The editorial board of the New York Times came out in favor of revising FDA regulations of cosmetic products. This is a reasonable suggestion since such a review has not taken place since 1938. But sound science, especially toxicology, is essential for any change in regulations to be meaningful. Unfortunately, on the science itself, the newspaper's proposal misses the mark.
Perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, is a chemical commonly found in household products. Its purpose is to resist stains, grease, and other assaults. And it's been in the news for several years. In many workplaces and communities, PFOA has become a household name while triggering fears of adverse health effects and expensive, never-ending environmental cleanups. What’s going on? Let's take a look.
The New York Times has done something that it very rarely does: It wrote an editorial in support of biotechnology. Unfortunately, the newspaper has a long history of spreading misinformation about GMOs and chemicals, which seriously undermines the important message in its pro-vaccine editorial.
Normally a reliable source of information, Live Science published an article that is a dream for anti-pesticide and anti-chemical fearmongers.
The online news arm of this journal s a solid source of information. However, it reprinted an article from E&E News that stated green energy is the way to go and the environment is full of scary chemicals. Associating itself with this outlet was a dubious decision, and one that may prove damaging to its reputation.
Laetrile, which is found apricot seeds, has been used by quacks to "treat" cancer for 70 years. It works, assuming that your goal is to poison yourself. But cancer claims, which were ridiculous in the 1950s, continue today. Psst. Keep this secret. It's cyanide, no more, no less. Don't let the screwballs tell you otherwise.
NYT's Nicholas Kristof sure knows how to live harder, not smarter. He's been avoiding chemicals and living clean — as he puts it — for several years. And yet, the results from an at-home detox kit that tested his urine for chemical exposure came back less than stellar.
Foodborne illness happens; it's one of the hazards of eating. But when a company makes a concerted effort to claim its food is holy and righteous – while everybody else serves poison – management shouldn't be surprised when public backlash is severe. It's entirely predictable, self-inflicted and deserved.
Like an Obama birther, the Times' Eric Lipton will continue spouting conspiracy theories about the biotech and chemical industries despite the evidence. This will ensure that his boss's wife, who serves on the board of Whole Foods, remains wealthy.
Several years ago, a survey of professional toxicologists revealed that 79% of them believed that the Environmental Working Group and two other organizations overstate the health risks of chemicals. That's why EWG is beloved by activists but detested by scientists.
In what is just one more example of fear-based marketing, a company is selling "natural chemical" bracelets that supposedly protect kids from mosquitoes. Not only is this not going to work, but the natural chemical is just as toxic as DEET — the insect repellant that the company takes great pains to note, is absent. If this was on "Jeopardy" we'd call out this firm accordingly.
The language of science has been hijacked. Those who are looking to make a quick buck (or in the case of the organic industry, 43 billion bucks) have no qualms about twisting the definition of highly precise scientific terminology to suit their own profit-driven agendas. Here's a brief glossary of the some of the most commonly misused scientific terms. (Note: the health food and fad diet industries are among the biggest abusers.)