GMO Food

Five Phony Public Health Scares

Activist misinformation harms Americans


Health activists, nutrition nannies, medical paternalists, and just plain old quacks regularly conjure up menaces that are supposedly damaging the health of Americans. Their scares range from the decades-long campaign against fluoridation to worries that saccharin causes cancer to the ongoing hysteria over crop biotechnology. The campaigners' usual "solution" is to demand that regulators ban the offending substance or practice. Here are five especially egregious examples of activist misinformation.

1. Americans should consume no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day, in order to reduce everybody's risk of heart disease, strokes, and high blood pressure.

You hear this one all the time. The American Heart Association recommends consuming less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. A June 2013 report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest asserted, "Immediately reducing average sodium consumption levels to between 2,200 mg to 1,500 mg per day would save about 700,000 to 1.2 million lives over 10 years." These nutrition nannies have been urging the U.S. government to lower the upper limit of daily recommended sodium intake to just two-thirds of a teaspoon of salt.

But a May 2013 study by the Institute of Medicine calls those longstanding recommendations into question. Contrary to years of anti-salt dogma, consuming less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day may actually harm people suffering from congestive heart failure. There was also "no evidence for benefit and some evidence suggesting risk of adverse health outcomes" if the person with a low-salt diet has diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or pre-existing cardiovascular disease.

"The evidence on health outcomes," the report concluded, "is not consistent with efforts that encourage lowering of dietary sodium in the general population to 1,500 milligrams per day."

2. Vaccines cause autism.

In 1998 the British researcher Andrew Wakefield claimed in The Lancet that he had identified an association between vaccination against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) and the onset of autism. Thus was launched one of the more destructive health scares of recent years, in which tens of thousands of frightened parents refused to have their children vaccinated. Anti-vaccine cheerleaders such as the actress Jenny McCarthy fanned those fears.

Years of research and numerous studies have thoroughly debunked this scare. For example, the Institute of Medicine issued a 2011 report, "Adverse Effects of Vaccines," that found no association between MMR vaccination and autism. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agrees that "there is no relationship between vaccines containing thimerosal and autism rates in children." The Lancet finally retracted the infamous Wakefield study in 2010. Also in 2010, Britain's General Medical Council banned Wakefield from the practice of medicine after concluding that his paper had been not just inaccurate but dishonest.

3. Cellphone use causes cancer.

The fear here is that radio frequency waves emitted by cellular phones are associated with higher risk of various brain cancers. One anecdotal report even suggested that women who secreted their cellphones in their bras were more likely to get breast cancer.

It is true that in 2011 the hyper-precautionary International Agency for Research on Cancer classified cellphones as a "possible carcinogen." But as a somewhat snarky response in the Journal of Carcinogenesis pointed out, the agency classifies coffee and pickles as possible carcinogens, too. Meanwhile, the National Cancer Institute flatly states that "to date there is no evidence from studies of cells, animals, or humans that radiofrequency energy can cause cancer." A 2012 comprehensive review of studies in the journal Bioelectromagnetics found "no statistically significant increase in risk for adult brain or other head tumors from wireless phone use."

4. High fructose corn syrup is responsible for the obesity "epidemic."

This particular scare was launched by a 2004 article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which noted, "The increased use of HFCS in the United States mirrors the rapid increase in obesity." The authors pointed out that American consumption of HFCS had increased by more than 1,000 percent between 1970 and 1990, and they estimated that Americans consumed an average of 132 kilocalories of HFCS per day. Digesting fructose, they suggested, failed to send signals to the brain to tell people to stop eating.

Since this scare was unleashed, a lot of research has investigated many different hypotheses about how HFCS might be worse for people than table sugar (sucrose). Most have turned up nothing significant.

A 2012 review article in the journal Advances in Nutrition summarized this research: "a broad scientific consensus has emerged that there are no metabolic or endocrine response differences between HFCS and sucrose related to obesity or any other adverse health outcome. This equivalence is not surprising given that both of these sugars contain approximately equal amounts of fructose and glucose, contain the same number of calories, possess the same level of sweetness, and are absorbed identically through the gastrointestinal tract." Another 2012 review article, in the Journal of Obesity, concluded, "In the past decade, a number of research trials have demonstrated no short-term differences between HFCS and sucrose in any metabolic parameter or health related effect measured in human beings including blood glucose, insulin, leptin, ghrelin and appetite."

