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shark-fin-soupDiscovery Channel's annual "Shark Week" event starts this Sunday, but if you are a wealthy elite who likes Asian delicacies, you have probably thought about sharks more recently than last summer, like when you had 'shark fin' soup.

Soup is good food, there is just one problem with the shark fin kind; too often to get the fin, they catch a shark, cut it off, and then throw it back, where it will take a few days to die. Why? The shark fin itself has no culinary value, it just takes in the flavor of the broth, so this soup is truly just to show off how wealthy you are. About 2,000 years ago, it was served by Chinese nobility...

NRDC members going to work? Photo credit: hightimes.com

The Natural Resources Defense Council never shuts up about common trace chemicals that it claims will disrupt your endocrine system. But, it is strangely silent when it comes to a REAL disruptor — marijuana.

Are people there just too stoned to notice?

Go to the NRDC website. Search "endocrine disruptors." You will find 103 articles that rant about all the chemicals that they say are screwing with our hormones.

Here are some of the usual suspects: BPA (surprise), a bunch...

A few years ago I was giving a talk at an event along with Brent Smart, CEO of advertising giant Saatchi & Saatchi's headquarters in New York, who had managed their General Mills campaign prior to that.

He talked about why General Mills had rolled out a new non-GMO label on Cheerios. He was literate, funny,  and his description of being a prominent executive while only being able to afford a tiny apartment in Manhattan resonated with me. He was also completely wrong about Cheerios and the non-GMO movement. He believed it was about that one issue, and that if his client conceded on that issue the problem would not only go away, sales would go up.(1)

I...

Decades ago, when activist groups were promoting every trace chemical they could find as a carcinogen (1), the American Council on Science and Health debunked a lot of those myths with the help of Walter Cronkite, the long-time CBS anchor who had become known as “the most trusted man in America.”

The documentary was called "Big Fears, Little Risks" and what we importantly noted was that an alarming number of cancers were caused by smoking and obesity. Joining Cronkite in that documentary were people like Dr. John Higginson, the first director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and Dr. Bruce Ames, creator of the Ames Test. Cronkite was already a legend and that documentary made him more so.

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1. In Wall Street Journal, Dr. Alex Berezow talked about how reliant we are on GPS. Technology is a great thing, of course, and I bet we would adjust pretty rapidly without it, but there would be a lot of tourists in Washington, DC looking for the White House and ending up at the other 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue that is four miles away. That's how goofy the nation's capitol is laid out. And how reliant we are on a military satellite system when the world is getting no more stable - meaning we might want to fund a land-based alternative.

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1. Washington Free Beacon was rightly skeptical that a groundskeeper occasionally used a weedkiller containing glyphosate and got Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma from that and linked to our science showing it is impossible. 55,000 full-time agriculture workers spraying it all of the time had no increases. But that is why trial lawyers love to go in front of juries and plead emotion. And now 9,000 more cases are lined up, just in the U.S.

But the lawyers are the only ones who will really win. Should it survive appeal, the jury will have cost Bayer $289 million. But the cancer patient will only get about $20 million of that.

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Notes From Dr. Miller

ACSH Trustee and Hoover Institution Fellow Dr. Henry Miller wrote an excellent letter in today’s Wall Street Journal in response to an article about the degradation of the peer-review process. Dr. Miller points out several highly flawed articles on biotech agriculture that appeared in “respectable” journals and writes, “These kinds of failures of peer review and editorial judgment corrupt the traditional process by which new scientific knowledge is obtained and reported, and they inflict irreparable harm on the reporting and archiving of scientific developments for policy makers, the media, the public,...

PFAs

We have often taken note of the Times columnist Nicholas Kristof s rants expressing his concerns about various chemicals and substances he fears in his (and our) everyday environment. Here are some of the issues with which he and we have disagreed over the past 2-3 years:

HBO s Toxic Hot Seat is toxic all right: it seems to have addled Kristof s brain

Nutty Nick Kristof flunks chemistry again, and again ¦...

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 1.23.36 PMThe issue of hormone replacement therapy for women is not new, and has rarely lacked controversy.

HRT has been heralded as the fountain of youth for women, and also demonized for causing cancer and heart disease. "Facts" have changed overnight, though initially most came from the Women's Health Initiative in 2004, which indicated that HRT posed a significant risk to women who were being...

It is oft-repeated that correlation does not imply causation. But it does. That's precisely why epidemiologists and economists are so fascinated by correlations. Thus, it is far more accurate to say that correlation does not prove causation.

There are two major reasons for this. The first is because of confounders, hidden factors that are the true causes of the observed effect. For instance, one might be tempted to conclude that moving to Florida makes people develop Alzheimer's. But this correlation has been confounded by age; in reality, old people both retire to Florida and develop Alzheimer's. The Sunshine State is blameless....