat Come with a Warning Label in California?," By Joseph Perrone. The World Health Organization has declared that bacon, sausage and other processed meats cause cancer and that red meat “probably” causes cancer. Now, for Californians and farmers hoping to sell meat in California, the big question is: Will California require meat to come with a warning label? Proposition 65 requires warning labels on products containing ingredients “known to the state of California to cause cancer or … [Read more...]

Greens Find New Target: Triphenyl Phosphate

"Harlem Globetrotters Of Science Take On The Environmental Washington Generals," By American Council on Science and Health. In what can be seen, at the very least, as an appalling lack of creativity, our old friends the EWG — Environmental Washington Generals (oops, I meant Environmental Working Group) — decided that since they had finally hit dry wells with phthalates and BPA, it was time for a “new” chemical to scare people about, get some mainstream Scare Journalism coverage (which worked) … [Read more...]

Green Alarmism and Halloween Makeup

"Sen. Schumer on Halloween Paint: Health Threat or Political Theater?" By American Council on Science and Health. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is afraid of face paint but does that mean you should be? In the scientization of politics trope, China is an easy target and no one wants to defend lead, so Sen. Schumer has invoked a science-y sounding activist group named the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. It’s a coalition of environmental fundraisers like the Breast Cancer Fund, which, it may not … [Read more...]

Nail Polish and Health

"Is Painting Your Nails Harming Your Health?," By Center for Accountability in Science. Earlier this week, the Environmental Working Group (an environmental activist group known for dubious science) released a new study with Duke University researchers that examined women’s levels of triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), a chemical sometimes used in nail polish. The researchers told the media women who painted their nails had “substantially higher” levels of TPHP than the general population and “These … [Read more...]

Chemicals and Obesity

"Are Chemicals Making you Fat?" By Dr. Joseph Perrone. If the piles of Halloween candy for sale at supermarkets are any indication, we’ve already started our descent into the holiday eating season. It’s that magical time of year when the temptation of delicious treats combined with darker days and cooler weather makes it hard to avoid putting on the pounds. But instead of holding responsible overeating and lack of exercise, it’s tempting to search for blame elsewhere. A new scientific statement … [Read more...]

BPA no Risk in School Meals

School Meals, not the Problem! By BPA Coalition. Recently a study published by researchers at Stanford in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environment Epidemiology has alleged that school meals may expose children to “unsafe levels of BPA”. The author Jennifer Hartle said she was “shocked to see that virtually everything in school meals came from a can or plastic packaging”. But does her shock at the use of plastic mean it is unsafe? Before getting lost in the jungle of individual studies, … [Read more...]

Questionable Reasons for TSCA Reform

"The Many Bad Reasons to Support TSCA "Reform," By Angela Logomasini. With reform to nation’s chemical law—the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)—basically around the corner, groups from both left and right are commenting on why we need reform and for some, why the current proposals should pass quickly. But the reasons they offer aren’t are very compelling. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) exclaims in a press release: Read more. … [Read more...]

Government Funded Junk Science and BPA Alarmism

"Taxpayer-Funded Anti-BPA Activism is the Real Danger," By Angela Logomasini, Ph.D. Alarmist claims about the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) have reached an absurd level. According to the website Treehugger.com, a new study shows that exposure to BPA can make humans lazy and eventually obese from lack of exercise. Such claims continue to populate the Internet thanks to taxpayer funded junk-science studies about this chemical. Read more. … [Read more...]

TSCA “Reform” on the Way

"'Reforming' the Toxic Substances Control Act," By Angela Logomasini. As early as this week, the Senate is slated to take up a bill to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act. Supposedly, the proposal has enough bipartisan support to sustain a filibuster. So are the proposed changes to TSCA good or bad for consumers? There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical. As I have explained numerous times, the current TSCA has what is probably the best standard for evaluating environmental risks that the … [Read more...]

Fracking Risks to Babies?

"Fracking Causes Premature Babies? ACSH Drills Down For Answers," By Gil Ross. A recent study links high-volume hydraulic fracturing, better known as “fracking,” to higher pre-term birth rates. But the conclusion isn’t really warranted. The study found an 11 percent early birth rate among mothers near the drilling sites, while the CDC proclaims that the national pre-term delivery rate is 11.5 percent. That’s not really a meaningful difference when we consider variables such as genetic … [Read more...]