So if HFCS is not to blame for the fattening up of Americans, what is? How about pigging out? The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that in 1970 Americans consumed an average of 2,169 calories per day. In 2010, the figure was about 2,614. Sweeteners such as sugar and HFCS provided only 42 of this 445-calorie increase.

5. Exposure to trace amounts of synthetic chemicals is a major cause of cancer.

Rachel Carson's passionate 1962 bestseller Silent Spring warned that we "are living in a sea of carcinogens." More recently, a 2010 report issued by the President's Cancer Panel declared, "The true burden of environmentally induced cancers has been grossly underestimated."

But is that so? As the American Cancer Society's Cancer Facts and Figures 2013 notes, "Exposure to carcinogenic agents in occupational, community, and other settings is thought to account for a relatively small percentage of cancer deaths-about 4% from occupational exposures and 2% from environmental pollutants (man-made and naturally occurring)." The same group rejected the President's Cancer Panel's conclusion as well, arguing that it "does not represent scientific consensus."

In fact, at the same time that human ingenuity has been generating all these useful synthetic compounds, both cancer incidence and death rates have been falling. While cancer remains the second leading cause of death in the United States, a 2012 report by the National Cancer Institute confirms that overall cancer death rates continue to decline, and that over the past decade the incidence of cancer continues to fall for men while holding steady for women.

Once a bogus health alarm has been launched, more careful researchers must waste years and tens of millions of dollars battling the misinformation. In the meantime, worried Americans actually harm their health by refusing to get their kids vaccinated, or squander their money on such items as "chemical-free" products.

Scaremongering, unfortunately, can be both lucrative and a source of gratifying media attention, so it's not likely to go away anytime soon.

NEXT: Jobless Claims Fall to 350,000

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  1. Mmm, saying that HFCS is no different than sucrose doesn’t really bust the myth as much as it lets HFCS off the hook, and doesn’t get to the root of obesity. And you pull a misdirection by implying it soemthing other than sugar at all since it only accounts for 10% of the rise in total caloric intake. What about complex carbs since they are all ultimately sugars? What portion of the rise reflects them?
    Lustig still makes a pretty strong case against sugars in general for their acute effects.
    But even so, “pigging out” doesn’t explain anything and comes back to the even greater myth that we eat too much and work out too little. Why did the intake rise? Perhaps we shifted to less satiating components like carbs and away from fats?

    1. *its something other than sugar since

    2. There are a lot of factors in play and part of the folly of this is that people continue to look for that one silver bullet that will solve everything.

      Truth is our lifestyles are out of balance. Some of it is because a majority of us sit all day rather than performing labor. It’s also much easier to drive up to a window and leave with 1500 calories of burger, fries and a soda.

      Bottom line with this though is that regardless of the content of what we eat the basic math which balances calories in with calories used still applies and still works.

      in regard to sugars the glycemic index is a pretty good training tool for understanding their effect. Not because it’s valid or even good science but by understanding how it’s flawed. Specifically I’m talking about the absorption rates of sugars and how they’re affected by the presence of fats.

      In the end any diet which skews to one extreme or another is bound to be flawed. Eat in moderation, eat in balance and get off your ass once in awhile and watch the results.

      1. Bottom line with this though is that regardless of the content of what we eat the basic math which balances calories in with calories used still applies and still works.

        Controlled weight-loss studies do not produce results consistent with calorie math. Look no further than you own wife and her friends. Ask them what happens when they diet. Lowering intake by 1000 calories per day should yield about 2 pound of weight loss a week. It usually works, more or less, for 10 pounds or so. Then the weight loss stops even when the daily calorie deficit remains. Why?
        Studies repeatedly show a calorie acts differently on the body when you eat it at a different time of day, in a differently processed form, as a wholly different food, as protein, as carbohydrate, or as fat.

        1. Controlled weight-loss studies do not produce results consistent with calorie math.

          The studies I have looked at do.

          1. According to USDA, “ERS data suggest that average daily calorie intake increased by 24.5 percent, or about 530 calories, between 1970 and 2000.”
            The average American was consuming roughly 2150 calories/day in 1970, 2260 in 1980, and 2680 in 2000, meanwhile gaining 19 pounds.
            Using the generally-accepted 3500 calories per pound of weight gain, that works out gaining roughly 800 pounds in thirty years. Or worked the other way, a 19-pound gain in 30 years should require a daily surplus of just 6 calories. That’s nearly two orders of magnitude smaller than the observation.
            C’mon, that’s a chicken drumstick, two thighs, garlic dill potatoes and green beans versus one cup of lettuce.

