In an Indepedendent article arguing that science journalism “standards are pretty high”, Jeremy Laurance discusses Goldacre’s critique of Denis Campbell’s recent Observer piece on DHA and children’s concentration. Laurance describes a trial which
showed that the fish oil “enhanced the function of those brain regions that are involved in paying attention”, as revealed by a brain scanner.
However, as Goldacre noted
It wasn’t a study of fish oil…but of omega-3 fatty acids derived from algae
Nom, algae. Continue reading
Sunday, March 14, 2009 published a CiF article by Kent Miller: The real agony of autism. It contained a common error about the MMR vaccine and mercury (UK thiomersal, US thimerosal):
A special US court overseeing a vaccination-liability fund recently ruled that the parents of an autistic girl, Michelle Cedillo, won’t get any money from it. The judge put a pretty firm kibosh on the argument that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine – or its mercury preservative, thimerosal – had caused Michelle’s disability.
Now, we have been round this topic with both the Guardian and The Observer on previous occasions. Continue reading
Last year some UK blogs complained vociferously about the Observer piece that unwisely, inaccurately and irresponsibly reported the shocking figure that 1 in 58 children in the UK has some form of autism.
So, it is no surprise that this figure is still cropping up around the world with new accretions. Enter Jenny McCarthy who is the new champion of parents of children with ASD. You can see her on talk shows, shouting at scientists to wild cheers from the audience and much approbation for slogans such as “[my son] is my science”. And revelations such as the enlightenment she gained from typing ‘autism’ into Google. Continue reading