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Last week, hundreds of news stories reported an irresistibly alarming study in the journal Injury Prevention which claimed that drinking non-diet soda was associated with increased violence among the 1,800 teens attending Boston s public high schools.

Who showed that story was more statistical illiteracy that journalists ignored in the interests of selling advertising? The American Council on Science and Health.

How did the Miami Herald respond to fact and accuracy when it defied their headline Study shows higher rates of violent acts among teens who drinks lots of pop? They claim we are "industry-funded". Who gets 100 percent of their revenue from industry? The Miami Herald.

But the narrative in corporate journalism is often to create a polarized world, where you...

Do higher taxes on alcohol reduce a wide range of social ills? ACSH staffers were skeptical of a study last month purporting to show just that, reasoning that drinking is fine in moderation and alcohol abusers would buy it at nearly any price. One of our trustees, Nigel Bark, M.D., an associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, disagrees. In an email to us, Dr. Bark said our Dispatch-es are essential reading that he enjoys very much, but ...

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Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 2.36.53 PMAt ACSH we've pretty much seen it all. We deal with the loonies and their beliefs constantly: the fluoride conspiracy, big pharma withholding a cure for cancer, AIDS made by the US government to wipe out Africa, and of course the Jason of all scares the vaccine-autism link that persists despite a series of investigative reports proving that this link was not only wrong, but intentionally made up for monetary purposes. And so much more.

Yet today, jaws were bonking off the conference table when we discussed this...

It's often helpful for journalists who do not have specialized knowledge of complex scientific topics to write about them anyway, because if they can understand them and figure out how to communicate them, they can perform a tremendous public service. However, if journalists don't take the time to understand complex topics and get the very basics wrong, they do the public a massive disservice and end up looking like buffoons.

Which brings us to veteran New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who studied law and fancies himself an expert in chemistry and toxicology. Chemists and toxicologists disagree.

His latest diatribe -- which was easily and thoroughly debunked by my...