Weekend Update: De Niro Gets Scienced, As Do Naturopaths And Organic Gurus

Credit: Belle News Credit: Belle News

Robert De Niro forced to pretend to accept science

Despite claims that it was critical to "openly" discuss all of the issues in autism, the actor Robert De Niro wisely pulled the film "Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe" from next month's Tribeca Film Festival, which claimed autism was caused by vaccines, despite every reputable scientist in the world knowing otherwise.

He had personally added the film by Andrew Wakefield, the discredited charlatan who created the 'vaccines cause autism' hysteria in England in the 1990s (they created anti-GMO hysteria just before that in England too; they have gotten better since) and had his license revoked when it was discovered his results were faked.

In return for Mr. De Niro seeing reason, we did not publish our brutal hit piece on his science credibility and the damage he was doing to autistic people, parents of kids, the infectious disease community, and people looking for real answers to the causes of autism. He had claimed that his child with autism made showing the revisionist history by a known fraud necessary, yet never mentioned if it showed the actual science side, or if it was just self-glorification by an unhinged zealot trying to salvage his reputation.

Artificial Sweeteners are still being used to confuse people - we help once again

“Our ancestors probably consumed 20 teaspoons (100 grams) of sugar per year and we now consume that much per day,” claims Dr. Sandy Seeman, a naturopathic doctor (definition of "naturopath": not a doctor, any more than a PhD in Palm Reading is) from Des Moines, Iowa. “We cannot continue to consume this amount of sugar and not have it impact our systems. Something has to change.”

It's false in every way - Seeman seems to think that added sugar is somehow different than sugar in fruit. In actual history, the ancient world intentionally genetically modified every food they could to have more calories and more sugar.

But that doesn't mean a naturopath would endorse artificial sweeteners, and thanks to a campaign against them, a lot of people are confused. About advantame, which was recently approved by the FDA, Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss of EarthTalk, part of  E - The Environmental Magazine, quotes an actual scientist, our Dr. Josh Bloom, who says, "About the only way this stuff could harm you is if you were run over by a truck that was delivering it.”

Then they go on to cite "wellness guru" Dr. Mark Hyman, an "integrative medicine" salesman - what used to be called Complementary and Alternative Medicine before that got a well-deserved terrible rap - so they aren't perfect. But they used one real science source, which is better than none. The story was also carried in The Poughkeepsie Journal, Jacksonville Journal Courier, the Log Cabin Democrat, The Hour, and The Bradenton Times.

Process Label Marketing

Gerald Pilger at Country Guide tries to make some sense of organic versus conventional food confusion.  The problem is marketing.  Process labels are being used to try and make ordinary products sound special (Shade grown! Ethical!) and safe products sound scary (GMOs!). And then there is the pesticide issue, where organic groups really, really, really do not want pesticide use to be on labels, even though consumers really want to know about those. The organic marketing groups instead try to imply (a) they don't use any or (b) their pesticides are safer than conventional pesticides.

Dr. Josh Bloom gets the nod to provide science insight once again. “The distinction between natural and synthetic pesticides is both artificial and manipulative. As I have said dozens of times, it makes no difference where a chemical comes from — only the properties of the chemical itself.”