Thursday, 17 November 2011

When will journalists start looking at the evidence?


Every now and then a ray of hope breaks through the dour, New Puritan gloom. For a fleeting moment I feel a little progress towards freedom is made, I read something that makes me think the masters are listening to ordinary people. Sometimes I even hope that people will take note of some real evidence before launching into another promotional story for the Church of Public Health.

And then I read this in my local newspaper:

Mouth cancer patients spoke out yesterday to warn others of the dangers of smoking and using smokeless tobacco.

All well and good except for one small thing – much available evidence suggests there is no strong link between the use of smokeless tobacco and oral cancers. OK, I hear you say, was the journalist aware of this? She was because I had provided her with this:

Snus (Swedish soft snuff) use was independently associated with increased risk of pancreatic cancer (relative risk for ever-users of snus 2.0; 95% CI 1.2-3.3, compared with never-users of any tobacco), but was unrelated to incidence of oral (0.8, 95% CI 0.4-1.7) and lung cancer (0.8, 0.5-1.3).

Yet the opportunity to present an informative, balanced report on mouth cancer was spurned in favour of yet another “tobacco is evil” presentation courtesy of the Church of Public Health.

I shall continue to provide information setting out real evidence rather than the emotive pseudo-evidence from the “health chiefs” – one day my local paper might just take some notice.

I live in hope.



Pat Nurse MA said...

You may then be interested in what the BMA oncologist says here about smoking and health and the BMA's wild claim of smoking in cars which they have now retracted because the study they relied on was never done.

Anonymous said...

A lot of problems with incorrect or purpose false interpretations of science, factual, legitimate or of the junk science variety, and the subsequent mis-use of that data, true or manipulated/false, in order to justify continued financing of fake-charities serving unnecessary-causes and resulting in unnecessary growth of government, taxes and limiting personal freedoms and liberties has an awful lot to do with a journalism profession that has proven itself to be extremely deficient in the critical thinking area and negligent in the realm of actual research and investigation into the facts of certain matters. It is a worthwhile cause for anyone and everyone who has knowledge, information and the foresight to realize that false information is once again being produced by the substandard journalism profession in this country or elsewhere in the world, to continue bringing it to their attention, over and over and over and over again - until eventually they might "get it" and realize they need to get off their behinds and begin doing what journalists did in the past, which is ask relevant and important questions, not taking anything for truth just because "experts say so", without investigating first. It is a shame what modern journalism has turned itself into.