Filed Under: Big Fat Lies Food Scares

Girl Scouts: A Cuter Al-Qaeda

In case you missed your morning dose of crazy, check out the column in yesterday’s New York Times entitled “Killer Girl Scouts.” Op-ed writer Nicholas Kristof frets: “I’ve been taking my daughter around the block lately, helping her unload Girl Scout cookies on obliging neighbors – and wondering whether we’re killing them.”

Kristof’s trouble is that some of the cookies sold by Girl Scouts contain trans fats, which he considers such a threat that he laments: “Girl Scout cookies are being sold by cherubs. If the sellers were Iranians with turbans and menacing frowns, then the authorities might be more alert to the dangers.” Elsewhere, Kristof alleges that trans fat, as found in Girl Scout cookies among many other foods, kills “far more Americans than Al Qaeda manages to.”

So where does he get off lumping Brownies in with terrorists? Kristof cites numbers claiming that 30,000 Americans or more die from trans fat consumption each year. The only problem with this number is that there isn’t any science to back it up. The 30,000-plus figure comes from Harvard’s Walter Willett (a former trans fat backer), whose estimate is more akin to a back-of-the-envelope guess than a rigorous scientific study.

All things considered, Kristof’s broadside against the Girl Scouts is just one more example of life imitating art. In this case, it’s our art that he’s imitating. Check out our award-winning “Lawyer Grills Girl, Sues Scouts” commercial to see what we mean.

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