[Editor’s note: Alex Berezow is Senior Fellow of Biomedical Science at the American Council on Science and Health. He holds a Ph.D. in microbiology.]
America’s new obsession with detecting and correcting fake news is good for democracy. The future of our republic depends on a properly informed electorate.
Likewise, our health depends on us being properly informed about science. Therefore, we should extend the war on fake news to banish unscientific buzzwords and health fads. Here are 10 from my new book, Little Black Book of Junk Science:
“Chemical-free” products. Everything is a chemical. Literally everything: the air you breathe, the water you drink, the newspaper you’re holding in your hand. Nothing is “chemical-free.” In popular culture, the word “chemical” is often used by activists who are ignorant of chemistry and toxicology to scare the public about their food and the environment.
“Natural is better.” The widespread myth that “natural is better” underlies everything from alternative medicine to the organic food movement. It’s the poster child for junk science. Smallpox, HIV, arsenic, poison ivy, rattlesnakes and scorpions are all natural, while many beneficial medicines are not.
Organic food. Organic food is a gigantic scam. Despite marketing claims, $12 bananas aren’t healthier, tastier, more nutritious or better for the environment. Organic farmers also use pesticides, though they are quite content letting the public believe otherwise. Because organic farming is inefficient, we could not feed the world using it alone.
[To view the full list, click the link below]
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