Some studies are so incredibly stupid, that one wonders how they managed to get published in any scientific journal, let alone a prestigious one. And yet, it has happened, once again1.

A new study in JAMA Internal Medicine claims that eating organic food will reduce a person's risk of developing cancer. That's right. Magic prevents cancer.

Let's review what we already know about organic food. It's not any more nutritious than conventionally grown food. It doesn't taste different. It's not better for the environment. Because...

The American Council on Science and Health and RealClearScience got a national dialog going about the credibility of corporate science journalism when we published our infographic ranking media companies and non-profits on how well they covered the science, and how interesting they were.

It's not easy to do both. I enjoy Physics World and MIT Technology Review, for example, but when people who curate science articles for a living say they are not "compelling" I know what they mean. They mean much of the public will not find them as accessible as USA Today or publications written for a larger audience. That means the science...

A few times per year we have a meeting of the Trustees of the American Council on Science and Health, to discuss issues like finances (1), to discuss nominees for our Board of Scientific Advisors, and our general direction.

Among our Trustees is Fred Smith, the founder of Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), which promotes the benefits of free markets. I certainly agree with them on that (2). At our November meeting Fred asked for a spot on the agenda to talk about how we can better talk about science policy without getting into politics.

That is obviously tricky. Science is both corporate and political, when it comes to basic research the private sector and government fund about half each, so if you defend science you are implicitly defending corporations and engaging...

I was on vacation in Europe earlier this week but five days before I left I had gotten an email asking if I might be willing to appear on a panel at a film festival called Festival du Film et Forum International sur les Droits Humains (International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights), which was scheduled to be in conjunction with the March session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

I like films, I am all for human rights, and trains are easy in Europe, so it sounded like a fine way to spend a March 13th evening, but then I learned I was taking the place of a corporation called Syngenta (an agricultural science company, so they make seeds and chemicals) that is in Switzerland, and the movie the panel...

October 22, 2009

ACS, NY Post, ACIP, Dioxin
By Curtis Porter

Brawley and JAMA Against The World

Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society (ACS), is catching some heat after his recent statement in an interview with the New York Times conceding that breast and prostate cancer screenings have historically been oversold by physicians and misunderstood by patients and the media.

"The strident response underscores the fact that it was brave of Dr. Brawley of ACS to come forward and admit this even though it wasn't politically correct and caused a backlash among people in his own organization," says ACSH's Jeff Stier.

"One well-known expert on breast cancer was quoted as saying, in effect, that the more screening you have...

By Geoffrey Kabat

Originally published as Kabat, Geoffrey. “Who’s Afraid of Roundup?” Issues in Science and Technology 36, no. 1 (Fall 2019): 64–73. Reprinted with permission.

In May 2019, a California jury awarded $2 billion to a husband and wife who claimed that the weed-killer Roundup caused their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The defendant in the suit was Bayer AG, which had recently acquired Monsanto, Roundup’s manufacturer.

Crucial in determining the judgment was Alameda County Superior Court judge Winifred Smith’s denial of a request by Bayer’s lawyers to share with the jury the US Environmental Protection Agency’s recent determination that the active ingredient in...