            1. My daughter points out if you continue the calorie math of the ERS data to this year, the average American couldn’t be carried in the bed of a half-ton pickup.

            2. Poor reasoning. This only works if we assume constant caloric daily intake AND constant daily physical activity (we’ll ignore conditions that increase metabolic expenditure: sickness, pregnancy, etc.). In the real world this assumption falls apart. And averaging the data blurs the high degree of variability we can reasonably assume exists.

              1. In the real world this assumption falls apart.

                So two or three hundred million people increased their exercise regimen by 24%, but we’re still too sedentary? Too bad they didn’t have the willpower to burn another 6 calories before hopping off the stairstepper!

                And averaging the data blurs the high degree of variability we can reasonably assume exists.

                You defend 8,800% variability? You’re very entertaining.

      2. Although I’d agree with you on the path of least resistance (drive through), but you gotta consider the common thread of all three items in that example meal.
        And labor? Taubes goes into excrutiating detail on that myth and that of the “basic math” paradox of two different macronutrients having two different outcomes inside the body. I particularly like his example of obese West Texas laborers with not a single fast food joint in a hundred mile radius in the 70s. What formed the basis of their diet? Hint: It ain’t meat and fat.
        There may not be a silver bullet, but you ask 10 paleo/primal dieters, I’ll bet you find at least 9 saying it is. Lots of thin people who eat in moderation still get diabetes, heart disease, cancer, gut issues, autoimmune issues, etc, etc. Dumping grains/dairy addresses all that and obesity. And it doesn’t have to be hardcore Atkins, just smart use of the right carbs. Don’t believe me, google “paleo reno healthwatch” and check out how the city of Reno is banking on it.

        1. google “paleo reno healthwatch” and check out how the city of Reno is banking on it.

          I didn’t know about Reno. Thanks!

          And it doesn’t have to be hardcore Atkins, just smart use of the right carbs.

          Funny how pop culture has taken “Induction Phase” of Atkins and made it the whole damned diet.
          When I first went LCHF, “meat, cheese, nuts and salad” was all my co-workers knew about it. They weren’t even backing the fiber out of the carb count, so the salads were hilariously small. Since I was losing weight on it –a first for me– I read the book (skipping all those awful testimonials) and found out how wrong the pop culture version was.

          Dumping grains/dairy addresses all that and obesity.

          Cultures that eat lots of dairy, without sugar and white flour, don’t seem to have metabolic disease problems.

          1. Re: Dairy, yeah, but probably a lot more raw/unprocessed/grass-fed than our grocery store crap. Personally, I do add some dairy, but always full fat and as close to raw as possible.

            The Reno thing is an awesome story. I’ve met w/ Dr Greenwald who basically runs that program a couple times; checkout specialty health’s youtube channel. For a diet that can’t really make any special interests rich, they’ve cracked the nut of at least saving money in job-related cardiac events. Google “robb wolf city zero” for this talk on it. It’s outstanding.

            1. *his talk on it.

          2. Then why was I gaining wt. on Atkins induction? Doug Friedman, same experience.

            1. It could be a number of things.

              25% of obese people are not hyperinsulinemic (Type II diabetic or heading there), and bringing down the baseline insulin level and insulin resistance are what the diet actually addresses. I know one lady who has severe leptin resistance in the brain. No diet will work for her. She will be taking medicine for the rest of her life.

              Are you taking insulin or other drugs for diabetes? Most people know insulin clears the bloodstream, but few realize it sends it to the fat. Metformin is the only diabetes drug I’m aware of that does not tend to cause weight gain.

              Atkins gets a couple things wrong, especially the later edits of it. They try to cut carbs and fats and feed you with protein. The body can only process so much protein for fuel, so if you don’t fuel it with carbohydrates, you have to fuel it with fat. A friend lost about a hundred pounds and stuck there in spite of needing to lose more than a hundred more. His doctor tested and found that despite being on what he thought was a ketogenic diet, he was not producing ketones. The doctor suggested less protein and more fat. It worked. He dropped another hundred last I saw him, which brings him down to “overweight.”

    3. Pigging out is a good explanation. The size of meal portions in the US has increased dramatically, to the point that there are a few national chains where I can’t finish one of their meals. And the increase in portions does seem to coincide with the increase in obesity.

