On “Splenda Cancer” and other Junk Science Stories

March 12, 2016

How some would see a Splenda Spill
I was going to make a post expressing the various flaws in the recent Ramazzi Institute study but I found a far better written and well thought out article on Forbes by Emily Willingham showing some of the major flaws and omissions in the study.

Of Note according to information from the Author the 500 ppm Dosage was actually 60mg/kg Body weight which to me seems like a very odd translation of terms. Even still the 60mg/kg Bodyweight dosage is 12 times the recommended safe level for humans so the 20,000 ppm dosage is 480 times the recommended safe dosage Which for an Adult male in the 100kg weight range would be 240 grams of sucralose or about 8 ounces, keep in mind that a 1.2 pound bag has roughly the same sweetening power as 5 pounds of sugar. And even at these dosages the study is fairly junked based on the fact that cancer rates were anything but related to the amount of sucralose in the diet.

What I really want you the reader to consider in the future however is the fact that almost all of the journalists that have written stories on this subject are simply unaware of how to tell if a story may or may not be junk science and they have no vested interest in evaluating it. Journalists will publish stories like this one because it is a shocking headline and it seems like it comes from a legitimate source, its not like we have instances of rougue scientists fabricating studies causing major panics and health scares for decades afterward do we? Oh yeah there is that whole Autism caused by vaccines thing. And here we found ourselves 17 years after a junk study facing an outbreak of Measels in parts of the US for the first time in decades because a junk study was picked up by an ignorant press and spread. Did the journalists later issue retractions and warnings to parents to continue vaccinating their children, some probably did but there was no major sweeping phenomena so while the junk can spread like a plague(sometimes causing plagues itself) the truth is left to slowly filter out into the world.

I ask of you all Scientists, journalists, and readers to please take the time to actually look at the study and what was actually done, journalists please report actual numbers in your stories and actually look at the numbers, and Scientists please please do not create biased shocking headlines for a press release while hiding your study behind a paywall without letting the world know if your work has any actual merit. Because if you took every press release from every research group at face value everything causes cancer while sometimes curing and preventing cancer, we should have frozen in an iceage and drowned from sea level rise, while in the longest drought in history and the worst flood of all time. Some science is just Junk learn to smell it and call the “Scientists” hawking it out on their claims.

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