Filed Under: Biotechnology Food Scares

Anti-Science Kooks Strike Again

The Hill AdWe frequently note that the crusade against genetically improved foods (GIFs), or GMOs, by activists requires activist groups to deny a scientific consensus that GIFs are no less safe than conventional foods. After all, if there’s no public health issue, what good reason is there for a legally mandated label? Perhaps unsurprisingly, GIF science isn’t the only science that many of these activists reject—and just like their denial on GIFs, these other denials also put people’s health at risk.

Consider the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), whose lobbying arm the Organic Consumers Fund was among the leading six-figure donors to the effort to place warning labels on GIFs in Washington State. When not scaring people about GIFs, OCA is scaring its readers about fluoride added to the water supply to promote dental health.

Now, just about every reputable medical and dental organization in the United States — including the American Dental Association, the American Medical Association, and the Centers for Disease Control — endorse the proper addition of fluoride to drinking water to prevent tooth decay. But like the overwhelming scientific consensus on GIF safety, that isn’t enough for OCA.

Instead, OCA agrees with fellow GMO labeling mega-funder Joseph Mercola—a discreditable anti-vaccine scaremonger—who claims that water fluoride causes all sorts of illnesses. (Health advocates have called these claims a “big lie.”) Mercola—who is an osteopath, not a medical doctor—has a longstanding history of denying important findings of medical science. In addition to denying the benefits of fluoridation and scaring people about vaccines, Mercola has promoted the notion that cancer is a “fungus.” (For whatever it’s worth, the National Cancer Institute asserts that cancer tumors are caused by damage to cell genetics, not fungi.)

Hilariously, if you enter the link to Mercola’s cancer nonsense into a web browser (the link above goes to a preserved page in the Web Archive), you are redirected to a conspiratorial scaremongering page about GIFs (specifically the 2012 campaign to put warning labels on them in California). So apparently Mercola is embarrassed about some of his science denial—at least if it can serve his other science-denying schemes.

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