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Taxpayer Money Being Wasted on Junk Science

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

As I poured myself a third cup of coffee in a row, I began to worry because I remembered a “Government Study” from the World Health Organization claiming I would soon have cancer from drinking that coffee. Then I discovered new data and so-called findings coming from the same international organization that claims the opposite. Which to believe?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the subsequently funded International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) recently put out a study that coffee protects against cancer. This new study claimed that coffee was now good for me, which alieved my fears from a previous study from the same international organization that had informed me of my impending, horrible, coffee-induced, cancerous death from bladder cancer. Taxpayers should not be funding junk science and outsourcing scientific study to international organizations that contradict themselves.

How is it possible that these same scientists who had stated that my beloved coffee was a cancer causing agent can so easily reverse positions? Many Americans still dwell on that old study that forced a choice between coffee and cancer. From my perspective, some things are not worth living without, coffee being one of those.

However, recently the NIH and a bunch of international scientists changed their minds…now coffee is not going kill me and may actually protect me from cancer. In that case, I will take a side of cancer causing bacon with my coffee while a make a few calls with my cancer causing cell phone to tell my coffee loving friends about our good-fortune. The same junk science that lead to the conclusion that coffee was cancer causing has led to conclusions that bacon and cell phones are also bad for your health.

Why are we using tax-payer money to fund a bunch of malarkey? These scientists don’t know much and then they print it in a quasi-report of potential findings called science and ask for another grant to finalize their so-called findings. All the while scaring the bologna out of the average citizen just trying to wake up in the morning with a lovely cup-a-joe.

The problem lies in the fact that these scientists may actually discover something real at some point, but after crying wolf this many times, I for one, will not change my behavior one bit for any study they put out. This science is funded by American tax dollars. Much of it funnels to international organizations outside of the United States (World Health Organization) with no oversight and full-fledged political agendas.

As Americans, we need oversight on what they are doing with our money. They don’t get to just show up with a two-page document and declare bacon, or cell phones, or coffee as a cancer causing agent. The headline driven media picks that up and it’s everywhere in 2.5 seconds. So when the scientist comes back out a year later and says…sorry about that…bacon is fine, phones are fine, and feel free to have that second or fifth cup of delicious black coffee…it’s too late…the media damage is done.

There have been a few congressmen from both sides of the aisle who have shown some interest in cracking down on this taxpayer funded junk political science. Some of the initial leaders are Robert Aderholt (R-AL), Lamar Smith (R-TX), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Rodney Davis (R-IL). They should step up their game and protect Americans from the science of scaremongering. Fear sells, but fear is not science.

Junk science has become big business, with hundreds of millions of dollars funding all kinds of research. Some of it may be good, and who doesn’t want to cure cancer, but much of it is throwing money down a rabbit hole. Americans deserve to know a little more about the rabbit hole, especially if it’s funded by our own tax dollars.

These organizations and the scientists they employ should be required to show facts behind their reports. They shouldn’t be allowed to publish partial findings in an attempt to get more money. And most justifiably, they should not be allowed to blame entire industries, like coffee or bacon, for cancer when they can’t prove a bit of it and eventually reverse themselves.

Sadly, in our media driven world, what is published as a headline or a “scientific study” tends to be believed as fact, even when it is not.

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