According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the “American food supply is among the safest in the world.” But if you read the media's recent reports about toxic metals in baby food, you may feel otherwise.
Health Scares Vs Health Threats
While an investigation is underway into the exact nature of the problem, so far the likeliest explanation is that improper use of vaping devices has led to illness, or the death, of some users. But that sort of nuance isn't governing the thinking of the FDA or CDC officials, both of which are allowing myths and fearmongering to drive their policies and public statements.
Better safe than sorry. That's a great lesson for a child when a parent explains why she should wear a helmet when riding her bicycle. But that refrain makes for terrible public health policy.
The CDC says "tobacco use by youth is rising." If that were to be true, it'd be horrible -- but it's not. Cigarette use is down. The only reason the CDC can make this claim is because the agency considers e-cigarettes and vaping devices -- which only contain nicotine -- to be tobacco products. This is misleading and undermines public health.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science is one of the foremost pro-science organizations in the world. Not only does it advocate for good science and science policy, it publishes Science, the prestigious journal read globally by millions. Unfortunately, AAAS has gotten a bit weird in recent months.
U.S. public health agencies struggle to endorse an obvious solution to a true public health menace. Hopefully, the UK Parliament will provide a much-needed boost to the forces of common sense.
Normally a reliable source of information, Live Science published an article that is a dream for anti-pesticide and anti-chemical fearmongers.
The recent reporting on Flint's water crisis by CNN's Christiane Amanpour has a tenuous grasp of the data and the reality.
A few weeks ago, a paper claimed that an extra glass of wine will shorten your life. The story circled the globe in minutes. A new paper, with better methodology, concluded what we all knew: Moderate alcohol consumption can be integrated into a healthy lifestyle. It, however, won't receive nearly as much attention as the sensationalist report. Such is the power of the academic PR hype machine combined with a gullible, sensationalist press.
Despite the reality of measles, rotavirus, and a plethora of other infectious diseases, there's yet another anti-vaccine movement afoot in California. And its aim is to turn the clock back to the 10th Century.
A study published in The Lancet concludes that one additional drink per day increases a person's risk of stroke, coronary disease, heart failure, fatal hypertensive disease, and fatal aortic aneurysm. Alcohol may not be to blame, but we can't determine this because the authors didn't even bother to collect data on it.
A California judge is going to determine whether or not coffee causes cancer. Think about that. We live in a society where judges and lawyers – not medical doctors or scientists – get to determine the credibility of biomedical research. And guess who paid in the process?