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  # 2219797 17-Apr-2019 12:04
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From RNZ:

 

'Each bottle of beer or small glass of wine raised bowel cancer risk by eight percent.'

 

Those weekends out on the town must really be deadly!

 

Our so-called news media have got to either lift their game or shut up shop. I keep seeing more and more of this kind of stupid crap. You can't hire monkeys to write copy and not bother to supervise what they churn out. Clearly, an education or even common sense is no longer a requirement to be a 'journalist'. Apart from anything else, this kind of nonsense is highly irresponsible. People even dumber than the writers will read it and panic. There is already so much misinformation about health and well-being in supposedly mainstream media. No wonder everyone is turning to anti-vax superstition. There needs to be some kind of regulatory regime that forces media to do responsible (=accurate) reporting of medical stories and punishes them if they fail, something like the broadcasting authority standards. 

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 




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# 2219828 17-Apr-2019 12:48
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  # 2219837 17-Apr-2019 13:02
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Rikkitic:

 

From RNZ:

 

 

Here's the article:

 

https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/387230/even-moderate-portions-of-red-meat-can-cause-cancer-study-finds

 

That's taking about red meat and processed meat, the ~20% claim of increased risk seems more consistent with data from meta-analysis of numerous studies showing the pattern with processed meat, not red meat in general - where AFAIK there's still a correlation, but it's nowhere near that strong. So either they've discovered something earth shattering, or more likely IMO something's being misreported.

 

(WHO advice is that 50g of bacon or other processed meat increases risk of developing CRC by 18%, and that risk increases in a linear manner as consumption increases)

 

In perspective, risk is about 5%, if that's increased by 20%, then if you eat bacon you've got a 6% chance of developing CRC, vs 5% if you don't.  I believe it's complicated with alcohol too, due to genetic differences, some people metabolise alcohol differently (different rates of breaking down the first metabolite, acetaldehyde) and that will increase inflammatory response, possibly increasing CRC risk. 

 

And this despite some serious confounding factors, if you eat less red or processed meat, then risk might be reduced, but by what mechanism? Is it something imparted by or in the meat (or lacking), or perhaps something protective in what you eat instead (ie leading to conclusions which may or not be totally correct, that for example "fish is good for you").  They at least know the mechanism with processed meat and nitrates -> nitrites -> nitrosamines (known carcinogens) forming in the gut, IIRC.


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  # 2219841 17-Apr-2019 13:23
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Fred99:

 

 

I'm not complaining about the science, just garbled reporting by people who do not have even a minimal understanding of what they are writing about. All this does is cause fear and compound confusion when the subject has to do with health. 

 

As a former journalist myself, I know how this works. You are given (or you acquire) one or more sources, sometimes from professional journals, and are tasked to produce an article of so many words summarising the main points. To do so, you have be able to read the source material and understand it to some extent. Unfortunately, that happens less and less these days. Instead, journalism graduates with no understanding of or interest in anything even minimally technical skim the materials and extract snippets which - because they don't understand what they are reading - result in gems of misinformation like each bottle of beer you drink bringing you 8% closer to bowel cancer!

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 2219851 17-Apr-2019 13:41
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Rikkitic:

 

Fred99:

 

 

I'm not complaining about the science, just garbled reporting by people who do not have even a minimal understanding of what they are writing about. All this does is cause fear and compound confusion when the subject has to do with health. 

 

As a former journalist myself, I know how this works. You are given (or you acquire) one or more sources, sometimes from professional journals, and are tasked to produce an article of so many words summarising the main points. To do so, you have be able to read the source material and understand it to some extent. Unfortunately, that happens less and less these days. Instead, journalism graduates with no understanding of or interest in anything even minimally technical skim the materials and extract snippets which - because they don't understand what they are reading - result in gems of misinformation like each bottle of beer you drink bringing you 8% closer to bowel cancer!

 

 

 

 

Yeah I know. Lack of access to the original journal article may be one problem, finding someone with the expertise to review and translate that into something clearly comprehensible is another. 

 

This may sound silly, but posting a link to the article on the "science" subreddit forum (or searching to see if the article has already been posted) may be an easy way to find out more - especially if the article is a bit sensational. That forum seems reasonably well moderated by people who do know something about science, and you're possibly more likely to get accurate and unbiased critical comment and discussion about flaws if they're there, and conclusions from experts in the field who do have time to post their thoughts.  You might also find a freely accessible link to the original paper.

 

The paper being referenced, I doubt I'd understand much and I don't have a pet expert on the subject who I could talk to about it, but I'm pretty sure that RNZ has things wrong, at best only in the way it was presented, but possibly worse than that.


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  # 2219871 17-Apr-2019 13:55
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My real point is the people working for 'authoritative' media like RNZ should not be allowed to touch material like this without some kind of review process to ensure that they are not spewing misinformation. Most of this kind of thing could be avoided with just some common sense, but unfortunately even that seems in short supply these days.

 

 

 

 

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 2219873 17-Apr-2019 13:58
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Here's another subreddit / forum where "bad science" reporting gets flayed:

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/badscience/

 

 


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  # 2219887 17-Apr-2019 14:16
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Too quirky for my taste.





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 2219969 17-Apr-2019 15:15
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Rikkitic:

 

Too quirky for my taste.

