Uncritical mainstream media, ill-informed about genuine research, too often amplify poorly done "science."
A study published in July by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory suggested that consumption of canned food raised levels of supposedly harmful bisphenol A (BPA) in human urine.
But active levels of BPA could not be detected in blood. A top endocrinologist said that effectively made rodent studies showing adverse BPA effects irrelevant for humans, Trevor Butterworth writes for Forbes.
Yet The New York Times called a Nov. 22 Harvard University study -- which found similar BPA levels in urine but didn't measure BPA in blood -- "the first" to measure BPA from canned food. And despite both The Times and a Harvard-study author seeming unaware of the earlier study, it let her speculate that Harvard's findings likely apply to canned goods beyond the soup it tested.
Partially funding the Harvard study, Mr. Butterworth notes, was "the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, which has a truly remarkable track record of funding almost all the scare studies on BPA ... ."
Ignoring valid prior findings, reports such as The Times' on studies such as Harvard's baselessly frighten the public.
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