No Worries about Arsenic in Wine

"Too Much Wine Might Cause a Hangover, But Not Arsenic Poisoning," By Center for Accountability in Science. Earlier this year, a handful of wine drinkers filed a class action lawsuit against several wineries for knowingly producing wine contaminated with arsenic. They argued that because levels of arsenic in some wine exceeded the level of arsenic set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for drinking water (something Americans of all ages consume in much greater quantities than wine), … [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...]

Roundup Risk?

"How Dangerous is Roundup?," By Center for Accountability in Science. Earlier this year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency of the World Health Organization, classified glyphosate (the chemical used in Roundup) as a “possible human carcinogen.” While it’s certainly a scary sounding announcement, what it really means is that like working swing shifts or drinking alcohol, the IARC says studies suggest that it’s possible exposure to glyphosate might cause cancer in … [Read more...]

Organic Farming and Honeybees

"Organic Farming Kills Bees? Study Fails to Show This," By Josh Bloom. We constantly debunk bad studies that are anti-chemical, anti-GMO, pro-organic, etc. Why? Because they are either poorly done, and/or they’re complete garbage. This time, there’s a study which apparently condemns organic farming, which — despite the fictitious concept and name — isn’t what it seems to be. Chemicals are used in organic farming, just different ones than are used in conventional farming. But fair is fair, so … [Read more...]

Reporting the Risks of Roundup

"Solid Reporting on the (Non) Risks of Roundup," By Gil Ross. Given the mainstream media’s devotion to sensationalism when discussing GMOs, it was an unexpected pleasure to come across a recent Washington Post article on the subject. The essay was entitled “It’s the chemical Monsanto depends on. How dangerous is it?” This is such an important topic/question from so many points of view that it should be essential reading for anyone who’s scientific sophistication is not up to speed — meaning … [Read more...]

BPA and Birth Weight

"Prenatal BPA Exposures (Don’t) Affect Birth Weight," By Steve Hentges. Recent media stories have reported on two new scientific studies involving BPA’s effects on birth weight. One study reported a statistical association between prenatal exposure to BPA and increased birth weight, while the other reported an association with decreased birth weight. However, both of the new studies use cross-sectional study designs that are inherently incapable of providing much meaningful information on … [Read more...]

BPA Ban in France Not Justified

"BPA ban in France : a decision that raises questions," by BPA Coalition. The Constitutional Council, France’s highest constitutional authority, concluded that the request from the plastics manufacturers industry to review the application of the French law that banned the use of BPA in food contact applications, effective since 1 January 2015, was justified. The ban on the production and export of such products is unconstitutional and it impedes the freedom to conduct a business. Read more at … [Read more...]

Plastics Making Kids Fat Nonsense

"Is It A Blue Moon? Environmental Magazine Correct on Phthalates" by American Council on Science and Health. So it is with an extra measure of satisfaction that we now describe not one, but two, studies apparently exonerating a favorite EHP target — the plasticizing chemical group, phthalates — as a causal factor in childhood obesity, published in EHP this week.  We here at the American Council on Science and Health have often — very often, in fact — taken issue with the academic pursuits … [Read more...]

“Obesogens” and Plastics Myth

"Media Ignores New Studies Finding No Link Between Phthalates and Obesity," by Center for Accountability in Science. Despite a robust $20 billion weight-loss industry, Americans can’t seem to lose weight and keep it off. Instead of blaming cuts to recess, increased sedentary lifestyles, and consuming too many calories, researchers have come up with a new theory: chemicals are making us fat. This theory, known as the “obesogen hypothesis” was coined in 2006 and is the basis for millions of … [Read more...]

Trump Wrong about Vaccines and Autism

"Dear Donald Trump: Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism," by Center for Accountability in Science. Donald Trump has soared to the top of polls for the Republican nomination for president, and many have said it was because he makes bold statements and “speaks truth” to voters. But during last night’s presidential debate, Trump used his high-profile position to repeat one of the most dangerous health myths floating around the internet: that vaccines cause autism. The study behind this myth has been … [Read more...]

Flawed Pesticide Study

"Flawed Pesticide Study Made Scarier by CNN’s ‘Reporting’" by American Council on Science and Health. It was Monday’s “big” health story, or so we were told. According to CNN.com, there’s now an established link between the development of childhood cancers, primarily leukemia and lymphoma, and the use of pesticides. Sounds scary, maybe even real. But does the science hold up? Maybe, maybe not. Make that, probably not. Dr. Chensheng Lu, associate professor of environmental exposure biology at … [Read more...]

