A few years ago, France's International Agency for Research on Cancer, a United Nations body with a checkered scientific and ethical history, used statistics to suggest that red meat was bad for health.

It was easy. All they had to do was gather together studies that used rows of foods to meet columns of diseases and create a statistical link. Since they didn't have to do any actual science, they were able to declare that bacon was just as dangerous as plutonium or World War I mustard gas.

To IARC, it's safer to drink glyphosate than to eat a hot dog

Here is IARC's technique. They publish a monograph that talks about the hazard of the product while writing media kits and doing Q&A sessions for journalists that talk about risk.(1) It's deceptive, it's unethical, and it's common. (2)

Skeptical people, and everyone should be skeptical, will ask a simple four word question when presented with the supernatural claim that some trace chemical or food is going to kill them and everyone else; where are the bodies?

Try it yourself: If formaldehyde in flooring is carcinogenic, where are the bodies? If the weedkiller glyphosate is carcinogenic, where are the bodies? Salt, sugar, meat, you name it and claims fail to pass a simple logical smell test. We'd have been extinct long ago if our bodies were not biologically adopted to process chemicals. And if you can 'detect it in urine' that means it isn't even in your body, because your body did its job in two ways.

Meat studies conflict so much they should be used at Antifa rallies

Yesterday, a paper in the journal Food  &  Function found that if you cut your red meat consumption in half, you'd get just as many health benefits as quitting it, while also yesterday a study found that it makes no difference at all because red meat is not harmful.

Which one should you believe? The one that looked at actual clinical trials.

Not, for example, one that looked at health issues of nurses and blamed red meat. Nor one that changed the diets of 46 people for a few weeks. Forget the one that says white meat is just as bad for you as red meat, because it is also just as good. And certainly do not believe that eating less meat will save us $2.6 trillion in pretend money.

Pick a food and you can find harm or benefit. And you will, if you are a blogger for WedMD or the New York Times.

Food frequency questionnaires should have EXPLORATORY in red across every page. 

All mouse studies and epidemiology are exploratory - that means they are interesting but lack human relevance - yet as the credibility of corporate science media has declined their credulity has increased. So we have respected journalists duped by activist campaigns into claiming 3 billion birds have died off due to pesticides and organic industry trade groups collaborating with trial lawyers to claim a weedkiller that acts on a biological pathway that doesn't exist in humans is responsible for tens of thousands of cancers.

But those wacky studies are downright rigorous when compared to observational studies about food that are at high risk for confounding yet still declare some miracle vegetable is saving us (or killing us, next year.)

And that's why the war on meat is about to end. The public now know spurious health claims using spurious correlations are not valid, and efforts to claim eating meat is bad for global warming deflated quickly. Environmentalists are so frazzled they can't even figure out what they stand for; they insisted we eat less meat but were then forced to turn on plant burgers because they use science.

They miss the 1980s, when all they had to do was write Fenton Communications a check and their press release claims would get on "60 Minutes." It's no longer easy to scare people about mercury in fish or claim that "evaporated cane juice" is not sugar. People eat more meat than ever, and people are healthier than ever. Science has been so good to us that in modern times even the poorest people can afford to be fat.

No one is going to say you should eat a diet of all red meat but the 1980s were the Golden Age for Food Woo - and they are long gone. Harvard scholars are desperately trying to shore up their food frequency questionnaire data dredging by shrieking about climate change and the precautionary principle. That is not science.

It is, however, the only time in recent memory Harvard nutritionists have told the public to "look beyond the sensational headlines" since creating those is how they get their next rounds of grants.

People now know that calories and exercise matter, not whether or not the calories are from meat. Anyone who claims otherwise is selling you something.


(1) Here they are talking about risk - 38 times. 

“An analysis of data from 10 studies estimated that every 50 gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by about 18%.”

“studies suggest that the risk of colorectal cancer could increase by 17% for every 100 gram portion of red meat eaten daily.”

Then, when criticized, they will weasel out and say their actual monographs don't talk about risk. 

(2) A journalist at Reuters looked at their chapter on glyphosate dealing with animal studies and noted that in 10 instances “a negative conclusion about glyphosate leading to tumors was either deleted or replaced with a neutral or a positive one.” The journalist has been targeted by environmental groups as "industry friendly" and they have mobilized dozens of politically allied groups to get her fired because she did her job.

(3) After New York City banned trans fats because they caused diabetes, diabetes went up in their city. And they left out that trans fats were replacements for saturated fats because statistical correlation claimed animal fat was causing ... diabetes. The reality is that trans fats in pie crust or donuts do not cause obesity, pies and donuts cause obesity. Your endocrines are also not being disrupted, nor will a drop of a chemical in 60 Olympic swimming pools change the sex of your child.

Sure, Conagra got rid of BPA in Manwich cans because of hype more recently but they replaced it with BPS and environmental efforts to scaremonger that have gone nowhere. Efforts to claim BPA causes lung wheezing smack of desperation.