Monday, October 28, 2013

An Alarmist Vocabulary: Chemical Is “Linked To,” “Study Suggests,” “Consistent With

by Angela Logomasini on October 28, 2013
Headlines continue to appear to claiming that a recent study has shown that the chemical bisphenol A increases the risk of miscarriage, which I addressed in a Forbes article last week. There are many problems with this research, such as the fact that it is not available in a published, peer-reviewed format. Check out my piece here for more details.
This issue raises a bigger concern about the state of science today, particularly when the research is related to chemical safety. Reliance on hard facts, scientific standards, and cautious conclusions seems to be withering away. Even well-school researchers have become involved in the game of activism and alarmism, using carefully chosen rhetoric to generate headlines and fear based on inconclusive and largely meaningless studies and even unpublished research.
There are some terms that should make you wary. Key among them are headlines that condemn a chemical because a study “links it” to or “suggests” its a problem or simply because the study is “consistent with” other equally unimpressive studies or even mere theories. Researchers increasingly use these phrases to describe weak statistical associations and weak studies that are often too small to provide much value......To Read More....

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