Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Another Study Falsely Reported by Media

Junkfoodscience does it again reporting on how studies say one thing and the media reporting on those studies say something else. The post says:
Headlines read: “Maternal obesity heightens risk of birth defects” (Washington Post) and “Maternal obesity prior to pregnancy associated with birth defects” (JAMA Press Release). We were told a study found: “Women who were obese before they became pregnant had a higher risk of having babies with certain birth defects, including missing limbs, malformed hearts and underdeveloped spinal cords.”

More accurate reporting (and what women should have heard) would have been: “Maternal "obesity" was not found to be associated with higher risks for birth defects.”
Ever since Rachel Carson claimed that the studies of Dr. James DeWitt showed DDT to cause eggshell thinning in birds when his studies actually showed no such thing, the practice of deliberately misleading the public by claiming a study to say one thing when it in fact doesn't, has become very wide spread.

Obviously, this is another glaring example of how government encouragement of science leads to a re-orientation of scientists from a devotion to truth to a devotion to government policy. That this re-orientation is championed by the likes of the Washington Post and JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) testifies that the media ideal of speaking truth to power has been abandoned. Like Ayn Rand observed, science is becoming "indifferent to the issue of truth or falsehood."
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