ACSH Weekend Briefs - Artificial Turf, Li'l Cokes, and More

By ACSH Staff — Feb 15, 2016
Is a certain kind of artificial turf harmful? So far it is just claims by lawyers prepping for a lawsuit but it merits study because they have scared parents. What doesn't need study, the facts are in, is that Coke has managed to frustrate Food Nazis once again - by being successful with smaller serving sizes
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Some Answers On Artificial Turf

Three U.S. government agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, announced on Friday they will team up to study whether artificial turf fields and playgrounds that use bits of recycled tires are exposing children to dangerous chemicals.

This is welcome news. Right now the claims are just scaremongering lawyers trying to drum up a lawsuit, so a real investigation will put an end to it. You can read our analysis, which we are going to provide to the CPSC, here: Cancer and Young Soccer Players: Is it The Turf?

Coca-Cola Made Smaller Serving Sizes And That Makes Food Activists Crazy

It seems Coca-Cola has won another battle in the War on Fun.

It was just a short while ago that food fad followers - Michael Bloomberg, Marion Nestle, anyone who grabs on to the latest trend to write a book claiming they have a magic bullet for obesity and skims Google University for evidence - demanded that soda portion sizes were too big.

So Coca-Cola surprised everyone and made smaller cans. Loud activists declared that a win. Everyone knows that it's the packaging that costs the money, not so much the soda, so activists were convinced smaller cans would cause sales to plummet - they believe people only buy soda because it is cheap - and Coke would have to go into the kale smoothie business, and secular organic Christmas would be saved.

Except that didn't happen. Now those same soda activists are up in arms because Coke has succeeded in sales with smaller cans, and the anti-fun contingent is claiming that Coke is ripping people selling smaller cans.

Pseudoscience At Your Science Conference

At the recent the Plant-Animal Genome (PAG) Conference in San Diego, one session called ONE HEALTH Epigenomics from Soil to People raised a lot of red flags for scientists.

Why? None of the topics had anything to do with epigenomics. Or genomics. And two of the participants represent known special interests against modern biotechnology, and have been widely criticized for false claims or lousy work.

Why is that a problem? Because, as Professor Kevin Folta notes, a lot of students were in the audience. We have seen a number of problems in modern academia, like when environmental agendas became masked as science facts, that resulted because older researchers thought the evidence would sort itself out. Unchallenged, anti-science activists can do a great deal of harm, and it may not show up for a decade or more.