      I will concede that a lower carb diet can be healthier, but high carb diets are nothing new in this world. Obesity is caused by more than just the calories, yet the correlation between calory intake and obesity is undeniable.

      1. Pigging out is a good explanation. … Obesity is caused by more than just the calories, yet the correlation between calorie intake and obesity is undeniable.

        The correlation between calorie intake and growth is also undeniable. Do you think pigging out is a good explanation for height? No, of course not. It’s caused by growth hormones, and the pigging out is an effect of the body’s demands.

        Likewise, insulin is the dominant fat storage hormone. It also blocks the leptin response (“stop eating, you’re full”) in the brain. If fuel is getting stuffed into the fat and it can’t get back out, the rest of the tissues are left hungry. Even when they’re stuffed, the brain never gets told “enough.” Thus the pig-out.

    4. But even so, “pigging out” doesn’t explain anything and comes back to the even greater myth that we eat too much and work out too little.

      Where is the evidence that this is a “myth”?


        About 600 pages of it… Enjoy

        1. Taubes’ book is riddled with errors. Sorry, not a believer.

          1. I struggled for decades using “conventional” diet and exercise and failing my way to a 55.5 BMI. Then I lost 125 pounds in 8 months and have kept it off for nearly 10 years doing LCHF. I never go hungry, and I exercise when I want to. I’m a believer.

            1. And this has what to do with the false claims by Taubes? I never claimed that a low carb diet won’t cause weight loss. Taubes attempts to argue that calories don’t matter only macronutrients, which is false.

              1. The fate of a calorie of food depends completely on its specific molecular composition, the composition of the foods accompanying it, and how those molecules interact with the current metabolic and nutritional state.
                It can be used to build and repair tissues, enzymes, cofactors, hormones, bile, stomach acid, mucus, and other necessary secretions. Gut bacteria might use it to keep themselves alive, and their waste products can meet any of the other fates listed here. It might fail to be digested or absorbed, and be excreted partially or completely unused. It might be converted to a form in which it can be stored for future use, such as glycogen or fat. Or it might be transported to an individual cell that takes it in, and converts it to energy, in order to perform the above tasks.
                How many of these uses have calories as the critical factor? Even in the last two uses (which are the only ones calorie math even attempts to resemble), the energy lost by the pathways to get them there vary widely according to the original macronutrients involved.
                The concept of the dietary calorie is an oversimplification so extreme as to be untrue in practice.

                1. And this whole “explanation” shows why Taubes and those who listen to him don’t understand what they are talking about. ALL of what you describe falls under “metabolism”, which is accounted for by the laws of thermodynamics. Telling me that every molecule is not converted to ATP and heat doesn’t alter the ‘calorie is a calorie’ axiom.

        2. That should be #6 on the list.

  2. One of my coworkers is on the “Wheat Belly” band wagon. It’s essentially the Atkins diet with modern wheat added as the boogey man. Just reading the first few pages of the book is enough to make it clear that it’s all supposition. I mean what could be more scientific than comparing pictures of yourself to your grandparents and stating that the only significant change in the world has been the rise of modified wheat?

    He also stated that there is essentially no difference between an agrarian society and our modern one. I sit at my desk in front of a computer reflecting on my childhood growing up around farms and ranches and the only thing I can say is bullshit…

    1. Haven’t read the book, but if that’s as far as it goes, too bad since there’s a lot out there on the effect grains, particularly wheat have on the body, especially the gut. Google “leaky gut” for all you’d ever wanna know. My favorite Robb Wolf quote (paraphrased), “We’re all gluten sensitive, just not all of us is clinical” In other words grains are harming all our guts and causing all kinds of problems that people don’t realize (allergies, autism, etc), just only a few unlucky few are getting the high vis issues like crohn and IBS out of the deal…

    2. Just an anecdote, but when I compare my photo of my grandmothers at my age…I am much thinner and younger looking.

      Of course both of them had given birth to more than a dozen children.

      1. Both my grandfathers were long dead by my age. One by an accident and one drank himself to death.
        One grandmother was wider than she was tall by 40. She worked hard on a farm with corn, a few cattle, laying hens and lots of pigs, plus looking after everyone else there. Washed everything by hand. She only had electricity in the house the last 10 years of her life and wasn’t shy about announcing she didn’t trust it.
        The other grandmother raised 5 children through the Depression, then got a desk job with the State, was still getting wolf whistles at 80 and nearly made it to 100.

