Brownies are ‘dangerous’ and should be regulated like alcohol and tobacco?

That’s what an op-ed in the New York Times says.

The “sugar is toxic” scare is junk science-fueled. Every “study” claiming sugar is toxic can be easily dismantled dues to its poor quality/cherry-picked data and statistical malpractice.

The op-ed authors’ “study,” claimed to be dispositive on the subject, is not a scientific study at all. At best it can be described as a biased literature review.

Despite wild claims to the contrary, there is no evidence that moderate sugar consumption adversely affects healthy people. Sugar consumption does not cause disease.

It is unfortunate that hacks and quacks prey upon our the general public’s fears and ignorance to boost their twisted personal agendas.

Click for the NYTimes op-ed.

13 thoughts on “Brownies are ‘dangerous’ and should be regulated like alcohol and tobacco?”

  1. Heh, it’s a close race. As you watch Lustig wrap up his opening short statement you can have fun watching all the “wise nods of agreement” in the little group on set with him! LOL!

  2. Another egregious example of political correctness trumping honest scientific inquiry. These same journals are full of some of the junkiest of junk science on the alleged deleterious effects of second hand smoke. Although a nonsmoker myself and having always advised my patients not to smoke, I am adamantly opposed to any of the totalitarian measures put into place to restrict people’s free choice in this matter. In the foreword to my book, “The Cholesterol Delusion”, I stated that one of the main things that motivated me to write the book was what I had observed in the evolution of the campaign against cigarette smoking. I could see that the food fetishists were following the same course as the anti-smoking forces and I found it particularly disturbing that the courts would just wink at the complete abrogation of private property rights entailed in the anti-smoking laws and regulations.

  3. My apology. My response above was actually meant for Steve Milloy’s research on Fine Particulate Matter and deaths/disease. The general point, that research is highly distorted by “establishment” funding with deep pockets and that critics of such research have a terribly uphill battle to fight no matter how valid their work might be, remains.

    – MJM

  4. Steve Milloy stated, “My study opened it (the FPM health claim) up to questioning. Anybody can get this data and see whether there’s a relationship. If they get a different answer than I did, we can go back and see what happened. That’s the scientific method. As it stands now, only EPA-funded researchers do the work and review the work, and nobody gets to see the data.”

    This is exactly the same sort of thing that has been going on for 20 years in “antismoking science” regarding the health effects of smoking bans. Back in 2005, David W. Kuneman and I examined the claims on bans and their relationship to heart attacks and economic harms. All of our data sources were chosen to be easily and quickly verifiable through freely internet-available official records, and our only funding consisted of our own time and sweat.

    In both cases, the heart attacks and the economic effects, we found clearly and strongly, in properly modeled research based upon verifiable figures and using statistical methods accessible to anyone who’d taken a simple course in high school level statistics, that the results were the OPPOSITE of those claimed by antismoking studies. You can read all about our work on the heart attack study and follow a formal link to it as it was submitted to the BMJ at the bitlink

    Our findings VERY clearly showed no reduction in heart attacks due to workplace/bar/restaurant bans, but you will see how strongly the medical journals, particularly the BMJ, fought against accepting and publicizing research that showed their earlier published conclusions to be false. Our study covered populations and time periods a hundred times greater than those covered in the BMJ’s hallmark “Great Helena Heart Miracle” study, and showed that the BMJ’s earlier peer-reviewed claims were totally false, The BMJ’s editors refused to accept it for publication. As noted, the best way to verify or refute my claim here is to check the American Council on Science and Health article linked above.

    The study on the economic effects of bans was similar in size, scope, non-funding, and publicly-available verifiability, covering roughly a dozen states and a period of eight full years. We conclusively showed a disastrous effect of imposed bans upon not only the bar/restaurant/hospitality industry, but also, through multiplier effects, the economic base of entire states. See the bitlink at:

    Note that in just a single state, California, the total “hit” to its economy over a fifteen year period was likely on the order of 100 Billon Dollars! And again, note that our sources are all easily accessed and open to verification or dispute. Despite our research being offered for reading and criticism many times over the years in responses to news story and medical journal articles, never even once has any of the work been refuted … or even strongly challenged.

    So take what Milloy says about his experiences on FPM research seriously: he knows what he is talking about.

    – MJM

  5. John, I’ve seen some pretty outrageous things before but this has to rank as one of the worst. Both the article and the editorial are full of claims that are patently false and, as usual, their knowledge of fructose metabolism is seriously deficient. But they really go over the top when they claim that sugar is addictive and compare it to opiate drugs. These morons then go on to suggest putting high taxes on all food and drinks with added sugar and regulating these products just like we do tobacco and alcohol.
    This is a perfect example showing why junk science must be countered at every turn. Once a false idea gains some semblance of general acceptance these kooks starting coming out of the woodwork with their totalitarian ideas for restricting people’s choices.
    I would urge everyone to read the editorial and the article to get the full flavor for what we are up against.

  6. Okay, the proper statement is that there is scientifically credible evidence that sugar causes disease. In addition, there is no biologically plausible mechanism by which sugar could cause disease. To ask for “evidence ” that sugar doesn’t cause disease displays a lack of knowledge in basic logic. You can’t prove a negative construct. The burden of proof is always on the person making the claim. Those who claim that sugar is harmful must substantiate that claim with scientifically credible evidence.

  7. The assertion “Sugar consumption does not cause disease” was not complete. Sugar by itself will not cause disease as bacteria and viruses do. Despite endless studies, no causal relation between normal sugar consumption and disease has been found. One can always bury a person in sugar, as was done years ago when a molasses tank ruptured in the Port of Albany, NY and buried some poor guy who was in the wrong place at the time of the incident.

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