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"Lying" is considered one of those words civilized people should never say. That's why politicians never use it. Instead, their opponents are "misinformed" or "misspeaking" or "using alternative facts." 

Well, the time for civility is over. Journalist -- if we can actually call him that -- Danny Hakim is lying to you. And it's not his first rodeo, either. He's built quite a track record for himself at the New York Times, publishing distorted information about GMOs and comparing agricultural pesticides to "Nazi-made sarin gas." 

Now, Mr. Hakim has written an...

Why America's supposed newspaper of record has become a voice for anti-biotechnology food activists remains a profound mystery. The only plausible explanation is that this is calculated; the New York Times must be tailoring its reportage to its customers, who consist mostly of well-to-do, organic-food-eating elites. Evidence plays little to no role in the paper's coverage of controversial scientific issues.

Michael Pollan serves as a case-in-point. In one of his most recent articles, he bashes modern agriculture and casually libels pro-biotech organizations (like ACSH) with whom he disagrees. Few journalists and even fewer...

A common question I hear again and again is, "How do I know if a news story is fake?" There is no easy answer1. It helps to be well informed, and it requires a conscious suspension of credulity combined with a gut instinct honed over years of experience. 

If journalism as a whole is bad (and it is), science journalism is even worse. Not only is it susceptible to the same sorts of biases that afflict regular journalism, but it is uniquely vulnerable to outrageous sensationalism. Every week, it seems, an everyday food is either going to cure cancer or kill us all. 

One thing experience has taught us is that some news outlets are better than others. Some journalists really do care about reporting the news as it is rather than the way they would like...

Journalism isn't what it used to be.

Decades ago, it was a widely respected career. Every night, people would gather around their television sets to watch the nightly news. There weren't many options to choose from, and Walter Cronkite was easily the most famous. He was so influential, that a myth widely believed to this day circulated about him: When Cronkite declared the Vietnam War a stalemate, President Lyndon Johnson supposedly remarked, "If I've lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America."

He never did say that, but the kernel of truth at the heart of the myth still rings loud and true: There was a time when Americans...

The American Council on Science and Health was hard at work last week separating health scares from health threats.

But sometimes people in the health scare business fight back. That includes academic journalism professors, a former bureaucrat who insists checking your email will give you brain cancer, and more. So some of our media links are bizarre but, if we didn't include our detractors, we'd be just like them. And we aren't.

1. First, I'll put up to the positive links, then we'll get to the usual anti-science smears.

Newborn screening needed for sickle cell anemia in Nigeria - The Eagle Online

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While other public health stories, such as opioid overdose deaths, medical insurance for Americans, new cancer therapies, and Gwynneth Paltrow's vagina dominate health news at this time, bacterial resistance to existing antibiotics quietly marches on. But thanks to PBS, it's not so quiet. The network's PBS NewsHour series “Stopping Superbugs," is not about overblown, silly scares like phthalates in mac and cheese, hexavalent chromium,...

I met a friend at a coffee shop in Seattle today. We covered a lot of ground in the short time we had together -- politics, the state of our nation, the state of our city.

We don't see eye-to-eye on many issues. But what we have in common is a respect for each others' intelligence and intentions. We also share a desire for truth rather than ideology to prevail. By doing our best to rely on facts and to acknowledge our own sources of bias, we can have productive conversations despite our disagreements.

After my friend left, an elderly gentleman approached me and said (paraphrased), "I overheard you talking about politics. You both listened to each other and responded. That's not usual for this city, where it's bash, bash."

It's not just Seattle; it's all of America...

Junk science is everywhere. Just today, it was reported that President-Elect Donald Trump had a meeting with the anti-vaccine fraud Andrew Wakefield, who claimed that Mr Trump is "open-minded" about the issue. 

This is why our mission is so important. People in power often have a poor grasp of science. If journalists and advocates don't speak up for good science, cranks and quacks will take over. 

As part of our ongoing effort to eradicate pseudoscience, here is a list of the top 16 junk science stories we debunked in 2016.

#16. Olympic athletes should not be cupping. Remember seeing those...

The line between deliberately manipulating a story or poorly reporting the facts is perilously thin, and often based on the subjectivity of the reader.

During Sunday’s Academy Awards presentation, the United States’ ‘paper of record’, the New York Times, launched an advertising blitz positioning itself as the highbrow ethical responder to the spate of so-called ‘fake news.’ “The truth is hard…to find…to know,” the add proclaimed, somberly.

It’s a powerful message, one that the public and the media should reflect upon—including the leadership at the Times itself. That a journalist...

Gary Ruskin, the chief junkyard dog of US Right To Know, an industry front group created by Organic Consumers Association to harass and intimidate scientists, has managed to pay-to-publish a Short Article which allows him to claim he has been in a peer-reviewed journal.

That has to be placed in context. In an open-access digital world, where thousands of predatory journals now exist which allow anyone to buy the right to claim they have been peer-reviewed, being peer-reviewed doesn't mean what it used to mean. If I gather five astrologers to review some article on astrology and put it in an online astrology...