October 9, 2014
The number of studies that have appeared in the news during recent years on the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) is staggering. Few substances undergo such scrutiny. So why BPA? Mattie Duppler of American’s for Tax Reform’s Cost of Government project answers that question in an article for The Hill’s Congress Blog: Congress has poured millions of dollars ($170 million since 2000) into BPA research for what amounts to little more than a witch hunt.
Follow the money and you may find a strong statistical association between government funding...
August 13, 2014
Which is it? Actually, both. Some regions of the world have fewer hives, while globally there are more commercial hives now than there were in 1960. The...
June 6, 2014News stories related to honeybee health the past few weeks are all over the map. Some headlines claim that new research proves that honeybees are dying off because of pesticides, while others say honeybees are doing just fine. But reality is different than either scenario. Beekeepers surely have their challenges, but banning pesticide's won't help them or their bees.
Much of the media "bad news" comes from a recent Harvard University study, which some say proves that a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids are to blame for colony collapse disorder (CCD), a phenomenon in which bees leave the hive and never return.
If we don’t ban...
May 2, 2014European bureaucrats placed a two-year ban on a class of pesticides in the name of "protecting honeybees" when in fact, as one EU official recently admitted, they didn't have evidence that the chemicals present a serious threat to honeybee health. According to an article in Food Chemical News, the European Commission official admitted that the government banned the chemicals simply because it was "the only factor" that the commission could quickly regulate.
It's a case of "regulate first, think later." That's not only dumb; it's dangerous, because it threatens farmers' ability to provide affordable food and may harm honeybees rather than help them.
As noted in earlier posts (...
April 14, 2014A recently released study in Europe reports some good news about honeybee health, which should prompt public officials to reexamine a recent ban on some agricultural products. "It's the first major study of pests and diseases that affect honeybees. A lot of it seems very encouraging," honeybee researcher Tom Breeze, says in a Reuters news story.
The study examines honeybee populations in Europe after recent disappearances of entire bee colonies during the winter—a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder—which began in 2006 and has continued to be a problem with large losses reported after the winter of 2012-2013.
After hives suffered considerable losses in some places in Europe, the EU took a knee jerk response by...
April 7, 2014Log on to Twitter and you might read: "A vegetarian diet is associated with poorer health, a higher need for health care, and poorer quality of life." Here we have junk science going viral! And its fanning the flames between meat-eating and vegetarian advocates. But it shouldn't.
You can't really blame the person pushing out this tweet too much, however, because her source is a study published in a PLOS One research paper. It highlights some of the pitfalls associated with paying too much attention to isolated studies that rely on questionable methodology and overblown claims.
This study is another example of how junk science adversely impacts public policy debates, which is why I recently developed...
April 2, 2014Will these chemicals make me fat? That sounds like a weird question, but some consumers may actually have such worries, thanks to a constant barrage of news headlines suggesting that synthetic chemicals—an even some naturally occurring ones—are responsible for nearly every public health problem imaginable.
My website and CEI's recently released booklet, A Consumer's Guide to Chemical Risk: Deciphering the 'Science' Behind Chemical Scares,” are tools designed reduce both the confusion and fear about chemicals. These tools provide consumers with some insights on the science and the politics behind the headlines.
For example, when confronted with a new claim, consumers can evaluate the underlying science by asking the following...
March 28, 2014You won’t see the glory of human achievement if you abide by the World Wide Fund for Nature's recommendation that you spend an hour in the dark this Saturday night to allegedly "show your commitment to a better future." Rather than take that anti-technology approach, why not leave the lights on and celebrate human achievement, including a new invention that will help even blind people see?
Once only imagined in the 1970s TV series The Six Million Dollar Man or the 1990s Star Trek: The Next Generation, 2013 saw the introduction of real bionic eyes! Created by Second Sight Medical Products Inc...
March 20, 2014Anyone worried about honey bee survival should read the piece by Canadian beekeeper Lee Townsend in the Guelph Mercury newspaper. In recent years, beekeepers have seen some of their hives disappear without much explanation, a phenomenon referred to as"colony collapse disorder."
Green activists have used this situation to randomly initiate bans on various pesticide products in the name of saving the bees, and their latest target is a class of chemicals called neonicotinoids. But we can't help the bees if we continue to address the wrong causes. As Townsend points out, honey bees do just fine in many places where neonicotinoids are used, such as Canada. This...
March 4, 2014This month's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) contains a "research letter" on a "study" conducted by researchers at Harvard University that says:
Human exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) has been associated with adverse health outcomes ...we hypothesized that handling of thermal receipts significantly increases BPA exposure ... In this pilot study,we observed an increase in urinary BPA concentrations after continuously handling receipts for 2 hours without gloves, but no significant increase when using gloves.
And given these "findings" the headlines declare: