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It is nothing short of amazing that we are still alive, or at the very least, don't all have cancer.

Because if even a fraction of the phony chemical scares that we write about almost every day were real, there'd be no one left alive to read what our dead writers didn't write. Whatever the hell that means.

An oldie, but goody refuses to go away. It is called acrylamide, which is formed during baking or frying of bread, chips, cookies, cereal, and — most notoriously — French fries

The chemical also occurs naturally (no—this does *not* matter) in a variety of vegetables,...

After reading the headline, Weighing Cancer Risks, From Cellphones To Coffee, ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross was ready to sink his teeth into what he perceived to be yet another anti-chemical news story. But after reading the first paragraph, he was pleasantly surprised to learn that Associated Press writer Marilynn Marchione s lead-in cut cleverly to her real, pro-science message: she actually wants to remind her readers that, despite media hype, the cancer risks attributable to such everyday items as cellphones, coffee, formaldehyde, or styrene are minimal to none.

This refreshing article comes on the heels of a report released last month by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of...

Based in Lyon, France, the International Agency for Research on Cancer is a widely respected body that produces assessments of carcinogens for use by regulators and researchers. But reputable scientists are now disassociating themselves from IARC and its research methods, a cancer epidemiologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine writes in Forbes.

In the eye-opening piece, ACSH scientific advisor Dr. Geoffrey Kabat describes how the IARC classified cellphone use as possibly carcinogenic even though the overall evidence overwhelmingly failed to show a link between cellphone use and cancer. The group similarly classified coffee and DDT, despite the...

Researchers have found a test that could be a useful indicator of human papillomavirus (HPV)-related oropharyngeal cancer a cancer that affects the back portion of the throat near the tonsils.

Scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), in collaboration with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), found that when antibodies against one common sub-types of HPV were present those people who were infected developed the disease more often. This biomarker has the potential...

It's the season for Top 10 lists. The challenge, as usual, is to narrow down all the junk science we debunked in 2017 to just the ten best (worst?) stories. It would be far easier to create a top 100 list.

(Actually, it would be even easier to create a top 193 list, which is what we did earlier this year with the publication of Little Black Book of Junk Science. You can download it for free.)

Bearing that fundamental limitation in mind, here are the ten biggest junk science stories of 2017.

Honorable Mentions

Five bizarre stories did not quite make the top 10. They receive honorable mentions:

(1) A history professor claims...

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latteIf you didn't know it, Starbucks has changed their Pumpkin Spice Latte from years past. The surprise was that they have decided to use pumpkin in a drink with pumpkin in the name, the shock is that they are only using pumpkin because of chemophobia about a natural chemical called 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI).

They didn't do it...

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...

Let's hear what some "experts" in biochemistry and toxicology have to say about formaldehyde:

"I won't bury the lead (1): last week the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the most prestigious international body for cancer assessment in the world, determined that sufficient evidence exists to link formaldehyde with leukemia, a cancer of the blood or bone marrow. The link with leukemia means that the overall impact of formaldehyde on human cancers is much greater than previously thought." 

...

I've been a science writer and editor for nearly eight years. During this time, I've learned a few things.

Perhaps the most important is that science is never enough. It doesn't matter if you have facts, data, and logic on your side, a substantial proportion of people will reject what you say and call you bad names. The reason, usually, is because they have an ideological conflict of interest -- by far, the worst kind of conflict of interest. That is, they are so dedicated to a particular viewpoint, that literally nothing will change their minds. That is anathema to science.

Editors must be aware of that fact. Otherwise, they are likely to be...

Smirnoff, a vodka brand owned by British company Diageo, recently undertook an ad campaign starring celebrities Ted Danson and Jenna Fischer touting how they are gluten-free and non-GMO.

Wow, healthy vodka. Who knew that was possible?

Well it isn't possible, but since labels on most consumed products are a free-for-all they can get away with it. Except when it comes to alcohol. On that, they were busted trying to infer a health claim due to using non-GMO corn and as a result were forced to admit they were just creating a marketing...