The Best and Worst News Stories of 2014

CCF_FacepalmBefore kicking off the New Year, we wanted to pause and reflect on a few memorable moments from 2014. We’ve rounded up the most radical activist rantings and the biggest junk-science flops of the year. Here are our picks for the top four news stories of 2014:

PETA allegedly steals and kills a family dog

Since 1998, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has “ethically” killed more than 33,000 animals. And this year, two PETA employees allegedly added yet another animal to its death toll: a Chihuahua named Maya.

In November, a man named Wilber Zarate shared a video from his family’s home security camera. The surveillance footage showed a van—branded with “PETA” on the side—back into his driveway. Two women then allegedly got out of the van, one of whom walked up to the porch, took Maya, and put the dog in the back of the vehicle. Zarate claims that two women from PETA returned to the house three days later, bearing a fruit basket and grave news: Allegedly, Maya had been euthanized.

If true, the allegations suggest that PETA is aggressively seeking out even more animals to put under its “care,” using four-wheel “rescue” vans to snatch and gratuitously dispatch our four-legged friends. Even for PETA, that’s a new low.

FDA Clears BPA… Again

Bisphenol-A (BPA), the chemical that makes plastic shatterproof and protects canned food from spoilage, has long been stigmatized by fear-mongering quacktivists—Even though the best, most credible science has consistently foundBPA safe since it was first used in products in the 1950s.

In February, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published its newest findings that BPA is safe in the journal Toxicological Sciences. It found that BPA caused no health effects at doses up to more than 70,000 times the usual human exposure. No changes in body weight, no effects on hormone levels, no changes in reproductive health as the junk-scientists have claimed. Dan Doerge, FDA scientist who worked on the study, said, “There really were no biologically significant changes observed at all.”

Anti-GMOist Says Advocates of Biotechnology are Nazis

According to Mike Adams (a.k.a. the “Health Ranger”) biotechnology is mass genocide and its advocates are Nazis. No joke. The conspiracy theory — explained back in July in a ridiculous and dangerous rant of a blog post at “” — is depraved enough to dismiss at face value. Not only should this offend anyone who suffered under the Nazi regime, this frightening escalation in rhetoric and threats should be condemned by anyone involved in this debate.

Disturbingly, Adams concluded the rant with an unnerving call to action. Citing the honoring of German army officers who tried and failed to kill Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, Adams wrote, “[I]t is the moral right—and even the obligation—of human beings everywhere to actively plan and carry out the killing of those engaged in the heinous crimes against humanity.”

Make no mistake: GIF technology could save millions of lives if scaremongering (and occasionally violent) activists did not prevent advances in GIFs developed for improved nutrition from going forward. It is Adams and his deranged disciples, not the scientific community, who have blood on their hands.

Dr. Oz Smack Down in the Senate

Mehmet Oz, once one of the nation’s top heart surgeons, has faced lots of well-deserved criticism in his role as daytime television host, promoter of unproven dietary supplements, and shill for “alternative” woo-medicine. In June, that criticism came from a high place: The United States Senate.

Testifying before a subcommittee on consumer protection, Dr. Oz admitted that much of his advice on weight-loss supplements isn’t backed up by sound science. Under questioning from Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, Oz conceded that “I recognize [some supplements] don’t have the scientific muster to present as fact.”

That brought a rebuke from McCaskill. The Senator dryly noted, “The scientific community is almost monolithically against you in terms of the efficacy of the three products you called miracles.”

A legacy of questionable advice, and then a Senate grilling show one thing clearly. The Dr. Oz Show is simply not credible.


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