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Beware of overzealous environmental regulators

In my latest Health News Digest article, I attack the fear-mongering regulators, who have used cancer as their favorite boogeyman for decades. For far too long, people are our side of the debate have attempted to use science to promote our argument.

However, there are several problems with this...

1.    It has almost never worked. Indeed, it hasn't worked since Silent Spring was published in 1962.

2.    "Science" is in the eye of the beholder, with far too many scientists—especially in academia—being chemophobes themselves.

3.    Given the state of public awareness of scientific principles, an appeal to emotions will always win out. Or, as we say in marketing, if the choice is between cerebral or limbic, choose limbic every time! Despite more than 6,000 papers on BPA for example, and its being given a clean bill of health again and again, the fear entrepreneurs continue to use it successfully for fund raising.

Instead of lame calls to "Science," we should invoke the very same Precautionary Principle always touted by the other side. That is, if a particular widely used chemical is to be effectively banned by the regulators, only to be replaced by some compound with not nearly the same amount of history, the burden of proof that there will be no harm caused by such action is theirs.

Read the complete article.


Ernest Curtis

Wonderful article. Of course almost any chemical can be shown to be carcinogenic in some species of animal if large enough doses are given. These "studies" generally employ levels of exposure that no human could possibly get in several lifetimes. The environmentalists then use them to promote their real agenda--making life more miserable for the rest of us. Love the way you turned the Precautionary Principle back on the environmental zealots.

Michael Shaw


Thanks for the encouragement. The HND piece was inspired by actions by German regulators on ethylene oxide.

Since the Precautionary Principle is LAW in the EU, it is our best shot. Now, all I have to do is convince the rest of the trade association.

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