Thursday, January 28, 2016

January 26-27, 2016::End of the day round-up (pg 3)

Two good resources to have to counter a fairly popular meme and article, both of which are faulty.  Although the same information is tackled, slightly differing approaches.
Debunking “10 scientific studies proving GMOs can be harmful to human health”
I recently stumbled across an article titled “10 Scientific Studies Proving GMOs Can Be Harmful To Human Health.” This article was written by Collective Evolution, which is a site that is right up there with Natural News and for being unreliable and laughably inaccurate. Nevertheless, many people trust the information provided therein; therefore, I am going to carefully consider the 10 papers that they presented, and I will demonstrate that none of them actually prove that GMOs can be dangerous, and, as usual, that Collective Evolution has ignored the rules of logic and science, and has misconstrued the evidence to suit their preconceived biases. It’s always important to remember that not all peer-reviewed papers are trustworthy, and you should always critically evaluate them to make sure that they were done properly.
10 studies proving GMOs are harmful? Not if science matters
Activists often cite the alleged potential health risks of genetically modified foods. One recent example of this—”10 Scientific Studies Proving GMOs Can Be Harmful To Human Health“, posted on—outlines many familiar concerns and points in each case to “credible scientific studies that clearly demonstrate why GMOs should not be consumed”.

Are these concerns credible? What do the studies cited actually claim?
There is no way to introduce this article.  We once again have deceptive, although legal, tactics being used by anti-abortionists.  The title sums up what is occurring quite well.

The Miseducation of California Nurses: Legal Loophole Enables Spread of Anti-Choice Medical Myths
A single 2012 paper in Annals of Pharmacotherapy claimed to have reversed the medication abortions of four of six women included in the study.

A medication abortion, typically performed early in a pregnancy, involves the administration of two pills: mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone blocks receptors for the hormone progesterone, causing the embryo to detach from the uterine wall, while misoprostol causes the uterus to contract and expel the pregnancy. The FDA-approved treatment, according to the Guttmacher Institute, accounts for more than one-quarter of abortions before nine weeks.

But by administering dosages of the hormone progesterone after mifepristone, anti-choice doctors claim they can “reverse” an abortion.

Experts say the six cases cited in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy paper are insufficient to draw conclusions. ACOG, a professional organization of 58,000 OB-GYNs and women’s health-care professionals, is dismissive of the purported treatment.

“There is really no clear evidence that this works,” said Dr. Daniel Grossman, ACOG fellow and director of Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, a research group at the University of California, San Francisco, in an interview with MedPage Today about the “science” behind abortion pill reversal.
California is something of a standard-bearer for reproductive rights. The state in recent years passed a law allowing women to obtain birth control from pharmacists and has forced crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), faith-based facilities that often masquerade as abortion clinics, to make disclosures about the availability of abortion care and birth control services. And in what may serve as a model for municipalities nationwide, San Francisco demands truth in advertising for CPCs, which frequently use misinformation to dissuade women from ending their pregnancies.

Heartbeat International, in contrast, is known for its nationwide billboards—“Pregnant? Scared? Need Help? Call us…”—designed to ensnare women seeking abortions. The Ohio-based organization is the umbrella group for 1,800 CPCs on six continents with the singular goal of “saving babies.”

That Heartbeat International is teaching nurses about abortion pill reversal capitalizes on something of a loophole in California law.
“We do not approve courses, we only approve the providers,” Sprigg said in a phone interview with RH Reality Check.

Gaining approval appears to be almost a slam dunk. Figures provided by the California Board of Registered Nursing indicate that from 2012 to 2014, it received 764 applications and approved 82 percent. The board doesn’t outright deny applications, an agency spokeswoman explained in an email, but instead rates applicants as deficient, giving them up to two years to remedy any shortcomings needed to gain approval.

Once approved, providers essentially police themselves. Audits are rare and officials said they have never audited Heartbeat International, or two other major anti-choice providers, Care Net and the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, whose applications were approved years ago when Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor.
Was Dr. Asperger A Nazi? The Question Still Haunts Autism
The publication of a new history of autism called In a Different Key, by John Donvan and Caren Zucker, has reopened an unsettling question about the pioneering Viennese pediatrician Hans Asperger: Was he a Nazi sympathizer, or a man who paid lip service to his bosses' murderous ideology in order to save the lives of as many of his young patients as possible?

The implications of this question are far-reaching, because Asperger's work on autism at the University of Vienna in the 1930s was ignored for decades after the war. That had a catastrophic impact on autistic people and their families, and on the course of autism research. The controversy also gets to the heart of the difficulty of accurately judging the behavior of people living under brutal regimes, particularly decades after the fact.

In Donvan and Zucker's view, Asperger was an ambitious opportunist who uncritically spouted Nazi ideology in his first public lecture on autism in 1938, and enthusiastically signed letters "Heil Hitler!" Most devastatingly, he signed a letter of referral effectively condemning a little girl with encephalitis named Herta Schreiber to death in a Vienna rehab facility that had been converted into a killing center by Asperger's former colleague, Erwin Jekelius.

"[O]rganic food is 'always' better at Whole Foods" WTF,,,How does that statement even make sense?

Another debacle I am watching from afar,,,

Why some Michigan politicians say the Flint water crisis is a hoax
In the interview cited by Patterson, Ballenger said his own blood tests hadn’t revealed elevated levels of lead and he wondered whether the crisis was a hoax, according to the Free Press. He argued that the crisis was instead perpetuated by politicians and members of the media “with an ax to grind.”

“The idea that the entire population of Flint has been poisoned and that we all have elevated blood-levels because of this is just a total canard,” Ballenger told WJR’s Frank Beckmann. “It’s just a crock, and for this to be perpetuated as a story is doing a lot of damage to Flint as a community.”

Ballenger didn’t deny that some people — namely dozens of children — have been exposed to lead poisoning, but he questioned how severity of the contamination and its origin in a subsequent radio interview that aired Tuesday, according to CBS affiliate WWJ.

“It’s like two to three percent of the population, it is very unclear in many instances whether it came from the Flint River or if it came from other sources … and a lot more study needs to be done,” Ballenger said. “I live [in Flint] half the week. I’ve been drinking the water consistently without a filter all during this past two years when all this controversy has risen and I have no effect from drinking the water — myself, my neighborhood doesn’t, nobody in the neighborhood does.”

Ballenger also told the Free Press that a three to five-year study would be necessary before anyone jumped to conclusions.

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