 

 

It's poorly moderated. Many of the posts don't comply with subreddit posting rules.  As such, content may be okay even if the topic title is very off-putting.  It's also poorly subscribed, so doesn't self-moderate very well (by down/upvotes).  But that's reddit for you - a cesspool with occasional gems.  FWIW I've yet to post anything on Reddit, despite having an account for years.


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  # 2219992 17-Apr-2019 15:41
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I think I got sucked into the cesspool. I was scrolling through the posts trying to make sense of it and somehow I ended in a discussion about white nationalism (I think ). There may be an interesting trend going on here. I'm not sure because I don't ordinarily hang out around white nationalism sites. But from the little I saw before it became too much for me, it kind of looked like they are trying to put a gloss of respectability on it. Instead of screaming about racial superiority and fascist ideals, they seem to be trying to portray it as just another ethnicity looking for a place of its own. As in, blacks have their neighbourhoods and soul food restaurants, Cubans their little Havana, Jews most of Brooklyn, so why shouldn't rednecks have a good old boys sanctuary like all the others where they can do white things like put on their pointy-headed robes and practice fire-lighting skills? After all, it's just another ethnic minority wanting to preserve its traditional ways.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 




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  # 2220060 17-Apr-2019 16:48
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On behalf of my very, very distant ancestors, I'd like to apologise for ever crawling out of the primordial ooze.


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  # 2220062 17-Apr-2019 16:57
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I don't think that Reddit's a white nationalism site, just "free speech" orientated, hence they tolerate some morons.  It's no worse than Twitter.

 

Anyway, I've been thinking (dangerous I know).

 

The recently publicised "impossible burgers" contain (plant derived) leghaemoglobin - it's almost the same chemical as (animal) haemoglobin.  Apparently they taste great - to meat eaters. The RNZ article suggested that eating red meat significantly increases risk for CRC, a hypothesis is that the (iron containing) heme causes an oxidative reaction in the gut, it's argued that contributes to CRC and explains the correlation.  So.... plant derived leghaemoglobin would probably present the same risk as haemoglobin in meat.

 

Perhaps it's time for a headline.  "Makers of vege based meat substitute add suspected cancer-causing substance to make it look and taste like real meat".

 

Actually not as silly as it may sound, they're trying to get it approved by FDA as safe, not as a novel substance, but as an analogue to haemoglobin in meat, so they've kind of cornered themselves a bit - if meat is unsafe.  At least cows might not have to die to make their burgers, even if they might still kill you.

 

Please excuse my flippant cynicism and off-topic rant, though it was triggered by reading the RNZ article.


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  # 2220063 17-Apr-2019 17:08
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Fred99:

 

I don't think that Reddit's a white nationalism site, just "free speech" orientated, hence they tolerate some morons.  It's no worse than Twitter.

 

 

I am all for free speech. I have always had a strong libertarian streak. But I never really realised just how vile some of the people are who have attached themselves to this meme and Christchurch has changed me. I still believe in free speech, but not all free speech and I don't give a damn if that violates some principle of logic. There is also a principle of common decency.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 2220066 17-Apr-2019 17:21
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Fred99:

 

The recently publicised "impossible burgers" contain (plant derived) leghaemoglobin - it's almost the same chemical as (animal) haemoglobin.  Apparently they taste great - to meat eaters. The RNZ article suggested that eating red meat significantly increases risk for CRC, a hypothesis is that the (iron containing) heme causes an oxidative reaction in the gut, it's argued that contributes to CRC and explains the correlation.  So.... plant derived leghaemoglobin would probably present the same risk as haemoglobin in meat.

 

 

I have been a vegetarian for many years. I never especially liked meat, I just ate it because that was what was put in front of me. I was already moving away from it when I decided I didn't need it in my life. The thing that decided me was mainly an increased awareness of animal suffering and a desire not to contribute to that. I also found meat processing nauseating. 

 

When I started reading about artificial meat (as opposed to meat substitutes like tofu), I wondered how I should feel about it. Would it bother me to eat it? Would I want to? 

 

The answer to both is probably no. If I missed meat it might be different, but I don't. Taste is often a matter of habit and familiarity. Over the course of many years of not eating meat, I have developed a sensitivity to it. If I smell it cooking, I feel slightly nauseous. I don't miss it and I don't enjoy it. I can't think of any reason why I would want to try guilt-free meat. But I am certainly not opposed to it in any way. It may ultimately even help save the environment once all the cows are gone.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 2220179 17-Apr-2019 19:49
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Rikkitic:

 

Fred99:

 

I don't think that Reddit's a white nationalism site, just "free speech" orientated, hence they tolerate some morons.  It's no worse than Twitter.

 

 

I am all for free speech. I have always had a strong libertarian streak. But I never really realised just how vile some of the people are who have attached themselves to this meme and Christchurch has changed me. I still believe in free speech, but not all free speech and I don't give a damn if that violates some principle of logic. There is also a principle of common decency.

 

 

In general nationalists, racists and alt-right are all up in arms when someone stops their diatribes. What they seem to forget is that while they can talk in public (following the public rules set by laws) that doesn't mean they have the same rights in a private space. Also doesn't mean people have to listen to them.





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