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Jurors in California have awarded $289 million to a man who claimed that his cancer was due to Monsanto’s herbicide glyphosate, even though that is biologically impossible. Even the judge acknowledged that there was no evidence of harm. Yet, trial lawyers manipulated a jury’s emotions and the public’s misunderstanding of science to score another jackpot verdict.

The plaintiff, Dewayne Johnson, claims that glyphosate gave him non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that occurs when the immune system goes awry. There are three major problems with this claim.

First, as stated above, glyphosate does not cause cancer because it does not harm humans. It is an herbicide, so it is only toxic to plants. There is no known biological mechanism by which glyphosate could cause cancer,...

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...

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,...

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...

1. None of you are naive, so it won't surprise you to learn that in Manhattan, there is a definitive political skew, which bleeds over into what science they accept. And in academia there is a skew so overt it can only be discrimination. And in journalism there is a political skew so overt it's both of the aforementioned.

So it won't surprised you to learn that Dan Fagin (email dan.fagin@nyu.edu), Charles Seife (email charles.seife@nyu.edu), and other "professors" in the NYU Journalism group, are defending the vaccine and agriculture deniers at Organic Consumers Association and their puppet sites. It also won't surprise you to learn that the...

Consumed is an anti-GMO movie that was just released on Netflix under Conspiracy Theory Movies. I recapped it here so that you don't have to watch it. You're welcome.

Scene 1: Danny Glover’s Organic Farm

The movie opens as Danny Glover walks around in a dark barn, feeding goats and a dog out of silver pails. Danny Glover is authentic with his pails. He also wears suspenders and carries a lantern because he is an authentic organic farmer who doesn’t…believe in flashlights? Headlights! Scary music. Someone has come to intimidate or run over Danny Glover but we don’t know yet because this is a thriller.

I still can’t believe anyone made a thriller about how we breed plants. They should have used mutagenesis because radiation has a lot more...

A new paper which claims that cows fed "organic" grass provide nutritionally superior milk is sure to set off cheers among the organic customer base who have long wanted to believe that buying organic was not just a process choice, but a health one. There is just one problem. The research was funded by industry, the Organic Valley brand, the very thing organic consumers say is wrong with Industrial Farming. Multiple co-authors disclosed their financial conflicts of interest due to being affiliated with the company, and one co-author, Dr. Chuck Benbrook, is an agricultural economist who was unceremoniously kicked out of the school where he was a glorified adjunct once his organic industry funding...

Every decent science writer has, at some point in his or her career, been called a "corporate shill." It's a rite of passage.

If a science writer defends GMOs as safe and effective, he's called a Monsanto shill. If he says that vaccines are also safe and effective, he's a shill for Big Pharma. Defending America's conventional farmers results in being labeled a shill for Big Ag or Big Dairy. Stating the objective truth that our food supply is relatively safe results in being called a shill for Big Food. There's no way around it. If a science writer defends good science, he's called a shill.

The cretins making such accusations are the usual suspects: Anti-vaxxers, anti-GMO(rons),...

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...

The anti-science army in the war on common pesticides like glyphosate (and adjacently GMOs, those groups don't know enough science to know they are different) is having a Gettysburg moment.(1) They are out of options so they are making a desperate charge but they are in an open field a long way off and opposing them on the other side is every legitimate science and regulatory body.

Yet supporting their war on evidence-based decision-making are journals like JAMA, which now seem to do editorial review of "Letters" rather than peer review, and journalists at partisan publications like the New York Times. Rather than names like Early and Heth and...