1. A recent small experiment of "ultraprocessed" foods (arbitrarily defined as five or more ingredients including flavor-enhancing additives, dyes, or stabilizers) led the authors to conclude that this ultraprocessed food forced people to eat 500 calories more per day even though the participants did not say the food was better. 

We're seeking a critical look at the origin of this ultraprocessed designation and why it was created to separate itself from the older processed food claim, which was tripped up when food activists tried to get food labeling laws on processed food only to discover that would include all bread.  Requirement: RD or Ph.D.

Fee: $200

2. Fred vom Saal, chief advocate for the belief that there is a u-shaped curve for chemicals - they can harm you at high levels and trace levels but not normal levels - has a new paper out claiming that the inability of biologists, chemists and toxicologists to detect harm might be because it leaps generations. It doesn't affect an organism but rather their offspring. And as an example he used  Oryzias latipes - Japanese rice fish. The sources are the go-to people for these claims (Tyrone Hayes,Tillitt - a coauthor here, etc.). Somehow they could reproduce normally in space but not if they are near a golf course where a product vom Saal campaigns against is used.

 

Like endocrine disruption, which is still attributed to everything 20 years later, epigenetics is the go-to blanket hypothesis that may never die.  We'd like a critical look at this methodology in the context of 15 years of efforts to try and show harm for the herbicide the authors target again. 

Requirement: Ph.D. toxiciologist or biologist

Fee: $300

3. Surfactants are the problem, not the chemicals. 

Activists stymied by an inability to get traction for claims that approved pesticides are harmful have changed tactics and begun claiming that it's surfactants that may be the reason why scientists can't find harm. This paper debunks that but we'd like a consumer level overview of what the study involves and whether or not it shoulf be consired definitive.

 Requirement: Ph.D. chemist or toxiciologis

Email writingatscience20dotcom with questions.