OZ Ratings Tumble Downward

"Dr. Oz Audience Down 50 Percent – So We’re Halfway There," by Ana-Marija Dolaskie. Healthcare experts across the nation are weeping in unison over the return of the Dr. Mehmet Oz Show, because it’s beginning its seventh season Monday and neither facts nor ethics can stop it. The news is not all bad, though. To say his show and reputation have taken a hit, thanks to the American Council on Science and Health spearheading a nationally publicized effort to get him removed from the faculty at … [Read more...]

Guerrilla War Against Chemicals Hits Starbucks

"The Guerrilla War Against Chemicals Extends To Starbucks," Pepsi, By Dr. Robert Lichter. The latest skirmish in the war of anti-chemical crusaders against the food industry broke out in an unlikely place – the usually tranquil waters of Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte. Vani Hari, author of the widely read Food Babe blog, recently kicked up a fuss by charging that the popular drink contains a cancer-causing substance called 4-mei, which is a byproduct of its caramel coloring. As the name of her … [Read more...]

Difference between Health threats and Health Scares

"Health Scares At The Drop Of A Rat," By American Council on Science and Health. Beginning in 1976 with a book entitled Panic In The Pantry, the team of scholars that went on to found the American Council on Science and Health and to form its first trustees and Scientific Advisory Panel, have been clarifying, as the Wall Street Journal called our mission, the difference between a health threat and a health scare. By the mid-1970s, promoting fear and doubt about food and chemicals and the … [Read more...]

Chemophobia and the Precautionary Principle

"Prescribing Caution with Precautionary Principle," By Gil Ross. Not long ago, Tracey Brown, managing director Sense About Science , a British advocacy group that shares many interests with us here at the American Council, wrote an essay in The Guardian entitled “The Precautionary Principle is a blunt instrument.” To many in the chemophobic, anti-technology camp, the precautionary principle (PP) is akin to the 11th Commandment: Thou shalt make no scientific or industrial progress without first … [Read more...]

Prop 65: Lawyers’ Pilfering of Small Businesses

"Prop. 65 a Burden on Small Businesses, Bonanza for Lawyers," By Jospeh Perrone. California’s chemical labeling law, Proposition 65, has long been criticized for costing businesses millions in frivolous lawsuits without doing much to improve public health. Gov. Jerry Brown signed modest reforms into the law in 2013. But instead of helping curb these out-of-control lawsuits, newly released figures show the amount of money paid by businesses last year to settle Prop. 65 lawsuits actually … [Read more...]

Not So Honest Company?

"Jessica Alba’s Company Sued for Being Not-So-‘Honest.’" by Center for Accountability in Science. A few weeks ago, we highlighted the problems with sunscreen sold by Jessica Alba’s Honest Company—despite being “all natural,” many consumers reported it didn’t actually stop them from getting sunburned. Now, the Honest Company is being sued for its ineffective products and misleading marketing. The company is currently fighting two lawsuits. Read more. … [Read more...]

Reducing Food Waste with BPA

"Reducing Food Waste in Europe – BPA’s Contribution," by BPA Coalition. According to a new study carried out by scientists from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, Europeans waste an average of 123 kg of food per capita annually, or 16% of all food reaching consumers. In total, this would mean 47 million tons of food waste annually. Though there are many ways to better preserve and utilise food, packaging and canning food is one principle methods. Effective canning requires the use … [Read more...]

Myth about Honeybees’ Impact on Food Supply

"Pollinator myth: Are bees responsible for one third of global food, heightening crisis? More like 7%" by Genetic Literacy Project. Will the planet starve if bees disappear? Aren’t bees responsible for a significant chunk of the world’s food supply and nutrition, from one third to as much as 90 percent, depending on what advocacy group is making the claim? You hear such assertions invoked by advocacy groups, reported as truth by journalists and cited by politicians as accepted wisdom whenever … [Read more...]

Market Demand Ensures Honeybee Survival

"How Markets Benefit Honeybees and Mankind," By Angela Logomasini, Ph.D. After more than a decade of panicked reports about honeybees disappearing and potentially going extinct because of a phenomenon called “colony collapse disorder,” The Washington Post reported last week that the number of hives in the United States has reached a 20 year high. At the same time, I was making presentation at a meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, explaining that globally, there are more … [Read more...]

