Dr. Geoffrey Kabat, in his blog on Forbes.com, elegantly reinforces a core ACSH message: That poor science is the basis for many of the scares promulgated by various activist groups. Dr. Kabat, a cancer epidemiologist at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine, has a history of debunking phony cancer scares, as he did in his recent book, Hyping Health Risks (Columbia University Press, 2008).
As Dr. Kabat points out, All that stands between the publication of a poor piece of work and the public are journal editors and the peer reviewers who agree to donate their time to evaluate a paper for publication. He goes on to say that the system works for the most part, especially in the more reputable journals, but as in any human endeavor, peer review is imperfect.
As an example, Dr. Kabat reviews a paper on the association between urinary BPA and obesity in children, and points out the numerous weaknesses in the study that should have prevented its being published in a high quality journal.
ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava comments, It s important that respected scientists point out such problems with published data. This is an example of why it s crucial that scientific studies be independently replicated before they re used as a basis for public health policies.