Chemophobia

Anyone who searches long enough can find that pretty much everything has been linked to cancer. Bacon. Cell phones. Wi-fi. Looking at Ana Dolaskie. At some point the insanity has to stop. Unfortunately, we have yet to reach that point.

Variations of the headline "Nutella may cause cancer" are going viral. As usual, there is almost no support for such hysteria. According to Reuters:

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said in May that palm oil generated more of a potentially carcinogenic contaminant...

There has been a long history of ridiculous fearmongering by environmental activists masquerading as health experts. BPA, MSG, Alar, DDT, and food coloring are just a handful of chemicals that fell prey to overblown fears or outright fabrications. Today, the whipping boy that takes the brunt of the unfounded chemophobic assault on science is the herbicide glyphosate.

Glyphosate is demonized primarily for one reason: Monsanto. To many of its irrational detractors, who refer to the company as "Monsatan," anything the company touches is, by definition, evil. The seed giant genetically engineered some of its crops to be resistant to glyphosate so that farmers could spray it on their fields; the crops would survive while the weeds were destroyed. It's not a perfect solution. For...

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. Misinterpreting scientists’ words is also a common tactic employed by fearmongering environmentalists and activists.

In fact, the problem of hijacked scientific terminology is so great that ACSH’s Dr. Josh Bloom wrote an entire book about it.

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HonestHave we gotten so stupid that we are willing to believe the toxicological and environmental gibberish that we are now hearing from Jessica Alba?

It would seem so, since the company created by the actress — who never went to college, yet has clearly earned an honorary B.P. degree (Bachelor's of Prettiness) — managed to extract $1.7 billion from suckers who were convinced that substituting one harmless detergent for another with identical properties would save both the Earth, and their skin.

Even in a world that is...

In How Natural Variations Became Environmental Crises: The Numbers Racket, we looked at how officially safe levels of exposure gradually went from conservative, to ultra-conservative, to completely ridiculous.

Even before the manipulation of numbers became commonplace, the manipulation of words was a major tool in promoting fear about science and keeping it alive. Simple words in common usage, like risk, known, similar and equivalent were given esoteric, colloquial meanings that bore little resemblance to their...

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...

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 2.54.55 PMThis one had all the suspense of a Harlem Globetrotters - Washington Generals game. (1)

In what can be seen, at the very least, as an appalling lack of creativity, our old friends the EWG Environmental Washington Generals (oops, I meant Environmental Working Group) decided that since they had finally hit dry...

man-with-a-megaphone-1-1378633-mDespite the old adage about what pots call kettles, we would be remiss in our duties if we did not point out the arrogance of the title in a new piece about sunscreen in Time: This Is the Only Sunscreen Article You Need to Read.

ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom says, When I start calling others arrogant, it is not unfair to wonder if I have clinched first place in the Hypocrite of the Year award. But in this case, it s not as bad as it seems. If Time is making such a grandiose claim, one would hope...

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 1.20.57 PMJessica Alba has a billion dollar baby supply enterprise called The Honest Company, and it is based on the idea that the products people use should be safe and non-toxic (surprisingly, many companies don't!). Sounds nice, who could argue with that?

ACSH friend Julie Gunlock, that s who.

Gunlock, of the Independent Women s Forum and the Culture of Alarmism, has a fascinating opinion piece in today s New York Post that...

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 3.04.29 PMTalk about a big job. Writing for the Canadian Press, Jack Dini s new piece, Chemicals Don t Trouble Oneself With the Facts, goes way past the title.

Dini, who wrote a book entitled Challenging Environmental Myths (Institution of Engineering and Technology, 2003) comes out with guns blazing, and covers far more than chemicals. He writes about the inability of facts to change...