Organic Food Hoax

"The Colossal Hoax Of Organic Agriculture," By Henry I. Miller and Drew L. Kershen. Consumers of organic foods are getting both more and less than they bargained for. On both counts, it’s not good. Many people who pay the huge premium—often more than a hundred percent–for organic foods do so because they’re afraid of pesticides. If that’s their rationale, they misunderstand the nuances of organic agriculture. Although it’s true that synthetic chemical pesticides are generally prohibited, there … [Read more...]

“Natural” Food is Made of Chemicals

"'All Natural' Doesn't Make Food Safer, Healthier," By Dr. Joseph Perrone. Would you feed your kids a snack that includes ethyl ethanoate, 3-methylbutyraldehyde, butylated hydroxytoluene and linoleic acid? While many Americans would probably balk at loading up lunchboxes with these scary sounding chemicals, they'€™re actually common compounds found in blueberries. Listing off hard-to-pronounce chemicals as a reason to avoid certain foods has been the basis of campaigns by activists such as the … [Read more...]

Paltrow Uses Junk Science to Sell Her Cosmetics

"Gwyneth Paltrow Whips Up Consumer Fears to Promote New Organic Cosmetics Line," by Center for Accountability in Science. Gwyneth Paltrow isn’t exactly known for giving the best health advice. She advocates “detoxing” by severe diet restrictions, saunas, and colonics to “flush out” toxins—treatments that are at best useless (as Frank Sacks, MD, of the Harvard School of Public Health says, the idea that you need to help your body get rid of toxins has “no basis in human biology”) and at worst … [Read more...]

Rounding Up the Facts about Pesticides in Breast Milk

"Science Trumps Hysteria When it Comes to Breast Milk and Pesticides," by American Council on Science and Health. The scientific literature has established that, when possible, breast milk offers terrific advantages to children, so it was the perfect way for anti-science groups to promote fear and doubt about a commonly used pesticide called glyphosate, which has been used by home gardeners for decades under the name Roundup. Though the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has never found … [Read more...]

Aspartame Phase Out Unwarranted

"Pepsi Exchanges one Artificial Chemical Sweetener for Another Artificial Chemical Sweetener," By American Council on Science and Health. In just a few days, Diet Pepsi will no longer contain the artificial sweetener aspartame. PepsiCo is replacing aspartame in Diet Pepsi, Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi, and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi with another artificial sweetener, sucralose (commonly known as Splenda), which is used in Coke Zero. The move follows consumer backlash against aspartame, and has … [Read more...]

Unscientific Cancer Classifications

"The UN’s Relentless March Of Unreason," By Henry Miller. Since the 16th century, the guiding principle of the science of toxicology has been that “the dose makes the poison.” In other words, toxicology tells us what quantity (dose) of a substance will cause harm. This applies to the medicines used by Americans hundreds of millions of times a day to help relieve symptoms or treat illnesses’ for example, the right dose of aspirin or an over-the-counter cold remedy can be a therapeutic godsend, … [Read more...]

Beepocalypse Narrative Doesn’t Pass Test

"Attempt to Breath New Life into Beepocalypse Narrative Doesn’t Pass Laugh Test, "by Genetic Literacy Project. It doesn’t take a peer-reviewed study to tell you that if you blot out the sun, plants won’t grow and solar panels are going to stop functioning. Or if a mammoth asteroid unexpectedly hit the earth tomorrow, it would cause enormous destruction. Or if… you get the point. Doomsday scenarios are great as sci-fi pulp or to bolster ideological campaigns, but such musings offer no practical … [Read more...]

“BPA-Free” Cans No Safer than Alternatives

"Green Advice On Canned Foods Belongs In The Trash," By Angela Logomasini, Ph.D. Go to the supermarket and you may notice canned food bearing the label “BPA-free.” It doesn’t mean those products are any better than others—although they may be more expensive. Environmental activists spawned the nonsensical demand for Bisphenol A-free packaging by focusing on spin rather than science. The latest example is the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) report, “BPA in Canned Food: Behind the Brand … [Read more...]

