Wednesday 17 November 2010

Is there a handbook of how to campaign to ban something you don't like?

Consider this quote:

Dr David Fabry, who led the research, said: "We really do not know exactly how much xxxxx you need to be exposed to in order to be at increased risk. But we do know that the threshold for damage is very low. Really, the safe level of exposure is no exposure."

Was he talking about lead shot in game? He could have been - we've heard almost those exact same words spouted against lead shot by the WWT, RSPB and other anti-shooting groups, even though by the best scientific estimates you'd have to eat game for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week for there to be any detectable effect.

No, in this case, Dr Fabry was attacking smoking, on grounds that the splendid Moose takes issue with. I wonder if these people have a handbook full of useful pseudo-scientific phrases that sound scary but actually mean nothing at all.

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