In the past, you may have seen various 'we detected X in urine' papers written by suspect names like homeopathy believer Phil Landrigan and endorsed by organic industry apologist Chuck Benbrook.

What do such claims even mean? In science, nothing. We can detect anything in anything in the last 20 years, but lawyer-created groups like Heartland Health Research Alliance Ltd are ready to help the litigators who fund them sue "at the drop of a rat" so any detection in humans - bonus points if they can claim pregnant women - of any chemical that can kill a mouse at 10,000 times a real-world dose is going to get a teary press release sent to the New York Times.

How do they get away with it exploiting journalists when scientists see through it immediately? In the past, I have written about the well-established methodology they use; they first recruit a prominent allied scholar to be the lead author of a paper whose results are known in advance. Then they recruit others to write papers citing the first while the first is in editorial at a journal. Once papers cite the original journal article, even if it is in some pay-to-publish predatory outlet, a press release goes out claiming "emerging evidence"