Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


HuckleB's Journal
HuckleB's Journal
March 3, 2014

This is more bad propaganda.

Goodness. Please don't post such blatant BS.

Does Glyphosate Cause Celiac Disease? Actually, No!

February 23, 2014

Why I'm Not Worried About Yoga Mat Chemicals in My Food



Let's try to put the image of that blogger tearing a bite off of her yoga mat out of our minds, set aside our irrational chemophobia, and take more level-headed look at this chemical. Why is it in our food and how much harm is it doing?


Besides, as I said earlier, you don't actually ingest any azodicarbonamide when you eat bread made with it. During the mixing process, it breaks down into a compound called biurea, a comopund that is readily excreted from the body. Other byproducts include semicarbazide and ethyl carbamate.


If you're really concerned about your health, I suggest skipping the fast food joints altogether and making make more of your food at home, using whole foods. How about we try to eat less white bread and more fruits and vegetables? Let's make our peace with the fact that eating real food sometimes costs more and/or takes more time but is well worth the investment.

But above all, let's not waste our consumer power tilting at windmills and yoga mats. I think our energy and passion would be better spent pushing for meaningful reform of the Farm Bill, for example, or improving school lunch programs and nutrition curricula in our schools."

February 21, 2014

EU project to build lie detector for social media


"• New system set to be created to automatically verify online rumours

• The lie detector will be the first of its kind to automatically analyse, in real time, whether a piece of information is true or false

• This will allow journalists, governments, emergency services, health agencies and the private sector to respond more effectively to claims on social media


Mildly interesting. Or so I think.

February 17, 2014

Alas, it's not all it's cooked up to be.

The Return of the Revenge of High Dose Vitamin C for Cancer

The whole piece needs to be read. There's no way to copy and paste anything to just give a gist of it, but it does appear that this is another sad episode in the world of bad science journalism.

February 14, 2014

About Those Industry Funded GMO Studies . . .


"Let’s talk about those GMO funded studies. You know the ones. The ones you always hear about from Anti-GMO folks when you read the comment section for any story about GMOs. According to those folks, the whole scientific consensus on GMOs is based on those studies. According to peanut gallery, the only studies that show that GMOs pose no different risks than conventionally bred crops were all bought and paid for by Monsanto. That would make the consensus suspicious right? It would if there weren’t also a ton of independently funded studies that show the same thing.

Instead, what the complaints about industry funded studies show is an ignorance of the literature and a lazy desire to dismiss inconvenient evidence in order to preserve predetermined ideological commitments. It’s just plain old confirmation bias and motivated reasoning run amok.


When you start hollering "€˜Conflict of Interest"€™ before evaluating the evidence and analysis, it becomes a "€˜Get of Jail Free Card"€™. It becomes an excuse for discounting inconvenient evidence. Asking about conflicts of interest should be safeguard against getting snookered. Instead, it becomes a way to justify motivated reasoning. Awareness of conflict of interest should be a tool for explaining weak evidence and poor analysis. Instead it becomes an excuse for dismissing strong evidence and sound analysis. It leaves you lost in a hall of mirrors, surrounded by industry funded research, revolving door regulators, and defending bad research that confirms your biases. It leaves you lost in a fever swamp of paranoia without firm footing.

Examining the soundness of the evidence and the strength of the analysis must come first. Then you can decide whether questions of funding and loyalties are relevant. This is how you maintain a firm footing and hew to solid ground. This is how you can use awareness of conflicts of interest to avoid motivated reasoning. Otherwise you are only fueling the fire of your own biases."

A good read...
February 13, 2014

The Real Damage of Chemophobia



Chemophobia is an irrational fear of chemicals. It can (and has been) debated that the word itself creates more of the same irrational fear; that it drives the fear deeper by making it a point to ridicule. Whether that is true I'm not completely convinced. What I am convinced of is that an irrational fear of chemicals runs deeper every day. This fear is seemingly unchecked by the chemistry community at large. I don't mean we don't talk about it. We do. We talk plenty about it. But what are we doing about it?


The reason this is such a big deal has nothing to do with those individual products. The real damage of chemophobia comes when little by little the word "chemical" becomes a bad thing. The harm comes when people believe that if you can't pronounce an ingredient you should never put it in your body. Ingredients like thiomersal, monosodium glutamate (MSG), and formaldehyde. You'll find these ingredients in vaccines. Vaccines that save lives. Vaccines that - if avoided - will cost lives. So yes, chemophobia kills. I'm not just a pedantic chemist. An irrational fear leads to irrational decisions and every corporate concession legitimizes that fear. When General Mills goes against their own policy to appease the GMO free crowd they misinform the public. This misinformation leads to third-world countries banning GMO crops; the very crops that can help produce a thriving farming industry.

This is all very disheartening but I'm a perpetual optimist. I think chemophobia is something that can be overcome. If the Food Babe can bring about change in as little as 24 hours with one petition then so can we. I challenge organizations like the American Chemical Society to be more vocal about chemophobia. Do it in a way that educates. Do it in an open way, not behind a pay wall or trapped behind the safety of the chemistry blogosphere. Do it in a way that the American public won't be able to ignore. Do it in a way the American people will love you for. Chemistry doesn't need to be scary, but it doesn't need to be boring either. It won't be easy and it won't be cheap. But it is necessary and I think we can do it.


A rather good, quick read. Just say no to chemophobia!!!!

Profile Information

Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 35,773

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»HuckleB's Journal