  3. I was slightly disappointed that the HFCS bit didn’t mention what has become the new argument against HFCS- even if a gram of HFCS is equal to a gram of cane sugar (and it is!), the problem is that HFCS is a lot *cheaper* (in no small part due to subsidies of corn and import restrictions on sugar) and so people consume more of it.

    I think the point about how sugar/HFCS accounts for only a small portion of the total calorie increase over the decades would disprove that, but still, the “HFCS is too cheap” argument is in my experience the more common claim today, particularly among those otherwise too smart to buy into HFCS hysteria.

    1. True, HFCS is nearly metabolically identical to sucrose. People get thrown off when told that fructose is a hepatic poison, like alcohol, which is true. They don’t understand that sucrose is half fructose too. And they don’t understand that it’s the shift in nutrients that’s the problem.
      Are we fat folks gluttons and sloths? Absolutely. The question is why that changed. I grew up full of energy, then I got fat. Only after that did I become a sloth. I dieted and it got worse, not better. Less than 1200 calories a day and exercising 2 hours on top of an active job only served to make me miserable.
      Then I stumbled onto LCHF by way of supporting a co-worker. Since I wasn’t serious about it, I took them at their word and ate as much as I wanted. I had more energy than I knew what to do with. I lost 125 pounds in 8 months. Kept it off for nearly 10 years now.

      1. People get thrown off when told that fructose is a hepatic poison, like alcohol, which is true.

        Under what criteria of “poison”?

        1. I’m not accusing it of being an acute toxin, if that’s what you mean. OTOH I have a second cousin who is retired from treating patients for hepatic problems including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

          1. The word poison has meaning. Fructose does not fall into this definition. This is hyperbole.

            1. I love it when people assert failure to meet a definition they won’t give.

              From Merriam-Webster’s medical dicionary:
              1: a substance that through its chemical action usually kills, injures, or impairs an organism.

              Type II diabetes isn’t an impairment?
              Obesity isn’t an impairment?

              1. And I love it when people argue by reductio ad absurdums. Since Paracelsus, poison and toxin are defined relative to the dose. A compound that “kills, injures or impairs” at a low concentration falls under “poison”, whereas a compound that requires large concentrations to cause such effects and has no observable effect at normally ingested levels is not. Outside of the definition, your argument is the typical reductionist nonsense of the “low carb” cultists, who fixate on single nutrients, while ignoring the totality of all others. No fructose is required to cause both conditions.

  4. If nothing else, the whole HFCS “controversy” is a good time to make the point that if we libertarians were in charge, you could get real “Mexican” Coke on your local store shelves, because we wouldn’t be jacking up imported sugar prices or subsidizing corn.

    1. I do have real Mexican Coke on my local store shelves. One benefit of living in high-Latino population California. If you’re out on the east coast you’ll have to settle for Kosher Coke instead.

      1. I’m in Oklahoma. I can get Mexican Coke at the convenience store a block and a half away. In 8 oz glass bottles, just like in ancient times.

    2. If nothing else, the whole HFCS “controversy” is a good time to make the point that if we libertarians were in charge, you could get real “Mexican” Coke on your local store shelves, because we wouldn’t be jacking up imported sugar prices or subsidizing corn.

      Outside of the subsidies issue, Mexico’s use of sucrose has not prevented them from becoming the obesity capital. Kinda craps on the whole “HFCS causes obesity” nonsense.

      1. Again, HFCS and sucrose are metabolically identical for all practical purposes.
        Yes, HFCS can cause obesity, just like sucrose.
        A typical Big Gulp contains over 100 grams of HFCS and “healthy” fruit smoothies are only vaguely better, with 90 grams of metabolically-identical fruit sugar. As a healthy adult liver can’t store much more than 100 grams of glycogen, the problem here should be obvious.

  5. 6. Needlessly making readers go to a second page to finish an article leads to Hitlerism.

    No, wait, this one is true. reason is worse than Hitler with this.

    1. Eva made the Jacket do it. So he can leave the boots on.

  6. Don’t quash the panic! Otherwise, dressing up as Monsanto for Halloween won’t make nearly as many people just totally lose their fucking shit to everyone else’s amusement.

    1. I wish I could find the pic I saw of a evil potato monster costume.

  7. Excellent article Ron, but you could have easily added a sixth phony scare.

    #6 Human Caused Global Warming

    You summations are so true:

    Once a bogus health alarm has been launched, more careful researchers must waste years and tens of millions of dollars battling the misinformation.

    Scaremongering, unfortunately, can be both lucrative and a source of gratifying media attention, so it’s not likely to go away anytime soon.

  8. Saying vaccines don’t cause autism because a journalist was paid to slander Dr. Wakefield, then the GMC (full of former pharma employees and always accepting bribes from pharma) then revokes Dr. Wakefields license without due process and in resistance to the fact that all his patients involved in his study petitioned on his behalf, in no way shows that vaccines don’t cause autism. Why not read a few vaccine studies. Read some of the studies showing vaccines are causing autism. Or just open your eyes. These kids are developing fine, then they get a vaccine and never talk again and start eating dog poop out of their backyard. Pharma works very hard to conduct research fraud and use government controlled monopolies like the GMC and the AMA to make claims opposite to science, but journalist like yourself are supposed to do a little more research before blindly assuming what PR departments say is true.

    1. Anecdotal evidence is not valid. Wakefield ‘s research methodology was complete garbage, he manipulated patient data to support his conclusions and actively cross-contaminated samples. Many of the children’s parents had noticed signs of autism BEFORE vaccination that Wakefield completely left out. ‘Why not read a few vaccine studies?’ Yes, you should, because the vast majority has found absolutely no connection between vaccines and autism. Autism rates have not changed with the end of the use of thimerosal, which is basically the anti-vax crowd’s only decent hypothesis. The evidence just isn’t there.

      1. Everything you’re saying is not true. What you’re saying is what Brian Deer said and it’s not backed up by facts. He was paid to slander Dr. Wakefield. The patients in the study refute everything you and Brian Deer are saying. Why would you blindly believe something one journalist said? When that journalist is writing for a journal that is getting paid purposely to slander Dr. Wakefield. NO study using the scientific method has disproven a link between vaccines and autism. The problem is you never read the studies. You listen to TV talking heads that talk about fraudulent studies as though they were legitimate. Find one study using the scientific method backing up what you’re saying. Thimerosal isn’t what we’re talking about. We’re talking about vaccines in general.

        1. Vaccines have been around since Louis Pasteur, who invented the smallpox vaccine.

          Smallpox used to regularly wipe out 10% to 30% of countries’ whole populations. It was a terrible scourge which is now non-existent because of vaccines.

      2. If you really want to read the actual studies you think prove vaccines don’t cause autism then they’re posted here along with the breakdown of conflicts of interest, data that’s been falsified and removed, etc.

        What is so ridiculous though is that you have based all you’re assumptions on what one person, Brian Deer, was paid to write. If I paid Brian Deer to write an article claiming you eat puppies, does that mean you eat puppies? Of course not. Hopefully you can understand that. People lie. People commit fraud. And for someone reading a libertarian magazine i would think you’d be skeptical of those using government force to commit fraud, prevent competition, and censor those that threaten the government. When violence and force are used, you should definitely be skeptical. Big government is not our friend.

        1. If you really want to read the actual studies you think prove vaccines don’t cause autism then they’re posted here along with the breakdown of conflicts of interest, data that’s been falsified and removed, etc.

          Where is the evidence of “falsification” and data omission? All I see are charges of “conflicts of interest”, which is not compelling proof of poor methodology. By law, pharma is required to fund clinical trials of it’s products. Because of this, the number of studies that have “conflicts of interest” are going to far outweigh the few independent studies that have no “conflict of interests”. Similarly, it is common for individuals who have extensive knowledge on a subject to have worked for one or more of the pharma companies and even crossed over to government agencies. There are only so many jobs in such fields and there is a lot of migration from company to company.

  9. Ron, get to work on the supposed danger of American football to heads. Also, pit bulls.

    Also also, fried chicken.

    1. I lost a lot of weight while eating Kentucky Fried Chicken for lunch 2 or 3 times a week. (The only places closer were a 7-11 and Mexican.) I decided the breading on the Original Recipe wasn’t enough to hurt.

  10. One more bogus recommendation: We’re all dehydrated and should carry water with us everywhere we go so we drink 80 ounces of water a day.

    How did people get by in centuries past without those water bottles?

    1. And you’re dehydrated before you even feel thirsty. If you don’t drink water when you feel no need whatsoever to consumer liquid, you’re making yourself sick.

      What a load of crap. Every land animal on this planet has evolved a thirst mechanism to indicate when water is needed. How and why would they have all evolved to only develop thirst after dehydration had reached a danger level?

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  13. of Medicine calls those longstanding recommendations

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