Bisphenol F in Mustard — But Don’t Worry

"Bisphenol F in Mustard? No Problem!" by SaferFruitsandVeggies.com. Here’s a fact you most certainly didn’t know: Bisphenol F, another substance in the “bisphenol” group, is naturally formed in mustard, and humans have been ingesting it for a long time with little consequence. BPF, like BPA, is an endocrine active substance. Interestingly, according to a recent study from the Swiss Food Safety Administration (BLV), the average person takes in about three times more BPF  from mustard consumption … [Read more...]

Roundup Junk Science

"If You’re Going to Pick Your Poison, at Least Choose the Right One," by American Council on Science and Health. The winner in this month’s “I need a chemistry lesson, and fast” award goes to Anthony Dunton of Acworth, Georgia. Hands down. Dunton was arrested last week for trying to poison a co-worker by putting the weed killer Roundup (glyphosate) into his water. Let’s just give him mixed grades on this one. Dunton denied trying to kill the man, but, rather, just “mess with him.” In this … [Read more...]

Kudos to McClintock

"Kudos to Rep. Tom McClintock for His Principled Stand," by Angela Logomasini, Ph.D. Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of TSCA reform (H.R. 2576) by a roll call vote of 398 in favor, one opposed, and 34 members not voting. Yesterday, I lamented the fact that this bill was pushed through under suspension of the rules, which is supposed to be for low-cost, non-controversial bills, which is something that TSCA reform certainly is not. In any case, the issue is very … [Read more...]

Activists Threaten Nutrition for Expecting Moms

"Environmental Activists Threaten Nutrition for Pregnant Women," by Center for Accountability in Science. This week activists with the Environmental Working Group and Mercury Policy Project again slammed draft recommendations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration urging pregnant women and children eat more fish—a valuable source of protein and many heart- and brain-healthy nutrients. The FDA is far from the only agency that believes the health benefits of fish should surpass concerns over … [Read more...]

Josh Bloom Takes on Environmental Working Group Junk Science

"Dr. Josh Bloom on Science 2.0: EWG’s Little Site Of Horrors," by American Council on Science and Health. Josh primary 10-13We have to wonder if Environmental Working Group is having a really bad fiscal quarter because their website has become littered with even more anti-science, scary chemical verbiage than usual. It’s clear they know what their donors think about actual science and evidence, since now they are going after the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for its “generally recognized … [Read more...]

EWG Junk Science

"Junk Science Comes Back and Bites the Environmental Working Group in the Can," by American Council on Science and Health. If there is a better example of what happens when junk science meets reality, good luck finding it. Look no further than today’s New York Times article about how a misguided attempt to solve a non-problem turned into a real problem. ACSH’s Dr. Josh Bloom says, “Let’s give (negative) credit to the ‘anti-BPA cottage industry.’ They have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams … [Read more...]

Chemophobia Exposé

"Headline: Can Your Bathmat Cause Cancer? Hey — Don’t Worry About It!" By American Council on Science and Health. In fact, this excellent essay doesn’t even mention bathmats — but it may have to, when the next version comes out. We tried not to mention the entire headline — really, we did — but in the end, we caved, so here it is: Why You Shouldn’t Care That Yogurt, Mouthwash, Red Meat, Burnt Toast, and Bras Have Been Linked to Cancer. This exposé by (Steven) Ross Pomeroy appeared in the Newton … [Read more...]

TSCA Bill Reaches House Floor

"Suspending Reason to Pass 'TSCA Reform'" by Angela Logomasini The process of lawmaking is often compared to sausage making: an unpalatable job that produces a palatable result. It’s easy to agree with the first part of that analogy, but in politics, the result isn’t always pleasant. Today, U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to “suspend the rules” and pass its version of reform to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This cursory approach is another example of the suspension of … [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...]

BPA Lined Cans Still Safe Despite Green Hype

"Should You Avoid Canned Food?" By the Center for Accountability in Science. The Environmental Working Group (EWG)—the same group that publishes a scaremongering annual report on sunscreen safety—is now trying to discourage the consumption of canned foods. In a new report, EWG argues that since a large amount of the canned items on consumer shelves use bisphenol A (BPA) in can linings, consumers should “limit or avoid canned food.” EWG claims BPA poses a health risk to consumers, but fails to … [Read more...]

The High Cost of Junk Science

"Bad Science Might be Costing Billions," By Center for Accountability in Science. Poor experiment design, accidental contamination, and inadequate data analysis are all major research problems we’ve pointed out on this blog. Now, a new study published in PLOS Biology estimates that problematic research that isn’t easily reproduced may be costing $28 billion per year. Of course, that doesn’t mean all those studies were complete wastes. Some studies included in that figure did find valid results, … [Read more...]

