New York Times journalist Eric Lipton, who defended the indefensible by offering support to a group of virulent anti-vaxxers and scam artists known as Moms Across America, is a scourge on public health. The national newspaper recently demoted Jonathan Weisman, a deputy editor based in Washington, DC, for displaying poor judgment. Lipton should face the same fate.
Groups Who Hate Us
The Guardian axed its science blog in August 2018. Then, apparently, it found a new moneymaker in spreading chemophobia and more with a new series titled "Toxic America."
It's mildly amusing that ACSH is referred to as "industry-friendly." That term, which is applied to us by friend and foe alike, is based on a half-truth. And half-truths are the worst kind of "truths" because they're actually lies. Just ask the organic, dietary supplement, and alternative medicine industries if they think we're friendly.
If you're a scientist and public communicator, you are putting yourself in professional and personal danger. And as Kevin Folta's case shows, things are only getting worse.
Question: How do you know when a "study" isn't really a study? Answer: When those who performed it also write up a brochure, hyping its results before actually bothering to publish a scientific paper.
In what can only be described as a purposeful attempt to damage its own poor reputation even further, PETA's latest campaign is to change our "speciesist" language.
According to PETA, veggie burgers cause cancer because of their iron content. Using their logic, so does soy and spinach.
Carey Gillam is a well-known anti-GMO activist who rejects the scientific consensus, regularly reports easily provable lies, and works for an organization that gets most of its money from 9/11 truthers.
“Their eyes tell their sad stories as ghostly white irises give way to vacant stares. We can look at them but they can’t look back at us. They’ve gone blind because of malnutrition.,” V. Ravichandran, a farmer in Tamil Nadu, India, describing children suffering from vitamin A deficiency. This is a dual tragedy — first, because more than two-thirds of the children referred to in Ravichandran’s commentary will be dead within a year — blindness from vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is an early sign of life-threatening debilitation — and second, because VAD could be prevented with an accessible, modern agricultural technology.
"Follow the money!" activists shout. The money trail, according to this logic, always leads to lies and deception. This puerile fallacy, argumentum ad aurum, is just a thinly disguised ad hominem attack commonly used against scientists. Instead of criticizing the quality or conclusions of the research, activists instead assault the integrity of the scientist.
Several years ago, a survey of professional toxicologists revealed that 79% of them believed that the Environmental Working Group and two other organizations overstate the health risks of chemicals. That's why EWG is beloved by activists but detested by scientists.
Vitamin-A deficiency around the world leads to between 250,000 and 500,000 children going blind – every single year. Half of them die within a year of losing their sight. Meanwhile, Golden Rice – a genetically-modified seed than can deliver this essential vitamin – is still not being used in impoverished nations. Here's a look at this pressing issue.