Monday, November 25, 2013
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Toxic chemicals lurk in the “typical” Thanksgiving meal, warns a green activist website. Eat organic, avoid canned food, and you might be okay, according to their advice. Fortunately, there’s no need to buy this line. In fact, the trace levels of man-made chemicals found in these foods warrant no concern and are no different from trace chemicals that appear in food naturally.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

One of the big problems in science journalism is the tendency to hype scientific research. You're familiar with the routine: A new study comes out on, say, how coffee might lead to a slight increase in a particular disease. Then, plastered all over the front pages of websites and newspapers are headlines like, "Too Much Coffee Will Kill You!" Of course, the following week, a different study will report that coffee might protect you from another disease, and the media hysteria plays out all over again, just in the opposite direction.

Monday, October 21, 2013
Science 2.0

It was the late astronomer and author Carl Sagan who popularized the phrase “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence,” and originated the closely related concept of scientific skepticism. In the case discussed here, skeptics we should be. Last week we saw a flurry of media articles with headlines suggesting that exposure to the common chemical bisphenol A (BPA) increases the risk of miscarriage. Considering how much research has been conducted on BPA already, in particular extensive research on laboratory animals that examined the potential for BPA to cause any effect on reproduction, that’s a rather extraordinary claim that has not been corroborated or replicated. 

Friday, October 18, 2013
American Chemistry Council

What is most striking about Nick Kristof’s latest column about endocrine disruption is what’s missing from it.

Granted, one has to know the science and regulatory considerations well enough to see all of the angles this article could have and should have covered. But what readers got instead was a very selective viewpoint, revealing a very narrow understanding of a hotly debated scientific issue about whether certain chemicals interact with the endocrine system to cause adverse effects in humans.

Contrary to Kristof’s charges against the chemical industry, ACC has supported scientific research on the endocrine disruption issue from its inception. We regularly engage with the scientific community and regulatory agencies to enhance the scientific understanding of endocrine disruption, to promote sound decisions, and to effectively manage risks that may exist from exposure to some chemicals. We have also supported federal appropriations for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) research on endocrine disruption.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

USA Today reporter Liz Szabo has long rung the alarm bells on bisphenol A (BPA), devoting an entire full page article to promoting the repeatedly discredited claims of University of Missouri researcher Frederick vom Saal. Now, she has turned to vom Saal’s longtime collaborator, University of Tufts researcher Ana Soto to advance the claim BPA increased the risk of mammary cancers in rats and therefore might pose a risk to humans.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Activists are trying to push the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in the same direction. The EU should hold firm to the science and policy-making that led it to find that BPA, at levels at which humans are exposed, does not present a danger.