IARC Is Disconnected From Reality - That's Why Its Next Director Shouldn't Be An Epidemiologist



If you read corporate media journalism articles about epidemiology in the United States, you are not wrong for distrusting science more than ever. Using nothing more than statistics, every week some new trace chemical is an "endocrine disruptor", strawberries are bad for you (unless they're organic) and cell phones are causing cancer.

It's nonsense, of course, but that is what statistics can do. As Dr. Stan Young, nationally renowned statistics expert and member of the American Council on Science and Health Board of Scientific Advisors notes in his talks, if you flip a coin 61 times you are almost certain to get heads 5 times in a row. So heads being thrown has a p-value of .05. If you put in disease outcomes instead of heads or tails then have 140 foods as inputs you have all kinds of things that can cause or cure cancer. 

The International Agency for Research on Cancer was founded in 1965 with the goal of finding out what was hazardous to our health. But such epidemiology has become so bastardized that the phrase "hazardous to your health" has become synonymous with "harmful", which is not true at all. If I tell you a chemical in Scotch can kill you, that would alarm you. But if I then tell you that you'd need to drink 10,000 shots of Scotch all at once, you'd dismiss it. IARC hazard claims leave out that last part. They consider five orders of magnitude for exposure as equally hazardous. So one shot of whisky is equal to 10,000.

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