Hard on Soft Drinks

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As Nick noted yesterday, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has issued a new version of Liquid Candy, its indictment of soda for making us fat, rotting our teeth, weakening our bones, giving us heart attacks, and revealing the identity of Valerie Plame. (OK, I made that last charge up.) The report, which accompanied CSPI's call for soda warning labels, has some new data on soft drink consumption, but otherwise it seems pretty much the same as the document I discussed in my 2003 Reason cover story on CSPI. Elizabeth Whelan at the American Council on Science and Health has a quick run-down of the report's major fallacies.

Perhaps most galling is CSPI's insinuation that diet soda, the logical alternative for those concerned about calories, might give you cancer. As Radley Balko shows on his blog debunking Morgan Spurlock's oeuvre (well worth a visit, by the way), CSPI knows better than to buy every Internet rumor about aspartame, which makes its continued scaremongering all the more objectionable.

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  1. Just curious, did adding warning labels to cigarettes have any impact on the rate of smoking?

  2. also, if Canada adds warning labels will there be a death toothless fat guy covering half of the bottle?

  3. Speaking of warning labels …

    …its indictment of soda for making us fat, rotting our teeth, weakening our bones, giving us heart attacks, and revealing the identity of Valerie Plame. (OK, I made that last charge up.)

    … this line would have been much more comedically effective without the “This Is Humor” alert.

  4. “Just curious, did adding warning labels to cigarettes have any impact on the rate of smoking?”

    Smoking rates declined considerably after the labels went on, but causation is tough to establish. The message on the labels was one that began to get much wider play throughout the culture at the same time.

  5. I always thought that the logical alternative was water. πŸ™‚

  6. I’ve never hand a hard on soft drink, but some of those green teas with the ginsing…

  7. I’ve never hand a hard on soft drink, but some of those green teas with the ginsing… There may be something more powerful than ginseng in your green tea, judging by your spelling.

  8. Perhaps most galling is CSPI’s insinuation that diet soda, the logical alternative for those concerned about calories, might give you cancer.

    A) Fuck, everything and anything “might” give you cancer. Assholes.

    B) I saw that sloppy cunt Michael Jacobson on one of those shitty morning talkshows yesterday, and he flat-out said, with no qualifying statements about cancer, that the government should require soda manufacturers to put warning labels on their products that “encourage people to consider switching to fruit juice or diet soda.” Now, why in the hell would he suggest switching to something that he believes will cause cancer? Talking out of both sides of his slimy mouth again, eh?

    For the best cut-n-paster from Spurlockwatch, we turn to the FDA’s own newsletter:

    FDA calls aspartame, sold under trade names such as NutraSweet and Equal, one of the most thoroughly tested and studied food additives the agency has ever approved. The agency says the more than 100 toxicological and clinical studies it has reviewed confirm that aspartame is safe for the general population.

    Emphasis mine.

    I wonder if there’s any product that WON’T cause cancer if you pump lab rats with obscene doses of it. Hell, too much water will kill you…the doses that they fed the lab rats in that infamous study were insane, more than a person would possibly ingest, unless they were specifically trying to test it out.

  9. “Just curious, did adding warning labels to cigarettes have any impact on the rate of smoking?”

    At the risk of paraphrasing joe, I think rates of smoking have declined because it is pretty much common knowledge that tobacco smoke in large amounts over a long time can make you incredibly sick.

    For me, 10-11-05 will be five years smoke free. I still like my soda though. πŸ˜‰

  10. I have nothing but the highest regard for those who can logically and rationally respond to the expectorated idiocy that comes out of the CSPI.

    Generally their sort of stuff causes me to sputter obscenities like a sailor with Tourette’s Syndrome.

  11. Did anyone else check out The Regulator’s link? Turns out this man died of internal injuries sustained from having anal sex with a horse on a farm that panders to people who want to screw livestock. Ugh. Darwin Award for sure.

    What is the official libertarian stance on bestiality?

  12. What is the official libertarian stance on bestiality?

    No thanks.

  13. What is the official libertarian stance on bestiality?

    We support abstinence education only. There’s no such thing as safe-sex with a horse.

