Originally published September 24 2010
Have you noticed mainstream health news getting crazier lately?
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
(NaturalNews) Mark your calendars. This week goes down in history as the most bizarre health news weeks in the history of the mainstream media. I've noticed more truly strange and illogical health stories this week from the conventional press than ever before, and I'll share a few of those with you below.
Bizarre health news story #1 - You can get fat by standing next to fat peopleU.S. News & World Report, the Los Angeles Times and even the Wall Street Journal all reported this week that obesity is contagious. If you stand next to fat people, you might "catch" their fat-ness, they reported.
It gets even better: This "contagious obesity" is caused by a cold virus, they reported, and someday there may be a "treatment" for it. Care to guess what that treatment will be? Try not to laugh when you read this: A vaccine for obesity!
Yep. Seriously. "Did you get your fat shots this year? Cuz if you don't get your fat shots, you might get fat!"
I mean, why not? They've got everybody fooled with the flu season vaccines which are worthless. Why not promote fat vaccines, too? Then they can point to all the people who are obese and say, "You didn't get your vaccine, did you?" And this is how junk science becomes mainstream medical mythology.
By the way, to make this story even more hilarious, check out the Los Angeles Times which reported these two stories only ONE day apart:
Story #1) "More evidence links a virus to obesity..." (http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/21/news...) (meaning you can catch obesity from people around you)
Story #2) "Having a heavier college roommate may mean you won't gain that much weight" (http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/l...) (meaning that if your roommate is obese, you will be thinner)
These two stories are, of course, contradictory. Yet they appear in the same newspaper just one day apart. Now, granted, the LA Times is a large paper, and sometimes it's difficult for the right hand to know what the left hand is doing, but if the paper had its B.S. sensor operating as it should, it never would have published the "obesity is contagious" story in the first place.
Bizarre health news story #2 - Vaccines prevent heart attacks!This is being reported by The Telegraph UK, The Independent and even The American Council on Science and Health, all of which reported that flu shot vaccines might "lower the risk of heart attacks." This was based on a laughably flimsy study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).
The laughable part is that this study didn't even look at whether vaccines could lower heart attack risk in the first place.
As Dr. Kirk Garratt, associate director of the division of cardiac intervention at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City explains, "This study did not measure risk of heart attack in vaccinated and non-vaccinated people. It measured rates of vaccination among heart attack patients and those without heart attack."
This quote, by the way, is from a Businessweek / Healthday article which actually does a decent job of asking intelligent questions about the study (http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/conten...).
Ah, so you see, the study only measured whether heart attack patients choose to get vaccinated more frequently than non-patients. And yet from that, the mainstream media wildly distorted the study, pulling statistics so far out of context that the final published result is all but meaningless.
Of course flu shot vaccines don't prevent heart attacks. Or if they statistically did, it might only be because vaccines just kill people from neurological damage before they can suffer a heart attack anyway, thereby reducing the number of heart attacks in vaccinated patients because corpses don't suffer heart attacks.
For the record, both Reuters and Businessweek (Healthday) did a solid job reporting this story, actually expressing a fair amount of skepticism at the findings, unlike other mainstream papers that got suckered into an utterly false conclusion based on truly shoddy pseudoscientific thinking.
Bizarre health news story #3 - Honest labeling might confuse you!As the GM salmon fiasco unfolds at the FDA, where scientists have found themselves lost in a highly technical discussion of things that don't matter while ignoring the really important questions, we've learned that if genetically modified salmon is approved by the FDA, it won't be labeled as such.
And here's the real kicker: The biotech industry claims that labeling GM foods would just "confuse" consumers. Information, you know, can be so darned difficult to comprehend. All those words!
David Edwards, the director of animal biotechnology at the Biotechnology Industry Organization, explained in this way: "Extra labeling only confuses the consumer," he says.
Seriously? So labeling GM salmon with the words "GENETICALLY MODIFIED SALMON" would confuse people?
Not really. It would, however, cause virtually everyone to not buy the salmon, which is precisely why they don't want it honestly labeled as such.
But here's the best part: Edwards goes on to say "[Labeling] differentiates products that are not different."
Seriously? GM salmon isn't different from regular salmon? Then why are they growing it? Why does it need FDA approval to enter the food supply? And why is all the technology used to create GM salmon patented if it's no different?
What part of "modified" in the phrase "genetically modified" does David Edwards not comprehend? If you MODIFY something, then it's DIFFERENT.
(It is at times like this that I wonder if you and I have all been magically teleported to a world run by idiots, and we are burdened with the lifelong task of pointing them all out...)
The FDA, for its part, says that requiring honest labeling of GM salmon would be "illegal" and so it can't require such labels. This is all revealed in a Businessweek article you can find here: http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/conten...
So let me translate these astonishing quotes for you in plain language. What the biotech industry is saying is that we're all too stupid to understand the words "genetically modified" and that placing such words on a product would just "confuse us."
And the FDA says placing a "genetically modified" label on genetically modified fish would be illegal!
Therefore, the only solution is to leave all consumers in the dark and hope nobody notices.
More bizarre news?The first two examples in this story referred to really bad reporting. The third example was about good reporting on bizarre statements made by people of influence who are trying to stuff genetically modified foods down our throats.
Now, in no way am I attempting to characterize all mainstream media reporters as doing a poor job. In fact, there is evidence that some reporters are actually getting smarter because they're starting to question the lies of Big Pharma and the FDA.
The mainstream media is a mixed bag, of course, but there are some emerging examples of solid reporting on health issues that you'll notice if you pay attention. The New York Times, Washington Post and even Reuters often do a fair job of health reporting, even if they are occasionally suckered into some ridiculous press announcement by a so-called "scientific medical journal" pushing the latest scam in Big Pharma's disease mongering play book.
Hint: PLoS remains the single most trustworthy mainstream medical journal of all, in my opinion, as it takes no advertising money from Big Pharma or biotech companies.
Virtually all mainstream media outlets have bought into the pseudoscientific "get your flu shot" quackery, of course. That's something most journalists write about without even engaging their skeptical brains in the least. Maybe they should read the actual science next time instead of engaging in knee-jerk journalism: http://www.naturalnews.com/029641_vaccines_j...
Still, things seem to be improving. For one thing, mainstream media companies are frequently out-maneuvered by independent online news and blog sites such as the one you're reading now, and they realize if they don't start speaking to the real needs of real people rather than pandering to the slanted interests of their corporate advertisers, they risk becoming irrelevant virtually overnight. So many are trying to take steps to be increase their "information-to-B.S." ratio.
Getting caught publishing ridiculous health news stories from time to time doesn't help their case, of course, and this week we saw a lot of big names in the mainstream media look pretty darned stupid on the health news front.
But hey, maybe it's contagious. Maybe you can catch "bad reporting disorder" by standing next to other mainstream journalists at an industry lecture or something.
Don't worry, there will soon be a vaccine for that, too. And when it comes out, I'm sure it will be covered in all seriousness by U.S. News & World Report.
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