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National Post - Lipstick, apples & sperm counts

Published: 14 Jun 2011

Apples contaminated by pesticides. Lipstick filled with heavy metals. Carcinogens in the water. Sperm counts that don't add up. Welcome to our 13th annual Junk Science Week event, dedicated to exposing the scientists, NGOs, activists, politicians, journalists, media outlets, cranks and quacks who manipulate science data to achieve their objectives.

Apples contaminated by pesticides. Lipstick filled with heavy metals. Carcinogens in the water. Sperm counts that don't add up. Welcome to our 13th annual Junk Science Week event, dedicated to exposing the scientists, NGOs, activists, politicians, journalists, media outlets, cranks and quacks who manipulate science data to achieve their objectives. Our standard definition is that junk science occurs when scientific facts are distorted, risk is exaggerated and the science adapted and warped by politics and ideology to serve another agenda.

The EWG's notoriety as a purveyor of junk science has not deterred the media from regurgitating its claims. The group's work spreading false alarms about chemicals in cosmetics earned it praise from Joseph Schwarcz, head of McGill University's Office for Science and Society.

"EWG does have some expert consultants, but its greatest expertise lies in garnering publicity for its pronouncements about toxins in our environment. The group also has expertise in the construction business, at least when it comes to making mountains out of molehills."

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