Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Washington Post

We at Speaking of Science do our best to deliver you solid, sound science reporting. But just in case you haven't been paying attention, comedian John Oliver — host of "Last Week Tonight" — is here to school you.
...A lot of this comes down to common sense: Does something sound kind of crazy? If it does, you probably want to find out what experts outside of the study have to say about it. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Facts About BPA

Last week the South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) published its risk assessment of BPA in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Environmental Research.  The MFDS is a government agency that is responsible for promoting public health by ensuring the safety of foods and other products.
The details are important, but what everyone wants to know is the bottom line. MFDS concluded:

We find that there are no health concerns for the general Korean population from dietary exposure or from aggregated exposure [to BPA].

Monday, October 26, 2015
Montreal Gazette

“More research is needed.” That’s a common final sentence in scientific papers, especially when it comes to studying the effects of environmental chemicals on health. With numerous chemical reactions going on in our body all the time, and exposure to thousands and thousands of chemicals, both natural and synthetic, it is a huge challenge to tease out the effects of a single substance. That brings up the question of when the effort and funds invested in studying a chemical have been sufficient. Is there a point at which further research is unlikely to lead to a major revelation? Can research funds be better spent on alternate projects that are more likely to yield meaningful results?
We may be reaching such a stage with bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that has been the subject of more studies in the toxicological literature than any other.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

We thought that everyone could agree that the year-round availability of low-cost, appetizing and healthful fruits and vegetables to school-kids is a good thing. We were naive.
According to a study published in September in an obscure journal, schools are exposing kids to potentially dangerous levels of toxic chemicals from food packaging because of “schools’ efforts to streamline food preparation and meet federal nutrition standards while keeping costs low.”

Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Science 2.0

Recent media stories have reported on two new scientific studies involving BPA’s effects on birth weight.  One study reported a statistical association between prenatal exposure to BPA and increased birth weight, while the other reported an association with decreased birth weight. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The latest skirmish in the war of anti-chemical crusaders against the food industry broke out in an unlikely place – the usually tranquil waters of Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte. Vani Hari, author of the widely read Food Babe blog, recently kicked up a fuss by charging that the popular drink contains a cancer-causing substance called 4-mei, which is a byproduct of its caramel coloring.
As the name of her blog suggests, Ms. Hari trades on her trim physique to make up for her lack of credentials in chemistry, nutrition, or food science. No matter; not only was Starbucks forced to defend the healthiness of its product, but the Food and Drug Administration found it necessary to restate its longstanding position that there is “no reason to believe that at current levels it causes a health concern.” The FDA also noted that the amount of 4-Mei found in coffee is far exceeded by that in soft drinks, bread, and ice cream. But it’s difficult to counter the audience appeal of a headline like “Drink Starbucks? Wake Up And Smell The Chemicals!”