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All the news that's fit to scare. That was the thrust of this weekend's New York Times article by Charles Duhigg entitled "Toxic Waters: Debating Just How Much Weed Killer Is Safe in Your Water Glass."

As president of the American Council on Science and Health, I have been following environmental and health media articles for some three decades -- seeing how they measure up in terms of "honors" for exaggerated risk, biased reporting, misrepresented science, and pure sensationalism. The Duhigg article is clearly a contender for the all-time worst.

Duhigg argues that the widespread use of the herbicide atrazine is polluting our supply of drinking water and putting us all -- but...

For all you juvenile idiots who follow me because I'm one of you, it's your lucky day. We hit gold today. No way I could let this baby go by without bagging it. So, regardless of how many balls I'm juggling at once, I am compelled to sack whatever else I'm doing and get to work because this article is gonna be a (family) jewel.

First, the title I used is intentionally confusing. I admit it. "Soaking Pecans In Pool Chemicals," a more accurate, but far less entertaining title, would have been more honest. But admit it - the only reason you're reading this is that you have an image in your head of some fool soaking Mr. and Mrs. Bojangles in a tub of bleach. Sorry. I'm not that lewd. OK, that's a lie. I really am. The following should provide...

MORNING DISPATCH 11/19/08: Dour Docs, Cancer Causes, Dire Diabetes, Smoke Scams, and Dementia Dissension

U.S. faces mounting diabetes cost
A new study estimates that diabetes will soon cost the United States over $200 billion per year. "Diabetes is very expensive and the cost will only increase as more people develop the condition," Dr. Ross says. Dr. Whelan agrees, "The coming wave of diabetes cases, which is linked to increasing obesity rates, is going to be overwhelming for our healthcare system."

Dr. Kava points out that the increase in Type 2 diabetes will reach many corners of medicine: "It's going to affect the number of kidney dialysis patients, the number...

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 2.47.57 PMThe bad news is that people keep consuming products that they have been manipulated into believing will help them. But, not only do these products fail to meet expectations, sometimes the exact opposite is true harm instead of help.

The good news is that even though people have been harmed or killed by dietary supplements, the products and the companies that sell them have taken so many hits in the news, that people are starting to pay attention. And are learning what the industry is really about. Perhaps some good will come from this.

And, just like...

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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