Elizabeth “never met a toxic chemical I didn’t like” Whelan of ACSH fame posted on HuffPo Wed. an interesting little post that ripped the EPA for funding a study to figure out if/what environmental factors among children, over their childhood, contributed to their disease. To sum up her argument, there is no link so why are we wasting the money. Now, isn’t that putting the cart before the horse. She also says there is no toxicological evidence that children are more susceptable to toxicants. Um, ozone? breathing particulate matter? Phthalates? Cough and cold medicine to be up to the minute?
Mark over at Denialism asked me to chime in on ACSH a while ago (alas I was traveling and didn’t see it right a way). Better late than never, though. Instead of spending days ripping everything ACSH has said (no one has that much, time there’s two much source material!) let’s do the short version and you can decide if this is someone you want to trust.
Whelan has called the DDT ban one of the 20 worst unfounded health scares of the 20th century.
ACSH had a report in the early 90s saying there was no link between heart disease and a high fat and cholesterol diet.
My favorite quotes by Whelan:
“no such thing as ‘junk food,’ ”
“There is insufficient evidence of a relationship between diet and any disease.”
“Was there ever any real health problem at Love Canal? Yes, there was, in the sense that there was an enormous amount of media-induced stress placed on residents who were terrified that they and their children would become ill.”
He, he, he. You see? It’s so bad it’s funny. Let’s move on:
They also see no problem with PFOA, PCBs, endocrine disruptors that are currently changing male fish into females in our rivers, global warming, and formaldehyde (!).
Now how could an organization come up with all this? Take a look at their funding. Hmmmm…not that funding from a certian place makes you say the wrong things but getting fat at the overflowing industry trough seems to explain a lot. And they use the word terror a lot for people that are supposed to be calming you down. Could it be that they are doing their own scare-mongering? As the ex-employee Adam Lieberman who published a confessional in Mother Jones said on the rBST issue:
I was placed in the position of suggesting that the future of society was in jeopardy if consumers rejected the use of the fat substitute olestra or the milk-producing growth hormone rBST in cows
I shall conclude with two other blog statements that I quite like.
ACSH, a notorious industry whorehouse, regularly puts out “don’t worry, be happy” stories for their corporate johns. They are the subject of an earlier post here that the real health hazard in New York City is bicyclists. Enough said.
And The Pump Handle:
We agree with the apochryphal story by Mary OBrien about a group of women considering walking across the rocks to cross a river: Elizabeth Whelan is like the risk assessor advising the women that, based on her calculations, the risk of crossing the river is very small. She gets mad when the women refuse to take her advice and walk across the rocks. When she asks the women why, they point to a bridge just upstream.
Oh and their Medical Director is a felon convicted for….you guessed it, FRAUD.
Hat tip to Amanda sending the HuffPo article.
Update: I thought I should disclose my own financial interests – none. Other interests: uh, I care about people’s health.