Junkfood Science: <i>From the recommended reading file:</i> Scare Science

February 16, 2007

From the recommended reading file: Scare Science

Steven Milloy, an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and publisher of JunkScience.com has written a thoughtful article in the New York Post that urges us to think critically about scary things in the news as, far more often than not, they’re driven by political agendas and their claims are way ahead of the facts....

Scare Science: When Facts Don’t Matter

...The media rashly attributed [Cesar A] Borja's death from pulmonary fibrosis to his supposed work at Ground Zero in the immediate aftermath of the Twin Towers collapse. Exploiting the political opportunity, Sen. Hillary Clinton took Borja's son to the Jan. 23 State of the Union Address. The son then met with President Bush, who was allegedly inspired to add $25 million to the federal budget for health care for 9/11 rescue workers.... Contrary to early reports, Borja wasn't a 9/11 responder....As it turns out, Borja was also a pack-a-day smoker until the mid-'90s - smoking being a significant risk factor for pulmonary fibrosis.

...But facts and science matter little in the face of the larger health-scare industry, which seeks to medicalize life experiences into various "syndromes" and epidemics, usually associated with politically incorrect events and entities such as the military, chemicals, fast food and industry.

New York City's trans-fat ban, Agent Orange, Gulf War Syndrome, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, obesity, childhood cancer caused by power lines, breast cancer on Long Island caused by pesticides, World Trade Center syndrome - you name the health scare - have all been promoted with utter disregard for science and facts by the health-scare mob, aided in lage part by a complicit or gullible media.

We pay a high price for these scares - one that can go beyond strained nerves and the tens of billions of taxpayer and consumer dollars wasted annually.

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