  14. Did anyone else check out The Regulator’s link? Turns out this man died of internal injuries sustained from having anal sex with a horse on a farm that panders to people who want to screw livestock. Ugh. Darwin Award for sure.

    Serves the bastard right for forcing himself on a horse. “Neigh” means “neigh.”

  15. But it’s not as deadly as screwing a horse

    Growing up in the city, I’ve never known that much about horses but I do remember an ex-girlfriend of mine who had horses warning me not to stand behind them because that’s where they kick – though I don’t think this is what she had in mind. Could it be that the guy just needed to try a different position? Perhaps horsey-style, as it were, was not the best choice.

    Anyway, another bestiality story form the Seattle area so I guess that UW sheep story seems a little more believable now. Damn, what is it with you people up there?

  16. Brian…

    Well I’m afraid this case is worse than you’re thinking. I initially assumed the guy got kicked, too, which would serve him right. But in fact he was having anal sex with the horse…meaning…uh, the horse was on top. Hence the internal injuries. (!)

  17. Some real highbrow discussion this friday.

    I guess you can always trust the folks over at reason to have some horse-sense, and discuss it in stile.

    I can’t be typing fur-long, I’m saddled with work right now on this night-mare project. Plus, hay, it’s way past lunch time and I still haven’t eaten. I’m so hungry I could…

  18. I guess this counts as the Friday Fun Link?

  19. I find it totally unsurprising that aspartame can cause cancer in high doses. It is metabolized to an essential amino acid, an inessential amino acid and methanol. Methanol is metabolized into formaldehyde (and later formic acid). Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, so consumption of large quantities of pure aspartame could very well increase incidence of cancer. Of course, consumption of certain compounds in tomato juice would have the same effect–indeed the amount of methanol produced from drinking a glass of tomato juice is much greater than from a diet soda.

  20. I guess this counts as the Friday Fun Link?

    Just exactly what isn’t fun to you about anal sex with horses, biologist? Sometimes I question your commitment to Sparkle Motion!

    snark

  21. What is the official libertarian stance on bestiality?

    I suppose that if you could actually figure out a way to get actual consent from an animal…

    Sometimes I question your commitment to Sparkle Motion!

    πŸ˜€

    Best
    high school
    movie
    ever!

  22. Waitaminute….how the hell did the guy get the horse to buttfuck him?

  23. I wondered about that also. But not enough to actually ask.

  24. Waitaminute….how the hell did the guy get the horse to buttfuck him?

    Ohhhh he was the… I mean… um… oh I thought… never mind. Damn, this is far worse than I was thinking (no easy feat mind you). Now I get what linguist meant! That it never occurred to me is, I should think, a good thing. Would that I had remained naive – damn you b-psycho and linguist! πŸ™‚

  25. Yeah, when linguist said:

    But in fact he was having anal sex with the horse…meaning…uh, the horse was on top. Hence the internal injuries. (!)

    … I thought, how the hell can a guy have anal sex with a horse and the horse be on top? At first, I imagined the guy hanging head-down from the rear of the horse while holding onto the tail… well, it was a very complicated, unlikely and disturbing mental image … and then I realized it meant the guy was, uh, receiving. Internal injuries — oh!

    This is especially disturbing since a couple weekends ago I heard this girl go on at some length (d’oh!) about the huge thingy she saw earlier that day on a Clydesdale at Grant’s Farm.

    The silver lining is that now I don’t feel as sorry for the horse. Seems the critter must have been more of a willing participant then, to the extent that horses have will.

  26. At first, I imagined the guy hanging head-down from the rear of the horse while holding onto the tail…

    I never thought I’d read a sentence like that on HR, even from Stevo πŸ˜‰ but yes confusion led me down that mental road as well. Apparently I just stopped a bit shorter than you when I realized I really didn’t want to understand…

    But now that I am um… should I say, saddled with this appalling mental image, I have to say it kind of reminds me of that Southpark episode with the elephant and the pot-bellied pig. You know, the one where Chef says “Now I know how all those…” well, you either know the rest or shouldn’t, so I’ll just stop there.

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