Advice for parents: Common sense, moderation and ignore those alarmist warnings

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1433447_21429576Julie Gunlock, the director of the Independent Women s Forum Culture of Alarmism Project, has written a new book, From Cupcakes to Chemicals: How the Culture of Alarmism Makes Us Afraid of Everything and How to Fight Back, based on the premise that It s critical that moms be able to discern between false alarmism and real risks. She discusses her book in a recent interview in National Review.

The title implies the ridiculous views of certain alarmist groups that something as harmless as a cupcake (in moderation of course) is a toxin, and a poison, due to the sugar content. Gunlock says, Sugar is a natural ingredient and causes harm only when too much of it is consumed. Instead of terrifying people with the idea that sugar is a mass murderer, she advocates for common sense and moderation.

And her retort to the claim that there are excess chemicals in our foods, specifically BPA? It s simply not true. BPA does not stick around long enough to do anything, and the only studies that find harmful effects are the ones done on mice, which we know are not little men.

She says, What moms really need to hear is the truth. She hopes that parents heed the message that they should be skeptical of the barrage of alarmist claims they see every day and instead take some time to really look into where those claims are coming from. Jenny McCarthy, the anti-vaccination advocate, for example, should not be a role model for mothers. What it comes down to is that women should do some more research on their own instead of becoming terrified of everything with which their children come into contact.

We here at ACSH have been trying to get parents to listen to these kinds of messages since our founding in 1978. We hope this book reaches those parents who really need to hear this important information. We think it would make a good Christmas present, in combination with our own recent publication, Scared to Death: How Chemophobia Threatens Public Health.