It's been a banner year here at The American Council on Science and Health and with every snake oil peddler and pseudoscience pusher that appeared, we were there to offer expert analysis and serve as a check on junk science and health claims.
Here are our top 5 quacks from this year.
We put another one in the win column as smoking rates in America fell again in 2014. But another group tried to join the celebration. CVS claimed credit for the fact that 95 million fewer packs of cigarettes were purchased in 2014. All of a sudden CVS, who had been profiting an estimated $2 billion a year from the sale of tobacco products, thinks they are the white knight of smoking cessation.
In 2015, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. continued his crusade against safe vaccines. He's still pounding the long debunked autism-vaccine link drum and still is worried about non-existent additives in vaccines. He used his family name to get his fearmongering into the NYT, which is now only serving to smear his family's once great name.
The Council has long been a proponent of high value cancer screening because the science is clear that over-testing and over-diagnosis lead to more negative patient outcomes. So we got a little irked when celebrity chef Sandra Lee started advocating for women in their 20's to get mammograms which is some 2 decades before sound science says they should.
Non-governmental organizations like GreenPeace continue their assault on genetically modified food in 2015. Apparently they still haven't gotten the memo that 90 percent of scientists find them safe or that modified crops can save hundreds of thousands of lives each year. Here's hoping they figure it out in 2015!
IARC may have gotten more negative attention from mainstream media for designating bacon a carcinogen in November, but the science community was already up in arms in for their nonsensical claims about glyphosate in March. Really, the bacon did the most good, because people finally understand that IARC yelling 'hazard' doesn't mean much, when their hazard puts sausage in the same category as mustard gas and cigarettes.
Photo credit for WHO, GreenPeace and CVS: shutterstock.com