Neil Tyson And Geoffrey Kabat Lumped Into A Conspiracy Tale, And More Outreach Over The Past Week

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1. On Science Codex, a take on how anti-science groups who are all working together, and even funded by the same groups, such as Organic Consumers Association and its vassal sites like Sourcewatch and US Right To Know, mobilize its bloggers for their clients. In this case they allege that Dr. Geoffrey Kabat, an advisor here who is an epidemiologist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, who directs the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History and hosts numerous science programs, plus the entire Reuters organization are all part of the same vast corporate pro-science conspiracy. But it's just one person astroturf'ing this fairy tales on lots of sites. Their paid blogger doesn't even bother to change the words, because Ecowatch, National Memo, Huffington Post, etc. really don't care.

2. On Forbes, physicist Dr. Ethan Siegel gave our Little Black Book of Junk Science a read and declared it a winner. Well, you knew it was but it's good the rest of the world is catching on. 

Most people buy books on Amazon, they don't donate to the site (how most of you got it, for being a supporter), so if you can leave a review there it would be helpful. It has a few so far but we know a thousand or so have bought it on Amazon, not to mention the thousands who got it from us. Obviously you don't need to buy it at all, you can download or read it free of charge. More evidence-based thinking for more Americans is the goal!

3. On SELF, a journalist talks about people who feel a "weird" reaction after consuming some sugar substitutes and asked Dr. Ruth Kava for insight. While non-caloric sugar substitutes aren't harmful, despite what bizarre groups like Center for Food Safety claim, that doesn't mean some people won't have different reactions to them. I gag eating most vegetables, while other people eat them just fine. Switching to organic pesticides or manufacturing wouldn't change a thing about that. People are different. 

Even "natural flavors" on a label could be a red flag if you're prone to food sensitivities, since that could really encompass anything, Dr. Kava noted.

4. Another solid review for Little Black Book of Junk Science. "At the Washington release, hosted at the National Press Club, a panel of distinguished experts discussed the impact of junk claims on public acceptance of science, consumer freedom and policy. Naturally, I was intrigued. At CBC, I often found myself anxious to advise viewers and listeners, for example, about companies or individuals that use junk news to exploit vulnerable people," writes Dorothy Grant in the Chronicle-Herald.

5. The Kane County Chronicle used our work to promote the BIG HEART 5K Run and Walk to raise money for youth cardiac screenings, which will cost more than $20,000 just for Geneva High School. Does that figure shock you? Us too. There is a reason the cost of health care has gone up 1400% since 1970 - and it isn't drug prices, those lag by comparison. It's salaries for more administrative people to do paperwork, costs for equipment and unnecessary tests for "defensive medicine" that are the big culprits. The result is things that should be a cheap public service, like a check-up, end up costing a small fortune. But we support the end goal just the same.

6. Finally, Lifezette is doing a better job of protecting moms and dads from scaremongering than the New York Times. They note what our Dr. Josh Bloom said after NYT popularized junk science about phthalates and macaroni and cheese:  Dietary supplements were responsible for 275,000 calls to poison control centers between 2000 and 2012, which works out to one every 24 minutes. Calls about phthalates during those 12 years were zero. What do all those groups engaged in chemophobia sell? Alternative medicine and supplements.