Chemicals and Junk Science

"Jack Dini vs. the World of Junk Science (and the Rest of the World)," by American Council on Science and Health. Talk about a big job. Writing for the Canadian Press, Jack Dini’s new piece, “Chemicals—Don’t Trouble Oneself With the Facts,” goes way past the title. Dini, who wrote a book entitled “Challenging Environmental Myths” (Institution of Engineering and Technology, 2003) comes out with guns blazing, and covers far more than chemicals. He writes about the inability of facts to change … [Read more...]

The Bees are Alright

"The Bees are Allright! Stop Worrying About Them and Start Worrying about the Science," by American Council on Science and Health. “The bees are ok”– that’s the message Terence Corcoran hammers home in his latest article for the Financial Post. The piece comes on the heels of Canada’s Minister of the Environment, Glen Murray, announcing that the country will start doing more for the “declining” bee populations. However, as Corcoran explains exhaustively with data, this policy is not only … [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...]

Fracking No Threat to Drinking Water

"EPA Says Fracking Isn’t a Threat to Drinking Water," by American Council on Science and Health. The US government’s most comprehensive examination of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and drinking water, which spanned four years, concluded that fracking, as it is being carried out and regulated, is not a threat to drinking water. “Hydraulic fracturing activities in the U.S. are carried out in a way that have not led to widespread, systematic impact on drinking water resources,” said Thomas … [Read more...]

Common Sense about Pesticides

"Some Common Sense About Pesticides. From the Daily Beast of All Places," by American Council on Science and Health. Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 4.15.56 PMKudos to Kent Sepkowitz for his very smart piece in yesterday’s Daily Beast. The title alone—Today’s ADHD Blame Game: Pesticides—suggest critical thinking about chemical toxicity—something that is very rare in these days of one phony scare after another—is being applied. Indeed Sepkowitz uses just that, and does so brilliantly. In addition to … [Read more...]

Popcorn Chemical Scare

"Chemicals In Your Popcorn? asks the Times’ Kristof. Yes, There Are," By American Council on Science and Health. We have often taken note of the Times’ columnist Nicholas Kristof’s rants expressing his concerns about various chemicals and substances he fears in his (and our) everyday environment. Here are some of the issues with which he and we have disagreed over the past 2-3 years ... He has expressed his deep concerns about the usual paranoid, chemophobia targets: endocrine disruptors, BPA … [Read more...]

Pork-Barrel and the Pollinators “Strategy”

"Of Pork-Barrel and Pollinators," By Angela Logomasini, Ph.D. The Obama administration has finally released its long-awaited National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and other Pollinators. It’s the federal government’s answer to the alarming claims that honeybees are disappearing, threatening many crops that rely on the bees for pollination. While it’s not clear what this strategy will achieve for the bees, we can be sure it comes with lots of government handouts, pork-barrel … [Read more...]

Dismiss Junk Science on Autism Causes

"Discard the Junk Science on Autism," By Dr. Joseph Perrone. What do Sean Penn and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. have in common? They’re both wealthy celebrities pushing new documentaries that make dangerous, unproven claims about the causes of autism. The rate of autism diagnoses has indeed skyrocketed in the past 20 years from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 68. However, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points out, a large (though not the only) factor in that dramatic jump is increased … [Read more...]

Colonies Collapsing?

"Are bee colonies collapsing? If so, why? If not, why all the hype?," By American Council on Science and Health. Last June, in response to ongoing concerns about the perceived loss of bee colonies, often referred to as “bee colony collapse disorder (BCCD),” President Obama established a multi-agency “Pollinator Task Force.” The panel’s mandate: investigate the various data on the health of bees in the U.S., and if a valid threat was detected, to determine the cause or causes and make … [Read more...]

Grading the Pollinator Strategy

"Grading The President's Strategy To Promote Bee Health," By Hank Campbell. In 2006 there was a serious decline in the number of honey bee colonies in parts of Europe and the United States and it brought renewed concern about another Colony Collapse Disorder, which had last occurred in the mid-1990s. Bee colonies rebounded quickly and are higher than ever but the question lingered; what caused these periodic collapses? Answers ranged from pests to viruses and pesticides and studies did nothing … [Read more...]

EWG’s Sunscreen Smoke Screen

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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”

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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...]

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